We live in an increasingly smaller and dangerous
world, and all countries must work together to solve all the problems.
The United States, as the one remaining "superpower",
bears a special responsibility to use its strength for the good
of the world. This requires a president who has the trust and respect
of leaders around the world. We had that with Kennedy, Carter, Reagan,
"But in the international online
media, the vast majority of commentators are harshly critical of
President George W. Bush. On every continent pundits are faulting
Bush for his persona as well as his policies. Most dislike his conduct
of the war in Iraq. Many say his attitude toward the rest of the
world is contemptuous, misinformed and dangerous." Jefferson
.com (local version), 30 Aug 2004.
But, through his belligerent, arrogant, uncompromising, extremist attitude,
Bush has lost all trust and respect. The message that this administration
has sent to the world is (to quote Carl Bernstein), "the imperialist
states can do what they want; the semi-colonial states must do what they
are told." The support after 9/11 has given way to the vision of
the United States as an imperial power of the worst kind. We are now simply
an arrogant bully.
Condoleezza Rice sends the message when she defends the administration's
refusal to join with all other countries in supporting an international
war crimes court. She said, The United States is special because
it is a bigger target with forces all over the world. So maybe there is
some difference in interests there." So, we are special. You little
guys go work together; we'll save the world on our own.
Jimmy Carter, at the Democratic Convention in summer 2004, said, "Unilateral
acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very nations
we need to join us in combating terrorism." In just 34 months, he
said, "all the goodwill [after 9/11] was squandered by a virtually
unbroken series of mistakes and calculations."
Being strong does not mean you have to lose respect. John Kennedy was
strong, but he had everyone's respect.
To see the opinion the world has, type in "opinion bush world"
into the search engine google and read the articles that are found. The
bottom of this page contains links to a few such
The administration shows no sign of changing its operations and attitudes
toward the rest of the world. Re-election would be a disaster.
The table on the left is from a newly
released poll (9 September 2004) (local version) taken over the summer.
An opinion poll (local version) by CBSNEWS.com (4
March 2004) reported these percentages of people who had a negative
view of Bush: Britain, 66%; Canada, 66%; Spain, 75%; France, 80%;
Germany, 80%, Mexico, over 50%, Italy, over 50%.
June 2003 (local version), a poll showed that nearly 2/3 of the British had an
unfavourable opinion of Bush. Asked who is more dangerous to world
peace and stability, United States was rated higher than al-Qaeda
by respondents in both Jordan (71%) and Indonesia (66%). The US was
rated more dangerous than Iran by people in Jordan, Indonesia, Russia,
South Korea, and Brazil and more dangerous than Syria by respondents
all the countries polled, except for Australia, Israel, and the United
page (local version) contains information on a number of polls like the ones mentioned
Do these polls matter? A leader leads with trust and respect. It is obvious
that the Bush administration can no longer lead the world.
The isolationist, extremist attitude of the
Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor, said
in June 2004, "It is not only the Iraq policy of the Bush administration
that has caused this [the opinion of the world to turn against the United
States]. The Bush administration is the first administration since the
onset of the Cold War 50 years ago not to place itself in the political
mainstream, not to reflect moderation, not to practice at least de facto
bipartisanship, but to embrace extremist principles. Inevitably, extremism
produces recklessness." The administration has become increasingly
isolated from the world, due to its attitudes and its refusal to engage
with other countries.
Below is a list of examples. Taken one at a time, one might find valid
reasons for it. Taken together, one gets the feeling that this administration
feels that it can do everything by itself. It is not leading, it is bullying.
- Started the War on Iraq without UN sanction for it.
- Refused to join with other countries in the international war crimes
- Refused to sign agreement on limiting the transfer of small weapons.
- Walked out of a biological weapons convention agreed to by 143 nations.
- Refused to sign treaty barring anti-personnel land mines.
- Withdrew from anti-ballistic missile treaty.
- Refused to sign the Kyoto agreement.
Links to a few articles
1. World opinion moves against Bush. Article
(local version) by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian unlimited, 23 January 2003.
2. Bush withdraws from the world.
Article (local version) by Ronald Asmus in The Age, 21 August 2004.
3. Foreign views of US darken after Sept 11. Article
(local version) in the NY Times.
4. Bush turns Europe's consensus on its head. Article
(no longer available; obtained from Wayback machine) in the Telegraph [UK], 20 September 2003.
5. Billionaire Soros blasts Bush, calls on President to honor world
(local version) in Post-gazette.com, 28 February 2003.
6. Mr. Bush is abusing both the UN and international law. Article
(local version) by Jonathan Power in New War on Terror, 14 October 2001.
7. World opinion is more hostile to America than at any time in our
(local version) in NPQ by Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1 June 2004.
8. History lesson: GOP must stop Bush. Article
(local version) by Carl Bernstein in USA Today, 23 May 2004.
9. Bush demeanor fuels dissent. Article
(local version) by Vijay Ramanavarapu in The Lantern, 10 March 2003.
10. Bush at the UN: Washingtons war ultimatum to the world. Article
(local version) by Editorial board, World Socialist Web Site, 13 September 2002.
11. Bush's unilateralism aggravates world's problems. Article
(local version) by Robert F. Drinan, National Catholic Reporter, 10 January 2003.
12. BBC News: World wants Kerry as President, 9/7/2004. Article.
(Here's a local, text copy)