Thursday, September 05, 2002

A Modest Foreign Policy Proposal

Today, Yahoo reports that--*gasp*--Europeans Say U.S. Partly to Blame for 9/ 11.

LONDON (Reuters) - Most Europeans believe America itself is partly to blame for the devastating attacks on New York and Washington last September 11. According to a new poll, which questioned more than 9,000 Europeans and Americans about how they look at the world one year after the attacks, 55 percent of Europeans think U.S. foreign policy contributed to the tragic events.

Personally I think Europeans are ignorant of American views--but regardless of who's right and who's wrong, the fact stands: America is not popular, and only America can fix that. If America continues to be a hegemonic monster (at least from the European point of view) , it will find itself not only lacking support for its war on terror, but the Bush Administration will be paralyzed internationally, fearful of confronting its criticizers. For instance, at the just-concluded Johanessburg World Summit, Bush was not inclined to attend because, to quote Lynch, "It's like being invited to a party by people who don't like you. Of course Bush doesn't want to go to the meeting. What Bush has to do is figure out why they don't like him."

So, what has America/Bush done to anger the world? Arabs cite the stationing of American troops by Saudi mosques, the partisan support of Israel, and overall nosiness as reasons to hate America. Chinese cite America's attempt to exploit the cheap Chinese labor market and unwanted scrutiny in Tibet, Taiwan, and Chinese politics in general. The South Koreans hate our soldiers who rape their women with impunity.

Overall, the world is roaring, "Yankee go home!"

Maybe, to solve all our foreign policy problems, America should follow that advice. Let's pull out of South Korea. Let's let China take care of its domestic issues. Let's stop sticking our nose into the Middle East conflict. Let's pull out troops from Saudi Arabia. Let's lift sanctions and no-fly zones from Iraq. Let's get rid of sanctions everywhere entirely. Heck, in order to ensure the rest of the world's freedom from US hegemony, let's pull all of our money out of foreign markets so other countries can enjoy their full sovereignity. If we do all this, I GUARANTEE, the world will like us better. After all, we 'went home' and returned gave them back their autonomy.

However, as a forewarning, this foreign relations move won't be without its costs. Kim Jong-Il might be emboldened to swarm his southern, democratic neighbor. China might massacre (to a greater extent) any dissidents or minorities. Israel might be overrun by a rolling sea of Palestinians led by Yasser Arafat; or worse, Israel would have to resort to nuclear defense. Saudi Arabia might be conquered by Iraq. Or an unfriendly government could rise up in Saudi Arabia, threatening our oil supply. And Saddam could developed nuclear weapons and kill off the Kurds and establish a Greater Muslim Empire. There's a possibility that the withdrawl of American capital from foreign markets could provide the final nudge that causes the collapse of the Japanese economy. Or maybe we simply leave Europe's economy in smouldering ruins. There's a very very small chance that France would resort to nationalistic warfare to boost its citizens' morale and economy, a la Napolean.

All this could ultimately decimate the world. But that's only a chance, not a concrete consequence.

And far outweighting that tiny risk, withdrawing from the world community would definitely make other countries like the US better.


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