The power of propaganda

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The American media—left establishment plays a much larger role in fomenting anti—Americanism overseas than most of us have realized. The criticisms of America they create and publicize for partisan purposes are picked up and amplified by antagonists overseas, many of them simply jealous of our success, growth, and wealth, or fearful of losing their own cultures and traditions as people are attracted to the dynamism of America as manifested in our music, food, media, and material goods.

Stunning confirmation of this intellectual food chain comes today from the Washington Post. Some observers overseas, where consumers are demanding local taxes on gasoline be cut in the face of recent oil price increases, blame the United States, with its SUV drivers, rather than the extortionists of the OPEC cartel or the Middle Eastern (or Venezuelan) tyrants enriched by oil.

In such countries, where stiff gas taxes help induce motorists to drive small, fuel—efficient cars, the griping by Americans about high gasoline prices evokes little sympathy. Ruth Bridger, a spokeswoman for the AA Motoring Trust, a British consumer advocacy group, said Britons look at the sport—utility vehicles that dominate U.S. highways and think, "Serves you right."

The article also notes that many developing countries subsidize oil consumption at home, a factor which naturally increases oil consumption. In many of these countries, prices have not risen as fast as in the United States. But even so, the price increases have been very painful for those with little margin for survival.

Much of the world, in other words, is hurting today because of high oil prices. But blame rarely is placed at the door of the wealthy oil—producing countries. The Arab oil producers continue to enjoy support from the third world bloc at the UN. Israel should make denunciation of oil tyranny a constant feature of its diplomacy.

Ed Lasky and Thomas Lifson   10 03 05

The American media—left establishment plays a much larger role in fomenting anti—Americanism overseas than most of us have realized. The criticisms of America they create and publicize for partisan purposes are picked up and amplified by antagonists overseas, many of them simply jealous of our success, growth, and wealth, or fearful of losing their own cultures and traditions as people are attracted to the dynamism of America as manifested in our music, food, media, and material goods.

Stunning confirmation of this intellectual food chain comes today from the Washington Post. Some observers overseas, where consumers are demanding local taxes on gasoline be cut in the face of recent oil price increases, blame the United States, with its SUV drivers, rather than the extortionists of the OPEC cartel or the Middle Eastern (or Venezuelan) tyrants enriched by oil.

In such countries, where stiff gas taxes help induce motorists to drive small, fuel—efficient cars, the griping by Americans about high gasoline prices evokes little sympathy. Ruth Bridger, a spokeswoman for the AA Motoring Trust, a British consumer advocacy group, said Britons look at the sport—utility vehicles that dominate U.S. highways and think, "Serves you right."

The article also notes that many developing countries subsidize oil consumption at home, a factor which naturally increases oil consumption. In many of these countries, prices have not risen as fast as in the United States. But even so, the price increases have been very painful for those with little margin for survival.

Much of the world, in other words, is hurting today because of high oil prices. But blame rarely is placed at the door of the wealthy oil—producing countries. The Arab oil producers continue to enjoy support from the third world bloc at the UN. Israel should make denunciation of oil tyranny a constant feature of its diplomacy.

Ed Lasky and Thomas Lifson   10 03 05