George W. Bush is persona non grata: Americans abroad.February 20, 2004
Much of the world sees President George W. Bush as a persona non grata non gra·ta
Not welcome; not approved: The aide, having been declared non grata, was expelled from the country.
[From persona non grata.] . Unilateral actions, false intelligence on weapons of mass destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or in Iraq and scandals from Halliburton to the president's National Guard service are giving America and its president a bad name. A raft of offensive statements by top diplomats have left the president with a major international image problem.
President Bush's latest boast--"I'm a war president"--was apparently meant to demonstrate his guts in an election year. But for many nations, his statement constituted an outright threat. In the aftermath of the Kay report on WMDs (or lack thereon in Iraq, foreign editorials have railed against a strategy of ends justifies the means in bringing about regime changes that respond to U.S. interests.
Given that the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. is not currently involved in a formal war, the president's bellicose bel·li·cose
Warlike in manner or temperament; pugnacious. See Synonyms at belligerent.
[Middle English, from Latin bellic language--"I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind"--has set other nations, allies and foes alike, on edge. Around the world, the administration's approach to international affairs Noun 1. international affairs - affairs between nations; "you can't really keep up with world affairs by watching television"
affairs - transactions of professional or public interest; "news of current affairs"; "great affairs of state" has governments and their citizens feeling alienated and apprehensive.
In the Americas, Bush policies have lately provoked what must be a record number of diplomatic complaints. Most recently, the trial of a British intelligence officer for leaking a confidential memo has
reopened wounds in Mexico over a scheme in March to tap the phone lines of countries that refused to condone military action in Iraq.
Bush's front man for Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. and the Caribbean, Roger Noriega
Part of Earth comprising North and South America and the surrounding waters. Longitudes 20° W and 160° E are often considered its boundaries. Affairs, has ruffled ruf·fle 1
1. A strip of frilled or closely pleated fabric used for trimming or decoration.
2. A ruff on a bird.
a. A ruckus or fray.
b. Annoyance; vexation.
4. feathers throughout the region. In Mexico, he accused the country of playing "political games" in its relationship with the U.S., drawing an indignant response from the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs foreign affairs
Affairs concerning international relations and national interests in foreign countries. .
In Argentina, Noriega publicly criticized the government's domestic policies and advocated that the Kirchner government break ties with Cuba. President Kirchner retorted: "We're through being used as a carpet ... nobody can sit us down and much less challenge us because we are an independent country with dignity."
The Bush administration has suffered a significant loss of leadership already as a result of snubbing its nose at diplomatic relations. Treated as children by clumsy and arrogant U.S. diplomats (Noriega also referred to Mexico's refusal to back the Iraqi invasion as "a misunderstanding of our common interests"), many nations are rebelling with angry rhetoric and contrary policies.
International trade meetings reflect this defiance. The failure of the World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, the implosion implosion /im·plo·sion/ (im-plo´zhun) see flooding.
1. of the FTAA FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas
FTAA Free Trade Agreement of the Americas
FTAA Florida Turkish American Association
FTAA Federated Tanners Association of Australia
FTAA Fixed Threshold Adaptation Algorithm in Miami, and the lack of results at the Special Summit of the Americas The Summit of the Americas is the name for one of a sequence of summits bringing together the countries of the Americas for discussion of a variety of issues. These encounters are organized by a number of multilateral bodies led by the Organization of American States. in Monterrey are evidence of the mounting resistance to U.S.-tailored economic integration. They also reflect a widespread and deepening rejection of the "'our way or the highway" diplomacy of the Bush administration.
All this may not matter too much to Bush and his policy team. The neoconservative ne·o·con·ser·va·tism also ne·o-con·ser·va·tism
An intellectual and political movement in favor of political, economic, and social conservatism that arose in opposition to the perceived liberalism of the 1960s: advisers charting this path have never put much stock in alliances. In the short view, animosity abroad can be seen as a small price to pay for global hegemony.
The administration's philosophy is that power is never negotiated--it is exercised. Belief in the unassailable power of the U.S. comes coupled with the conviction of the nation's divine mission in global affairs. As President Bush told the country in his State of the Union Address “State of the Union” redirects here. For other uses, see State of the Union (disambiguation).
