What Actions Will Promote Better Understanding Between the U.S. and Asia?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 14, 2009
Lanterns in Yuyuan Garden Shanghai China

A half century ago, Asia was frozen in a cold war and wracked by poverty. As this century begins, Asia is a global economic power and a region of vital importance to the United States.

Today, Secretary Clinton said she would work with our partners in Asia to strengthen the positive transformations of the past half-century. The Secretary encouraged all Americans to provide outreach and commitments in an effort to improve the lives of both the American people and those living in Asia today.

What actions will promote better understanding between the U.S. and Asia?

Comments

Comments

Leo
February 17, 2009

Leo writes:

I think Hilary should get on the band wagon and tell President Obama, that Nancy Pelosi should stop wasting taxpayers money by not using our government planes for her own personal use!!!!!!!!!!

Arnie
|
New Jersey, USA
February 17, 2009

Arnie in New Jersey writes:

The most important actions to take will be to substantially increase diplomatic effectiveness. Through breakthroughs in diplomatic effectiveness we will be better able to gain the cooperation we need on a host of challenges. Ex: Human rights, the Tibetan occupation, the trade imbalance, the PRC-Taiwan issue and the complications with North Korea.

We at the Organization for International Cooperation are advocating the use of extraordinary programs that can make diplomacy infinoitely more effective.

Muhammad
|
Pakistan
February 17, 2009

Muhammad in Pakistan writes:

I feel the U.S.A. should work to improve the education,health, and justice in Asia. The U.S.A. should work with the people and not with one man in Asia. The U.S.A. congress should pass to allow more visitors from Asia. The U.S.A. teachers should come and teach schools in Asia.

B. A.
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2009

Aidara in New York writes:

First and foremost, both parties must have a clear understanding of the issues that cause confusion or dischord in the relationship between U.S. and Asia. This requires clear, concise communication regarding what each sides wants, expects, and will not tolerate. Second, both sides need to single out what they want (or don't want) to achieve through their relationship with one another and how their past interactions have undermined or supported the realization of their goals. Both sides should brainstorm better ways of communicating with one another and achieveing their goals. Self reflection is of the utmost importance because we are all figuring things out as we move along in life, we can always do better. Third, while clarifying misconceptions and stating intentions, both sides must be knowledgable of their common goals and rely on this mutual interest as a means of maintaining balance in their relationship. Are both against nuclear weapons? human rights violations? genocide? They must be clear about ways in which both parties can support one another and how one party undermines the efforts of the other to achieve a goal. Instead of directly threatening the other party in response to this set back, each side should offer the other an alternative and state how that alternative would help that country achieve one of their goals. Both sides must inform the other of areas in which they are willing to negotiate and areas in which they are not. By informing the other group of its boundaries, it allows for a more defined relationship in which both parties may interact in a more harmonious manner. Lastly, both parties need to recognize that misunderstandings are normal and inevitable in any human interaction. It's the way in which each party deals with clarifying issues that arise that will either strengthen or weaken the relationship.

Christian
|
Florida, USA
February 17, 2009

Christian in Florida writes:

As with any diplomatic relationship, there must exist understanding for the positions that countries hold. For there to be success and solution to international disputes, there must be room for dialogue. The United States of America under a new administration and a brilliant new Secretary of State have professed to this principle, and will hopefully abide by it.

DennisCunningham p.
|
Indiana, USA
February 17, 2009

Dennis C. in Indiana writes:

Secretary Clinton, Do the American people have to be concerned about President Obama's remarks to Asia that the U.S is going to stop imports of foreign goods and start to produce as much of the products it can here in the U.S. Will the America People have to fear for retaliation because the President wants everything to begin to be become American made products? Can you see this is as being true? Due to the availability of easy, fast Internet shopping, I was told all the malls and department stores across the United States are going out of business? Most of the products were all from foreign countries, none produced in us factories. The only electronic LCD TV I found produced in California is a VIZIO flat screen HDTV that is mostly sold at WAL-MART. The Asians will not be very happy with the Presidents plan. They might start more problems; Look how they all of a sudden flashed to the Americans a photo of a NUCLEAR SUBMARINE with a caption under it saying that it could DESTROY A WHOLE CONTINENT. Do you think China should be using such scar tactics against the People of America?

