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[Opinion] Self Reflection in America

Posted July. 31, 2002 22:28,   


The U.S. and Europe made two different world news headlines with regard to Iraq yesterday. U.S. press quoted its Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, “The U.S. government has stuck to its principle of seeking a new leadership in Iraq,” which reaffirms the Bush Administration’s determination to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

In contrast, European press reported that French President and German Prime Minister made their position clear after their summit, “We do not want to imagine an attack against Iraq, an attack which — were it to happen — could only be justified if it were decided on by the U.N. Security Council.” The joint statement implies even if the U.S. exercises a military option against Iraq, it will be much different from the Gulf War.

When the sun is too bright it makes shade everywhere, a saying goes. Anti-American sentiment is growing throughout the world as the Bush administration continues to take a high-hand approach in the foreign affairs arena.

Ignoring the public opinion from the outside world, it is not only pushing for the missile defense system, but also insisting upon a military attack against Iraq and immunity rights for its military personnel in the International Criminal Court. In Afghanistan, it bombed a peaceful village holding a wedding ceremony killing dozens of people. Sparking a controversy after another, the U.S. itself has spread the anti-American sentiment throughout the World, even among its so-called allies.

Then entered the scene the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The non-governmental organization monitoring U.S. foreign policies warned its government of the growing anti-American sentiment and called for due measures. The criticism is seen as self-reflection on the unilateral diplomacy.

In fact, CFR, a publisher of Foreign Affairs, has strong voice within the political circle. And now it notes, “We must listen to what others say to stop the hatred against Americans from spreading.” It also advises, “Improving the national image must be a core part of the foreign policy.”

The warning from the organization, which came after a months-long survey, already began to take effect. According to the Washington Post, the White House will house a ‘global-village public relations office’ in coming fall, and begin to find a solution to the growing anti-American sentiment. Congress is also preparing a bill to allocate $225 million to revamping the national image.

How hard it will try, however, the country will remain as ‘a wolf wearing a lamb’s hide’ unless it will change its foreign policy. The Bush administration should take a note to a New York Times report. “Many remain skeptical as to whether its unpopular foreign policy will be offset by the image-boosting plan.”

Bang Byung-nam Editorial Writer