What does the U.S. need to do to improve image overseas?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by medea, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #1
    I planned on actually discussing this with my previous thread but it was closed before any real discussion started. So the news reports that a large number of Germans don't belive the U.S. when it comes to 9/11 and our tactics since then (Iraq) have only made it worse. The problem is not that the Germans are "stupid" or merely cynical, the problem isn't Germany or France or Russia at all. Our president needs to improve our image overseas and rectify our relationship with those allies. But what can be done at this point? Is Bush capable of improving our relations or is the American image tarnished to greatly for him to accomplish such a goal?

    Personally I don't think he has the personality to do so and things won't begin to straigten out until we have a new president who is more capable of handling foreign relations. Disagree or agree I just want to hear your opinions, and if you disagree with my view on Bush why do you think our image is so bad in Germany etc.
    No potshots or direct insults please, keep it mature and clean.
    Thank you.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    the US needs to reinvest in international law, especially the ICC, Kyoto Treaty and the Geneva Convention. adhering to its own ABM treaty would help, too. as would showing its faith in the UN security council.

    the problem, imo, is the US' me-first attitude. and bush certainly has NOT helped in that regard.

    the quickest way to restoring world confidence in the US is to put bush on trial for war crimes in the Hague. that would demonstrate humility and responsiblity to the world.

    (btw, i'm less interested in discussing whether or not bush _should_ be on trial, but rather how that would affect world opinion if he were)

    and for christ's sake, let's wean ourselves off our oil dependence. from where i sit, it drives our hated foreign policy.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #3
    Well, we can do one of two things. We can invade the rest of the world and just take over everything.... or we can start acting like a member of the world community.

    The current regime seems hell bent on the first option.
     
  4. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    The President implementing his own stated policies would be a good start:

     
  5. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #5
    gw has inherited a mess. For the last 3 decades, the US has been hellbent on economic colonization of the world. Music, Movies, Fast Food (is there any other kind of homegrown American Food?), autos, etc have taken over and in many cases decimated endemic forms.

    gw is not the type of person who will be able to change the world's opinion of the US nor is he interested in doing so. The fact that those invited to his ranch only appear on his "A" list is proof of that.

    While Canada is taking monumental steps; gay marriage, handgun control, environmental protection, GM Food precautions, etc, and thereby transforming itself, the US is stuck in the moral morass of the 50s. To hell with the environment, to hell with minorities, to hell with gays and all those darned "foreigners" can also go to hell.

    Americans are increasingly being viewed as the Brits were prior to WWI, snobbish and unwelcoming with American interests taking precedence over all others.

    Ok, now that my rant is over ;) the US needs to show the world that it is a part of it, not separate from it. Of the most destructive US policies, I think that trade takes the cake. Malawi is suffering because of enormous US subsidies to US cotton growers, Mexico has become little more than a supplier of cheap labor as a result of NAFTA and it looks as though other trade deals with South America will likely do the same thing for them.

    Oil is the next thing. We need to become self-sufficient in the area of energy. Some of the most repressive regimes in the world have become so through their oil revenue. Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia are all examples of this. It is our support of such countries that leads to repression.

    A PR campaign just isn't going to cut it. There needs to be substantial change.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #6
    I agree with what many of the preceeding posts have stated. Such an effort cannot be a PR campaign, but rather a change in how we view the rest of the world and how we conduct ourselves in it. Here is my two cents on the subject.

    1 - Although we have the most powerful military machine we must show the world that will not allow it to be used to dictate to others how they are to live their lives. A very important start would be treaties moving for the elimination of WMDs the world over, including our own. As long as we hold this "hammer" over the rest of humanity they will always view our country with trepidation. The preemptive use of force must be abandon.

    2 - We should be leaders, not a roadblock in the developement of "green" technology and environmental protection. The ratification of the Kyoto treaty would be a great first step.

    3 - The conduct of US corporations outside of the US must be strictly regulated. Living wages and safe working conditions for workers employed by these corporations must be a part of their being allowed to sell goods and services in the US. Along with this the environmental responsibilities of such corporations should be the same in the US and outside of it.

    4 - The result of development in other nations should not just be dictated by the profit needs of corporations, but also in conjunction with the governments and people themselves of other nations.

    The list could go on and on, but I think these four would be a good start.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

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    #7
    Opinion from a german

    Hello,

    I'm from germany and I like to make some comments.