We the People in the U.S. have had enough. WE have had to put up with our government using MODERN MONEY MECHANICS to over tax us since the inception of the federal reserve bank, To high inflation to the point of putting every business that was left in the us to almost bankruptcy, Stealing average hard working families 401k's Now deflation is about to hit this economy 10 fold worse than ever in all time against every American citizen. What do you believe your entire cabinet really knows about the truth of America? Where and what happened to all of are sense of protection? With every President's cabinet past and present turning to War or Blaming other countries for our leaders not stepping up and leading this Great Nation to some kind of better hope of a future here in the U.S. and not thinking or seeing our country is crumbling up before our very own faces. Can you help America lose this feeling and come home and see for your own eyes that we need to fix our own country within and stop thinking that we have to always fix the worlds problems? We need to start at home and begin building new roads and bridges. Not to just sell them out to foreign countries with a 99 year lease. Taking the easy was out by selling our own infrastructures, and then putting a coin operated toll both every 5 miles at double the price. Not to mention the rail roads, steel mills, landmarks, buildings and uncountable land plots to foreigners, everything has been taken over.

Why can't our government see that our basic needs should be fixed and placed here in the U.S.A.? Stop the get rich schemes and put Americans back to work. Stop these day traders that wreck the Stock Markets and Money systems of the world and give people a feeling of comfort again by letting them keep their investments in long term companies and be reassured that their investment will be there when they retire. NOT TO BE RIPPED OFF, and get some sob story to be explained how were sorry but your investment is gone and we can't help you! But the person that had the master plan to separate you from your money, health and welfare will now have to be protected better then The President Of The United States because he has all the money that was hid where even the CIA,FBI,NSA,HOMELAND SECURITY or The Trusted Banks, Central Banks, U.S. TREASURY can or will find a trace because their all getting paid to look the other way, don't ask and don't tell. I think this is the most ridiculous thing our government has allowed to happen to its citizens. They deserve better than that after a long life time of putting extra hours and painstaking savings plans, here and their just to have some happiness for achieving some of their financial goals of doing the right thing saving and thinking about the future. China and Asia was supported by the United States.

DENNISCUNNINGHAM P.
|
Indiana, USA
February 17, 2009

Dennis C. in Indiana writes:

We took that country out of the Stone Age and put our own people in their place. This in my eyes was too many acts of Treason, by too many people that we the People of the United States put our honor, trust and faith into. What happened to the word Honesty, our entire world has lost it I was told. Can you see or identify how we can fix the United States, and not make us think it will be chopped up it to many Republics and small countries within these borders? Do you honestly think China or the rest of Asia cares about the United States?

We have been taught that they have been in existence for more than 3000 years. WE INVENTED PROGRESS. History shows us that we designed unbelievable and unrenowned products in less than 65 years. The U.S. Engineers and Workers and People did and do what was necessary to be the unbelievable, and then we just gave it away. Instead of continuously being the Best at every aspect of Science, Math, Read, Comprehension, and Human Morality, People and Government began to changed all BIG Business OUT and AWAY from America.

I think you know where China and Asia are having the plans and of staying in their biggest ongoing Industrial Revolution. I think that Asia and China will do what ever it takes. I can foresee China and Asia will be on the way to be next going after all the possible Oil and New Weapon Technology like I mentioned thermonuclear power to keep going. I think they will try to possibly take over the world. I think the Asian people like our people do not have the total ability and understanding of how an explosion will ruin the world. We need to try to properly educate the entire world about mass destruction. Nuclear Weapons mean total destruction. They scare me and they scare the entire World.

I gained positive incite to nuclear bomb effects by a simple hand held effects computer, based on data from the booklet of the Effects of Nuclear Weapons. I began reading and leafing through this old book from 1962. It was prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. This book should have been given to every person, in every school at every level of training, to know how serious these weapons of mass destruction are and can be. I was first exposed to only a book and a movie The Day After, in high school, which I did not believe and thought it was all fake Hollywood. I do not think people have the slightest inclination of the absolute destruction that will occur. Can you present this fact to the World by Video or News Stations World Wide?

