Found on the Braden Files
today, this article by Dr George Friedman on Stratfor.com
from 9/14/04 certainly puts the international mis-understanding of the USA in proper perspective , and accurately describes the positions of both our "friends" and "enemies" - read the entire thing!(also linked to Outside the Beltway
"...One of the things to understand about this process is that other countries really don't understand the United States -- and in many cases, they make very little effort to do so. It is a mantra around the world that Americans are ignorant of and indifferent to the rest of the world. There is certainly a great deal of truth in that. However, it is not nearly as true as saying that most foreigners haven't the slightest idea what the United States is about or how it works. Given the enormous power of the United States and the fact that it is, after all, a country of more than a quarter-billion people, this lack of understanding is quite remarkable. Equally remarkable is the fact that foreigners seem convinced that they do understand the United States. Any French intellectual or Chinese businessman will be happy to lecture you on the nature of the United States -- usually in ways that can only be described as bizarre......"