Their America is devoted to significant expressions (speeches, essays, political cartoons, fiction, news stories, etc.) about America by non-Americans. Our major objective is to create a global, synoptic site for Their America, an unpolemical, informative, and provocative resource not just for ‘American Studies’ scholars around the world, but for anyone interested in studying and debating the international reputation of the United States. We seek to explore a country no less strange and uncharted than America itself once was: their America, the nation and peoples of the United States as they exist in the hearts and minds of others.
(We’re looking, in particular, for suggestions about the most influential expressions about America by non-Americans — tell us what should be in our archives, and why, in the regional “Founders” sections of our forums.)
NEW TO THE ARCHIVES
Little more than a week after 9/11, Cofer Black gave instructions to his CIA team before their mission. “I don’t want Bin Laden and his thugs captured, I want them dead … I want to see photos of their heads on pikes. I want Bin Laden’s head shipped back in a box filled with dry ice. I want to show Bin Laden’s head to the president. I promised him I would do that.”
A month later, at a meeting sponsored by Schwab Capital markets, CIA executive director “Buzzy” Krongard laid out for investors what such a war would entail. “[It] will be won in large measure by forces you do not know about, in actions you will not see and in ways you may not want to know about,” he said.
Back then there wasn’t a treaty that couldn’t be violated, a principle waived or a definition parsed in the defence of American power and pursuit of popular revenge. To invoke the constitution, the Geneva convention or democratic oversight was evidence that you were out of your depth in the new reality. Laws were for the weak; for the powerful there was force. This was not just the mood of a moment; it has been policy for more than a decade. [...]
THEIR AMERICA TIMELINE