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Blog to America


Content for Blog to America is completely generated by the readers. This site brings together individuals from around the world to post their opinions on the United States in the form of letters and comments. Our site aims to encourage global communication and create an international dialogue between America and the world. The most interesting of these letters and comments will be included in a future publication.


Letters from Americans are kept on the American Perspectives page.


Laial from Iran -The Murder of Benazir Bhutto & Charlie Wilson's War

Dear America,

I had written an angry satirical article about the new film Charlie Wilson's War, which I have not seen yet, except for extensive excerpts on a History Channel documentary. It purported to be the real story of the late Rep. Charlie Wilson, and had him chortling, I love it as the right-wing Muslim guerrillas whom he and the Reagan administration massively funded through Pakistan and hailed as freedom fighters were about to triumph over the evil Soviet empire.

I was advised to keep my review on tap until I had seen the film, which is reasonable advice.

Yet, Benazir Bhutto was murdered in Pakistan yesterday and the murder, as I see it, has a direct relationship to the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the subject of Charlie Wilson's War.

Afghanistan's history from the late 1970s to the present is very complicated. The country itself was one of the poorest in the world, divided along ethnic tribal lines and long a battleground among great powers, for example, in the 19th century between the British and czarist Russian empires.

Afghanistan bordered the Soviet Union, and ethnic groups who also were part of the Soviet Union were minority populations in Afghanistan. The Soviets had helped to educate a significant number of Afghanis and an influential Communist Party existed in the city of Kabul. Feudal and prefeudal nomadic elites were predominant in much of the country and the
Muslim religion was the primary unifying force.

Afghani Communists took power in Kabul in 1978, faced with threats from the newly established brutal military dictatorship in Pakistan, and also hoping to advance a social revolution, bringing mass education, land reform and other vital social reforms to the people.

The Pakistani military dictator General Zia had publicly executed Muhammad Ali Bhutto, the civilian prime minister whom he overthrew (father of Benazir Bhutto). Zia wasnt the first Pakistani military dictator but he was the worst. His regime turned more and more to rightist
clerical elements as a base of support and also worked with Saudis to establish right-wing religious primary schools in a country where large sections of the population, including a large majority of the female population, were totally illiterate.

Afghani Communists, tragically, were unable to achieve the unity that is a prerequisite for all communist parties everywhere to keep a coalition together and make pro-people gains. They were divided into rival factions which fought each other fiercely over policy. Despite all the
gains made, there were disastrous errors in seeking to advance the revolution into the countryside, great ineptitude in the land reform policy among cadre with a limited understanding of agriculture, and an aggressive self-defeating anti-clericalism in response to the clerical opposition to the revolution.

With the Pakistani military dictatorship under Zia aiding right-wing Muslim guerrillas, President Jimmy Carters National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski defeated Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and gained Carters support to use the CIA to provide aid to the guerrillas.
Brzezinski saw this aid as creating an Afghan trap for the Soviets, manipulating them into a military intervention which, he hoped, would be their Vietnam.

The Soviets did intervene at the end of 1979 to both save the Kabul government, an ally, and advance a social revolution against fiercely reactionary clerically based forces. For the Soviets, the intervention was both a protection of their own borders and also a reassertion of
proletarian internationalist aid for people seeking to make a social revolution against the forces of internal reaction and foreign imperialism.

CIA aid to the Afghan freedom fighters was picking up under the Reagan administration, which used the advertising term Evil Empire, before the real Charlie Wilson got into the act, although Wilson did play the role of a political fixer, using his position on the House
Intelligence Committee to get more and more money and military aid to the freedom fighters while he ran around Afghanistan for many colorful photo ops.

Large numbers of refugees were created by the Afghan war and great atrocities, as there are in all modern wars. In the U.S. and capitalist media, the Soviets were blamed for these atrocities and large sections of the Euro-American left pretty much went along with the view that this
was a battle between David and Goliath in which the social issues were unimportant compared to the Soviet bad guys and the Afghani anti-imperialist good guys.

However, Indian media particularly, along with other non-Soviet sources, emphasized the fanaticism and crimes committed by the guerillas, including the atrocities that they committed against Soviet military personnel, their families, and those Afghani people whom they saw as
collaborators women seeking to go to schools that the Communist government had established, people seeking to free themselves from the domination of CIA-supported gunmen who might beat them brutally if their beards weren't long enough.

While the real Charlie Wilson was running around with U.S. congressmen,General Zia and Afghan mujahedeen, the CIA was recruiting tens of thousands of foreign fighters from Muslim countries and training them in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas to attack Afghanistan. Money for this war was not only raised from the U.S. appropriations but from
heroin traffic that led Pakistan in the 1990s to have the highest per capita number of heroin addicts in the world.

Benazir Bhutto became prime minister briefly after General Zias death and the restoration of civilian rule. She returned as prime minister in the mid 1990s. The people of Pakistan, less directly than the people of Afghanistan but more so than any other people, suffered from the
counter-revolutionary guerrilla war that Reagan and Zia carried forward against Afghanistan.

As Mikhail Gorbachev began a policy of Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in the late 1980s, Al Qaeda, or the Base, was founded in 1988 under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, leader of the Saudi Arabian contingent of anti-Communist fighters in Afghanistan, scion of one of the
wealthiest capitalist families in the region, and both fundraiser and major logistical man for the guerrillas, much admired at the time by the CIA with whom he had worked for many years.

