Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cleaning up George's Mess—Part 10: Diplomacy

American foreign policy today is arrogant. It has been that way for some time, but the Bush administration has taken arrogance to new heights. According to Anne-Marie Slaughter's section of the Harper's Magazine article "Undoing Bush,"
"The paradox of American foreign policy today is that the United States, though more powerful than ever, has rearely been so lost in the world and never more reviled."
She points out that a majority in the Middle East believes that the "war on terror" is meant to secure our oil supply and/or achieve world domination. (I think a lot of Americans believe the same thing.) In addition, majorities in several European nations are less confident that we want to promote liberty, as a result of our actions in Iraq.

Remember that brief period after 9/11 when the world was on our side? And the Bush Administration decided we didn't need international organizations or treaties and if the rest of the world wanted to follow us that was great, but otherwise—too bad.
"An entire generation of citizens around the world is being reared with no memory of the role the United States played in World War II and the Cold War but with plenty of evidence that the world's lone superpower is arrogant, incompetent, and indifferent."
The next President "must launch a diplomatic offensive to restore American moral and political leadership."

Specific actions to be taken: (1) close Guantanamo—we can't lead a fight on terror while stooping to the level of the terrorists, violating international law; (2) get serious about nuclear disarmament; (3) join the International Criminal Court (although then watch for indictments against Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld!); (4) reform multilateral organizations that are considered ineffective because of US dominance; (5) work to reverse global warming.
"These five steps would go a long way toward restoring America's political influence and diplomatic leadership in the world."
More importantly, it seems to me, these steps would restore the values that hold the country together. If it doesn't happen, I see us spinning dangerously out of control.

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