Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

The reluctant empire

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Current Events Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 6:47 am    Post subject: The reluctant empire Reply with quote

I found this article in Asia Times Online today. It's a reprint from Foreign Policy in Focus.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/GE14Aa02.html


The first part was about some historical stuff that wasn't very interesting, so I didn't copy that part. Here's the part I thought was worth reading:

"Suspicion of US motives
It is not just governments. People around the world have been responding. A January 2005 Pew study on global opinion, based on that group's polling in recent years in 44 countries, reported that "the rest of the world has become deeply suspicious of US motives and openly skeptical about its word". It observed that "anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than at any time in modern history. It is most acute in the Muslim world but it spans the globe - from Europe to Asia, from South America to Africa". This includes people in countries that have been close US allies for over 50 years.

The Pew survey found that these opinions were enduring, noting that "this new hardening of attitudes amounts to something much larger than a thumbs down on the current occupant of the White House". Pew reported that "at the heart of the decline in world opinion about America is the perception that the United States acts internationally without taking into account the interests of other nations". A December 2004 public opinion poll in 23 countries found that in 20 of these countries a majority of citizens believed it would be better for Europe to become more influential than the US in world affairs.

Nowhere is the decline in the "global leadership" of the US more evident than in its occupation of Iraq. The much vaunted "coalition of the willing" that the Bush administration claimed to have built in 2003 for the invasion of Iraq has all but collapsed. Thirteen countries have already withdrawn their forces. Italy, Poland and Ukraine have all announced they will pull their troops out; these are the fourth, fifth and sixth-largest contingents of foreign troops there. The countries that will soon be left, apart from US and UK, are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Japan, Denmark, and Australia.

Bush's leadership at home is in deep trouble, too. The Washington Post noted that his election victory in 2004 was far from the mandate he claimed it to be. He received 50.7% of the popular vote, while John Kerry managed to get 48.2%. The last time a president was re-elected with such a small margin was almost 200 years ago, in the early 1800s. Bush now has the lowest approval rating of any president at this point in his second term, according to polls going back to World War II.

Unease at home
Domestic US opinion is now uneasy about the war. United for Peace and Justice, a national network of anti-war groups, counted 583 towns and cities around the country that planned events to mark the second anniversary of the war. This is up from 319 such events last year. In the state of Vermont, in a day of coordinated town meetings, 49 out of 57 communities approved resolutions calling for withdrawing US troops from Iraq. A March Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 53% of Americans feel the war was not worth fighting, 57% say they disapprove of Bush's handling of Iraq, and 70% think the number of US casualties is an unacceptable price to have paid.

It is not just the Iraq war. The American public seems to be telling pollsters that they do not support a "global leadership" role for their country. Only about 8% supported a hegemonic role for the US, as the "pre-eminent world leader in solving international problems". There was little difference between Republicans and Democrats. The overwhelming majority agreed that "the US should do its share in efforts to solve international problems together with other countries". Asked the same question another way: "Do you think that the US has the responsibility to play the role of 'world policeman',", they gave the same answer - overwhelming majorities, over 70% - were opposed. Even larger majorities criticized existing policy, by saying that "the US is playing the role of world policeman more than it should be".

There is more than just rejection of the idea of global domination. There is widespread support among the American public for the US submitting to international institutions and the will of the international community. A poll in March found that 57% of Americans believed that the US should not have an absolute veto at the UN, and agreed that if a decision was supported by all the other members, no one member, not even the US, should be able to veto it. Almost 60% of Americans believed that the UN should become "significantly more powerful in worlds affairs". Asked whether, "when dealing with international problems, the US should be more willing to make decisions within the United Nations even if this means that the US will sometimes have to go along with a policy that is not its first choice", 75% of those who described themselves as Democrats said that it should, as did 50% of Republicans.

Majorities also agree that the US should join the International Criminal Court, even if that meant US troops possibly being brought to trial there; should sign the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty, and should ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, as well as the convention banning landmines. There was even widespread public support for the US accepting and being bound by adverse decisions from the World Trade Organization.
Henry Luce would be deeply disappointed. It seems that the majority of Americans remain, as he put it, "unable to accommodate themselves spiritually and practically" to empire. If the people have their way, the American century may turn out to be much shorter that he or his successors at PNAC could ever have imagined. "

*******************

I found this article heartening. As I read it, Bush and his cronies are out of step with American public opinion, in a big way. If this article is accurate, American public opinion is much more in tune with world opinion than is evident in daily media reports and those really peculiar Fox/MSNBC 'news' programs.

