Monday, July 04, 2005

The 4th of July: America stands at the crossroads now.

It is the Independence Day of the United States of America today. At present, the United States is fighting the war on terror and struggling for global democracy. I would like to argue the following points.

1. Nation still divided
To my regret, America has not healed the division yet. It is true that the current administration faces many challenges to manage Iraq. Middle East democratization has just started, and not necessarily made sufficient progress. However, it is not rational to pull out the US-lead forces from Iraq quickly. Liberals does not show the blueprint after the withdrawal. Leaving Iraq when the job is half-done makes it extremely dangerous throughout the Middle East. Party politics is a part of democracy, but the whole nation must be firmly united in case of emergency like this. Liberals need to indicate persuasive alternatives. Otherwise, things get worse.
Also, it is quite unusual that the Senate still delays to approve the nomination of the ambassador to the United Nations. In this term, critical issues, like arms control, Iran, and North Korea, will be discussed at the Security Council. Without the ambassador, the United States will fail to take leadership and act quickly in case of emergency. Liberals may not like John Bolton, but wrong ambassador is better than no ambassador.
Right or wrong, conservatives show us the design of leading America and the world. Liberals need to propose alternatives.

2. Perception gap between the USA and the allies
The United States is extremely sensitive to the threat of terrorism and WMD proliferation, this is not necessarily the case with its allies. Such a perception gap makes the rift between the United States and the allies greater. Continental Europeans is getting more reluctant to commit themselves to the war on terror. With a single bomb explosion, the Spanish chose leftist Zapatero, and withdrew its troops from Iraq. The Japanese confront Asian xenophobia.
The United States may be forced to pursue a go it alone policy, if this trend continues. Fortunately, Tony Blair, America’s staunchest ally, has been re-elected. It is time for the United States and its allies to narrow the perception gap. Do it, before it gets too late.

3. The Country of Good Hope
Despite these problems, the United States is the country of good hope. In the article, “In Search of pro-Americanism” (Foreign Policy, July/August 2005), Anne Applebaum, columnist of the Washington Post, mentions that those moving their status upwards tend to be pro-American, while establishments and lower class tend to be anti-American. In other words, the United States has the global constituents of highly motivated, vigorous, and prospective people. They are the most crucial actors to move the world towards good direction.

Americans must be firmly united, regardless of ideological differences, in order to defeat terrorists and rogue states. Perception gap between their allies must be filled. It is the Independence Day, and a good chance for both Americans and global citizens to think of the future. The United States will continue to be the country of good hope, if it manages this historical turning point successfully.