I just found a web site that provides people with software for-ipcTv-that has 6,000 TV channels world wide and 12,000 radio stations in all languages spoke in every country, in the world. A person can also get Google translator software for free. It will translate most languages. Through this software link a person with Broadband Internet can take use and see many different people, societies, and cultures at the touch of a button. Why is our government in the stone age with respect to this technology, We are wasting Quadrillions of dollars trying to get this new HDTV up and it is failing to work and it is out dated and a big waste of money. You could use this wasted money rebuilding America. Can't you somehow present the facts that it does mean that Weapons of Mass Destruction (NUCLEAR WEAPONS) can and will destroy Continents and if not the entire Planet Earth.

Secretary Clinton, can you try to go again and slowly see and hear exactly all the true problems and all walks of life in America. I can go on and on. Please, Help us all Secretary Clinton, Tour the U.S.A. cities small and large to the north, south, east and west. Try to even see how hard hit your own country is being hit economically, socially, mentally and physically minute by minute with out even the use of weapons of mass destruction. Thank You, for your time Secretary Clinton

Ann W.
|
Colorado, USA
February 17, 2009

Ann W. in Colorado writes:

The U.S., international community and regional Asian nations must work to bring economic development to Afghanistan and set a time table for ending the occupation of that country. I believe the U.S. and NATO must stop bombing the border regions of Pakistan/Afghanistan because the murder of civilians is only exacerbating radicalism of the general population. We must also work hard to end border disputes between Afghanistan and Pakistan and settle the question of Pashtun nationalism. Pakistan must no longer feel insecure and threatened by India and the U.S./NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

Quinn N.
|
Connecticut, USA
February 17, 2009

Quinn N. in Connecticut writes:

First, I would like to extend my sincere well-wishes to Secretary Clinton as she leads the State Department into a new era. The relationship between Asia and the United States eroded immensely during the past eight years. This relationship can be rekindled through a new program of diplomacy and vast cultural and political exchange. We need to reexamine our relationship and understanding of the Asian continent. America needs to realize that her interests are deeply intertwined with those of the Asian continent. Secretary Clinton is the best qualified person to rekindle and foster a new era of understanding and respect for the Asian continent.

Ole
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

fear has big eyes, especially fear of 'the other side' located beyond iron curtain (or perhaps, today you could call it an aluminum, or stained-glass curtain, or juts iron curtain-light). for all its growith, which may very well have come to a stalling now, China has only 20% or so of its population enjoying the pleasures of civilized way of life, with the rest still miserabel and risking greater miseyr over current crisis, which may by the way create dangers to the regime. let's not make Commie China look stronger than it deserves, and rather approach it realistically. as James Friedman has recently said, for american citizens, crisis means problems with their 401k's, for the chinese, it means malnutrition. if China wants to recover and progress further, if will have to make choice to side with the US, UE, UN on all major international and domestic issues, rather than keep obstructing our agenda and present themselves as supposed beacons of stability and success, which they're not

Ole
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

i'm sorry, but i gotta take issue with Dear Ann W. from Colorado, for we're not occupiers in Afghanistan, but liberators, and we don't bomb civilians on purpose, unlike our enemies who hide among them and set them up to become collateral victims of our actions, subsequently blowing 'american crimes' out of proportion in their propaganda. if anything, we should do better PR with local peoples, but at the same time we must not consider ourselves unrighteous in this cinflict. we helped Afghans fight USSR, then watched on as Taliban came into existence, we were ready to cooperate with them, and what's happened to Afghanistan is wholly their fault, not ours in the least. winning over citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan is a must, but beating purselves on chest endlessly, begging for forgiveness from entire world, is wrong and counterproductive. I agree that Pakistan's sensitive to India's policieas, and I myself commented in another topic on how to nring end to Indo-Pakistani conflict; but NATO presence is not the problem, it's the answer to it. after all, who else can possibly take on opium empire there, among other factors of instability?

