January 24, 2009

America: Bully or Friend?

By Ai Lung Nguyen - January 2009.

POLITICS - Is the United States a bully or friend? Depends who you are.

"The rest of the world knows that the USA is the big kid on the block, and that this will likely remain the case for years to come. But our staying power has a great deal to do with whether we are perceived as a bully or a friend. Humility increases America's greatness, it does not weaken it." – U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden.

The United States is about to relearn what it should already know: Even a superpower needs more than military force to maintain its leadership status.

According to insiders Barack Obama's administration will be using a "smart-power" approach to foreign policy, flexing the USA's brains and diplomatic strength in addition to its military power.

Smart power is the integration of hard and soft power, maintaining military strength while using persuasion and example to seed democracy, human rights and other Western ideas throughout the world.

This is in opposition to the deposed Bush Administration's "hard power" strategy and a "You're either with us or you are with the terrorists" mantra.

During the election, Obama said he wants a "tough, smart and principled" policy that preserves American pre-eminence as a force for good. Or, rather, given the state of loathing and distrust of the United States in parts of the world, re-establishes it.

Past examples of smart power:
  • Woodrow Wilson's theory of liberal internationalism (stable democracies are less likely to go to war).
  • Marshall's post-war plan to rebuild a shattered Europe in ways that would repel communism.
  • John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

    Smart power is credited with winning the Cold War with the communists and brought the Berlin Wall down. America deterred Soviet aggression with hard military power, but ate away belief in Communist ideas with soft power.

    The concept was ignored during George W. Bush's "war on terrorism" response to September 11th. Bush's failures in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrates that hard power alone can't secure global or U.S. security.

    In other news... Obama sets up his Wii house

    ENTERTAINMENT/TECHNOLOGY - A Nintendo Wii game console was one of the items moved into the 216-year-old White House. Newly inaugurated President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle bought a Wii for their daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, over the Christmas season.

    The popular Wii console will be connected to the television in the mansion's family room, occupied by children for the first time since 1993, when then 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton spent time there.

    So will the Obama First Family choose to play Wii Bowling or go for the real thing? (Richard Nixon had a bowling alley installed at the White House during the Vietnam War).
  • No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Comments containing links will be marked as spam and not approved. We moderate every comment. If you want to advertise on this blog it is $30 per link.

    Affordable Website Design & SEO

    Looking for a quality professional website designer? Why not go where the smart money is?! Toronto Website Design and Toronto SEO. Get free SEO advice from people who really know the business.

    Featured Posts

    The Sarcasm Symbol
    Ever had some confusion online or with your cellphone when someone fails to catch the sarcasm? Well now with the SarcMark you can ge...
    Behold, the Scorpion Hydrogen Supercar
    CARS - To the right is the future of supercars... it is a hydrogen supercar called the Scorpion. The Scorpion from Ronn Motors in Texas is t...
    Documents show Stephen Harper misusing public funds
    CANADA - According to 950+ pages of documents obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act the Privy Coun...
    Pink's Rosie the Riveter
    ENTERTAINMENT - What I like about this video is how it meshes different social movements like feminism, veganism, anti-capitalism...
    California's Dustbowl
    ENVIRONMENT - The photo on the right is a farm in California that has been put up for sale. Its just one of thousands of farms that are n...
    Is Steampunk the New Goth???
    GOTHIC - Watch out what you see on the subway late at night because while in 2001 you might have seen some pretty freakish goths, by 20...
    Do you have enough Ice Water in your diet?
    HEALTH - A Calorie (large C) is a measurement of the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of a litre of water (1 kg's worth) ...
    North Korean timeline towards Inevitable War
    POLITICS - The following is timeline of events that have occurred on the Korean Peninsula. 1945 - Japan surrenders to the United States a...
    Judgment Day is Tomorrow, so sayeth Cult
    RELIGION - According to a cult based in California, Judgement Day is tomorrow (May 21st 2011) and Jesus Christ will return to the Earth a...
    Sex in Space Forbidden
    SEX/TECHNOLOGY - Sex in outer space is a big no-no according to NASA. Not for professional astronauts at least, but the growing numb...

    Popular Posts