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I want to publicize the findings of a report the subcommittee just published, based on a series of 10 hearings it held. The report, "The Decline in America's Reputation: Why?" is the first of three the subcommittee will publish (the other two will discuss the impact on US national interests and offer recommendations).
The eight findings are: It is true that US approval ratings have dropped swiftly around the world; this decline is driven by opposition to specific American policies, not to America's values or people; it reflects a sense that the US has hypocritically ignored its own democratic values in its foreign policies; American unilateralism has aggravated criticism of the US; American domination of others lingers for years and discredits current policies; visitors to the US, especially students, have more positive views of the country than non-visitors; the often heavy-handed visa and immigration experience creates the impression that Muslims in particular are not welcome; the combination of all these factors causes many Muslims to feel that the US is using the "war on terror" as a cover for its attempts to destroy Islam.
Originally posted by SixKiloKowboy
I have to say that I both agree and disagree with this assessment.
While I believe that it is true that the bloated American Beuracracy is wounding America's reputation abroad, I don't believe that the American Ideal is dead.
Heavy handed political regimes have pretty much destroyed our credibility abroad. The more we try to do the worse we look. In my opinion, it's the height of arrogance for the American political machine to believe that it can bring peace to a region, the Middle East, that has been historically at odds for well over 3-4K years.
My father once gave me some advice that rings so true even to this day and especially applies to the U.S. Government currently. "Clean up your own backyard before you try to mess with someone else's."