Stuff from an email:
One of the reasons the Iraqis are SO damn mad is "Why the hell did you bomb US? It was the Saudis and Afghanis that did this!?"
You can see why they would be more than a little torqued. And wondering what is wrong with our aim. If we just admit, "Look, it's about the oil," then they can kind of go, "Okay, we can understand that, it's just more empire-building. We used to have an empire, too." It may be the hypocrisy of claims of pushing freedom that makes them tear their hair. Well, that and kicking the doors in on their homes and scaring hell out of their kids. And the insurgents are their relatives, and the present government is seen as American stooges trained in IRAN who they spent 8 years getting bashed against in an American-sponsored war. It's a mess (well, people are usually a mess).
And while there are plenty of Germans who appreciate us after WWII, it's only because we were the lesser of two evils. You should hear our kraut friends when they get some beer in them and the stories come out when they're not trying to be NICE and UNDERSTANDING. They also saw us as white Western civilized people — like them — and the Russians as savage half-yellow Eastern people. Oh, it can get interesting. A lot of the older ones are still wondering why the hell we didn't throw in with them against the Russian peril at the end of WWII. It goes on and on…