The Communist-led government in Kabul was eventually destroyed. In Afghanistan, a warlord terror regime was followed by the ultra-right clerical Taliban regime, whose attempts to terrorize its own people into accepting universal female illiteracy, the primacy of a literalist
interpretation of religious law and misery and poverty in this life as a necessity for the next shocked the people throughout the world.

With the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, Osama bin Laden, who, regardless of his CIA friends, had long seen the U.S. and the West as both a sink of sin and a legion of Christian Crusaders and Jewish Zionists seeking to conquer Islam, substituted the U.S. for the Soviet Union as his main enemy, and, setting himself up in Afghanistan with the wholehearted support of the Taliban government that he and the CIA had largely created, began to launch the attacks that led eventually to the destruction of the World Trade Center.

By then, the CIA was much more interested in covering up its long-term relationship with bin Laden than really doing much about him. Its Pakistani intelligence allies were heavily compromised and infiltrated with Al Qaeda and Taliban supporters, and bin Laden family money was around. So U.S. authorities werent that keen on investigating the activities of the bin Laden black sheep Osama.

Today, Al Qaeda and Taliban forces attack the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan from the base areas that the CIA and the Pakistani ISI used to attack the Soviet-supported Communist government over 20 years ago.

Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, has been murdered under the regime of the present military dictator, who imprisoned and held her husband in jail for years without formal charges, along with many other opponents of the dictatorship, just as her father was in effect murdered by the previous military dictator.

And of course, Pakistan does have weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, which it has developed as part of its ongoing conflict with India.

I said at the beginning that I wasn't going to write a review of Charlie Wilsons War until I see the film, but I think this final comment on its advertising is merited. In the commercials for the film, a narrator says with a straight face that without Charlie Wilson history would have been sadly different. Different perhaps, but unless one is a sadist, a masochist, or a reactionary who loves war and destruction for the hell of it, whether it is the destruction of the World Trade Center or the invasion of Iraq happily, not sadly, different.



By: Norman N

C/o: Laila-Shansi


About the Author:

Name: Laila-Shansi
Age: 55
Country: Iran
City: Tehran
Gender: Female
Income: Low
Occupation: FIRED!
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States

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Sarmad from Iraq - Where is the New Iraq?

Dear America,

I really don'€™t know from were I should start. From my own problems to the Iraqi's, generally it's been nearly two years since I stopped writing and the main reason was the disappointing situation...yes the disappointing. Is this the new Iraq? This was what we wished to have? Is this the new style of life? At the beginning every thing was okay, and we were saying "no problem". The important thing was we got rid of the dictatorship there. We are after four and half years later and Iraq has gone from dictatorship to the old dark ages. Iraq the country of nations and foundation of humanity sinking in rivers of blood and killings and poorness and thieves and only the name stayed Iraq and every thing else is gone. Who is responsible? Is it us or the others?
All we wanted was simple things. Is it hard to have a these things without these losses? It was very expensive payment, my heart is breaking, and I see my country loses everything...even the simple things that we didn'€™t want anymore.


About the Author:

Name: Sarmad Zangna
Age: 31
Country: Iraq
City: Baghdad
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Engineer.
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States
Website: http://www.roadofanation.blogspot.com

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Laonick from Australia - Burma: Why does the USA Give a Stuff?

Dear America,

You have been asleep for more than 40 years. Your human rights in Vietnam and all the way through the years to Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp is pitiful and now nothing more than a protected chicken pen. The rights of the prisoners are non existent and they are subject to great humility.

I want to get this across because of the human rights issues the USA continuously accuses ASIAN countries of breeching. There seems to be double standards in many areas however the ASIAN countries are far more open, especially compared to secret flights by the CIA into and out of Europe with suspected terrorists who hadn't been charged and other prisoners in Guantanamo who haven't been charged after years of being there and held captive.

Please explain this to the world. We are ready to listen to your 'Human Rights excuse' if you have one.

The world seems to be focusing on Burma now. Why? Maybe to give Iraq a rest.

It would be nice to watch the news for 1 night and not hear a story from Iraq and how many soldiers died, then how many more civilians died in the latest suicide bombing but, if it wasn't for this splatter of blood on the cogwheel of fortune, then why the hell would any them be there?
How many tons of oil were exported today to the USA or Europe compared to 2004?

Give the people some figures and then we might check them out too. Just to keep you Government Departments on the right track. Or tell us where we can find this information.

Thanks.

Nick


About the Author:

Name: Laonick
Age: 43
Country: Australia
Gender: Male

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Behrouz from Iran

Dear America,

Voice of America (VOA) is spending lots of money on its Persian TV programs. They just tell us the problems which we, who live in Iran, already know. When people in Iran call them and tell them that we already know these problems, please show us a way to solve these problems, VOA says that our job is to give you info we cannot show you the solutions. This is useless. American tax payers are wasting their money. This is how VOA should do:

1. Some Iranians don't trust America because of the U.S. sponsored coup in 1953 in Iran. According to CIA, America overthrew our legal government at that time. America must accept its mistake in the past and assure Iranians that now we both are in the same side. By toppling Mullahs, America brings security for Americans and Iranians. Both nations will benefit from regime change in Iran. I am sure Iranian people will forgive what America did in 1953.

2. Try to unite Iranian opposition group and ask them to forget their differences. Try to show Iranian people how they can change the regime.

