Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"what an idiot"

one thing i wish got reported more often is the reaction to off-the-cuff ignorant remarks by american politicians about foreign countries by the people who live in that country.

a related issue is the persistent double standard about how we talk about other nations. american candidates regularly and openly discuss which foreign countries they want to attack. but if a foreign leader or potential leader ever did anything like that, the american press would go completely apeshit. i still hear about how ahmadinajad threatened to "wipe israel off the map" in 2005 (even though he didn't actually say that). meanwhile, american (and israeli) leaders and candidates on a regular basis talk about attacking, bombing, and overthrowing the leaders of iran. if iranian leaders offered competing visions of how to engineer regime change in the u.s. or talked about attacking the u.s.like an potential american strike on iran is regularly discussed here, it would just be touted as further evidence that iran is a rogue outlaw nation.

there's no such penalty for americans who ignorantly talk about foreign governments. which is why rick perry can't stop making a fool of himself. it's very rare that the american public is exposed to how those remarks look to the rest of the world.