I also don't see last 8 years as especially harmful to our overall standing in Asia. we've had Saddam overtwhorn, Lebanon ridden of Syrian presence, Iranian students taking to demonstrations with "Death to dictator' slogans, referring to their so-called president; nuclear treaty with India; and we're still friends with Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines etc. aren't we? of course Secretary Clinton is not Secretary Rice, and most definitely President Obama is not President Bush, but there's got to be clear understanding on part of those forces that don't cooperate with demands of international community or respect general human values, that they will suffer consequences for their policies, including possible military action. "All options should be on the table". Without clear and present sticj, carrot alone in geopolitics doesn't do much

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 17, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ole, I would just add some food for thought to what you said to Ann, and offer a factoid or two:

410 U.S. spec. opps and CIA laying targeting coodinates for the U.S. air force to help the "northern alliance" kick the Taleban out of Afghanistan was not U.S. "liberating" Afghans....that's Afghans liberating themselves with a little help from their friends.

Occupation is a very poor choice of words since the Soveriegn and freely elected government of Afghanistan considers U.S. and NATO allies as invited and welcome guests.

I would further suggest Ann take a walk through Swat valley and discover who Pakistan's real enemy is.

Valeria
|
California, USA
February 17, 2009

Valeria C. in California writes:

Madame Secretary Clinton:

Trade between the U.S. and Asia is a good thing for both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Also, the low price of products allow many to afford goods that they might not otherwise be able to buy.

However, given the recent lead and melamine scares in Chinese-made products, I would like to see more crosswalking between FDA regulations and Chinese regulations for products entering the United States.

I look forward to following your trip in Asia and other foreign visits that have yet to come.

Sincerely,

Valeria C.

onur
|
Turkey
February 17, 2009

Onur in Turkey writes:

First of all, they should vigorously decide for enhancing bileteral relations.

U.S.A. and the West have to promoto their role throughout the Central Asia where is still Russian effect exist. U.S.A. must sign bileteral aggreement with the Central Asian states on various matters in order to decrease Russian influence. But we observe that U.S.A. has lost its influence in the region day by day. Manas militarybase is closed by Krgzistan. U.S.A. must collobrate her power with Turkey and try to be effective in the region towards Turkey. Turkey has an essential role because they have deep ethnic and racial links with Central Asian states. U.S.A. must use this link and move together with Turkey for being effective throughout the Asia and must decrease Russian influence without resent them.

Ann W.
|
Colorado, USA
February 17, 2009

Ann W. in Colorado writes:

@ Eric and Ole -- You are not looking through the eyes of the civilians nor the governments/military in Afghanistan and Pakistan when you claim that the U.S. is a "liberator". U.S. foreign policy in the region is of serious concern to both these countries as well as its neighbors, who do not welcome a permanent U.S./NATO force in Afghanistan. The Bush administration did nothing to improve security, governance or justice in Afghanistan, the people do not trust the government or its institutions,and there will be no legitimate elections in December 2009 because of corruption and insecurity.

Pakistan continues to manipulate the Islamic and Pashtun militias in the border areas in order to destabilize Afghanistan because they are most afraid of India and its growing influence in the region, all the while trying to remain allied to the U.S.and NATO. Pakistan sees the U.S. as using Pakistan for its own purposes and they're right: the U.S. has welcomed India as a nuclear partner, while it continues to decry Pakistan's and Iran's nuclear ambitions. U.S. foreign policy is hypocritical and blind to regional realities. President Obama continues to send in bombs and troops when so much more diplomacy, development and nation-building is needed. The U.S. is being played by Pakistan,too, and our soldiers will kill and be killed as a result. But you go right on believing that the U.S. is the mythological savior of the world, spreading peace and democracy like rose petals. You'll see where it gets us: more terrorism and death, less security within our own borders, and a bunch more money down the drain. Like we can afford that.