3. Try to find a political leader and interim government for us. Iranian people need a leader and interim government to overthrow the Mullahs.

4. This new leader must travel to Russia, China, and Europe and convince them not to support Mullahs anymore.

If VOA does the above, the Iranian regime will fall and the American tax payers will save their money and we will have peace in the whole world because Iranian regime is the only threat to the world peace.

Thanks,


About the Author:

Name: Behrouz
Age: 43
Country: Iran
City: Tehran
Gender: Male
Experience With US: Have lived in the United States
Website: www.myspace.com/beh1

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Kiwi Girl from New Zealand - What the Media Has Shown Me

Dear America,

Hailing from a small country called New Zealand, I am a kiwi who doesn't really know that much about the USA. So when I was asked to write a letter to voice my opinion my first thought was what I hear most people around me saying - Terrorism, Bush, the most wealthy, powerful country in the world. All these opinions I have gained from the media.

The USA appears in our news just about every day here, whether it be to do with the war in Iraq, some scientific development, NASA or some other current event. It may be that I am just growing more aware of the world in my 20's but it seems the entire world is obsessed with what's going on in the US. Is it maybe, we admire you? I really don't know...

As someone who has only travelled as far as Australia I don't know what it is like to be/live in the US right now or any other country for that matter. I know only what I build up a picture of from the snapshots I see in the media. As I have grown older I have come to realise that the picture the media portrays is not always correct, so the picture us kiwi's have of the average "American" may not necessarily be true.

All my life I have heard the saying "Only in America". This lends itself to the fact that the US houses an extremely diverse range of people and almost anything can happen there; another opinion I have gained from statistics and the media.

When I was younger I wanted to either be or marry an American. Growing older has changed my mind. This was probably influenced by the fact that at this time well over half of our television programming was from the US. As I have grown older I realise that I am very fortunate to live in my little corner of the world where I am safe. I am proud to be who I am.

I think the biggest message I could give to America is - Be proud of who you are and try to ensure that the picture the media is painting of you is one you can be proud of.

Best wishes for the future America.


About the Author:

Name: Kiwi Girl
Age: 20
Country: New Zealand
Gender: Female
Occupation: University Student
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States

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Richard from Sudan - A Beam of Light!

Dear America,

Firstly I would like to thank the Blog to America site for inviting me!! I would equally admit that I've never been to America, and not even willing to (unlike me compatriots in Sudan)!!

I'm going to start from the issue of migration!!

I think that USA has become a super power not because God blessed America with talented people more than anywhere else, but because America had managed and still managing to seduce all the scientist of different specialties from all over the globe, mainly from Russia, German and other small countries including my "my underdeveloped" SUDAN!!
I'm not blaming America, of course, and no one should even think of that, but I'm rather blaming those Immigrants who betrayed their countries and went to sell their knowledge and experience in America for the sake of better life standards!!

My LATE MOTHER once told me that a "TOOCOOL" on your home land better than a castle on a foreign land, because there you'll never feel "HOME" and I think all the foreigners in America including my ELDER BROTHER must reconsider their residence in America, and answer these questions!! What have you done for your home land? Are you really feeling home in America? Do you feel/think that you have the same rights as the real Americans do? I understand that your reasons to migrate was political at most, but have you really solved the problem by immigration? I think escape is never a solution for any situation, but they are rather solved by facing and struggling to make a change!!

When it comes to politics, where I'm not having much interest, I can make a humble comments on the American foreign policy!!

I might agree with them upon the Moral issues like the fight for liberation of people from dictators like Saddam Hussein, but I completely disagree with the selectivity!! because there's no justice in that at all, it's fare to judge a criminal for a guilt, but injust to judge some and leave others!! So if America wanna be just, they should deal with the criminals on an equal base!!
Let's take the invasion of IRAQ as an example, the American government underestimated the Iraqi people right from the start!!

They thought that they will get the mission accomplished in three month and come home with what they could carry, but the reality that they found there was a way far from that!!
till now the Pentagon is not showing the real figures of the troops killed in Iraq!!
And everyday a new bomb attract and more Americans die!!

I'm sure they are thinking day and night about how to end this, but I think this's not gonna end soon!! They cannot move out, because Iraq will be a pore for terrorist, and they will after that come to get you!! And if you stay we'll never be able to stop their attacks!! I'm not supporting them, but I'm saying that you did a very big mistake by getting in there at the first place!!

And president Bush as long as his in charge will keep committing more and more American young men to Iraq, and more insurgencies but as a matter of fact he's just giving militants more targets to shoot!!!

I hope that America learns a lesson from Iraq and never repeats the same mistake in Iran!!
to be continued.......


About the Author:

Name: Richard L. Janda
Age: 20
Country: Sudan
City: Omdurman
State: Khartoum
Gender: Male
Income: Low
Occupation: Student
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States
Website: www.mysapce.com/lodoro

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Blok Inc. from New Zealand - So Much Trouble, So Much Arrogance

Dear America,

Good evening to The United States of Apathy. You are a province that arrogantly parades yourself to the rest of the world as a place of freedom, equality and democracy. Yes there is a world outside your borders. Yes we know you think your better than us. Yes we are sick of you’re sh*t and it wont be tolerated much longer.

Your clock is ticking.

There is nothing free, equal or democratic about your country or even your fragile society.
You are a province that came from such promising beginnings, yet you have grown into a filthy orgy of consumption, corruption and crime. Your forefathers would be ashamed.