The State of the Union is an annual address in which the President of the United States reports on the status of the country, normally to a joint session of Congress (the last month: "America acts in this cause with friends and allies at our side, yet we understand our special calling ..."
But what may seem sublime to some, appears ridiculous to many abroad--and dangerously so. As a result we are seeing a resurgence of some of the ugliest stereotypes of American bullying and hubris Hubris
An arrogance due to excessive pride and an insolence toward others. A classic character flaw of a trader or investor. .
Worst of all, characteristics associated with the "war president" are increasingly being applied to common Americans as well. At the soccer match between Mexico and the U.S., the Mexican crowd broke out in chants of "Osama, Osama." Pro-terrorists? No, just anti-what the U.S. has come to represent in the world.
The Mumbai World Social Forum in India last month expressed similar, though somewhat more sophisticated, anti-American sentiments. Speakers and participants frequently crossed that delicate line between a criticism of U.S. foreign policy and censure of U.S. society as a whole.
As U.S. citizens, we can point to the polls that show Bush's popularity has dropped below 50 percent. We can remind the world that the president was not even elected by the majority of voters. But what we can't do is pretend that anti-Americanism doesn't exist. Among huge parts of the global population, George W. Bush has become not only a reviled political leader but a symbol of U.S. aggression.
Sadly, as global hostility grows, we could all be painted with the same brush.
Laura Carlsen is director of the Americas Program of the Interhemispheric Resource Center The Interhemispheric Resource Center, which later became the International Relations Center, was founded in 1979 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, focusing initially on "The plight of undocumented Mexican workers and the impact of energy development on indigenous communities in the (IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Computer conferencing on the Internet. There are hundreds of IRC channels on numerous subjects that are hosted on IRC servers around the world. After joining a channel, your messages are broadcast to everyone listening to that channel. ), online at: www.irc-online.org.
Confronting Globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation : Economic Integration & Popular Resistance in Mexico
Edited by Timothy A. Wise, Hilda Salazar, and Laura Carlsen Foreword by Jonathan Fox For Jonathan Fox of the University of California at Santa Cruz, see .
Jonathan Fox is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.
Contributors: Olivia Acuna Rodarte, Josefina Aranda Bezaury, Andres Barreda, Fernando Bejarano Gonzalez, David Barton
David Barton (born 1954) is an author, self-taught historian and political activist. Bray, Laura Carlsen, Enrique Cienfuegos, Leticia Merino Merino
Breed of medium-sized sheep originating in Spain that has become prominent worldwide. It has a white face, white legs, and crimped fine-wool fleece. Known as early as the 12th century, it may have been a Moorish importation. , Pastoral Juvenil Obrera, Hilda Salazar Ramirez, Timothy A. Wise.
"Makes a unique contribution to enlightened thinking about 'globalization:" --Howard Zinn
Order online from the IRC at http://www.irc-online.org/books.php
Published by the Americas Program of the Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC, online at www.irc-online.org). [c]2004. All rights reserved.
The Americas Program "A New World of Ideas, Analysis, and Policy Options"
Founded in 1979. the IRC is a small but dynamic nonprofit policy studies center whose overarching goal is to help forge a new global affairs agenda for the U.S. government and people--one that makes the United States a more responsible global leader and partner. For more information, visit www.americaspolicy.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Carlsen, "George W. Bush is persona non grata: Americans Abroad," Americas Program (Silver City, NM: Interhemispheric Resource Center, February 20, 2004).
Writer: Laura Carlsen Editor: Tom Barry This article is about the Irish republican. For the screenwriter, see Tom Barry (screenwriter).
Thomas (Tom) Barry (Irish: Tomás de Barra) (July 1 1897 - July 2 1980) was one of the most prominent guerrilla leaders in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish , IRC Layout: Tonya Cannariato, IRC
Reader Responses to Laura Carlsen's Column
You can hardly imagine what a relief your very wise piece is for a foreigner like me, who underwent a stunning metamorphosis from absolutely pro-U.S, to someone who feels a certain warmth at every bodybag shown on TV, coming out of Iraq. Bring 'em on! But don't worry, even the typical U.S.-redneck (pick-up with gun-rack) has not got the stomach in the long run to enjoy the role of international pariah. I know, I am a 56-year-old German!
