America Needs To Earn The Respect Of Other Nations

by James Glaser
January 13, 2003

There are almost two hundred countries on this globe and the United States wants to lead them. While most countries respect our military power, they also fear it. We as a nation need to gain the respect of other nation by being both honest and just. Nations that fear you do not cooperate with you, in fact behind the scenes they work against you.

Every time America changes the rules or disregards documents we have signed, other countries do not understand where we are going and fear seeps in.

George Bush becomes President and right off the bat starts changing things. No more Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty nor the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. The whole world was looking to America to continue to lesson the amount of weapons and wars. Winning the Cold War was a real feather in our cap, but we have now squandered that because we want to escalate the arms race with ourselves. We are constantly creating new weapons systems and at the same time we are telling the rest of the world we will not allow them to do the same.

Many nations look at North Korea pulling out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that was first signed in 1970. These countries start looking at that treaty again and find that those countries who originally signed (the United States, Russia, France, China, and the United Kingdom) agreed in Article VI of that treaty to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament , and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

They look at that and see not only has nothing been done on this article, but now America, under George Bush, wants to start to develop and test a new generation of nuclear arms. This is neither honest nor just for the Super Power of the world to work on increasing its power over all.

Let us look at North Korea and the United States today. The US is claiming that North Korea started violating their mutual 1994 Agreed Framework, a treaty that was to stop North Korea from building nuclear weapons. Well in point of fact, both nations have violated one important clause in their Agreed Framework.

In the second clause of that treaty both nations agreed that "the two sides will move towards full normalization of political and economic relations." But there is more Clause 2 Section Two, "Each side will open a liaison office in the others capital following resolution of consular and other technical issues through expert-level discussions." Now just one more, Clause 3 Section Two, "As progress is made on issues of concern to each side, the US and DPRK will upgrade bilateral relations to the Ambassadorial level."

It was all spelled out and by now the United States and North Korea could be working together on helping each other instead of being at odds with each other. Who is to fault? Who knows, but George Bush's Axis of Evil speech and his public comment of how he could not stand the President of North Korea were not the words of a leader, nor words that help make the world a safer place.

The same can be said for Bill Clinton and George Bush in the way they have handled Iraq. America continued to bomb Iraq under both administrations, but never attempted to have nation to nation discussions on differences. No leadership displayed by America there.

Nations look at what we are doing and see that America makes many promises, but only works on the situation that has caused an agreement and then the fine print is forgotten. We need better follow up on our treaties.

Look at Afghanistan. We went in, bombed, killed, and installed our puppet, Hamid Karzai. Now Afghanistan is on the back burner, War Lords are back in power, the opium trade is flourishing and al-Qaeda and Osama are still running around the Country. It is now reported that al-Qaeda has a radio station broadcasting a message of hate for the American government set up in the Kabul.

The rest of this world looks at this and wonders, other than the new oil pipeline deal and the drug trade, what has America done for Afghanistan. They look at North Korea and wonder what they would have done if their country was branded as "evil" and George Bush said he believed in "First Strike." The rest of this world looks at Iraq and wonders just how they could prove they didn't have weapons of mass destruction if challenged like Iraq has been.

America has to start being both honest and just with the world. Otherwise our leadership will be a short one. If we continue to make rules for the whole world , but only honor the ones that suit us, we will be in trouble with terrorists for a long time. America can not fight terrorism alone and to get the help we need from other nations it will have to be because they want to help us. Power and fear will not defeat terrorism, but it will create new terrorists. What we need is honesty and justice on our side and that will earn us the respect and cooperation we need from other nations to defeat terrorism.

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