But you don’t need us to tell you that, just look outside of your air conditioned apartment. There are no birds singing, no jolly faces. War veterans with missing limbs, lost fighting to protect your "freedom". Homeless, jobless, begging to make a living. Policemen beating, shooting innocent citizens because of their skin pigmentation. Teens not making it to see their 21st birthdays because they eat to much McDonald's. Millions of inefficient engines getting a mere few miles per gallon, pumping thousands of tones of pollutants into OUR atmosphere.

The rich getting richer. The poor getting poorer. The fat getting fatter.

This is how we see you, and you wonder why you have so little friends?

Your people want you to wean out terrorism in you’re precious land. Your answer? Bomb the Iraqis! Hang the leader! Torture defenseless prisoners! Convince the mainstream everything is OK! Your people want out of Iraq and have for a long time. You are still there; loosing sons, brothers, fathers, limbs, lives, wives and for what? Democracy? Justice? Oil? You cant even seem to help yourselves. Don’t get us started on your aid attempt in New Orleans, we'll just say that we bet the response would have been "different" if the disaster was, say, in LA.

Your people want this, your people want that. All they seem to get is the bill for your mistakes.

In a world that is becoming increasingly conscious of your choices, I would advise you watch your steps, as they are being analyzed by the rest of us.

Apathy is bliss.


About the Author:

Name: Blok Inc. New Zealand
Age: 19
Country: New Zealand
Gender: Male
Occupation: Thug
Experience With US: Have lived in the United States

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Incident from South America - Why?

Dear America,

Almost all the young kids in Africa want to come live in U.S.A. thinking that it's the best country on earth. Little do they know, how U.S.A. is so full of RACISM. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King posed as a threat to all the white Americans so what did you do? You killed them but we forgave you. Us blacks have never killed any of your leaders but there is still so much whites that hate Blacks, WHY?

Then you people go on and attack Iraq and enjoy it for what? weapons of mass destruction that were never found? Then Osama attacks and kills 2000 people and you start crying cause your family members died in the 2000 people that Osama killed forgetting that Bush Has killed more than 5000 people in Iraq. All that I'm saying is that you People shouldn't be so Ignorant and stop making an enemy out of the whole World.


About the Author

Name: Incident
Age: 20
Country: South Africa
City: Pretoria
State: Gauteng
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States
Website: www.myspace.com/mightyeye

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Rakun from Slovenia

Dear America,

Thanks to Blog To America for finding me on MySpace, so I can somehow send a letter. How to start? I understand what US is doing. Their government do not truly act against terrorism, unless it is within their own borders. They need oil and money from other countries. Their war industry is currently making loads of money, since they supply military of the US, Israel and some NATO forces. Why did they attack Iraq and why don't they attack Iran? Oil and war industry are the first. Iraq could not defend itself against the forces of US and Great Britain, while Iran can, and there is a possibility that Iran holds nuclear, chemical or other weapons, and has a far better organized and well equipped military that could defend itself properly against an invasion of the US.

I know how it looks when government takes hold of the national television, making news reporters be on the side of the government. I know some Americans, that would agree with me, and some, who are fanatical about how terrorism is threatening them and how Bush is great for the defense. I agree with those Americans, who do not support George Bush Jr., because they actually don't believe what their government wants them to believe. Pentagon was NOT damaged by a plane. If it WAS, then there would be a much bigger hole in Pentagon, and there would be pieces of that plane around. FBI confiscated most of cameras around the scene.

An American friend of mine was also sure that the "terrorist attack" on WTC in New York is a fraud. He said, that there were no signs of air companies on the airplanes that crashed into the WTC twins. I'll check that soon if it is true.

Excuse for the government of USA is terrorism, though in real it is economical. They need oil, because USA is running out of it at home. Now they are in need. Why don't they attack Saudi Arabia? Because they are close allies, even when Saudi Arabia does not have democracy. Iran? Because they are far too well organized than Iraq, and war with Iran would crush their economy. Even war in Iraq looks bad enough for the economy of US. North Korea? Government doesn't want World War 3 (Nuclear War).

If a powerful company wants money, they just go to president (and the rest of the government) and 55% of the senate, give them bribes, and US goes to war. Microsoft and arms manufacturing companies are able to do that. And many other companies. Even the companies with funeral activities will get profit from war.

Well, that's about it for now...

With regards,

Rakun

About the Author

Name: Rakun
Age: 19
Country: Slovenia
City: Ljubljana
State: Ljubljana
Gender: Male
Experience With US: Never Visited the United States

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T.A.I.M. S.O.D.S. from South Africa - Take a Stand, Realize Your Freedom!

