The Bush Effect

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Main Question or Discussion Point

In what ways has the Bush administration damaged the US image abroad; potentially having made the world a more dangerous place?

MARGARET WARNER: It's the war in Iraq, right on Turkey's doorstep, that has transformed America's image here. A country that for 50 years stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. in NATO, a country whose people once prized their friendship with America, is now roiling with doubts about whether that relationship works for them any longer.

ERDINC ASYALIOGLU, Fisherman (through translator): We've always loved America. It's a country we want to visit and a place we want to live. But when Bush was elected, his invasion of Iraq, and Iraq going out of control, it affected us in a very bad way.

NUR VERGIN, Political Scientist: I have never witnessed such a thing in this country

...NUR VERGIN: Because America is seen as an imperialistic power which attacked, after all, a Muslim society, a neighboring Muslim society, so there is much empathy, there is much sympathy, and, of course, anti-Americanism.

"Violent Americans"
MARGARET WARNER: Popular culture abounds with evidence of that anti-Americanism. Turkish bookstores carry American novelist Stephen King, but novels portraying a menacing view of the United States ride the bestseller lists. The blockbuster is a pulp fiction thriller, "Metal Storm," and its three sequels, depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey from bases in Iraq and a retaliatory nuclear strike on Washington by a Turkish secret agent.

And then there is "Valley of the Wolves," a wildly popular film and television series based on a real-life event that took place in the northern Iraq town of Sulaymaniyah in July 2003. [continued]
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec06/turkey_11-27.html [Broken]
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
J77
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Moving West from Turkey, I think if you asked people in any city in Europe their thoughts on the US, you'd either get a response of anger or just general disregard.
 
  • #3
Gokul43201
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Even in Bosnia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia?
 
  • #4
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Even in Bosnia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia?
Yeap :)

There is a lot of resentment towards America nowadays, justified or not.. Its not just because of Bush, its an accumulation of stuff dating back to the Marshal Plan... Our whole ideologies (Europe-USA) are vastly different these days, and day by day it seems we are both going our own way...

As they say the only way once you reach the top is down
 
  • #5
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To be honest, Bush has become more palatable, since his second term started, and now more so as a lame Duck. Just like Regan... I wouldnt blame Bush for the Image of the USA abroad. I would just look at your track record (war, biases, interfering) for that...
 
  • #7
J77
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Is there a feeling in the US that they are disliked?

Do the US posters feel some countries like them better than others?
 
  • #8
vanesch
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Moving West from Turkey, I think if you asked people in any city in Europe their thoughts on the US, you'd either get a response of anger or just general disregard.
I don't know. The Iraq invasion has been severely frowned upon by most Europeans I know, re-enforcing the image of the Big Bully Cowboy Americans that pull their guns and shoot on whatever moves when they are disgruntled.
But now that we see that the American citizens start to realise that things were not so clear cut as they wanted us to believe, and that maybe they should have listened a bit more to what others told them, I think they become much more sympathetic again. Personally, I think they were in fact victim of a smooth propaganda machine that was hard to fathom from a distance, and they start to come clear of it, which gives me the hope that the American nation will rise out of it, re-inforced (but with a serious problem on their hands in the middle-east...)
 
  • #9
LURCH
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I think it is generally accepted here in the U.S. that we are just plane dispised. It was true long before Bush came into office, it will be true long after he's gone. Seems like no matter what action our country takes, it's generally agreed to be the wrong action, and we are "interfeering". Except of course for those occassions on which we take no action, and are condemned for our failure to act.

That just seems to be the way the world is today.
 
  • #10
Futobingoro
LURCH said:
I think it is generally accepted here in the U.S. that we are just plane dispised. It was true long before Bush came into office, it will be true long after he's gone. Seems like no matter what action our country takes, it's generally agreed to be the wrong action, and we are "interfeering". Except of course for those occassions on which we take no action, and are condemned for our failure to act.

That just seems to be the way the world is today.
If somebody turns on the AC during a crowded wedding reception, there will be at least a few people who disapprove. The same concept applies to a crowded planet.

Just look at Darfur:
-decisive military intervention would be criticized (for one, there is oil in southern Darfur)
-indifference would be criticized (perceived selfishness)
-something in between would also be criticized (it would be 'too much' to some groups and 'too little' to others)

It is unfortunate that even if US troops entered Darfur with a clear plan and mandate, there would be people screaming 'no blood for oil' the moment the first boot hit the ground.
 
