Donald Rumsfeld has informed us today that the United States has an image problem. In essence, what Rumsfeld said was that the USA suffers from a negative image stemming from the rest of the world not understanding our policies and what goes into them.
Well, he's obviously wrong, but let's talk about why. The truth is that the rest of the world suffers from the precise opposite of what he's saying. They know EXACTLY what we're up to. We're not that good at hiding it. The only reason these bastards get away with it is because most Americans are by nature complacent, vain and not all that bright. Rumsfeld is complaining that the rest of the world isn't too.
Exhibit A: The war on Iraq.
The facts were there long before. It was a no-brainer. The connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden doesn't exist. The neoconservatives made it up. The rest of the world, who actually READ the news, knew this. Even a casual news reader could pick up the inanity of their claim.
Exhibit B: The War on Terror.
The war against terrorism has been going on FOREVER. Countries have had to move on, deal with their violent dissenters, and still maintain their policies. Thus from their vantage point we're acting like a bunch of nutcases looking for an excuse...which we are.
Exhibit C: War
Everything in America comes down to war. It's been said before, I know, but I'm not a comedian so I'll say it seriously. If you live overseas and you notice that American action tends almost always involves the word 'war', what the hell are you going to think?
In short, Rumsfeld is complaining because the rest of the world are more observant than Bush's constituents. This is not hard, mind you, but he's just whining because not everyone believes his bullshit. The United States doesn't have an image problem, it has a policy problem.
"If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help."
--Taken from the undelivered speech of John F. Kennedy, scheduled to be delivered 11/22/1963