As an American expatriate, I enjoyed your story immensely. It reflects realistically the attitude I find everywhere I go in Austria, a country desperately hanging on to its neutrality. I am asked time and again "What about Boosch," and my answer is always the same, "Er ist ein Idiot."
I applauded his response to the 9/11 attacks; he really had no choice, but instead of continuing his full efforts to capture bin Laden, he turned his attention to another "evil doer" and crushed an impoverished nation in his attempt to crush its dictator.
"Evil" is more or less a religious term applied to those who don't follow the teachings of religious leaders. And that fits Bush's Sunday School Sunday school, institution for instruction in religion and morals, usually conducted in churches as part of the church organization but sometimes maintained by other religious or philanthropic bodies.
In England during the 18th cent. mentality. Bush attacked Iraq without the slightest knowledge of its people, its culture, or its religion, and likely he never will. Saddam knew his people, and he predicted that we'd be in a quagmire, and we're in it. But was ridding the world of that evil man the real reason?
I don't think so. Rebuilding Iraq will require huge reconstruction contracts, and who gets them? American companies, and they'll be paid for with Iraqi oil. And who gets the oil? American oil companies, of course. And what is the background of out esteemed president? Oil, of course. And of our vice president? Oil, of course.
The arrogance of our administration is sickening. I wonder how much longer my fellow Americans will listen to the crap that comes from the White House. Is there no nation or group of nations that will stand up to Bush's administration?
The legacy he leaves for the next president, even if it's him, is one of continued attacks by radical Islamic groups against American interests, mistrust of our traditional allies and, most of all, growing mistrust by the American people of the government he claims to serve.
I enjoyed your article and agree with you that sadly, U.S. citizens and the country as a whole, are getting dragged deep down into the slime because of the way George Bush is using his bully-boy political tactics to dominate and destroy foreign policy abroad.
Having lived in the U.S. for many years and now returned to the UK, I am shocked and horrified hor·ri·fy
tr.v. hor·ri·fied, hor·ri·fy·ing, hor·ri·fies
1. To cause to feel horror. See Synonyms at dismay.
2. To cause unpleasant surprise to; shock. to see how a country can go down hill, as quickly, and how big business can dominate the system with so much corruption.
It certainly shows the world that it is not about people any longer, but big business, power (control) and wealth.
I am glad to be in the UK and ashamed of our own prime minister--Blair--for getting into bed with Bush and dragging our name through the slime at the same time.
I lived in Mexico for 10 years from ('75 to '85) and could not convince Mexicans that America was bad news for the world.
But the shrub has done exactly that. Oust wish we apolitical a·po·lit·i·cal
1. Having no interest in or association with politics.
2. Having no political relevance or importance: claimed that the President's upcoming trip was purely apolitical. , apathetic ap·a·thet·ic
Lacking interest or concern; indifferent.
apa·thet , brain-washed, and naive Americans would get some horse sense.) He's too arrogant to impeach To accuse; to charge a liability upon; to sue. To dispute, disparage, deny, or contradict; as in to impeach a judgment or decree, or impeach a witness; or as used in the rule that a jury cannot impeach its verdict. , too ignorant to rule and too dumb to understand what is going on currently.
How can anybody (who works to make a living) in this country even think of voting for him? It's just amazing how stupid Americans are!
Having lived in Italy for almost 6 years I am not proud to say I'm American. I have said countless times to many people here, you know we all aren't like Bush and I am against them totally. I have to show that we are nice people too.
But right after 9-11 for a short few months the U.S. could have changed the world for Love and Respect for each other. But guess the american people are too caught up in themselves to have had it happen that way.
Your article on our horrible ignorant, arrogant president is all too true. As an American who goes to Europe often, I feel the heat everywhere. They hate GW Bush. Now I fear that hate is transforming into anti-americanism on a broader scale. I know people there who refuse to have anything to do with "American" cigerettes, films, exchange programs, etc. This disgusting president has done all that. I will tell you what is happening, the whole world [minus our paid-off lackeys, governments only] is trying to destroy us. It is the world against the U.S. and Israel. It is that plain and simple. We are no longer admired and that is transforming itself into a fiscal debacle. As a response to this, GW and his neocons are increasing the threats, the bullying, the arm-twisting, further aggreivating the problem. WE MUST get this whole regime out of the white house or I truly believe we are doomed as a nation.