Dear America,

Firstly I would like everyone to know that I am most certainly not anti-America in anyway. However what we are currently seeing is exactly what happened in my own country of South Africa for 50 years. We are dealing with right wing dictators under the guise of democracy. It is the work of few that are casting a dark shadow over a land of so many. Mr. Bush the most powerful man in the world and his back up crew seem to have a hidden agenda. I say this due to the fact that the cracks in the mighty America are starting to show...big time. Popularity of the country and how the world(ordinary people), perceive America has declined massively. Now due to PIRACY of DVDs and CDs coming from China, America wants to tighten trade with them...because why? I am sure the mighty rising economic empire of China does not endorse illegal trade over its borders on purpose. Is the Bush administration picking a fight with a sleeping giant? My point is this...GOVERNED BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE...is that not the backbone of democracy? It is obvious to me that national pride is still at a all time high and it is what Bush feeds on. No matter what blunder(evil plot) he comes up with, Americans stand firm in the love for their country. Admirable but dangerous...weed out the problem, the very cancer that surely will destroy democracy! Corruption is one thing but blatant disregard for the peoples rights to freedom is a very different one. One that should not be tolerated...why are young boys still being blown up along side roads in Iraq. I am sure these boys would rather be sipping a Millers lite and puffing a Malboro with his/her partner AT HOME!! Our sympathy goes to the American people, it took us 50 years to reach democracy. America always had it but in 50 years it seems you have finally reached your national socialistic state. South Africa and America have merely traded places....so I urge the people of America to take a stand as they did against apartheid! Fight the wrongs happening in your very own country, the world sees it surely you can too. For the most part we are positive that the bright shining torch bearer of democracy will return to us. Question is will this happen before that dictator does anything everyones going to regret?


About the Author

Name: T.A.I.M. S.O.D.S.
Age: 31
Country: South Africa
City: Boksburg
State: Gauteng
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Print Operator/Band Member
Experience With the US: Visited the United States
Website: http://www.myspace.com/taimsods

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The Eagle Spirit from Vietnam

Dear America,
Many people are angry with you for instigating war in the Middle East and for acting like the world's police. I see your arrogance, but let's take a few seconds to reflect at what you've done for the world. I gather three major contributions: 1) Your charitable act toward third world countries, 2) Your initiation in reserving this planet, 3) Your effort in preventing another holocaust.

Before I proceed, I must clarify that when referring to America, I am talking about the people and not just the government itself. It is evident that America has by far poured more money in assisting world's disasters than any other countries. For example, America had assisted victims of the Indonesian Tsunami in 2004 but what have America received from the world when the Hurricane Katrina struck? During the Hurricane Katrina and the September 11 event, America united and assisted each other. There are those who contributed money and those who contributed man power. Such events are self-evident that America is generous by heart. I must admit that there are con artists who swindle citizens during bad times but there will always be a bad apple in the basket.

By far, I've seen more American environmental activists than any other countries. Look at the policies and guidelines that the government has imposed upon companies. It is harder to establish a manufacturing company in America than elsewhere because of the rules and policies. I am not speaking about how effective these policies are; I am just merely pointing out that America has made environmental factor awareness.

Many people are calling America arrogant because she is aggressive in her own ways. I remember NATO was formed to prevent another holocaust but I see that NATO hasn't met up with its initial goals. Members of the NATO wait for America to act as the world police while they sit back and watch. I remember reading a book about Italy selling weapons to Iraq and terrorists while America is at war.

I can see that the world looks at America through the immaculate lens. Let's face it, America can strive to be perfect but perfection can never be achieved. In conclusion, I think America is still the best country to live in. America is more charitable, environmentally friendly and self-righteous than any other countries that I've lived in.


About the Author:

Name: The Eagle Spirit
Age: 24
Country: Vietnam
City: Peoria
State: AZ
Gender: Female
Experience With US: Currently Live in the United States

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Alba from Mexico

Dear America,

When I am asked about what I don’t like about you, I could recite a litany of attitudes, people and things that I do not like. But when faced with a white piece of paper and a blank cheque (yes, with a que) to write about this topic, it becomes much harder to do it because the answer cannot come from a moment of irrationality; it has to be thought out.

A few months ago a teacher asked us during a class what we thought of you. Some said they admired your power, your will, your way of life, some others said they didn’t like you, largely for the same reasons. I was the only one who actually said I couldn’t understand you, and I still think, after almost two semesters of teachers trying to explain to me what you are, and how you behave, that you have this aura of mystery that will never be broken.

I will not say that I hate your policies, even though I am Mexican and thus on the losing side of a wall that your leaders have decided to set up, but the truth is, sometimes my country has taken advantage of your weakness. I will not say that I admire you in absolute terms because I believe that some things can never be absolute. But I will say that I think you must have something other than a special permission from God to become what you are. You have people that take the world situation, analyze it, and work to your advantage (at least most of the time). You are a country where the majority of people wouldn’t be able to pin point Montana, let alone Iraq, on a map. And yet, in spite of what a lot of countries say about your people, you still manage to be on the winning side of most battles. That says a lot about you and the people me and my classmates make fun of.

So if it is a special deal you have with God, enjoy it. If it is a cultural thing we could all learn a bit from you. I am not saying you haven’t made any mistakes, or that we should learn everything from you. Nobody is perfect, but while the rest of the world laughs about the stereotype of the big-blond-burger eating American, you are still racing far ahead of us. I still don’t agree with the way you have treated my country, and a lot of others, for that matter. And I do believe that your biggest mistakes in foreign policy have come back at you, a boomerang with a vengeance. But through it all, you have found strength, and your people are slowly realizing that mistakes can be corrected, that leaders aren’t always right.

So your society shouldn’t be despised, since we could learn quite a few things from it. Being your neighbour by a long border makes everything that happens to you important to me, at a very personal level. And while I cannot say that I admire you in your true glory, I can say that if we only stopped to think about why you are “so great”, we would find many, many reasons to either prove or disprove your greatness. I am sitting on the fence for this discussion, but not before I say that perhaps we always make fun of the stereotype I mentioned above because that is exactly what we are becoming ourselves.