    First maybe some background about me. I'm working in a US company and I work together with a lot of people from the US daily. Telcon mainly and a lot of personal visits in the US and we have a lot US citizens working together with us in Germany. With my collegues we have discussed a lot in the past month about the war in Iraq and what is going on.

    I think that the most germans still see the US as friends and as allies. From my trips to the US (a lot) I got the image that people in the US think the same way. I have always been treated very friendly and got a warm welcome.

    Its more that the governments at the moment do not fit together very well. But remermber, that in both countries the elections have been very close. In the US even more people have voted for Al Gore (complicated election system you have). And in Germany it was very close as well. Just imagine it would have been the other way around in both countries ? No one would then talk about that US and Germany or France are not close friends, because politics would be quite different.

    What I said above is true for the friendship between americans and germans, it is not so true for the opinions that germans have about the current US politics. A lot of people do not agree.

    But a important finding is that in generell germans and americans have in average the same opinion about the current US politics !

    But thats a different story. . .

    Cheers
    CmdrLaForge
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    jbomber

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    #8
    resist the urge to bomb brown people. that'll go a long way to help clear things up.


    -thanks to George Carlin for saying it first.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #9
    Now just hold on a minute. You think Germany doesn't have a Germany first attitude? What about the Frogs? Every country does what is in its own best interest. That is why there are different nations. As for Kyoto, it is a joke, and way bias against the US. Would cost friggin 100's of billions of dollars, and bankrupt the economy. As Dennis Miller said,

    "... I have done a little digging, and science shows that over the last 100 years, the average temperature of the Earth has gone up 1.8 degrees. No, is it just me, or is that really friggin stable? I mean, I could play with the thermastat in my hotel tonight, all night, and never notice that change. Then the wackos will say, what about you kids, ok, 3.6. Then they go nuts, what about your kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids. Sorry, I really don't give a ****. Once you get past kids I will never know, I don't care."

    Put the President on trial for war crimes! I cannot believe what I am hearing. FOR WHAT FRIGGIN WAR CRIMES. STATEMENTS LIKE THAT DESTROY YOUR PARTY, YOUR NOBILE CAUSES, AND MAKE MOST PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU LIKE, "QUICK HONEY, GET THE KIDS IN THE HOUSE."

    The ICC is unconstitutional, the Geneva convention, we do uphold it. Kyoto, already covered. The ABM treaty. Are you for real. Yea, like North Korea will really adhear to the treatys they are member of. Personally, I would like to have something protecting the country from Ballistic missile attack. :rolleyes:

    Man, you liberals love your treaties don't you. Especially the ones that are really good for American families, like NAFTA :rolleyes:
     
  10. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    agreed, more or less.

    everything i wrote in my post was in the spirit of "improving the US' image" abroad. it shouldn't be taken as "let's do all these things now."

    specifically, when i mentioned putting bush on trial, i also said i didn't want to discuss whether or not he should, only that it _would_, imo, get the world to calm the f*** down.

    ugh. there's a guy i used to like, 'til he became a shrill idiot. rather than listening to little rant on hotel room thermostats, i encourage you to read this slightly-less shrill but more fact-based piece from molly ivins, about the effect global warming is having -- right now -- in alaska: link
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #11
    Bringing back civil debate to the Political Forums, one post at a time...
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #12
    Well, the arguement that it would be worth putting our president on trial for war crimes to make the world happy. Personally if that is what the world wanted, I would tell the world to go to hell. Whether it was Bush, Clinton, or any other President for that matter.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    billyboy

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    #13
    Goodbye again political forum, too much angry crap!:confused:
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    Re: What does the U.S. need to do to improve image overseas?

    Maybe we should, in the spirit of Medea's request, not focus on a trial of Bush -which is never going to happen- and look at the importance of international law. Should our country follow the course Zimv20 outlined when he (? - sorry, don't know for sure) stated,

    "the US needs to reinvest in international law, especially the ICC, Kyoto Treaty and the Geneva Convention. adhering to its own ABM treaty would help, too. as would showing its faith in the UN security council."

    I agree with all of these proposals. If the US is to be true to its democratic and anti-colonial spirit, embodied in the revolution of 1776, then we must respect the rule of law in international relations. The other alternative is the rule of the strongest. That might appeal to some since we are now the world's only remaining superpower, but times do change. For every Rome there will always be the Visigoths waiting. The answer is not just to have more legions, but rather not to be Rome at all, and have different type of relationship, one of respect, with other nations of the world.

