tedster - 10:17 pm on Aug 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
ICANN established .com as an international top level domain from the beginning of the web. The .us TLD was established for the United States. Google did not invent the distinction, it was embedded in the web.
I grant you that in practice, we now have a total mess. It will take many years to sort out, I think. However, more and more, Google is mixing it up when traffic patterns show that any apparent TLD is actually serving international traffic.
There is another side to this, too - people complaining that google.tld contains too many TLDs that are either international or from other countries.