What would it take for the US to regain a decent reputation?

Not in the sense that all the current troubles are forgotten and diplomatic efforts go approximately as smoothly before we flushed whatever credibility we had down the toilet, but in the sense that, at the very least, the words “American” “Bush” and “USA” don’t start big, long hate threads by know-it-alls on every non-US-based board I visit? If we “fix” Iraq and keep a relatively low profile war-and-treachery-wise for a year or so, will people chill a bit? If Bush doesn’t get re-elected will people guessing I’m British stop feeling like a compliment to me and an insult to my country? Obviously there are certain people we’ll never be able to please, but how long will it take, under what conditions, for “American” to cease to be synonymous with “bloodthirsty, braindead cowboy” to the international community at large?

I have been visiting intnl’ boards for about 5 years. On every one of them that have had the same rhetoric. the montra changes depending on where they are but it has always been there. Before “bloodthirsty, braindead cowboy” it was “lazy, imperialistic, fat, Americans”.

I think for us to get a decent rep , we would have to lose our superpower status and give these guys someone else more powerful than them to “hate”.

If you are just talking about the war with iraq, and our goal was to appease everyone so they would like us. I think we would have to turn full control of Iraq over to the UN, give a trillion dollar aid package to “pay for the damage we have done”, cut out military spending to about 5% of what it is now, and only have a deploy troops outside our borders in a UN type coalition where the US would not control their own troops.

In other words, we could become Canada Stout ™, and depend on a foreign entity to protect our interests.

Firstly, I would argue that, leaving out the tribulations of the occupation, from the standpoint of diplomacy, next to nothing has occurred that might convince the current administration that they made a truly wrong move in Iraq. Other than a lot of international hand-wringing, what concrete punitive actions have been taken by any government against the US over the invasion? What action COULD reasonably be taken?

Re: the OP’s question, my guess would be three to five years after the end of the current administration before the jawboning on Iraq dies down, assuming no further unprovoked invasions of other countries. Should many of Bush’s advisors remain in a follow-on administration, longer.

IMO, ‘fixing’ Iraq, won’t make much of a difference, world opinion-wise. The problem is not whether or not Iraq should have been ‘fixed’ in some way or another, it’s how the US went about it; i.e. a full-scale, unprovoked invasion in the face of objections by most of the world’s governments.

I think getting rid of Bush would give us a better reputation internationally and solve several other problems.

Was just curious if you had a cite for that. I dont think the US had most of the world government complete support, but I do not think even a quarter of the world governments where formally, or even vocally objecting.

Getting rid of Bush would have to help- I find him an absolute embarrassment and can’t even watch him on television. But I lot of people really seem to have this irrational, deep-seated hatred of Americans that is just bubbling to the surface now that it’s the hot topic. Just now I was reading some garbage about how “most Americans feed their 1-2 year old children mostly McDonalds’ fries. TRUE FACT!!!11” Blahblahblahblahblah. I’ll be the first to admit we have problems- sometimes, looking at thenews, I really don’t want to return to the US, ever- but when people are going so far as to dig up things like the theft of land from the native Americans as another American Evil, I really have to wonder what the obsession is. While some loudmouth always comes in and reinforces the Ugly American stereotype by saying “y’all are just jealous,” sometimes it really does look that way.

And just now I was looking at a post where some Brit guy was harping on our pronunciation of “aluminum.” Why, that sounds like exactly the kind of idiotic post that a Big Ignorant American would make! While this kind of crap makes me sick, it is strangely reassuring to see for myself that people elsewhere are just as stupid as we are widely held to be.

In my opinion Bush must loose the next election. Everything else hinges on this.

Bush was widely regarded as dim, thoughtless and unilateralist in most corners of the world prior to his election to the Presidency. That thinking has only entrenched itself further as his administration has, in my opinion, blundered badly in marshalling international support for Iraq. Bush is the lightening rod for that discontent. Now mind you, many hate the fact that the US can act unilaterally, but that would be another OP. It seems that many European leaders and the PM of Canada simply can not stand the man. The politics of personality are trumping the political realities of the situation.

With Bush removed from office, international relations could be stabilized and nurtured back to a more acceptable level. America would still receive plenty of vitriol for various failing of people, governments and countries around the world but the hate might be mitigated. The stabilizing of relations also may make it possible to get a more multi-lateral approach to Iraq online.

My last post is a bit unfocused, apologies. As you can see, I’m a bit annoyed.

Good point. Actually I don’t; this was my (imperfect) perception from following media reports on the controversy. I know that there were some 30 countries more or less in full support (the famous “Coalition of the Willing”), but I have not seen, and could not find in a cursory Google search, a comprehensive list of governments that officially opposed the invasion.

So I’ll withdraw the assertion, but I don’t think it makes much difference to my main point, which is that so far there seems to have been little or no real diplomatic consequence to the US action in Iraq.

Honestly? Nothing we could do right now would fully gain the US a decent reputation. Getting rid of Bush would help in the short term, sure, but the root cause is simply the fact that the US is a superpower…the SOLE superpower atm…it will draw ire like a magnet. If there was ever another major superpower that could compete directly with the US (on all levels but especially militarily), that might polarize the world like it was when the USSR was a going concern, and so that might perk up our reputation with those that side with the US. Even that will be a mixed blessing.

No, the only thing that will fully gain the US a decent reputation in the world again is if the US falls low enough that we are no longer THE superpower…or even a superpower at all. That and time. It will happen eventually, then all the whinners will be happy, and they can target the new great power with their ire and irrational comments.