Does no one in "the home of the brave" have the guts to call George W. Bush a goddam god´dam
adj. 1. A more intense and vulgar form of darned; - often taken as profane and offensive.
Adj. 1. goddam liar? Is there no way to stop this demented dipstick dipstick /dip·stick/ (dip´stik) a strip of cellulose chemically impregnated to render it sensitive to protein, glucose, or other substances in the urine. from carrying on a war that could lead to decades of violence and kill millions?
Bush may be president of the great United States of America UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The name of this country. The United States, now thirty-one in number, are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, , but he has no credibility whatever with the majority of people around the world, many of whom consider him vastly more dangerous than Saddam Hussein. Bush's case for war is built entirely of lies, and nearly everyone outside the U.S. knows it.
Saddam had absolutely nothing to do with September 11, he is not connected to any terrorists, he's done nothing that would suggest that he may be planning to attack the U.S. or some other country, he definitely does not have nuclear weapons, and if he ever had the smallpox virus smallpox virus
See variola virus. , which is doubtful, he could not have preserved it all these years. Bush's so-called "crisis" is completely manufactured.
Not since the rise of Hitler have we seen anything quite like this. In the view of many, Bush has turned the U.S. into a full-fledged fascist country. The only hope at this point is that Congress will get up the courage to step in and bring a halt to this unprovoked aggression against a sovereign nation, and in so doing, allow at least a semblance of democracy to be restored, ever there was a time for the will of the people to prevail, this is it.
I write from Norway. I agree, it is difficult to be an American abroad. I usually tell people I am a Canadian.
I am a white South African--well-off capitalist, three children, good family car, middle class values. Like many of my friends, I'm happy to be living in democratic South Africa with the horrors of our apartheid past behind us. Like many of my friends--both black and white--I abhor the policies of George W. Bush. In this small, globalised world, he puts all of us (yes, even us) at risk of war and endless hatred. We in Africa--who prize our beautiful environment--are put off by his lack of environmental interest. We who are Christians--are put off by his disorted view of Christianity (the Dollar as God and "endless war" as opposed to peace and brotherhood). We who sorted our racist problems out without endangering the whole world abhor Bush's massive financial support of Israel and subtle racism toward "genetically defective" Arabs. (Blacks suffered the same indignity in·dig·ni·ty
n. pl. in·dig·ni·ties
1. Humiliating, degrading, or abusive treatment.
2. A source of offense, as to a person's pride or sense of dignity; an affront.
3. here. What a joy it is now to celebrate our 10th wonderful year of non-racist democracy this year).
Yes, we are hoping that thinking Americans will take back their country from their greedy, corporate leaders. Until then, we will treat anything that comes out of America (sound-bytes, cultural products, and especially corporate opportunism Opportunism
squire’s wife matchmakes with money in mind. [Br. Lit.: Doctor Thorne]
shrewdly and unscrupulously becomes merchant prince. [Yiddish Lit. ) with suspicion.
Thanks for your great article. It had to be said. It's a shame that courageous people like you have to suffer the same humiliations as the nation as a whole.
We in Europe are progressively scandalized by the fact that even now, after all that happened, a majority of dumb American couchpotatoes are still blind followers of George Dubya and are too profoundly brain amputated to realize how ridiculous they have become in the face of the whole.
In case nobody knows it over there, let me tell you a little secret: many people are joking about the supposed economic boom: G. Dubya is going to achieve it with his new production and bumper export of the starspangled and striped toiletpaper.
Having just read your excellent article on the ex-pat view point of the current administration. Your analisys is spot on.
I am an ex-American, I left during the Reagan administration. I did my military service in NATO NATO: see North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
in full North Atlantic Treaty Organization
International military alliance created to defend western Europe against a possible Soviet invasion. in the early 70s, fought as a mercenary in Africa in the late 70s and in the 80s spent time in El Salvador and the Middle East. Yes, it was a case of male testosterone driver stupidity. However time and the fact that I'm still alive has forced me to broaden my political horizons. I digress di·gress
intr.v. di·gressed, di·gress·ing, di·gress·es
To turn aside, especially from the main subject in writing or speaking; stray. See Synonyms at swerve. .
So the bottom line is, you are a fine writer and please keep printing the truth.