Christopher Dickey on the Toxic American

Discussing the recent fall of Italy’s government, Christopher Dickey, Newsweek’s European Bureau Chief, highlights the real-world consequences of George W. Bush’s cataclysmic unpopularity:

The backlash brought on by what we’ve seen since then runs so deep today that even reasonable policies become political poison once they’re branded pro-American. Thus bitter memories of lies and insults undermine legitimate efforts to restrain the Iranian nuclear enrichment program. They discredit efforts to encourage democracy, inevitably branded by dictators as an American import….

All this strikes me as sad, and dangerous. As the Iraq war continues to worsen and Washington is forced to search ever harder for an exit, it will need a lot of help from countries it used to rely on as friends. But governments are concluding that any sign of a warm relationship with Bush’s Washington is likely to leave them out in the cold with their public. In the end, their voters—their people—are a focus group that just can’t be ignored.

Unsettling; but in line with what I see on the ground here in Germany.

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