Ole
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

Eric, thanks for support, and Onur, I in turn support all that you just said, although it might be noted that personally I have been a little frustrated that Turkey itself has not moved quick enough to take up on opportunities that Soviet Union's collapse had presented, in Caucasus as well as Central Asia. moreofer that U.S.A,'s not been directly present in the region for that long, essentially only after 9/11, and in that time, we already saw revolution in Kyrgyzstan and near-revolution in Uzbekistan, precisely because of its relationship with those people, who mostly are Turkic and all are muslim, it could serve as a great example for them to follow. by the way, it's interesting to note that current leadership of your country is islamist, yet pro-western. that goes to show that political islam may be just as acceptable a movement within demoracy, as Chirtian conservative movement in our country, Christian Democrats, Socialists etc. in Europe, ot Jewish religious parties in Israel. there are enough reasonable people among muslims, including those who base their political philosophy on their faith. nithing suggests that islam is less compatible with democracy than any other religion or ideology. it's those hijacking, perverting and speculating on islam that are our enemies. i have been saying for a while now, that Al-Qaeda, or Hamas, are not Sunnis, nor is Hezbolla a Shiite party-- they're just criminal. Our allies include shiites of Iraq, and Sunnis of Turkey, Lebanon, Central Asia etc. and it should be noted, that such once fashistic entities, as Saddam's Baath, or Slobo's Serbian Socialist party, are today members of democratic political landscape of their countries -- in my opinion, precisely because they once were hit hard, and realized they needed to abandon their criminal past, stop destroying their own countries, and accept a role within projects presented by U.S. had we not bombed Serbia in 1999, or invaded Iraq in 2003, for all the painfulness of those actions, those countries today would've been still under the rule of Slobo and Saddam, two of the most discusting mass murderers of the last 2-3 decades. force needs at least to be made an argument along with dyplomatic approach, then perhaps Iranian mullahs or the North Korean madman will come to their senses before it'll be too late. a thug can be reformed, but only if he realizes that not opting to reform, will cost him dearly. we should not forget about this often-taught lesson of history

if I may express a small point on rather European-related topic, but still concerning a nation traditionally thought of as Asian, namely above mentioned Turkey, i want to call on Secretary Clinton and President Obama to support in every way its current government's bid for EU membership. EU has a chance to be a bridge entity, uniting different faiths, cultures, civlizations and regions all based on common values, and such opportunity must not be wasted. when this topic comes up in near future, in discussions with such leaders as President Sarkozy, who's now rather skeptical to Turkey' bid, I hope US, while not a member of EU, would use its influence in it to lobby for Turley. and for such countries as Ukraine and Georgia, as weel.

Ole
|
New York, USA
February 18, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

Ann, if Obama's too much of a hawk to you, or to those civilians who you presume to support Taliban and distrust U.S., then who would possibly be a real dove and a true diplomat? Kucinich, Ron Paul? who do we need to have as president, who would simply pull American presence out of every hot spot of the world, thus accomodating everyone allegedly dissatisfied with U.S. policies? and most importantly, would it help in any way?

U.S.A. puts India over Pakistan? well, i don't remember U.S.A. protesting Indian nuclear status any less than Pakistan's, moreover there wasn't whole lot we could do about it, anyway. let me remind you that it was USA that helped Pakistan stave off Soviet advances in the region, U.S.A. that hunted after Aidid when his thugs murdered Pakistani peacekeepers, U.S.A. that has provided huge amounts of aid to Pakistani army, etc. noone ever said nuclear India was more acceptable than nuclear Pakistan, it's always been lamented that those countries had to resort to that; but there is surely difference between them and Iranian dictatorship trying to obtain nuclear bomb, for the mullahs have vowed openly to destroy a sovereign, UN-recognized and originated state, execute and/or endorse religious and political violence, and stir trouble in neighboring countries. Pakistan and India, thankfully, have not stooped to such lows, even over their Kashmir rivalry.

