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US policy towards foreign issues commented

posted on 08/02/2002: 1643 views

Abu Dhabi (WAM) A UAE English newspaper today commented on the policy being always adopted by the American administration towards foreign issues. Commenting editorially on the issue, the Dubai-based' Gulf News' said,' A well-known political ploy is to float a 'trial balloon' to see if anyone shoots it down. Politicians, usually the government, will 'leak' a proposal to determine what opposition or support there is. Being unofficial, it can be denied if it is not popular. 'If', the paper went on to say, 'it is well received, then the scheme can be adopted. Trial balloons are often floated on domestic policy, as the public tend be more interested in such issues. But they can even be used for foreign policy issues, especially if there might be a risk to citizens' life and limb. American administration float trial balloons primarily on foreign policy issues. If there plans involve sending troops into battle, then sending up trial balloons serve as a warning that something will happen that normally would not be accepted.'

'The media helps play its role in this by posing the right questions to key personnel, usually planted by the administration, so vague talk can be made, seemingly without definite plans behind them. Thus, if there is a backlash of public opinion, the administration, or the spokesman, can virtuously deny any accusations that it was the intended purpose all along. Recent trial balloons seen floating over the White House and Pentagon involve the possibility of America bringing down Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain. This has been a thorn in the side of successive American administration for over ten years. Like a sore that is worse when it is scratched, American animosity towards Iraq gets worse every time they think of Saddam.'

In comments made to the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, the American Secretary of State admitted the government was 'leaving no stone unturned' and examining a 'full range' of options to deal with Saddam. He conceded it was something America 'might have to do alone' which is an understatement, as it is apparent the European allies have no stomach to take a war to either Iraq or Iran. 'President Bush first touted the idea as part of his 'axis of evil' speech. Britain, America's staunchest ally that can more often than not see no wrong in US policy, dismissed the rhetoric as being more for domestic consumption, with elections due in November, than international policy. But, as with all trial balloons that are not shot down immediately, the concept gets repeated. Now other European partners are concerned that perhaps America is pushing for 'another chance' at getting rid of Saddam. Even France's Foreign Minister was quoted as saying that the US had a simplistic view on terrorism, rather than tackle the root causes, the situation, poverty, injustice. America has always to personalise its fight, whether it is in Noriega, as in the past, Castro then and now Saddam or Osama bin Laden. It is not the issue but the person it has to identify with. So it was ironic to hear Bush speaking on Tuesday. He chided the media for asking where bin Laden was, saying, 'He's not the issue. The issue is international terrorism. In the light of America's past endeavours, that would sound far more credible if it were so. But the American administration searches around for another foe to fight, the danger is they have only one person in their sights,' the paper concluded. (WAM)


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