Alba


About the Author

Name: Alba
Country: Mexico
Gender: Female
Occupation International Relations Student

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Cal from Oman

Dear America,
I've always known America as a Nation that values freedom, democracy, peace and liberty, but not anymore. America only loves itself.

This peace loving America is primarily responsible for the continuation of the suppression and dehumanization of the Palestinian people by the Zionist State of Israel for many decades.

This same freedom loving America condones and supports the construction of the apartheid wall that is effectively caging Palestinians into enclaves and ghettos of poverty.

This democratic America is supporting a Shiite Government in Iraq which is systematically religiously cleansing Baghdad of its Sunni population. A genocide of the Sunnis in Iraq is going on with the Secular America supporting a Shiite religious sect against the Sunnis.

There are some very serious contradictions... Why?

I personally love the American people. There isn't a more fun loving and care free people in the world. But these same people are allowing its Government to commit the most atrocious crimes against innocent people... Why?

9/11 was a crime condemned by most Muslims and Arabs, but the American Administration with the support of the US Congress chose to start wars against Muslim Nations instead of developing stronger ties with Muslim States to fight terrorism together. Even France became a foe when it voiced its objection to Americas push for wars instead of diplomacy.

The problem with America is that it has allowed a Jewish Lobby to dominate its foreign policy. I do not believe that the US foreign policy is in any way a reflection of the will of the American people as a whole. US Foreign policy in the Middle East is the foreign policy of Israel.

By blinding supporting Israel, the US denies freedom, peace and liberty for the Palestinians.

America is a Nation that is driven by money. The primary interest America cares about, as a people and Government, is money. And that is the main reason 9/11 was tied to Iraq.... Iraq has oil which provides the energy that fuels the US economy.

In fact, America planned to start this unjust war against Iraq even before Afghanistan, to secure its primary interest in the Middle East, oil.

And it's still not enough, now America wants to start a war with Iran....

The crime of 9/11 pales in comparison to the crimes committed by American after 9/11. Yet the American people remain silent......

I hope the American people wake up and get America back on track as a Nation that truly values freedom, democracy, peace and liberty for all peoples of the world.

About the Author:

Name: cal
Age: 30
Country: Oman
Experience With US: Visited the United States
Website: www.omanforum.com

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Mamduh from Egypt - Good Goals, But Too Many Deaths?

Dear America,
You're a good country with good, kind people. And I believe it was good of you to go get us rid of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban in Afghanistan, and of Saddam in Iraq... But, really, you should find a way for you to end the wars that started, and that don't seem to be approaching an end any time soon.

You happen to have a common enemy as some of us in the Middle East; that is religious fundamentalism. This is probably just out of our good luck to find a country like you to defend us against fundamentalist Islam. But, on the other hand, should so many people really be dying?

I oppose Taliban, Saddam, and all other dictatorships in the Middle East (including the dictatorship in Egypt). But, at the same time, I'm not happy with the death of so many people in Iraq and in Afghanistan...

I hope you find ways to end your current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now that you've done a big part of your good goals there (got rid of Iraqi dictatorship, and Afghan fundamentalism).

Good luck in that, America.


About the author
:

Name: Mamduh Schauki (egYptianist)
Age: 20
Country: Egypt
City: Heliopolis
Gender: Male
Income: Medium
Occupation: Student
Experience With America: Visited the United States
Website: http://www.theegyptblog.tk

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Mo from Canada

Dear America,
A lot of people are angry with you right now, and I think you may have trouble understanding why.

It's not just that you lie, cheat and steal. And it's not only that you don't care what the rest of us think, or even if we exist. It's not just that you're always at war and telling us to jump in. It's more than the fact that you never admit to being wrong, ever.

It is indeed all of these things, and plenty more, because let's face it; you've banged into everybody over the years, with varying damages. There isn't one nation most of us can name that you haven't invaded, exploited, threatened, tried to intimidate, or disenfranchise at one time or another, and let me tell you, the ones we can't name have seen for themselves or heard us all talk. But the reason I am angry is one I believe is buried underneath the surface of a lot of frustration toward you in the world, because, as you often tell us, you're not all bad.

The things you have bragged about for so long, your courage, conviction, willingness to stand up and fight for what's right, for the rights and freedoms you claim to have introduced to the world, we are not seeing; it is clearer than ever at this moment that you have been resting on your laurels. You have really accomplished many things to be proud of, and if you could sit upon your feats humbly, perhaps much respect would flow your way. However, it seems that for years you have pointed at the will of your forefathers and demanded respect for their integrity, yet these are men who would have looked at your last two elections and picked up guns. Not only are you resting, your accomplishments are being erased.

A large part of you realizes what's wrong, but we the world see no significant effort on your part to take control while crimes are being committed in your name, and so sympathy is fading fast. It is not enough to say that your vote went the other way when you know that the process is damaged. It is not enough to say that it is out of your hands when you have not attempted to grasp it. When your system has run away from you, and is taking drastic measures throughout the world for its self-preservation, it may take drastic measures to halt it and set it right. If this is not done before it is too late, eventually you will have to recover what was lost by inaction.

We are frustrated because something has to be done, only you can do it, but you're not. And quite possibly over two billion people in the world are behind you.

