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Old 02-22-2004, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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foreign policy as it relates to opinion

oftentimes i hear the Bush administrations foreign policy being bashed and assigned words like: disastrous, stupid, inane, dangerous, etc...

most of the time, the reason the policy is described as such is because people in *random* country don't like it. those who criticize perceive a degree of distaste for American policy and automatically conclude that there must be something wrong with it.

while i will certainly admit that foreign perception of US policy is important, do not assume that just because outside interests don't approve of it that it is the wrong policy.

like every other nation on earth, the US has its own set of interests. we elect our leaders to protect our interests. invariably, there will be times when our leadership chooses a separate path than the leaders of countries whose citizens expect the same from them.

sometimes doing the right thing steps on people's toes. sometimes doing the right thing will expose those who are secretly doing wrong. sometimes doing the right thing must be hidden from public view for a time to ensure that it can be done at all. sometimes in order to promote the interests of your own country, to promote your social ideal, to ensure your own safety...
you have to tick off those whose goals conflict with yours.

Ok, so this outlook on life is akin to the law of the jungle... i agree. Yes, this doesn't necessarily do the most to avoid conflict. But, it is often the most effective way to deal with problems that you cast your vote to solve.

Am I saying that the US is right all time? Absolutely not. Do we have much to learn from the opinions and history of other nations? Certainly. Just don't assume that those anti-Bush protestors overseas, the complaints of foreign ambassadors, or the opinion of elitists have your best interests at heart.
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Old 02-22-2004, 02:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: foreign policy as it relates to opinion

Well, firstly some of the NATO countries did not have a problem with the war on terror until Bush choose to attack Iraq. When countries like France, Russia, Germany among others where demanded by the US to join in an attack they started to examine the evidence against Iraq and found that they were not valid. Their intelligence showed no signs of WMD or any other eminent threat from Iraq. When they questioned how just an attack would be the Bush administration started a hate-campaign against them with France as the main target. This, of course, pissed off most of the civilized world.

And seeing this in retrospect, what interests or social ideals where promoted, what safety was gained? Sure, maybe control over the worlds second lagest oil-supply or a potential democracy in the middle-east but that wasn't what was sold to the american people was it?
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Old 02-22-2004, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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my post was on foreign policy in general, you responded with a narrow slice of the iraq/war on terror issue.

but still, even in that post you specifically listed france russia and germany... 3 nations who had the biggest investment in Saddam's regime. 3 nations who would have much to lose in a shake-up in that region. Of course you can't blame them for taking that stance, but don't think the intelligence they chose to share or the statements they released weren't tainted by that.
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Old 02-22-2004, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
my post was on foreign policy in general, you responded with a narrow slice of the iraq/war on terror issue.


That I believe is because the younger you are, the narrower your view is on what "foreign policy" is.

For the average 20 yr old TFP member, the 2nd Iraq war is all of what US foreign policy is, because that is what they've lived through as adults.

The fall of the Berlin wall, Kosovo, Gulf War I, the Iran Hostage crisis, etc. aren't real events to them; they're words in high school history books.

This isn't a slam on that generation, just an observation on human psychology.
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not sure how my age is relevant but let's say I have the fall of the Berlin wall in clear memory. On what other foreign policy issue is the Bush administration being bashed except for the 2nd Iraqi war? Most of the world had great sympathies for the US after 911, it wasn't until the Iraqi debate that most countries turned down helping the US.
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nad Adam
I'm not sure how my age is relevant but let's say I have the fall of the Berlin wall in clear memory. On what other foreign policy issue is the Bush administration being bashed except for the 2nd Iraqi war? Most of the world had great sympathies for the US after 911, it wasn't until the Iraqi debate that most countries turned down helping the US.

Completely aside from the present US administration and it's foreign policies, it is important because none of the events happening today happen in a vacuum.

All that goes on now has it's roots in events that go back decades and centuries.

So to understand where we are today, one really has to grasp where we've been.

