22 December 2007

Foreign Policy is Not a Three-Word Catchphrase

This morning CNN is providing graphic evidence of why it's called the Crappy News Network. It's also providing graphic evidence that the majority of its website's viewers think that American foreign policy is so basic that it can be reduced to a perjorative campaign slogan. Feast your eyes on the "Quickpoll" that exists on the right-hand side of the main page after a little bit of scrolling:

By a nearly 4-to-1 margin, CNN readers believe that "go it alone" wraps up American foreign policy better than my mom can wrap a Christmas present. I realize that we're in the age of the 6-second soundbite, where simplicity matters more than thoroughness, and that a lot of people have been led to believe that American unilateralism is at an all-time high. But to see it all manifested so succinctly still causes me great concern. It is beyond the pale to describe a country that is the foremost promoter of free trade, which has a huge trade deficit, that has more political-economic-military alliances with other countries than you can possibly shake a stick at, that is involved in numerous international organizations--often in a leadership capacity, and so many other things that to mention all of them would require a list thousands of pages long as having a "go it alone" foreign policy. May everyone who clicks "Yes" in that poll get a terrible present under their tree on Tuesday for being so thoroughly ill-informed and simplistic.

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