While visiting Istanbul this summer, an American pastor stopped to look an outdoor display of photos depicting American soldiers’ abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The pastor noticed that a Turkish man viewing this gallery of atrocities was getting visibly agitated. When the man became aware that an American was standing nearby, he made a gesture as though to strike the pastor with the back of his hand.
That’s what it’s like to be an American abroad these days. Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek said that in every Arab country he’s visited over the past two years, people don’t want to be associated with the U.S. Even moderates and would-be reformers tell him: “Please don’t support us. American support today is the kiss of death.”