As the Bush era comes to a close, many outside the United States are hoping that a new president will revive America's standing in the world. For Bronwen Maddox, America needs to do a better job winning support abroad, but not at the expense of its central values. "There are some actions for which it should apologize, but there is a limit beyond which it should concede nothing," writes the columnist in the Times of London.
Maddox lists six suggestions that would improve America's post-Iraq image:
- Cooperate, just a bit. Bush has improved as his presidency wound down, but his unilateralism had already angered the world.
- Stop demonizing China. Trade's the best bet to get Beijing to modernize.
- Stay engaged in Iraq. Whatever happens with troops, America is the only party that can change the Middle East.
- Talk to Iran. Bush isolationism has been a colossal failure.
- Shut Guantanamo. It does far more harm than good, as does the meaningless phrase "war on terror."
- Let Europe know who's boss. The US and EU need each other, but their interests are not the same.