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Political Science

October 29, 2012. POL327 Break It you buy it- Iraq.. when you get rid of existing authority, your responsible for the area after. Crisis effecting US foreign policy- European Union problems, region where the US has lots of investments, affects the US economy. European banks, American banks are intertwined. Climate Change: first time since 1984 debate didn’t mention about the environment. Foreign policy doesn’t win elections, Obama moved so close to the centre, that Romney would have to agree or go to the right to the point he would not get elected. This is why Romney changed his position, to try to paint himself as a moderate instead of an extreme right winger. Public Opinion: doesn’t affect output of foreign policy, but affects who gets elected as president. Why it’s not a good guide: very changeable, provide poor guide to policy makers, unstructured, incoherent. Meaning the role of the elites in the US, is to. Ideology: apparent in the debates, central point functions within a liberal mainstream. Extremes of left and right are absent, most voters are located in the liberal mainstream, this is what presidents are competing over. Each of the candidates paint each other as extremes, Obama has done its best to paint Romney as a right wing extremist, ultra-elite who is likely not to care about middle America. Romney tries to downplay radical aspects of his platform, step away from comments made before. American political culture: most stable aspect of how the perception of the public. Political culture rests on socialization, most deeply in those most socialized, meaning those elites (pickled in the American culture than those less educated). American political culture by the dominate role of images of the city and the hill. The US is the example to the rest of the world. Model and magnet to the rest of the world to a democratic system. These dominate belief of “city on the hill” which should always lead, another myth of innocence (US unlike European counterparts, not weighed down by corruption, monarchies, feudalism. Began on a blank slate of an empty continent of Europeans fleeing to set up a more just society.. no previous example that constitution could be based on) most Americans see constitution as a higher law and look at framers not as rich people who own slaves who wanted to protect their own interests, giving the constitution a higher power. The US is a country of innocence, is myth in the common sense of falsehood. Not a blank slate, occupied previously by native groups prior to arrival of Europeans. Most of those were eliminated, by today’s standards by genocide. 2 myth- banetholinse – foreign policy guided by morality. Realist think foreign policy is guided by their self-interest morality would decrease their security. US is sharp contrast, interacts with foreign territory it does so it basic principles of “morality” to liberate foreign countries from oppressive rule. Not reality- whether this is the case or not, it has to explain itself to its citizens. Hard for Obama to get in debate and to say we didn’t support the Arab spring, we reluctantly accepted Mubarak stepped down, only when military turned against them, we were most interest in putting his minister in power to keep them close as possible. We wanted to stop Arab spring by throwing support of allies of Saudi Arabia. Much closer, than saying they supported the Arab Spring. Hilary Clinton said Mubarak was a close friend. Whether you support protests, depends on if you think they will be successful. Idea that US embraced the Arab Spring is wrong, but Obamas comments at the debates are wrong. Myth of execptionalism: used to describe exceptional all rules that need to apply to all the states, don’t apply to the US due to them being the global hegemony. Although UN charter states sovereign of states is held, while the US wouldn’t endorse the idea governments don’t have to respect the sovereignty of their neighbors, the US has the right to ignore this (Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Iraq). Exceptionalism, discussion of political culture of technological superiority, succeeds where others have failed. What does all of that have to do with American foreign policy as a whole? Solipsism: The best and only correct way of doing things. Belief of Americans- in the American way, the best and only way of doing things. Belief of US way is only correct has two important implications a) enables ignorance, among country leaders and own domestic public. Failure of Vietnam War, American’s new nothing of Vietnam, no administration who could have passed a course of Vietnamese history. There was numerous experts in the administration, but they were never consulted because they’re knowledge was not deemed to be relevant. Solipsism if you believe the US is a model for the rest of the world, the implication is the rest of the world is populated by frustrated Americans, but due to their old institutions or backwards education. Other cultures don’t have anything to teach the US, very little interest in other culture if we can’t gain anything. Level of ignorance not limited to general public, but to leadership of the US. Foreign policy experience not required for the job, often seen as disqualifying candidates, if you have extensive theory in foreign policy… period since ww2 occupied white house, Truman was vice president came to white house with little foreign experience selected by Roosevelt. He was selected to balance the ticket and vote. Eisenhower had experience in military not foreign affairs. Kennedy was a short lived senator, little experience in foreign affairs. Johnston was good leader famous for Johnston treatment that opposed his view and made people vote into the way he did, master in domestic politics, civil rights act through congress. Little or no interest in foreign policy.. Ambushed by foreign policy, cost of Vietnam War made it hard for domestic programs to be implemented. Lack of knowledge in foreign policy made decisions for Vietnam was made by those around him, who were more knowledgeable. Fits description ..experts in one thing getting elected, but surrounded by bureaucrats who are knowledgeable. Nixon: main background was domestic politics, surrounded by knowledgeable those around him. Ford: no experience outside house of representatives.. zero experience. Carter: previously nuclear scientist, no knowledge in foreign policy, was influenced by those around him. Herbert Bush: head of CIA during Ford administration, made foreign policy center peace.. Bush invaded Panama launched gulf war in Middle East, both of them were highly successful from American perspective. Lost the next election, danger of becoming in foreign policy, lost to Bill Clinton to slogan “it’s the economy stupid”. Most Americans not concerned with foreign policy, you leave you vulnerable. Clinton: focused on economy, governor of small state. George W Bush: governor of Texas, famous for chicken hawks. Have never participated in military, Chaney, Bush didn’t serve in war due to connections in high places but not reluctant to send people in harm’s way. Bush’s father got him in Texas national guard, you were not sent to Vietnam, was a pilot but was never claimed to be seen. Obama: spent childhood in Indonesia, most experience has been in domestic. What does this mean? Impact on foreign policy on American foreign policy = 6 tendencies. 1) strong tendency grossly over simplify foreign policy issues. Example= Ronald Reagan who reframed the cold war issues as being confronting the evil empire, Bush claim of state of union that America confronted axis of evil, consisted of North Korea, Iraq, Iran,
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