Without saying so, it also points to the failure of leadership from the Democrats.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sundubuman



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: seoul

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you ya-ta....


I was forgetting the level of pure idiocy America was up against....until this thread.



Thank you so much. Your neurosis comforts me. Keep up the good work!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting that report, Ya-ta Boy. I'm pretty sure I've read it somewhere before (I spend more time than I can afford really reading about foreign and domestic policy issues).

It has been noted in such surveys as this that the American people are, in fact, more progressive than their government and support an international role based on following international law and standards and giving up this role that makes it feared, depised, and ridiculed almost everywhere -- the role of Rogue Superpower.

Why don't we see an hour long tv special discussing this report and its ramifications instead of the latest celebrity trial? (Control the people with bread and circuses the Romans used to say.) Because the will of the people and the will of our elites are at odds with each other, and, surprise, surprise, the elites have more power and spend tremendous amounts of time and money applying advanced public relations techniques to keep the electorate pliant, mainly through the steady use of fear and the encouragement of hating whoever the current bogeymen are. People will pay any price to be protected when they are terrified, and this is the only reason that Bush was saved from being a failed one-term loser of a president.

9/11 was a godsend for him. Yes, we do have real enemies, yes, there are real terrorists who want to attack us, and given the performance of the war criminals in the White House over the past few years, it is likely that there will be some Iraqis, who following the revenge traditions of their tribal-based culture, will be trying even 15 years from now to take revenge on Americans for the killing of their loved ones. It's unfair if they manage to kill me for revenge. I opposed all that as best I could. Well, they would probably prefer to take revenge on the actual people who gave the orders and pulled the triggers, but realistically that's impossible. If I should ever suffer from terrorism from some Iraqis, one question that I will never be so stupid as to ask is, "Why me? I'm innocent." Duh. In the graves of Iraq, there are tens of thousands of American-made corpses that would cry the same words if they could.

What has been done in our name (Americans, Brits, Aussies, that is) can't be undone no matter how much some of us wish to God it could. The question is where do we go from here? How do we achieve real, reasonable security, how do we change our behavior so that we don't keep increasing the growing ranks of those who would seek terrorism against Americans as their last act in this world, how can we compete creatively in a non-bloodthirsty way in the world economy, and how can we cooperate in the world to deal with global problems like global warming (whether this is influenced by human activity or not, it may be that the solutions to it can be).

As long as we spend our time and energy demonizing the "other," in this current case Muslims, we cannot successfully deal with any of these problems. We can only brandish our terrifying weapons and threaten to commit state terrorism against anyone who opposes us. No wonder hatred for America worldwide is going through the roof.

As you said, it does point to the failure of leadership of the Democrats. That's why a significant number of voters supported Ralph Nader in 2000. Not because they thought that he could win obviously, but because they didn't see any prospect of the Democrats taking their mouth off of the corporate tit and becoming a progressive party of the people as it has to some extent been in the past.

I don't know anyone personally who was fired up about Kerry for president. He was a pro-war candidate for God's sake according to everything he said. He only critiqued Bush's performance in managing this imperial conquest. The day that I realized he was going to lose was last August when he said, essentially, "If I knew everything then that I know now, I would still have voted for war." (mis-quoting slightly) We had 2 pro-war candidates running. So, the only reasonable choice for a progressive was to try to punish the one who had already committed the litany of war crimes by unseating him from his imperial throne. Whether that would have been achieved or not through an honest vote count is still very much an open question, but the emperor still sits on his throne directing as much of the wealth of the nation into the pockets of his friends and supporters as he possibly can.

It's hard to be a progressive candidate for president. If you threaten the elites in meaningful ways, they use the media which they own to take you down. The media turned on Howard Dean about a week after he said media ownership was too concentrated and he was going to do something about that. After that, his pep rally yell was incessantly used to mock him until he dropped.

The only thing that can overcome that much power is an enraged and committed citizenry demanding change, not meekly saying pretty please. Asking someone -- some elites really -- to give up power has never worked in the history of humanity that I know of.

Cheers.


Last edited by R. S. Refugee on Sat May 14, 2005 5:06 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thank you so much. Your neurosis comforts me. Keep up the good work!!!!!



You are being pithy again.

Is it possible to type with a lisp? I don't think so.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Wangja



Joined: 17 May 2004
Location: Seoul, Yongsan

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: The reluctant empire Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
I found this article in Asia Times Online today. It's a reprint from Foreign Policy in Focus.

