Friday, August 17, 2007

How to rebuild America's shattered reputation

The excellent Utne Reader has a good interview with Dennis Ross, Middle East negotiator under Presidents Bush I and Clinton. He talks about how to rebuild America's image, credibility and moral authority, so thoroughly destroyed by 6 1/2 years of George W. Bush.

All of his suggestions are common sense. Listen (don't just dictate) to allies. Base foreign policy on reality. Support foreign groups that are actually able to help their constitutents, not those who only offer fancy rhetoric.

On key international issues, the US must take positions and especially approaches that lead America to be identified around the world with good ideals, rather than obstructionism, militarism and belligerence. Essentially, we must be a leader that others want to follow rather than a bully loathed even by those who should be its friends.

If we focus on helping create a saner world, particularly by ending our own insanities, other countries may not agree with us on every single issue, but they will respect us and be more willing to work with us on issues of global concern.

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