Regions / Middle East & North Africa
With the end of major military action in Iraq, U.S. public diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim world has entered a new, more challenging phase.
The fall of the Soviet Union handed the U.S. a unique opportunity, as the surviving superpower, to lead the world toward a period of greater cooperation and conflict resolution through the use of diplomacy, global organization, and international law. This great opportunity is being squandered, as the world becomes a more dangerous place.
As many members of Congress and President George W. Bush’s administration argue that it’s unacceptable to leave Iraq as a failed state, it becomes clearer every day that U.S. operations and policies are fueling violence and instability.
Except for the lack of congressional resistance, the situation in the Israeli-occupied territories mirrors that of apartheid South Africa. Palestinians are being forced, either by choice or fate, to agree to "acceptable" candidates for elections to offices that will have only as much power as the Israeli government, underwritten by the Bush administration, grants.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 it has become a commonplace that religious extremism, particularly of the Muslim kind, lies at the heart of the problems that seemingly condemn the Muslim majority world to political and social backwardness, economic stagnation, and cultural oppressiveness.
Elections are needed, but the timing is wrong, with the insurgency growing with every passing moment and Iraqis bracing themselves for the worst.
As the U.S. occupation of Iraq heads toward its third year, there is a remarkable absence of debate over withdrawal, despite the evidence that a clear majority of the American people want out.
Jubilant over President George W. Bush maintaining his position for another four years, neoconservatives who played a leading role in shaping the radical trajectory of U.S. foreign policy after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks appear increasingly divided on key issues and uncertain of their position in Bush's second term.
The United States has long been the number one military, diplomatic, and economic backer of the world’s most repressive regimes in the world, a pattern that has only been strengthened under the Bush administration.
With the nomination of Karen Hughes as the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, the United States has the potential to embark on a new and more effective phase in its communication with the international community, particularly with the Arab and Islamic world.