  • #11
devil-fire
the bush administration has had many opportunities (like every other administration in a country with as much global influence) to make tremendous change in the world. i don't mean change like putting civilization on mars, but i mean change like bringing the ME closer to peace, forcing countries like china to pay attention to human rights, and generally demonstrating that having a foreign policy of humanitarianism can support a powerful nation. however, this administration has used its to pursue goals much different then these.

the USA, under the leadership of the bush administration actually discourages support for the international criminal court (this court prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression), denies hundreds, perhaps thousands of people protection under the geneva conventions (the prohibition of inhumane treatment of prisoners) and has invaded iraq on poor, faulty and fabricated information (seemingly without remorse or regret). one thing that bothers me greatly about this is the efficiency the bush administration handles information with the effect of softening the citizens of the usa's moral objections to these actions, to the point where many believe these actions are actually beneficial to world peace

i know there are many americans on this forum who would strongly disagree with the above, but im just saying that its vary easy to see the usa's foreign policy in a vary poor humanitarian light from the point of view from someone who isn't an american
 
  • #12
Ivan Seeking
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Iraqi Exiles Flee To Jordan
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have left the chaos in their own country and relocated to Jordan. As Katie Couric reports, their plight hasn't been easy for anyone.
http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2217603n

I'm not sure by whom now, but the point has been made by at least one talking head that moderates are fleeing Iraq in large numbers - the very people needed if there is any hope of saving the country. Additionally, the report above describes the current situation as a refugee crisis.
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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IRAQ: GROWING NEEDS AMID CONTINUING DISPLACEMENT
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/iraq?page=home

Thursday, 30 November 2006
Incessant violence across much of Iraq's central and southern regions is forcing thousands of people to leave their homes every month, presenting the international community with a looming humanitarian crisis even larger than the upheaval aid agencies had planned for during the 2003 war.

UNHCR estimates there are at least 1.6 million Iraqis displaced internally, and up to 1.8 million in neighbouring states, particularly Syria and Jordan. Many were displaced prior to 2003, but an increasing number are fleeing now. Egypt hosts an estimated Iraqi population of more than 150,000, and in the first half of 2006 Iraqis had become the leading nationality seeking asylum in Europe.

Between 2003 and 2005, more than 253,000 Iraqis did return home, including from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries. Now, however, the returns have stopped and many more people are fleeing, including large numbers of skilled professionals crucial to Iraq's recovery.

In addition to those outside the country, between January and mid-November 2006 an estimated 425,000 Iraqis fled their homes for other areas inside Iraq, most of them following sectarian violence sparked by the bombing of an important Shia mosque in February 2006. At mid-year, internal displacement was estimated to be continuing at a rate of some 50,000 a month.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/30/bush.trip.ap/index.html [Broken]
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said Thursday that he and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed in high-stakes talks that Iraq should not be partitioned into separate, semiautonomous zones.

"The prime minister made clear that splitting his country into parts, as some have suggested, is not what the Iraqi people want, and that any partition of Iraq would only lead to an increase in sectarian violence," Bush said after nearly two and a half hours of talks aimed at stabilizing Iraq. "I agree."

Al-Maliki left the door open for countries like Iran and Syria to play a part in Iraq's struggle for peace.
The Five Fatal Mistakes of Bush's Mideast Policy
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1563750,00.html
Analysis: The U.S. President may have had noble aims, but his administration's policies have helped push the region toward catastrophe

President Bush travels to Jordan this week amid a consensus among U.S. allies in the Middle East that the region is monumentally worse off now than it was when he took office six years ago. In Iraq, there seems little prospect of achieving anything that could be construed as a U.S. victory — and as a result, it is unlikely to send the promised tidal wave of freedom crashing across the Arab world. Instead, Iraq has effectively disintegrated into a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war that threatens to spread instability throughout the region.

Elsewhere, Israelis and Palestinians have descended into one of the most intractable cycles of conflict in their long struggle. In Lebanon, the national unity agreement that ended almost two decades of civil war in 1990 appears to be unraveling, as sectarian factions are again edging toward another bloodbath. Meanwhile, Arab autocrats remain entrenched, Arab democrats are feeling abandoned, and Iran's Islamic revolution is enjoying a second wind. For all the grand ambition of President Bush's interventions in the Middle East, a veteran Western diplomat recently offered TIME the following glum assessment: "The region is in as serious a mess as I have ever seen it. There is an unprecedented number of interconnected conflicts and threats."

The fact that Bush is holding talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki not in Baghdad, but in the comparatively tranquil Jordanian capital of Amman, has not gone unnoticed."One hundred and fifty thousand U.S. soldiers cannot secure protection for their president," mocked a Jordanian columnist, who called the choice of venue "an open admission of gross failure for Washington and its allies' project in Iraq."
I guess the question is - how bad is it? Only time will tell. If Iraq can be stabilized, it still may take decades for the anger to dissipate - IF being a major factor. In the meantime - what about al Qaida and similar groups?
 
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