Monday, November 07, 2011

The US, Chile, and the UN

There is more or less constant criticism of the United States for not paying enough attention to Latin America. All too often, this is boiled down in a simplistic manner to delaying the ratification of trade agreements. The vast majority of such claims are overblown. Much more important, and much less remarked upon in the media, is simply how the U.S. government uses strong-arm tactics that alienate even its own allies.

Take Chile. It is a close ally, committed to capitalism, resistant to populism, you name it. But when it comes to foreign policy, both the Bush and Obama administrations treat it like a child. In 2003, Chile refused to vote in favor of use of force in Iraq, and Donald Rumsfeld made threats, which were criticized by the left and the right.

Now in 2011, Chileans both of the right (even the far-right UDI) and the left are complaining about the Obama administration's "stick out my tongue, take my marbles and go home" approach to UNESCO, which made the Palestinians a member.

If the entire ideological spectrum in Chile criticizes U.S. strong-arm tactics, then you have a perfect example of how the U.S. is failing in Latin America. With certain policy decisions, the U.S. is isolating itself from the rest of the region, and that has ripple effects to other policy areas. Why follow a country that will react so strongly when you disagree?


ConsDemo 8:53 AM  

More sacrifices on behalf of our so-called ally Israel. In addition to spilling American blood and treasure, other nations are alienated. Don't tell this to the US Congress or the Republican Presidential candidates, though!

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