yes, i believe U.S. is 'saviour' of the world, and not mythological but quite real. all history of last century or so, shows that when U.S. actively carries out its leadership role, without reservations as to its cost or legitimacy, it succeeds. and actually, the sooner that role is taken up, the lesser the cost. it did so in West Europe post--WW2, in Southeast Asia at the same time, has proven so even in Iraq and Serbia. the answer to South-Central Asia troubles is more, not less of U.S. engagement. when our troops peg back terrorists, and make friends with locals, that will also set up stage for economic, social and other improvements. the problem is, in a country like Afghanistan, it's much easier to overthrow old regime, than establish firmly new one, especially when you try to adhere to values and rules we declare and support. it's a hell of a tough task, but by no means impossible, and rather than run away from it, we need to tackle it. it's very tough, to balance Afghan tribalism, consevratism, traditionalism with democratic values, relative liberalism of new government, market economy etc.-- but it needs to be done. to improve the plight of Afgans, to root out corruption, defeat terrorism etc., a new push is incumbent. whom do you suggest we engage in diplomacy with: Osama himself, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri? yeah, like that will help bring peace to that land, or make life of ordinary Afganis better. see, if police in some place don't do their job too well, the answer is to analyze mistakes, correct them and reinvigorate that police force, rather than just take it out of the 'troubled area' and leave it up to criminals. i see things precisely from the standpoint of ordinary people of Afganistan, Pakistan, India and any other country, who want end to violence and misery around them. But having grown up in USSR, as one such ordinary citizen of a criminal state, I can rather appreciate America that wants to extend me a helping hand, even if it is an armed one, than America that fears to get itself mudded by difficulties and thus refrains from taking active role. there is a way out of the vicious circle you described, but it is not through overcaution, and it does require some forceful action at times.

Average J.
|
Canada
February 17, 2009

A.J. in Canada writes:

I think it essential that we forgo the perpetual American practice of do as we say not as we do. To foster a better relationship with Asia we must be able to find common ground on challenging and increasingly complex issues such as climate change and the economic crisis. The hardships of these challenges are compounded by the fact that they are far reaching and will require the cooperation of not only Asia and United States but of the international community as whole. In addition, America approach towards Asia shouldn't include the anti- war stratergy but the pro -peace.

Ann
|
Colorado, USA
February 18, 2009

Ann in Colorado writes:

@ Ole, President Obama is the one I voted for and continue to support, and I still do not agree with the bombing of the border areas. No, I do not believe that killing is ever the answer, so I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on that issue. My mother grew up in Germany during WWII; she lived through the fear and the bombing and the horror of the Nazi regime. My German grandfather was a resister and risked his own life to defy the regime. My father was a U.S. army soldier and was wounded in France. So I am not from a family that runs away from a fight. I did, however, grow up in the 60's, and I have read enough since then to know that the U.S. was as wrong to go into Southeast Asia as it was to go into Iraq. The U.S. has made many mistakes since 9/11 and I am fearful that Obama will continue some of the wrong-headed policies of the previous administration and Afghanistan will continue to suffer.

As for Pakistan, they are in a fierce competition with India to develop energy security and strategic partnerships with China and Iran and the United States. U.S. policy cannot achieve its goals with bombing and soldiers. More and even more resources must be put into helping Afghanistan and Pakistan and India and the rest of South Central Asia solve its trans-national political, economic and energy problems. There is so much distrust among all the nations in that region, and in spite of your optimism, I do not believe there is much trust of the United States either. Nor do I believe that the history of United States foreign policy in my lifetime gives us much to be optimistic about. I don?t believe in war, bombs, killing, and force. There are better, more sane ways to do business. I do appreciate your point of view, Ole, and I sense from your comments that you might appreciate mine, or at least tolerate them. Thanks.

Ole
|
New York, USA
February 18, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

well, somehow when U.S.A. finally starts standing up for its values, acting in consistence with them and actively espousing them throughout the world, the same people that previously accused us of hypocrisy, start accusing us of imperialism, rather than supporting us in trying to expand the sphere of freedom. instead of 'better late than never', its 'blame America, whether it's too heavy-handed, or not involved enough'. we sure must do our part, but our 'partners' need to do theirs, as well. we need to seek common ground with China, for instance, but also remind China that it needs to seek common ground with us, perhaps even more so, for we can find a replacement for their cheap products, but they hardly can replace American market. and they also need to wake up to the climate change issues, to which they contribute like no other country, but still refuse to address it. at some point, tougher stance not only on political, but on purely economic and ecological issues, may be needed, if softer one doesn't land fruits.

as for pro-peace, sometimes, unfortunately, the more hard-line stance is truly pro-peace, while the more conciliatory one encourages aggression. just look at Axis Powers in WW2, or Russia this past August. contrary to what, for instance, Mr. Buchanan says, i believe western democracies' mistake was not to confront Germany or Japan, but to not do it sooner. same with Russia today, same with Iran, North Korea, and quite possibly with China

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 18, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ann in Colorado -- It's a little presumptous of you to assume how I see things, since you really know nothing about me.

