Rogue nations: perhaps not those that come to mind
Some nations almost rhyme with “trouble.” You see them in a headline, you groan.
Which ones? Which nations are the world’s troublemakers?
BBC World Service commissioned a poll that spoke with 28,000 people in 27 different countries, asking them whether 12 nations and the EU had “primarily positive” or “primarily negative” influence in the world. At left are the results.
Canada, Japan, the EU, France: half or better of the world’s people see these nations’ impact on world events as mainly positive. Doors must be opening to them.
But check out the other end of the scale.
These nations are seen as most negative in world influence:
1. Israel, 56%
2. Iran, 54%
3. USA, 51%
Several thoughts come to this American mind:
1. It matters. It’s more than “just a poll.” Consider, for instance, the possibility that anti-US candidates for public office around the world may find it easier to move into positions of power.
2. America’s most expensive and influential ally is, according to most, the most troublesome nation on earth. Perhaps it is long past time for the US to insist that Israel abide by international law as a condition of aid of such magnitude.
3. Neo-conservatism’s “we’ll do what we think best no matter who agrees with us” must be dismissed as too costly. Neo-conservatism’s core is the insistence that the US alone must remain, at all costs, the sole world super-power. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I find that view antithetical to my values. I want a US that is a neighbor to the world, that leads by admirable example. Clearly, the world is finding little to admire in US behavior.
4. Here’s an example of how profoundly worried the world is about the US: Which has a more negative effect on world events, North Korea or the USA? Most of the world sees the USA as a worse problem than North Korea. And worse than China. And than Russia.
5. The limits of military power are, once again, painfully evident. Will we ever believe it? The very idea that America’s enemies can be forced into submission needs a thorough re-examination. This nation, which spends more on military readiness that the rest of the world combined, which spends half of every tax dollar on its military (while begging for more), needs to question whether military dominance has contributed to national security or has, in fact, robbed us of it. Much of the world grasps for arms because it does not trust America.
America could be an asset to the world and an honor to its citizens. But it will take a radical revision of common assumptions about the relationships that connect national security, world influence and world cooperation.
Trouble-making hasn’t worked.
Tags: rogue+states, North+Korea, US+influence, war+on+terror, AIPAC, US+and+Israel, Israel+international+law, neoconservatism, Christian+politics, Christian+foreign+policy, US+influence, US+foreign+policy, US+trade+policy, US+world+opinion, Monte Asbury
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