......

If the people have their way, the American century may turn out to be much shorter that he or his successors at PNAC could ever have imagined. "

*******************

I found this article heartening. As I read it, Bush and his cronies are out of step with American public opinion, in a big way. If this article is accurate, American public opinion is much more in tune with world opinion than is evident in daily media reports and those really peculiar Fox/MSNBC 'news' programs.

Without saying so, it also points to the failure of leadership from the Democrats.


Most interesting: there is hope after all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: The reluctant empire Reply with quote

Wangja wrote:

Most interesting: there is hope after all.


An essential nutrient for life, I think.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the United States needs to play the world's policeman, or else nuclear proliferation will explode across the world. I don't think many people are taking this into account.

Quote:
People will pay any price to be protected when they are terrified, and this is the only reason that Bush was saved from being a failed one-term loser of a president.


People also tend to not support long-term initiatives that cost more money earlier but have the potential to pay out dividends in the end. I'm talking about things like oil conservation (via a gas tax), debt spending (no, nobody likes being in the red, but everyone hates paying higher taxes), and supporting a long-term agenda to put pressure on regimes that pursue nuclear weapons. Now, I understand a lot of criticisms against the Bush administration's foreign policy agenda and I don't support every thing he does, but I think invading Iraq, getting tough with Iran, and deterring Libya are important initiatives. Expensive in terms of manpower, money, and foreign relations? Perhaps. But nevertheless priceless. My greatest criticism of the Bush administration is that they don't do more to combat non-proliferation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Summer Wine



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Next to a River

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A December 2004 public opinion poll in 23 countries found that in 20 of these countries a majority of citizens believed it would be better for Europe to become more influential than the US in world affairs.


I would be interested in learning what countries were polled and how it was worded. In Uni, we were taught how polls are worded in some cases to derive an answer or response that suited the pollster.

I will just list a few of the profound developments Confused that originated in Europe.

Facisim
Communism
Mercantile Capitalism
Colonialism

Europe as no 1 in the world would raise questions in my mind as to whether it would be better for the world or not. There are arguments for both.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Wangja



Joined: 17 May 2004
Location: Seoul, Yongsan

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer Wine wrote:
Quote:
A December 2004 public opinion poll in 23 countries found that in 20 of these countries a majority of citizens believed it would be better for Europe to become more influential than the US in world affairs.


I would be interested in learning what countries were polled and how it was worded. In Uni, we were taught how polls are worded in some cases to derive an answer or response that suited the pollster.

I will just list a few of the profound developments Confused that originated in Europe.

Facisim
Communism
Mercantile Capitalism
Colonialism

Europe as no 1 in the world would raise questions in my mind as to whether it would be better for the world or not. There are arguments for both.


Founding fathers ...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that poll. It makes sense to me that right now, most people in most nations would want Europe to lead because that would mean less interference. Europe is still divided, it has yet to make the Federal Foundations that the United States made over 200 years ago and solidified almost 150 years ago. How could Europe exert a forceful foreign policy influence when it still is trying to decide what its Union will mean?

However, Europe would certainly not be able to provide the military muscle needed in the cases of even UN-promoted intervention (although it's doubtful there will be any more of those anyway given the different countries and their interests that hold the Security Council vetos). In effect, Europe can only be truly influential with US support. And as the US is finding out, the US can only afford to intervene with European support.

There will be a multi-polar world, but I think as China and India grow stronger, people will discover in both Europe and America, especially because of the former, that it will be better if Europe and America act as one united pole in major affairs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Wangja



Joined: 17 May 2004
Location: Seoul, Yongsan

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:
I believe that poll. It makes sense to me that right now, most people in most nations would want Europe to lead because that would mean less interference. Europe is still divided, it has yet to make the Federal Foundations that the United States made over 200 years ago and solidified almost 150 years ago. How could Europe exert a forceful foreign policy influence when it still is trying to decide what its Union will mean?

However, Europe would certainly not be able to provide the military muscle needed in the cases of even UN-promoted intervention (although it's doubtful there will be any more of those anyway given the different countries and their interests that hold the Security Council vetos). In effect, Europe can only be truly influential with US support. And as the US is finding out, the US can only afford to intervene with European support.

There will be a multi-polar world, but I think as China and India grow stronger, people will discover in both Europe and America, especially because of the former, that it will be better if Europe and America act as one united pole in major affairs.


A breath of fresh air. Well said, Kuros, balance, respect and thought.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Current Events Forum All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International