|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|Love Me or Die
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? email@example.com|
|Boston Globe foreign correspondent Charles Sennott, on assignment in Afghanistan over the summer, thought he had an interview with President Hamid Karzai (see his multimedia Reporter’s Notebook.) After keeping him waiting for hours, an aide told him the interview was off. Karzai was so incensed about U.S. support for Israel’s debacle in Lebanon that his staff didn’t want him anywhere near an American newsman for fear of what he might say. The U.S. educated Karzai is our friend and ally, becoming so after we bombed his country and drove out his predecessors.
Our friend and ally Pervez Musharaf of Pakistan is also displeased with the U.S. President Bush announced this week that if Bin Ladin were found in Pakistan, we would go after him. Musharaf, objecting to the idea of the U.S. invading his country in hot pursuit of the world’s number one perp, said no you can’t. His position makes sense, since according to a terrorist in British hands, Omar Khyam, the Pakistani secret service trains Bin Ladin’s foot soldiers. Mr. Musharaf became our friend and ally after former State Department official Richard Armitage told him we’d bomb his nation back to the stone age if he didn’t.
In Iraq, our friend and ally Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki isn’t happy with us either. We’ve been giving him heat for not doing more to disarm the sectarian militias killing thousands every month in his country. Mr. al-Maliki has been cozying up to Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declaring during a state visit that the two leaders are in perfect agreement on security issues. Hence his unwillingness to do our bidding, since the largest sectarian militias in Iraq are Shias who enjoy financial and logistical support from Iran. Mr. al-Maliki became our friend and ally after we bombed and invaded his country.
Mr. Bush has done a magnificent job of fomenting worldwide anti-Americanism. Even apart from our friends and allies, the list of peoples who hate us grows every day. The meeting of the UN General Assembly this week in New York was the occasion for a chorus of hostile tirades from the gathered heads of state, with Mr. Chavez of Venezuela going so far as to call our Commander in Chief “Satan.” And that must have hurt, because it’s well known the president’s most trusted advisor is Jesus, who wouldn’t give Satan the time of day.
In Great Britain, allies of our good friend and ally Tony Blair call the president “crap.” An inchoate friendship with Angela Merkl of Germany was derailed when Mr. Bush incontinently grabbed her neck and shoulders at a summit. Our mideast policies have made us universally despised throughout France, Spain, and Italy. Even the Swiss are mad at us for criticizing their liberal drug policies, and for pressuring them to identify numbered bank account holders with links to terrorists.
Before we become a complete pariah, how can we reverse the tide of international dislike and regain the friendship of nations? In the unenlightened pre-Bush era, we would have bought goodwill with cash, manufactured goods, corn, and wheat. The Bush administration strategy is characteristically more muscular and direct. Their message to each and every nation on earth: Be our friend and ally, or we’ll bomb you back to the stone age. It worked for us in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It even worked, after a lag of thirty or so years, with newly friendly Vietnam, the original candidate for a return to the state of nature through bombs. There’s no reason to think we won’t meet with the same degree of success everywhere else.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2006
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