Originally Posted by rootb33r
klosey has a good point, but it's not the crux of the argument.
Other countries' perceptions of us are extremely important, especially in this time of global political unrest. The political volatility around the world is at obscene levels. Between the energy crisis, the financial crisis, and most importantly the war in the Middle East, the United States has become incredibly unpopular. We are trying to keep dangerous communist countries from developing nuclear weapons, and being a global outcast doesn't help. When dealing with North Korea and Iran, we need the full support of powerful political leaders from Germany, Britain, France, Japan, etc.
If Germany, Britain, France aren't willing to work with us when in the face of a really perilous situation as you mentioned just because there is a vague disrespect for some of our policies....isn't that pretty petty on their behalf? Can't we unite when things are really important?
I understand it's not a popularity contest, but political factions being in good standing helps us mainly improve our economic welfare through trade agreements. So much of our country's prosperity is due to trade agreements like the WTO, NAFTA, and other Free Trade Agreements. It also helps us do things like foreign aid, in such forms as financial help, food, shelter, clothing, defense, protection, and medicine.
Trade continues regardless of popularity. China isn't very popular, but check the "Made in" tag of many products you buy, we still buy from them. People will still buy USA made products as well.
And Foreign Aid is best down in the private sector. Less mismanaging of money and far more compassion.
Bottom-line is that Bush's "steadfast" approach to the war was/is detrimental to our Nation's political standing. I am not one of those anti-war hippies that line the street corners waving signs, I just recognize the damage it is doing to our country's reputation. There are enough people in this world who think the US is an imperialistic nation, we don't need to do anything more than we must to right the situation in the Middle East.
I am not a foreign policy expert, and I do not claim to know a lot about the war and the underlying situation that we face at this point in time, however I do know that with every day that goes by, Americans are dying for the democracy of another nation. I am glad Hussein is gone, believe me, but those countries need to now take over and sort themselves out.
They will, Iraqis now control 12 of 18 provinces.
The political situation in the Middle East is horrendous, and the political culture is a bunch of yahoos blowing the other political faction to bits. This is archaic and, frankly, imbecilic. We do not need to associate ourselves with this form of governance.
And, hey, guess what? For the last two years, between 62-69% of Americans have agreed with me.