Wednesday, December 12, 2012

America Against the World?

As the semester comes to a close on the topic of public diplomacy I would like to draw attention to the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. I recently came across a leftist article titled Globophobia: America Against the World, it is an OP-ED about the U.S Senate voting down the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty designed to extend the same rights disabled Americans already have to the rest of the world.

This piece quickly caught my attention because it highlighted a headline in the Yakima Herald “Senate Vote a Profile in Cowardice” The author then goes on to speak how if that’s how the people in Yakima imagine how it look to the other 114 nations that have ratified this treaty.  This brings me to the question of the importance of soft power among our United States Senate. Aren’t we supposed to be a nation that stands for giving all people an equal opportunity? If so how does it affect us and the soft power of our nation if our leaders are making decisions that fail to uphold those political values.


  1. Thank you for posting this, Vanessa. it is definitely unfortunate that the Senate is helping perpetuate this view of the U.S. by voting against a bill that could potentially advance the welfare of those struggling with disabilities.

    Although our national narrative has often focused on our role as a global leader, policy decisions such as this can harm our image abroad and even at home. U.S. soft power will only be as effective as our ability to act according to that narrative. It's not enough to speak about creating a better world. If the actions of our elected leaders don't match up with our proposed national narrative, the U.S. might find itself in a lonely position.

  2. Thank you for your post Vanessa. I agree with you that the U.S. Senate voting down the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities is sad to here. However, the title of the article you read "Globophobia: America Against the World" highlights that the U.S. govt. is shying from being bogged down by international norms.

    Helping to create the United Nations (UN) after WWII, the U.S. understood the importance in retaining a seat and contributing to world affairs and global interests. However, over the last sixty years there has been retraction in the U.S. support in international organizations. For example, while a member of the UN, the U.S. has remained reserved in following UN clauses. Just last week the ITC (International Telecommunications Union), UN specialized agency, held a 12-day conference reviewing a new treaty that would provide more equal rights to the maintenance of the Internet. Viewed negatively, as an agreement that would restrain freedom in Internet control, the U.S. chose not to ratify it. This was also true when the ICC (International Criminal Court) was created back in 2002, to prosecute those guilty of crimes against genocide, humanity, and even war crimes. Pres. Bush would not ratify the ICC treaty in order to protect American citizens from being prosecuted for acts committed during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    We are a nation that supports "liberty, justice, and equality for all" are words that can be found in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Amendments, and even in the Pledge of Allegiance. In this regard, yes we are suppose to be a nation that stands for giving all people an equal opportunity. However, the U.S. Senate views these liberties contained by international norms, and in counteracting it has chosen to remain a non-participant. Going against a soft power image is not necessarily hurting the U.S. image, but it also is not helping it either.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks for sharing intercom security system with us, which is very beneficial information as user point of view and please keep sharing your info with us.

    Alarm Security Vancouver | Intercom security Vancouver