Torture, Brand America and the Bottom Line

In its damning report, the Red Cross states that "physical and psychological coercion were used by [U.S.] military intelligence in a systematic way to gain confessions and extract information and other forms of cooperation" from Iraqi detainees. But look on the bright side: "American companies that sell globally say that they have so far experienced little if any disruption from discontent over the war in Iraq," reports The New York Times. "In a display of the growing sophistication in marketing... many people see products originating from the United States as firmly rooted in their own home nations." But "one of the world's largest market research organizations" found the opposite in their annual 30-country survey: "Diminishing respect for American culture is having a detrimental impact on American brands around the world."