12/12/2005: The Price of The Presidential Disconnect...
"...Bush's travel schedule seems calculated to involve as little contact as possible with the country he is in. Perhaps the White House should look into the new teleconferencing technologies. If set up right, the president could soon conduct foreign policy without ever having to actually meet foreigners.
To foreigners, American officials increasingly seem clueless about the world they are supposed to be running. "There are two sets of conversations, one with Americans in the room and one without," says Kishore Mahbubani, formerly a senior diplomat for Singapore and now dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Because Americans live in a "cocoon," Mahbubani fears that they don't see the "sea change in attitudes towards America throughout the world."
The imperial style has its virtues. It intimidates, allows for decisive action and can force countries to follow the lead. But it racks up costs. And it is particularly ill suited for the world we are entering. As other countries come into their own, economically and politically, they want to be listened to, not simply tolerated. They resent being lectured to by the United States..."
--Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek).
Karen on 12.12.05 @ 07:31 AM CST