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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 11-16-05, 05:59 PM   #1
hahn
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Analysis: Bush Slump May Hobble World Role

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WASHINGTON -
President Bush's slumping popularity at home may be taking a toll on his ability to exert influence overseas.

Just a few years ago, rival and allied nations alike fretted that a cocky Bush administration was attempting to impose its will around the world.

Such swagger is harder to find these days.

As Bush prepares to depart Monday on a trip to Asia, questions abound about the global consequences of a U.S. president hobbled by domestic setbacks.

In recent weeks, his administration has:

_Seen its proposal for a Western Hemisphere-wide free-trade pact torpedoed during Bush's trip to Latin America. Several other of his trade initiatives are in jeopardy, too.

_Failed to persuade the U.N. nuclear watchdog to refer
Iran's suspect nuclear activities to the Security Council for possible penalties.


_Ran into more obstacles in six-country talks over
North Korea's nuclear agenda.


_Clashed with major European allies which, for the first time, joined other countries in supporting a move to wrest administrative control over the Internet from the United States.

"Behind the scenes, there's a recognition that the United States is tied down somewhat in Iraq and preoccupied domestically, and that this is a tough time for the Bush administration," said Kurt Campell, who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific during the Clinton administration.

"It comes at a time when China's stock is extremely high in Asia as a whole. There's a growing recognition that China has taken enormous advantage of the challenges facing the Bush administration, in Iraq and elsewhere, to consolidate its gains in Asia," said Campell, now with the Center for International and Strategic Studies.

In Europe, Bush's principal Iraq war partner, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, is reeling from political woes of his own.

Presidents, most recently
Bill Clinton, have drawn strength from foreign trips and basked in the approval of American-flag waving crowds. But Bush has drawn muted responses from many world leaders and a larger-than-usual share of anti-American demonstrations.

He never was particularly well-liked overseas, to begin with.

Now, allies might be even more emboldened in opposing positions staked out by the U.S. And antagonistic governments in North Korea, Iran and elsewhere might be less intimidated by Bush's threats, seeing how bogged down the U.S. is in Iraq.

"I think he is less scary to them," said Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign policy specialist at the Brookings Institution.

Iran and North Korea probably are less fearful than before that Bush might use pre-emptive military force against them to accomplish Iraq-style changes in rule, and so, too, are their neighbors, O'Hanlon suggested.

"South Korea, for example, might have worried before about a war with North Korea they did not want. And I think they're probably less worried about it now," he said.

The U.S. still wields enormous influence, of course, if only because it remains the sole military superpower and has the largest economy.

Some recent developments could work to Bush's advantage.

Statements by Iran's new president advocating the destruction of
Israel, and recent terrorist attacks on civilians — such as those last week in Jordan — might help Bush rally more global support.


Bush's foreign policy agenda remains ambitious and includes the spread of democracy, but he may not have the resources or public support to carry it out. U.S. forces are spread thin in Iraq and
Afghanistan, and the public appetite for additional foreign entanglements seems faint.

"At the moment, the administration appears to be trying to stabilize Iraq, destabilize Syria and denuclearize Iran all at the same time. Completely implausible. You can't possibly do all those things at the same time," said James Dobbins, a former Bush envoy to Afghanistan and veteran diplomat.

Dobbins, who now directs the Rand Corp.'s defense policy center, cautions against prematurely counting out Bush's diplomacy.

"Administrations have recovered from worse setbacks than the current administration has suffered," he said. "The administration has still got three years of possibilities for considerable scope."

==================

I highly doubt that this administration is capable of recovering from this. Mostly because of how disliked they are, and how arrogant they've been. But I guess we'll find out in the next 3 years. My honest objective-as-possible prediction is that things will only get worse, or at best, remain in current condition.
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Old 11-16-05, 06:05 PM   #2
Pharoh
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Maybe it's just me, but I fail to see anything on that list that would be different in the slightest if the President's job approval was at 70% or better.

Oh, I get the agenda, but it misses the mark.
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Old 11-16-05, 08:20 PM   #3
bhk
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Most of the rest of the world hates the US regardless of who is in power or how popular they are. What generates cooperation with most states in the world are greenbacks and the implied threat of sending cruise missiles up their backside.
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Old 11-16-05, 08:58 PM   #4
DVD Polizei
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Bush is succeeding in Japan though. Read a few articles on the beef ban in Japan being lifted very soon. And Japan said they would stay the course in Iraq, so Bush definitely promised them something.
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Old 11-16-05, 10:47 PM   #5
sjrab16
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ICAAN was resolved as well, the US still has control
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Old 11-16-05, 10:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
...so Bush definitely promised them something.

Not to vomit in anyone's lap?
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Old 11-16-05, 11:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hahn
My honest objective-as-possible prediction is that things will only get worse, or at best, remain in current condition.
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Old 11-16-05, 11:29 PM   #8
DVD Polizei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Not to vomit in anyone's lap?
Maybe import more REAL WASABI.
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Old 11-16-05, 11:48 PM   #9
Myster X
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I love it when liberals blame Bush for the N. Korea debacle.

Clashed with major European allies which, for the first time, joined other countries in supporting a move to wrest administrative control over the Internet from the United States.

This will NEVER happen under the Republican prez.

Last edited by Myster X; 11-16-05 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 11-17-05, 12:18 AM   #10
Th0r S1mpson
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Will this hobble his world role before or after his cabal administration implodes and we become a fascist state?
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Old 11-17-05, 12:48 AM   #11
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My honest objective-as-possible prediction is that things will get worse, stay the same or get better.
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Old 11-17-05, 01:07 AM   #12
DVD Polizei
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Stay The Worst. I mean, stay the course.
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Old 11-17-05, 03:34 AM   #13
Goldblum
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
Will this hobble his world role before or after his cabal administration implodes and we become a fascist state?
Oh, memories... I was starting to get worried. I hadn't seen a hahn ABB thread in days.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:18 AM   #14
bhk
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Reminds me of another four letter username poster.
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