This is not a left or right issue. It is right or wrong, do or don't. You don't blame the left arm for letting the right arm smack when they share the same head. You who understand what is happening are already more capable than the rest in this tug of war, because your fight is on the side of truth. History shows that truth eventually conquers, but not by itself. It has to be spoken loudly, shouted when necessary, and defended at all costs. If there is one ultimate purpose we as a species can reasonably point to in response to "why?" it is truth.

You have been taught to take criticism of your country personally, and respond defensively, but the America I am speaking to should be hearing encouragement. The truth is, led by you, your nation has the influence and wealth to steer the world in the curing of many of humanity's ails, thereby greatly reducing angst, conflict and the "need" for exorbitant defenses, and vastly increasing the wealth and standard of living for everyone. We have reached a place in time when we can either create huge problems or solve huge problems, and you just happen to be at the helm, holding the responsibility that goes with it. Is America a place where you sit back and see what happens? The destructive force that smears your name represents you only with your consent.


About the author
:

Name: Mo
Age: 22
Country: Canada
City: Ontario
Gender: Male
Experience with America: Visited the United States

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Lucy from Japan

Dear America,
America…it is hard to think of what to say to you as I see the world is in a constant debate to try to define you and find your proper role. To me, strangely enough, America has become my home and a very strong part of my identity that I cannot refute. I have spent most of my life in the U.S. and obtained my permanent residency at a young age. Having had the freedom to choose to live in the united states, I should be in great awe at the vast opportunities America has to offer…and it has….I am one of the lucky immigrants that has been able to take advantage of what the American Dream has to offer…great education system, good wages, internationalization, vast mixing of cultures, etc. etc. Yet, I am still uncertain weather I can fully accept America for what it is. How can you embrace America as your home if America does not listen to us, us as the many multi-cultural residents in the U.S. that has often found that the world is screaming messages to America that she doesn’t seems to hear.

Do you know how it feels to be told by a relative, “Why are you doing this? Why are you sending troops into Iraq?” Apparently “you” (me) is equated with America, and I am lost as to how to explain to my cousin, that yes although I live in the states I and many others around me were not the ones who sent the troops marching. That democracy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are heard.

You think it is right to play the world’s police, and yet what is it telling the world if you decide not to listen even to the UN? We didn’t care, and we didn’t know, but we will get what we want…ignorance and arrogance as one of my friends put it. We need to learn to fully evaluate every situation by looking into more than the intent the government has. Every country has its history, politics, government, etc…and we need to know the other before deciding what to do. It is too late to find out the very complex history and sects of Iraq that could have warned us of the civil war that erupted. America is a powerful giant, there is no refuting that, but as such a powerful country, it must learn to take responsibility for its actions. It is no longer about what Americas wants, or even about saving Bush’s face, we must begin to re-evaluate our prior actions and begin to have a different mind set in evaluating such foreign policies.

About the author:

Name: Lucy
Age: 22
Country: Japan
Gender: Female
Experience with America: Currently Living in the US

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Tonidius from Germany - What is USA???

Dear America,
I got this blog from a friend of me in America. At first I don't know what I should write here. Honestly, I didn't live in USA just one day so it's hard to know what the people there think and what the life there is. But here are some opinions from me, from the people who don't live in USA.

I don't like politics, but the way USA using politics on others countries are really bad actions. What do they think they are??? They think they have right to kill the people?? They think they have right to judge the freedom in another countries??? They think they have right to do what they want in this world??? Back to Vietnam's war, and look at now to what happens in Middle East. They are the same. USA just make some reasons for the war so that the people in USA think that they have right. But the world is not blind like the people who are living in USA. The politics in USA make people blind and just heard to government. They almost don't have their own opinions for what happens in this world. They think that they have to get freedom for another the country and they are proud of that. They don't think that its own problems of those countries. I know that in USA, the people don't really have a freedom like they talk on television or on communicating system. They still don't have their own freedom in their own home how can they go out and take freedom for others??? They gain and blow the ethnic's grudge in each country they want to set a war. They use those country's people to fight to their own people(the obvious example is the war in Iraq). In addition, do you know where the weapons of these war are from?? From USA. They deal with both sides and run their weapon company.....

I got shock 5 years ago when the WTC in New York was down by 2 planes. We still didn't know all the truth of this attack. But in the point of this attack, I just asked, why?? Why not in another country but in New York-USA??? Many people in Midde East have celebrated for that??? Why the people do that?? They celebrate for the unhumanity-act??? There are so many and many questions I got, but cant find out the answers. And its not my problem though. Just thought, USA would have to be so arrogant and put their a** in the sides of the peoples in the countries they have made a war before they make another mistakes...not only American's lives are worth but also others lives are worth too, because we are all HUMAN...


About the author:

Name: Tonidius
Age: 24
Country: Germany

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Isabella from Italy

Dear America,


Hi, I’m Isabella and I write from Italy.

I don’t’ think to really have an opinion about American people, ‘cause I’ve never been to America.

I think you can really see how a person really is when he’s in his country, but after more than a month spent together with some of you, I’ll try to say something.

About American foreign politic and behaviour of your government I need only a word: horrible.

It’s horrible how many young people are dying in stupid wars they don’t even understand, and observing the situation in Italy I think that like here the poorest and most ignorant people do this work to earn money, a lot of money, risking their life, and the government need poor, scared and stupid people to go on like this and to be able to control the resources of the world.