No, what draws ire is that the US has no respect for any treaties it signs. Even the ones they draw up themselves.
The US screams bloody murder when anyone doesn’t play by the/their rules but thinks it’s perfectly ok for them to do so. All it takes is a little spin, demonize the target, change the meaning of a word here and there, invent an incident and everything’s fine.

People have, for a long time, been blinded by the nice causes the US propagates but the mask has gone pale. We can see right through it.

What it would take to regain respect?
Dunno, it’s hard to regain respect, once you’ve lost it.
Maybe, how about if you don’t start any wars for, say the next 10-15 years?
No CIA interference in any other countries?
No bullying or bribing?
How about you starting to show others some respect?

Think you can pull that off?

You’ll have to excuse me. I am just a fat, stupid McDonalds freedom-fry eating American, but what exactly is the negative reputation that America has, outside of stupid, petty and irrelevant bullshit or unfocused leftist outrage and all things having to do with wealth or power?

I’m curious, Space Vampire. What Utopia are you living in now that would make you never want to return to the US? Do you legitimately feel where you are now is significantly better or do you just hate of anyone thinking bad thoughts about where you live?

The so called “list” with countries that so called “supported” the US invasion was really laughable.
Mind you that even Belgium was on that list. Take in mind it was Belgium that was at the basics of the opposition in the UN against the US invasion plans.

As for answering the OP:

It’s not "the world"s "fault that the USA has lost every credit and respect.
You can indeed blame the current president and his administration for that.
They have no clue about diplomacy. They are unseen arrogant and unseen rude, even childish in their rudiness and stubborn arrogance.

I’m sorry, but the way they talked about the UN,
the fact they ignored the UN,
the comments towards nations who didn’t want to kiss their feet,
the taping of telephones of diplomats,
the spying and bribing in the pre-war period,
the threats,
the " You are with us or against us",
the denigrating “Old Europe” (and about Belgium : " The Chocolatemakers"),
the ridiculous episode of “freedom fries” …

The list of their rude stupidities is endless and is never seen before.
At some moments I had the impression I was at the Arab League where name caling is sometimes really a sport. Yet that is overthere part of the game and not taken serious, while the US government was and is extremely serious in their ongoing insults, denigrations and threats.

The USA had the world wide sympathy after the events of 9/11.
This president and administration managed to change this in world-wide contempt in no time.
You don’t need the world to blame for that. Blame those who are responsible.

So to get rid of this president and his administration is the first step.
To appoint ambassadors who don’t show the utterly arrogance to start giving orders to the government of their host land is an other one.
To tone down the arrogance is an other one.
To have diplomats who know what diplomacy really means is an other one.

And when it comes to the unfinished business:

Back down on the greed when it comes to Iraq, which means: giving the UN the rule it needs to play there (this is not going to happen)
Stop the open support of Israel even when it attacks other nations. (this is not going to happen soon)
Stop the vetoing of every resolution in the UN in an attempt to get the Israely government finally back with their feet on the ground. (this is not going to happen soon)

You know surely that not only the Arab/Muslim world is more then sick and tired with the one sided US standpoint when it comes to the Israel/Palestine issue.

By the way: Some time ago I opened a topic about the US facing the world’s contempt and if I remember well asked about the same questions as you do.
The reactions were predictable… I was virtually eaten alive.

Salaam. A

Xtisme, I completely disagree.

You fall in the trap of the “they are jealous” cryers.

It is the course of history that there are nations who rise and become powerful, and everybody knows that they also decline.
There is no reason at all to be “jealous” at that.

But there is reason for concern when the superpower is led by people who think they have the mission to rule and thus enslave the whole word in order to stay the super power.

To me this is already a sign of decline because it express not only arrogance, but also a great fear and incertitude.
If you need to throw bombs on other nations in order to secure your economy, it is a sign that you can’t rely on much else.
Salaam. A

Same thing that kids have to do in order to fit in with others: conform with what everyone else expects.

The UN is essensially a big place where countries say what they want, and by “going against the UN” it simply means that the US doesn’t do what the majority of the nations of the world want.

Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, or the US should do what the majority of the nations want. For example, I’d like to hear someone propose UN resolution condemning Palistinean terrorist attacks, and hear utter silence fall in the chamber :slight_smile:


You don’t have to answer this, but if you want: Which message board is it that you encountered these Mc Donalds comments?

Salaam. A

Ah, how true, how true . . . How I wish I lived in one of those perfect happy-peppy countries that never does anything wrong, and its oh-so-perfect leaders shower their goodness upon the world at large! Like Saudi Arabia, Korea, China, Pakistan, Russia . . .

And you Aldebaran has fallen into the “leftist crybabies” trap. You talk about threats and dropping bombs and pettiness as if America cornered the market. I assure you that every nation on earth has been guilty of this at one time or another.
That’s great that we had the world’s sympathy after 9/11, but it’s amazing how quickly such sympathy melts away when the time comes for tough action. But, I suppose it’s better to have everyone support you for the wrong reasons than to do the right thing alone.

Not sure what you are referring to, as I have not seen any official statements claiming that Belgium is or was a coalition member. According to the US State Department itself, as reported by the BBC:

The list linked below clearly includes Belgium, correctly, as being in official opposition to the Coalition:


Much as I believe - like most people (no, I’m not citing, similarly I’m not citing that the Earth is round) - that Bush Is Bad, I think the posters who stated that it essentially boils down to the superpower status are right. Americans have always, in my memory, been vaguely denigrated as stupid, now they’re just getting it worse. Indeed, it’s a miracle that the US managed to remain as popular as it did for so long. It won’t just take losing your superpower status for all this to dissipate. We lost our superpower status a looong time ago, and still aren’t exactly the global flavour of the month. Neither are the French. The Italians are fairly popular though, I think, so maybe a couple of thousand years ought to do it :).