On Americans and America…

So we wake up to a world in which G.W. Bush has more power than ever, which is not a world that feels any safer to me. Across the world the rather resigned expectation is that the USA will be even less interested in the views of the international community than before – even as a new book is published that aims to explain to Americans why the world isn’t entirely thrilled by the behaviour of their government:

How the world sees Americans
“I was surprised that people were really able — and I heard this repeatedly — to distinguish between America and Americans. There’s America in the sense of the official government and the military. That official face of America in the world is not very well liked. And then there’s Americans — the people of the country, the ideals of the country, our popular culture. It was quite a sophisticated view, I thought, considering that they are very far away. Yes, America is in their face all the time, but the part of America that is in their face is that official part. They were able to still say, but you know, we love Americans and we love what you stand for. I heard that over and over again from all different walks of life and all different parts of the world.”