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The American March Towards Greatness, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1529

Essay

Introduction

American has made tremendous steps to achieve its present day states. Various national leaders have brought significant pieces of legislation and plans and these can be accredited to this growth. America has gone through several historical periods from civil war to cold the world wars, the great depression to the cold war, and finally through the wanton attacks on its people by terrorist gangs culminating in the September 11 attacks of 2001. each of these periods have exposed the foreign policy of the Americans to critical scrutiny and this has reached its peak in the current stand on the Iraqi and Afghani policies by the united states (LaFeber, et al, p90).

Changes in Social Relations In the United States and the Growth of the Us As a World Power 1975-Present

Worthy of mention events that have taken place in this period include the gulf war, the attack of the world trade center and pentagon, the launch of an ambitious anti-terrorism policy and recently the defeat of the republicans and the accession into the seat on Capitol Hill by the young African American president Barack Obama.

Through these periods in time, the United States has established itself as a super power in military and financial circles. The moral authority of the United States as a super power however has been questioned on the human rights and social fronts. It may be mistaken allegations by the united status critics about the states relations with other countries especially with regard to the fight against terrorism. But, as president Obama stated last week in Oslo Norway while receiving his Nobel peace price, some times its inevitable to fight ‘just wars’ to defend your citizens.

The united sates has been accused of violations of human rights after reported tortures on inmates at the Cuba based Guantanamo bay maximum security prison. The tensions have been rife from especially the Arab world and the human rights advocates on what is seen as Americas attempt to stamp her authority on other world nations. May be worst that everyone has about America’s violations of other peoples’ democracy, allegedly in the clamour for more democratic regimes in the countries in question, is the attack by the US and her European allies on Iraq claiming that Saddam Hussein harboured weapons of mass destruction. Even after such weapons could not be demonstrated by the Mohammed el Baradei, a Nobel peace laureate, international atomic energy association, the US went ahead and attacked Iraq. And they did not only attack Iraqi, Saddam Hussein was eventually sent to the gallows and sentenced to the hang man’s noose. It is this image that the American people have struggled to improve and gain credibility over! But as we have heard a couple of days past, the former British prime minister is unapologetic about the issue, saying it was the better option to get rid of Saddam irrespective of whether or not he harboured weapons of mass destruction. The other aspect concerns the torture of suspected terrorists in the Cuba based prison of Guantanamo bay. The best did the best an American could have done by ordering the closure of the camp! And this should have added credibility to the tainted image of the United States especially among the Semitic and Muslim world. As one writer puts it, to build a truly great super power in not only the military and economic but also social circles, the united states requires inspiration from a great leader in the white  house. A political achiever in the likes of Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt.  The mere change of regime from republic to democrats and vice versa is just not the sole solution.

The United States has been a victim of attacks from several quarters. They have suffered the effects of biological warfare and open atomic terrorism. Guillemin looks at bioterrorism as a threat that can be effectively curbed when the public is fully informed as opposed to when the government maintains secrecy over the issue (Guillemin, p24-86).

Blum (Blum, p33) argues that in the terrorist attacks that America is facing today are a retaliatory measures of its failed foreign policy. He singles out the Iraqi incident where the United States should have recalled her troops after the international atomic energy association reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Baghdad.

But the response to this has been albeit over reactive. The policy employed in the fight against terrorism has bordered on racial cum religious discrimination. The Muslim world has felt that the American government has targeted and harassed Muslim faithful for no good reason. And as Boggs observes, the post 9/11 American policy has served to put the country at logger heads with the Muslims especially in the third world nations (Boggs, p 20-50). The post 9/11 policy has become more militaristic than diplomatic, with political chauvinism and hegemony exceeding patriotism. The country has relaxed on the use of treaties and the United Nations as some of its avenues towards the achievement of peace. Even before this tragic occurrence in the American history, the United States has had interventional strategies (military) which critics have termed as America’s attempt at exporting democracy. Arguably, this form of exported democracy has been counter productive in terms of opinion and public image ratings of this super power (Wolfe, p134).

America has employed globalization as a policy in efforts to make herself economically competitive. And several multinationals have spread across the world to make the superpower felt in the business world. It is this expansionism that is slowly replacing the yester-years geographical and political alignments and taking a new dimension. Trading blocks and mega partnerships have been developed of late based on strategic resource and market connotations. Trading blocks are now replacing political blocks formed between the United States and allies. The African continent is such a block. The United States formed the main buyer of sub Saharan African export ahead of the European Union. And in terms of foreign aid the United States a major funder of health projects in Africa through the USAID programme to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria among other health afflictions in the continent. The American economy still remains on top of the world. With California, just a state of the United States, being among the top ten world economies there is all prove that America is the country to beat when it comes to global economics. However, this powerful status may be under constant threat from emerging economies in the east especially as these economies struggle to lure the African continent and incorporate her into their trading blocks as a ready market as well as a source of raw materials such as agricultural consumer goods, petroleum products et cetera. The untied states needs to wake up and stand to this challenge and make changes in her policy to see off this emerging competition. The globalization policy adopted by the United States on the business front has attracted massive criticism (Wolfe, p134).

There are anti American crusaders who also have hard feelings about the America’s foreign policy and diplomatic antiques. Whether or not the country will remain as the super power into the foreseeable future is a matter of debate. And America needs to silences her critics in terms of the policies, past and present, in regard to the various foreign policy stands and economic expansionist tactics in order to continue to market herself to the world. There is renewed hope in the election of a youthful black president; one who many have thought is the one to take America back to the days of economic progress of the Roosevelt error or the improved world image under the presidency of bill Clinton. Although questions have already been raised about the ability of President Barack Obama to deliver on his pre election promises among them the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, there is a lot of renewed energy in the Whitehouse and Wall Street and fro sure these can be achieved.

Conclusion

America has had a long journey towards her present day status. Today America is undoubtedly the most powerful state on earth. She has over a thousand military bases in different countries all over the world. But her image may not be at its best especially in terms of diplomacy and respect for internal democracy of other nations. And this diplomacy is even more strained when it comes to relations with the Muslim community. And this has to be sorted out somewhat. May be the right steps have been taken by the Obama administrations’ decision to close the Guantanamo bay. And the troops are set to be out of Afghanistan as from July of the year 2011

Cited Works

Blum, W. Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire Monroe: Common Courage Press, 2004

Guillemin, J.Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism.  Columbia: Columbia University Press 2004

Boggs, C. Imperial delusions : American militarism and endless war  Lahman MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005

LaFeber, et al. The American century: A History of the United States Since the 1890s New York: M.E.Sharpe. 2008

Wolfe, A. Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What It Needs to Do to Recover It   Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2005

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