Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Uncle Sam Needs Real Policy Changes

Uncle Sam Needs Real Policy Changes
By Jerome Grossman

U. S. Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts, a leading foreign-policy voice in the Democratic Party, has endorsed Barack Obama for president saying that he believes the Senator will repair the image of the United States overseas. He said, “If Barack Obama is elected president, I daresay America will present a new face to the world, will restore, simply by his election (emphasis added) hope -- not just within the United States, but from all corners of the world, that America's claim to moral authority is back on track and that our leadership in the world affairs will see a renaissance.”

The phrases, “A new face…… simply by his election” seem to imply that the election of an African-American will signal significant changes in U.S. foreign policy to the nations of the world. However, the current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor Colin Powell, both African-Americans in positions of power, have failed to make the changes in policy necessary to repair the image of the U.S.

Personality and good intentions may win nominations and elections, but the rest of the world will be looking for new policies that call for the use of American soft power rather than the military adventurism that dominates world society and enforces American interests.

It will take a lot more than ending the U.S. invasion of Iraq to prove this. Remember that the Democrats endorse a residual force kept there to protect U.S. bases, to train Iraqi soldiers and to kill Iraqi insurgents.

The next Democratic president, Obama or Clinton or Edwards can change the U.S. image worldwide by cutting the enormous military budget, closing some of the 737 U.S. military bases now in 130 countries, cutting back on its 10,000 nuclear weapons, stopping the kidnapping and torture of suspected terrorists, promoting human rights, adhering to international law and the Geneva Conventions, increasing its support for the struggle against AIDS and other diseases, to name but a few serious changes.

Electing the Hillary Clinton as the first woman president or Barack Obama as the first African American president is important to the United States. It would be a sign of improved gender and race relations. Although the prejudices remain latent, over the course of the long campaign the voters have come to regard these two candidates more as individuals than as representatives of a group.

This is a welcome development for the often difficult relations in American society. It will send an interesting and hopeful signal abroad but will do little to repair the tattered image of our country unless there is evidence of changes in the nation's policies that have been in place for decades, perhaps centuries.

So far, the leading candidates have spoken about change in the abstract without significant detail. They may get away with that cynical approach with an electorate that focuses on personality, appearance and electability but public opinion abroad will need to see pertinent policy changes that will improve their lives in a world dominated by Uncle Sam.


an average patriot said...

I have certainly given the elections and our nominees a lot of thought but I never thought in terms of Obama or Hillary as signaling a change to the world.
I don't like that race is an issue in our politics nor Religion. I have nothing against a qualified black being President but do not like to see Blacks supporting him just because he is Black or Hillary because she is a Woman and not the best person.
I do think the world will look at any Democrat differently but as you say, they have to show the difference. I do not see that happening. Bush has set the course for whoever follows him. He has set forces around the world in motion that will not be quelled Diplomatically.
Thanks to you I have hope for 2008! I firmly expect though that one way or the other the election will not be at least fair and honest. Between Pakistan, Iran, the inevitable wars coming down the pike, the fact that Bush's supporters will call for an Ammendment to keep him at the helm of the wars he created,and the numerous ways an election can be stolen,I am very concerned about the elections.
There is too much lying just as long as they get their way, too much underhanded politicking. I really look forward to meeting you at your Lecture in Newton on the 8th. I hope those of us that want the right thing for we the people and our America not Bush's version, can make a difference!

an average patriot said...

I just did my analysis on the Iowa Caucuses and there were no surprises other then the fact that the so called experts refuse to see there old analysis no longer matters.
The experts and the knowledge needed to move ahead successfully will come from us in the trenches of life and those capable of seeing the truth from there. That is the level the world is dealing with today.
Iowa has voted for change and I have faith the rest of the country wil too, I just hope there are elections and they are not stolen again as the ways to do so keeps growing.

an average patriot said...

Obama winning in Iowa is a vote for change and I would be happy to see an Edwards Obama ticket or the other way around. Something positive has to happen at least once!


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