The Voice of Steve

Nil desperandum - Never despair. A medical student's journey in Odense

The American presidential election 2008 - Foreign Policy

The American people is about to elect their 44th president of the United States of America, in less than a month's time. An election that will determine the American people's well-being for the coming four years, but also an election that will have great impact on the rest of the world in every single aspect possible. That's why I am following the presidential campaign with such anxiety, due to the risk that we might face another four years of aggressive American foreign policy.

Focus has been on the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and whether or not the candidates are for or against a time schedule for withdrawing the American troops. This is an aspect of the foreign policy that we in the rest of the world is very keen on getting clear answers about. But there is something much more important, which is the way in how the candidates are going to conduct the art of diplomacy when installed in office. Diplomacy is certainly something that has been strongly neglected since the incidence of 9/11. The USA bypassed the Security Council and ignored international urges to keep a cool head, just to satisfy domestic drives for vengeance. Just look at where the USA is today, still after seven years of warfare the troops cannot see an end to the atrocities. Never before has the reputation and respect for the country been so meagre.

Due to the Americans disregard of the United Nations, much of its prestige and its cause of being a forum for solving international conflicts, has been greatly undermined. What is the point in having the United Nations if one of the world's greatest powers neglect it and refuse to follow its recommendations and decisions?

The election of John McCain to the post as America's next president, will most likely just continue on the same path of foreign policy as it has with George Bush jr. With more warfare than diplomacy, creating more enemies than allies and even excluding democratic countries like Spain. What is even more frightening, is the overhanging danger of Sarah Palin being next in line to sit in the Oval Office. That woman is ignorant of international affairs and has only been fed with what is expected from her to say as the vice presidential candidate to McCain. Acknowledging McCain's high age, there is a very high risk that Palin could be compelled to take over.

I am aware of the fact that Barack Obama is very alike McCain in the urge for defeating the enemies of the American people and continue the war on terror. They are both for a further armament of the American defence in the sense of building out the missile-defence, airforce and army. However, just the fact that Obama is willing to use diplomacy before force is a strong incentive to vote for Obama instead of McCain. The world is tired of the on-going wars, is tired of the rejection of the human rights and especially tired of the nonchalance showed by the USA. Hopefully Obama can repair some of the damage done by decreasing American intervention where it is no longer needed and by closing down the illegitimate prisons such as that in Guantánamo base, where prisoners sit for years without prosecution. The USA must respect the human rights once again with no exceptions whatsoever.

An opinion that could be perceived as somewhat controversial, is that the world needs a leader. A respected leader that have the ability to mediate in conflicts, that can point in the right direction to go, and to show what justice is. We do not want a divided European Union and we certainly do not need a divided Security Council in dealing with the many crucial world issues. We do not want to see a lame Security Council doing the same mistakes as with the genocide in Rwanda. We do not want to see how the world do nothing in the ongoing conflict in Darfur. What we really need is a strong and respected leader, that through skillful diplomacy, can affect different parties to unite and do what is best for the world. The USA has the potential of becoming that leader, but has simply mismanaged its diplomatic relations with the rest of the world during the last years. The restoration of its reputation is much needed and will take many years. But hopefully one day we will have a just, respected and able leader to show the way.

A step on the way is therefore to elect that presidential candidate that is best for the world and could lead the USA in the right direction. So in the choice of Bad and Worse, I choose Bad. I hope the American people do the same. Vote for Change We Can Believe In.


“After the last eight years, even our dogs and cats have learned that elections matter.”
- Al Gore


Elections do matter. I agree fully. I'd rather have Obama in the White House since, even though it probably is pure propaganda, he has at least had the decency to fool us to believe he is the good guy. While McCain has openly, with his very aggressive campaign, and no respect for the world and his nation declared that he will continue on the same horrible warpath as the now (thankfully) leaving administration of Bush.


I agree Fattema. Let's hope for the best. :-)


If americans can vote for a guy named "barack obama" and set aside all their insecurities and fear, then there is still hope for the so-called american dream. It would mean that they at least have some rational thinking that has been left uninfected by the far right.
But considering the statistics on the level of educated people in the US, i thinkt at is too much to hope for, unfortunatly.


Unless the far Christian right manages to mobilize their voters, I really really hope that the USA is ready for the first non-Caucasian president!