research - Ryan Cottrell Gitlitz 12/6/07 Research Paper The...

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Ryan Cottrell 12/6/07 Gitlitz Research Paper The Bush administration, in response to the September Eleventh terrorist attacks, sent troops overseas to the terrorist nation of Iraq. This invasion seemed to be a valid reaction for the American people. To everyone else watching this attack from the world’s viewing lens, especially Europe and other Western Asian countries, this seemed as a blatant cross into oppressing imperialism with no means of a proper exit strategy. The Iraqi war ruined the respect that the United States held from the rest of the world. The respect we once had is now lost in history books and could only be returned after leaving Iraq and repairing a proper international relationship that doesn’t involve another destructive war. Despite the world wide protests of the American presence in the Middle East there is a discrepancy on whether we are truly hated or not. There are critics that claim because we are the unipolar power in the world, and there is nothing but respect for us. There are several options floating around that the only hatred that is felt towards the states is purely towards the ignorant president George W. Bush. This happens to be same feelings of the American population. Gerald Kaufman called him “the most intellectually backward American president of my political lifetime.” 1 In an editorial by Eric Alterman he analyzes the current beliefs through statistics and polls taken from citizens overseas. “In September [2002], When dismay over a growing rift between America and Europe was rife, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations published the results of an ambitious transatlantic survey. Americans and the citizens of six European countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the 1 Hanson, Victor pg.1
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Netherlands, and Poland) were asked about Iraq, foreign Policy and one another. You’d never know it judging by the policies of their leaders, but the views and priorities of the United States and Continental Populations were remarkably similar.” 2 These statistics show that the idea of hatred towards the U.S. is merely a myth stirred up. Some believe that there would be blatant proof that the world is tired of our “tyranny”. Some say that they would show signs they could even retaliate. When something poses a threat, a course of action could be to immediately force the oppressor to step down or to try to appear stronger in their eyes. What some have now coined this act as the maneuver of “balancing.” 3 Gerard Alexander writes of this strategy as one of the key signs of animosity towards the U.S. “Critics accuse the administration of crossing the line that separates a foreign policy strong enough to secure U.S. interests from one so muscular that it provokes other countries to block us instead… Bush is creating new enemies faster than he is deterring old ones… But most American observers would disagree, insisting that this country is unthreatening when compared to almost all
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