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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 12, 2007 1:17 PM. The previous post in this blog was Meanwhile, out in left field.... The next post in this blog is What to do with McCall's?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

We're losing the wider war, too

A reader sends along this photo taken by his brother, who's spending some time in Malaysia:

Beyond sad.

Comments (11)

Honestly, does this shirt have any more significance than a Che Guevara shirt? It's just a shirt for cryin out loud. What are we supposed to assume from this photo---that the kid is being trained to kill Americans? That OBL is alive and well? I'm not sure.

Yes, it's just a shirt. But it's a striking piece of anecdotal evidence that we're badly losing the hearts and minds of the people of the world. This kid's parents are teaching him that the guy whose goal in life is to kill as many Westerners as possible is a hero. That makes the War on Terror harder and harder in the years to come.

We've fallen a long way from "We Are All Americans" headlines around the world on 9/12/01. Thanks, Mr. President.

It's just a shirt for cryin out loud.

In denial? Want to talk about it?

What this says, beyond a boy with a shirt on, is that there is widespread tolerance in their society for an open expression of support for a person that most in the west would consider highly offensive.

And would you say the same if the shirt had a picture of the chimp on it? Now that would be making a statement, and would likely cause the boy (or his parents) considerable difficulty.

it's a striking piece of anecdotal evidence that we're badly losing the hearts and minds of the people of the world.

or the shirt was cheap and he is poor, or somebody gave it to him, or it was in a bag of donated clothes, or he liked it because it was red...and so on.

what would it have signified if the shirt had a big American flag on it? that we had "won his heart and mind"? or nothing at all, perhaps?

Jack, don't whip up hysteria with this.

I am an American who has lived in Malaysia for the better part of ten years (I was back in Portland in 2005 and part of 2006). Anti-Americanism in Malaysia is NOT common. Anti-American foriegn policy, however, is common. Deal with it. I do every day.

Currently I am teaching English to young Muslim men from Yemen, Sudan and Saudi Arabia who come to Malaysia because it is an affordable place to learn English and attend University. We have open discussions in class. Not a single one believes terrorism or terroristic activities are valid. However, each wonders why the United States continues to pursue such a bully-like outlook towards the rest of the world.

Don't even think about knocking Malaysia until you visit. It is a far more peaceful and far safer place to live than even.... gasp.... Portland, Oregon.

I would hope that Mr. Conrad is right, but I have to share TRF's concern (and seemingly Bog's too) that we're losing something else. I don't travel abroad so I haven't had the kind of first-hand experience that others have -- but I have heard that while others do oppose our foreign policy that they consider everyday Americans to be OK. Still, how long will that last with the kind of behavior and alleged strategy that our government exhibits?

The message "is that there is widespread tolerance in their society for an open expression of support for a person that most in the west would consider highly offensive."

Ok, insert GW for OBL and what do you get?


It's not just that, inside our insular country, we don't know what the rest of the world is like or how it regards us; it seems from the posts here that we really don't want to know.

Oh we know. And we deserve whatever disdain the rest of the world has for us. You can blame it on the administration all you want and say that "we ordinary Americans" aren't to blame for our image. But we are. We're complicit in our government's actions.

But there's not enough context to judge what the "message" of this photo is. It could just be A Shirt.

What this says, beyond a boy with a shirt on, is that there is widespread tolerance in their society for an open expression of support for a person that most in the west would consider highly offensive.

Interesting, I see lots of Che Guevara shirts in Portland...I wonder what that says?


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