The United Nations has 192 member states. FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, has 208 international members. For generations, the United States has considered itself superior than all the rest of the world. Granted, we have the planet’s largest economy, strongest military and have been at the forefront in science and medicine. We are the largest donor of humanitarian aid as well as the Earth’s largest exporter of arms. Being at the head of virtually all things, we have managed to exert influence through out the planet politically, economically, and culturally. Unfortunately, that power has corrupted our nation’s standing in the world. Many countries view ours with envy. Many more view us with disdain. For too long, we have been looked at as ugly Americans. The nations of the world do not hate us because of “our freedoms” as President Bush used to say but because we became drunk with power and became arrogant. Our well deserved pride transformed into ugly arrogance. We lectured the world on the virtues of democracy yet we have propped up oppressive and murderous regimes through out the world. (Hussein in Iraq, the Saud’s in Saudi Arabia, Marcos in the Philippines, many South American generals) We were a leading supporter of the apartheid regime in South Africa. We trade with China while ignoring Tiananmen. We scold nations because of their nuclear ambitions yet remain the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear weapons; and we did it twice. We decry the lack of freedom of ethnic minorities in the world, yet we have a sad legacy of enslaving, stealing from, expelling and disenfranchising our own minorities. We are reckless in our use of the world’s resources. Our foreign policy is unambiguous in its favoritism thus negating any semblance of diplomatic credibility.
Enter President Barack Obama.
While there are many who are characterizing President Barack Obama’s overture to the world as American defeatism, the president is on the mark on one thing. While recognizing America’s role as a global leader, he realizes that with that leadership comes global responsibility. America is not an entity independent from the rest of the world community. Though clearly the strongest member, it is still just one of the 192 world nations. To regain the respect and credibility of the world community, Barack Obama has chosen to disarm our adversaries with humility and not with threats of force. His overtures to the Muslim world are nothing short of monumental. It’s still a carrot and stick approach but the stick is not overtly displayed.
President Obama’s action on the international stage has strengthened our presence and reputation. He has added a new word to the vocabulary of many nations when they describe us. And that word is FAIR. A fair leader is a respected leader. A fair leader is a powerful leader. A fair United States will be a powerful United States. This nation has reassumed its leading role in the world through cooperation and not coercion. The coming months will be telling. Will America continue on its march to restoration while remaining a collaborative member of Earth’s community of nations? I certainly hope so. And so does every one else.
The world is waiting. And watching.
What do you think? Drop me a comment and let’s discuss it.