That said, here's a "lesson from history" and an "exit option" that will help educate you.

http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entires/q_afghanistan_and_pakistan/

This was an Afghan/American effort from get-go, and the letters I included in this thread were a distillation of a month long, almost non-stop discussion between myself and a long time friend who just happens to be the late Zahir Shah's Godson. A fusion if you will of common purpose in extreme crisis for both our peoples.

We live in a world that defies probability, satellites collide in orbit, subs bump into each other in the open ocean, and a few letters may seem improbable to change the course of human events, but stranger things have happened.

When you've walked a mile in my shoes dear, then you may start to really understand what this is all about, so too I think a path with heart is best travelled with a receptive mind.

enjoy...

Laura
|
Texas, USA
February 18, 2009

Laura in Texas writes:

Will you help the people who petitioned the Gov. in China during the Olympics? They all went to hard labor camps after the Olympics for protesting that they lost their homes for the games? These are elderly people who will not survive hard labor .This is genocied! Please bring up human rights in China and these poor elderly people sentenced to hard labor camps for protesting peacfully .I want to know their fate? Don't you? Americans should of boycotted these games. These are the invisable people who no one cares about ,just like the 500 people in the U.S.A. who will die TODAY all beacuse they have no health care.

ole
|
New York, USA
February 18, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

ha-ha, the previous post is funny:) on one hand, i too thought we ought to boycott those olympics, and by the way, what happened to their grandiose Stadium is a shiny example of fakiness of today's China. on the other, i don't hink anyone's dying in U.S.A. because of not having 'healthcare', after all no hospital can lwafully refuse to treat anyone for an emergency in this country, regardless of their citizenship or insurance/lack thereof, so the author must've meant something different. and in any case, this is not the Surgeon General's blog ;)

Kay
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California, USA
February 18, 2009

Kay in California writes:

I believe the key to better understanding with Asia or other parts of the world is people diplomacy. The International Visitor Leadership Program ought to be expanded in order to have more future leaders of other countries visit the U.S. and witness first hand why we do things the way we do as well as where we are coming from. When the foreigners truly understand us and the U.S. becomes a part of their personal memory, I think that they would do everything in their power to be a good ambassador of the U.S. in their own country.

A great example is how many returned Peace Corps volunteers become very attached to the countries they served and continue to promote causes related to the countries for the rest of their lives. It takes personalized experiences to understand and take to their hearts what seems so foreign to them.

Bumbac M.
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Romania
February 19, 2009

Bumbac in Romania writes:

Madam Secretary Clinton, Despite all the World Economic Crisis, the World Nations tight related against terrorism, poverty and... corruption!!! I welcome your Nomination as a State Secretary of U.S., since you have a strong experience as you and President Clinton, ruled in White House. We are looking forward you to visit us in Romania this year. Sincerely, Bumbac

Wendy
|
Canada
February 20, 2009

Wendy in Canada writes:

Maybe if the terrorists within stopped pumping the Pacific Rim of Terror full of U.S. dollars by supporting open source software in the production of Hollywood films and home videos, we could resist the temptation to get angrier. Delta.

J
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California, USA
February 20, 2009

J in California writes:

Secretary Clinton must demonstrate to the Chinese that the U.S. is committed to promoting equitable trade with the rising superpower. She must also express her interest in supporting Chinese efforts to be a responsible stakeholder in world organizations and peace efforts, etc.

Jonny
|
Indonesia
February 20, 2009

Jonny in Indonesia writes:

Symbolism is important for Asia and what you are doing by visiting Asia showed a very good symbol to Asians that albeit U.S. is an absolutely big and strong country yet you do care about Asians. Remember when you do good things for Asians, they will never forget them in their entire life and they will even try to pay them back twice or more. You are very "smart" with your "smart power" approach. Asia has already seen a new and better approach. When Asia is more developed, U.S. will be more secure.

Congratulations.

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