    We have a responibility not only to get back to our "better selves," as exhibited in the best ideas of the founders of the US (they had some bad ones too - slavery etc.), but to also leave a better world for our children. That means an emphasis on cooperation and mutual respect, not unilateral diktat.

    Oh, and by the way, I worked against NAFTA for many of the reasons stated in my original post in this thread.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    Re: Re: What does the U.S. need to do to improve image overseas?

    i'm male, yes.

    yes, i also have those sentiments. we have so much opportunity and resources available to do massive good in the world. we should be the (no orwellian pun intended) "big brother" to the world. if the world loved us, the returns would be amazing. what would it really cost us?
     
  16. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #16
    stop being hypocrites... stop saying one thing and doing another....

    own up to our past mistakes and try to make right of them, or at the very least, not commit them again.

    stop worrying about getting our hand in every possible cashcow everywhere in the world.

    use our power for good MORE often than we use it for bad....

    lots of things.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #17
    Re: Re: Re: What does the U.S. need to do to improve image overseas?

    Very little. And you're right "the returns would be amazing."
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    #18
    Ugg,
    How can you insult American cuisine as being merely "fast food?"

    Folks,
    Having 30 percent of young Germans thinking that the US might have been behind the 9/11 attacks is a problem for the Germans to deal with. Back in the 1980s, when the US was deploying missiles in Europe, they marched in very large numbers against the US policy. Where were the apologies when the policy worked and the wall came tumbling down?

    The US already does massive good around the world. Where there are US troops, freedom and prosperity usually follow in short order. Removing Saddam was a massive good. In addition, the US provides much aid around the world, both through government agencies and the private acts of citizens.

    Overall, Bush is carrying out a solid foreign policy. It is visionary, and it is a strategy to make the world a safer, more free place. Doing the right thing is not going to be popular all the time with everyone, and sometimes only history will judge a policy in a better light.

    zimv20
    Molly Ivins is not an expert on weather or climate. She is an expert in complaining about Republicans. She is no more credible than Ann Coulter.
     
  19. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #19
    ack! comparing anyone to ann coulter is just plain mean :)

    i'm open to non-api and non-alaskan-oil-worker evidence that ms. ivins made some bad arguments.

    and -- do you dismiss out of hand what's in her article? what if it's true, even in part? does that cause you concern for the environment _and_ for the future health of our species?
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #20
    See, I use that same logic with people that are not Christian. What if it is true. You cannot live your life in belief of what if's. Sure, I think it is bad, but I also think that we have to get away from oil, however, the last 80 years has made it difficult to stop it all at once. ALL of the administrations over the last 50 years are to blame. Not just republicans.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    i'd argue that that doesn't matter a bit if no one outside the US believes it. terrorism is based on its own version of reality, not ours.

    as an example, i'll offer our macs. compared to wintel, we know what the better solution is. but the rest of the world lives in ignorance. here, the truth isn't giving apple marketshare.

    another example: your neighbor mistakenly thinks you're sleeping w/ his wife. now he's got a shotgun pointed at your head. which is more important? that you know you're right, or his version of the reality?
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    #22
    The real question should be.

    What does the US need to do to improve image with those left wing posters in these forums? If you don't think you are one of those then don't even bother responding.

    And electing a democrat is not the easy answer.

    It is trivial to wonder why we need to improve our image around the world when there are plenty here who seem ashamed to be Americans.

    This is not flame bait but simply calling as it is.

    The day when we no longer have long lines at our embassies for visas to this country is the day I would worry about our image in the world.
     
  23. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #23
    I think we've all responded to the first question.

    The reason for your second statement is that as an American there is plenty to be ashamed about. Our foreign policies for the past 50 years have been mostly disastrous and fostered a lot of unrest that currently exists around the world. I, for one, am not proud to be an American for that very reason. Too many people have died or been sold down the river for the sake of American "pride".

    Ah, you make a very good point and it ties into what I said above. If we hadn't helped create such miserable conditions for so many people around the world they might not want to escape.

    It has been said many times before that emigration to the US provides us with a steady supply of cheap labor. Hardly something to be proud about.
     
  24. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #24
    The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.
    --H.L. Mencken
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    #25
     

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