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January 02, 2003

South Korea, Once a Solid Ally, Now Poses Problems for the U.S.

This headline of a story in today's New York Times essentially summarizes much of the world after Bush's actions in the last year. Sure, this administration has bullied various nations into reluctant support for some actions, from Afghanistan to inspections in Iraq, but only at the expense of long-term erosion of support.

From rejecting treaties like the Kyoto climate change accord to blowing up agreements on cheaper AIDS drugs for the developing world, the world has just had to marvel at Bush's absolute lack of concern for allies and their voices. Which hardly suprisingly means that, while they can't ignore US power in the short-term, they are all looking for longer-term options to separate their needs from those hyperpower whims of the cowboys in the US White House. And the fact that from Germany to South Korea, previously firm allied countries are electing leaders running explicitly against American policy.

Outgoing South Korean President has not stopped at condemning US policy on North Korea but has linked it to failures of US policy such as the embargo against Cuba. "Pressure and isolation have never been successful with Communist countries; Cuba is one example."

In Brazil, where leftist Lula de Silva was inaugurated as President, the administration deliberately insulted the country by sending a low-level aide detested by the newly incoming Brazilian President. As the Times noted:

In what was regarded here as a calculated snub, Robert B. Zoellick, the United States trade representative, led the American delegation. During the recent campaign, Mr. da Silva sarcastically dismissed Mr. Zoellick as "the subsecretary of a subsecretary of a subsecretary" after the American official suggested that Brazil would be reduced to exporting to Antarctica if it shunned the Bush administration's plan for a Free Trade Area of the Americas.
This kind of arrogant insult to other countries is bad enough in theory, but in a world where Americans now have to fear insane young men looking for revenge, it is endangering our lives by broad-brush disdain for the populations of whole countries.

What is sad is that it leaves the US looking to even shadier allies like the authoritarian Pakistani government or trying to cow the Saudis for support-- a tremendously sad statement on the US that only dictators threatened by popular opposition, and thus dependent on US aid and support, may remain as dependable allies by the time the Bush administration is done alienating the whole world. It's a sad and scary vision of world security being built.

Posted by Nathan at January 2, 2003 09:42 AM

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Comments

Clearly this wouldn't make sense of Bush's primary concern was American national interests. But the fact of the matter is, his primary concern is simply to remain in power long enough to pillage the country for himself and his cronies. He is quite different from any previous Republican President.

Posted by: John Isbell at January 3, 2003 12:00 AM

It's my first visit on NathanNewman.org.

I'm glad to notice that all Americans are not born in Texas....
Tks Nathan.

You've right. With Bush'actions, USA position is very criticize throughout the world.
It is a sad situation.

Posted by: Eric at January 6, 2003 09:49 AM

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