Thursday while I was on a community service project with Mexican students in Puebla, a few seven year-old boys who I’d been playing with for a while told me matter-of-factly that they didn’t like Americans because we all wanted (loosely translated) “to conquer Mexico.” I suggested that the US in fact had no designs on its southern neighbor, and we discussed the difference between the policies of a country’s government and the sentiments of its people (turns out they’re not big fans of Vicente Fox either). So quick, someone call Karen Hughes and tip her off that it’s not just in the Middle East that they “hate us for our freedoms.” Unless, that is, there may be some other reason that hearts and minds the world over are finding the concept of America as an arrogant imperial power more credible than they might have a few years back.

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