I believe only then can one start to say "this is wrong" or "this is right" with any credibility.
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: foreign policy as it relates to opinion

Alright, I probably misread this line:

Quote:
Originally posted by irateplatypus
oftentimes i hear the Bush administrations foreign policy being bashed and assigned words like: disastrous, stupid, inane, dangerous, etc...
*Leaves for the Titty Board since all I remember about the Iran hostage crisis is that an SAS soldier got his balls toasted by a burning curtain*
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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kyoto protocol, detention of guantanamo bay personnel, backing out of the ABM treaty, steel tariffs, UN involvement, border security... the list goes on my friend.

not saying the Bush administration is correct on all of these issues, just that there are many internationally who criticize us for the stances we've taken.
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nad Adam

*Leaves for the Titty Board since all I remember about the Iran hostage crisis is that an SAS soldier got his balls toasted by a burning curtain*
Hmmm, sorry if I offended.

If it makes you feel any better, I've also noticed that as a person gets older, they tend to become ossified in their political views and resistant to change, even when it is beneficial.
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually most of these last things you listed I would be more concerned about as a US-citizen than if I lived in any other country. The kyoto protocol is about all of our enviroment, the detention of "illegal combatants" are representative of a degrading justice system* and who is the "Star Wars"-program (or whatever name it has today) gonna protect you from? Steel tarriffs just protects an inefficient steel industry from being forced to look over it's processes etc. etc.

Anyway since you wanted to discuss this in an historical perspective I'll leave you to it.


(edit) *or the administrations disrespect for one
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Last edited by Nad Adam; 02-22-2004 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Re: foreign policy as it relates to opinion

Quote:
Originally posted by Nad Adam
Well, firstly some of the NATO countries did not have a problem with the war on terror until Bush choose to attack Iraq. When countries like France, Russia, Germany among others where demanded by the US to join in an attack they started to examine the evidence against Iraq and found that they were not valid. Their intelligence showed no signs of WMD or any other eminent threat from Iraq. When they questioned how just an attack would be the Bush administration started a hate-campaign against them with France as the main target. This, of course, pissed off most of the civilized world.

And seeing this in retrospect, what interests or social ideals where promoted, what safety was gained? Sure, maybe control over the worlds second lagest oil-supply or a potential democracy in the middle-east but that wasn't what was sold to the american people was it?
Wrong, wrong, wrong. France agreed that he probably had WMD's and that had intelligence to support it. The reason Germany, France, and Russia all were against the war was the reason we were for it, our own self interests. None of the countries wanted to lose it oil contracts they had been secretly bidding with Saddam, especially France. None wanted their lucrative weapons for oil deals to be lost either (Russia, China, and France). If you look at the whats been found after the fact there you will see many weapons, weapons that were illegal for Saddam to have were found and guess what, they were French or Russia. Not to mention that after Gulf War I Saddam's entire military was rebuilt mostly from those two nations.

America got very little of its oil from Iraq or the Mideast in general before this war, in fact only 25% +/-. European and Asian nations rely heavily on Iraqi oil and other Middle Eastern countries. In a volitile region such as the Mideast a stable American friendly government helps us. Also if we are in their policing the region with our presence (including Saudi Arabia) other nations are not going to do it themselves. They will continue to keep to weakening their own militaries, look at what is going on in Europe. This was a brilliant policy move contrived (is that the word I want?) by Wolfowitz after the first gulf war. Our presence in Iraq is three fold. 1) Establish an American friendly regime (we'll see what happens with this one) 2) scare the piss out of the Arabs, making a declarative statement we won't take your shit, we know you most of you have illegal WMD programs (see Iran, Libya, Syria) and we won't have you harboring terrorists 3) Is the whole regulation of world military. The more the rest of the world lessens their military and its roles around the globe the more and better we stay established has the sole hypower.
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Last edited by Mojo_PeiPei; 02-22-2004 at 04:28 PM..
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Mojo_PeiPei, you and I obviously have diffent sources where we get our information and this thread has been hi-jacked long enough. You win by default.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
The more the rest of the world lessens their military and its roles around the globe the more and better we stay established has the sole hypower.
Jesus Christ.
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