It is really strange how many people really hate your country and I notice the different behaviour when someone thought I was American: after knowing I am Italian they get more kind and confident. But at the same time all the world want to live like you, to be rich and to be able to buy, buy, buy….

Personally the thing I like most is American music!! I think your richness is to have many people coming from different cultures and that’s a cultural richness.

I notice there are not many differences between American, Italian, French people, when they are all together, many of them pretend to be particular because of their provenience, but I think they try to be and they only seem stupid.

In a group of people, if you pretend to be something different from your own personality sooner or later you’ll be discovered, and seem fake. I noticed some American people want the other people think they are hard worker, more that the other, they are the best because American usually are, and so they are allowed to judge the others, especially if they are Italian, because usually people have the image of Italians that don’t like to work hard, and always play mandolin in the sun.

I was so surprise that such stupid stereotypes are still alive in the mind of young people, and that could bring someone to judge an other before knowing him… so I suppose there are young people that think that Americans all live like we see on MTV’s videos!!

But I think that after spending some times together it’s impossible to follow like this, you’ll find the more similar to you and dislike some others like in everyday life.

When you use to meet a lot of people, you’ll see every time someone between them who’s feeling better than you, maybe because he’s taller, or richer, or faster, …..even if he is not American, and wants to let you know you are worse than him.

And at the same time there are some special people, kind and intelligent, that you are always lucky to meet, who can make you forget the other ones and feel happy about meeting them, and have fun together. So my experience with American is not so different from the one with every other people, maybe sometimes the problems seems bigger, but everything is bigger in America, true?

I met some great American guys and girls, now they have a place in my heart and I’ll never forget them, and after that I’m really curious to visit your country and to meet many other nice people.

And to forget all the stupid things I saw on TV. To know a country is necessary to go there.

After my first trip to America I’ll send you my impressions again.

Isabella


About the author:

Name: Isabella
Country: Italy
Gender: Female
Occupation: Paleobotanist

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James from Norway

Dear America,

It’s hard to write to a nation. I think it is important to take time to get used to emotions, who you are how to relate and cope with differences. It’s really important that INDIVIDUALS are constantly aware and open. Otherwise democracy is easily victim to forms of totalitarianism and thinks like a [illegible] wave.

The America democracy is not usual. I really LIKE the idea that a president can’t run for more than two terms. That idea should be in all new democracies. But two party politics is prone to some evils, especially when the setup is such that the richest party wins and takes bribes from various pressure groups. How can that be smart? I get the impression that these pressure groups are big industries like oil, Tobacco, Weapons, but I’ve also seen that the Jewish lobby groups are strong. Suddenly you are in wars that are supported by three of these lobby groups. But what does the average American get out of this? And what does the world get out of this?

I should remind you that the United Nations was the brain child of America. It has its flaws, works slow but it is the ultimate democracy. In a modern world America will need to be more and more part of the western world. This requires some sacrifices and attitude changes. But in the long run the alternative is to be left behind. And there is a danger of becoming a nation stuck in self love and scorned by the world. What a shame. There is no reason for that. In relation to the world, America is tinny, and such a rate will be disastrous.

In Europe America is seen as a cultural and environmental thing. Not big and not smart. America’s energy usage per person is many times greater than the worst of the Europeans. It will cost to repair that, but there is no logical alternative. There is not a scientist in Europe that understands how America can undermine worldwide efforts to correct very real and dangerous environmental problems of global warming. It’s an arrogance against nature that will come back and hurt you and the rest of the world.

It’s easy to talk about political differences but I feel also invited to say something about cultural differences.

There doesn’t seem to be willingness to take a punch in the states. Somebody sneezes on you and you see some dollars and sue. The end result is some crazy balance where reality and authority have nothing to do with each other that is dangerous.

In America money means to much. Money is just supposed to be a grease to oil the cogs of society. The goal should be to participate well, not just to get rich. Happyness is much more than that.

There is a culture of consumerism. People spend too much time cultivating meaningless whims, buying on impulse following fashion minute by minute and throwing all the old stuff away, even though it is ok. Identity is not what you do for others but how much you have consumed for yourself, so this culture presumes. Somebody has to produce all this stuff, since the consumers don’t produce as much as they consume. Who is it? Who gets the rough end of the deal?


Signed,




About the author:

Name: James
Country: Norway
Gender: Male



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Pietro from Italy

Dear America,

You guys are great!! I mean you are outgoing people, very warm with foreigners, always smiling and talking, that’s cool!! Anyway, you have to improve your reputation for what [illegible] foreign affairs ‘cause in most of the cases you seem to act very arrogant, trying to impose your point of view to everyone in the world (Iraq’s case especially but your attitude towards Europe as well!!) demonstrate to be the noble country that you, in many occasions, showed to be a country very patriotic and very democratic.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!


Signed,

Pietro from Palermo, Italy


About the author:

Name: Pietro
Country: Italy
City: Palermo
Gender: Male

Click here to view the original letter


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Q from Italy

Dear America,

I think that the U.S. is the most important country in the world now, but to be important needs to be also "intelligent..." and so "STOP THE WAR, MR. BUSH!!" Already AMERICANS are different, I love them because they are free, they are fun and we need you (I love Coca-Cola!!" At the end I hope that the U.S. will be in the future what they deserve to be;

The big NATION OF FREEDOM...


Signed,

Q (Italy)


About the author
:

Name: Q
Country: Italy

Click here to view the original letter


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