How Should Western Hemisphere Nations Leverage Combined Resources To Address Shared Challenges?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 18, 2009
Fifth Summit of the Americas Heads of State

President Obama and Secretary Clinton are attending the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which Trinidad and Tobago is hosting from April 17-19, 2009. In advance of the Summit, President Obama committed his Administration to “renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and common security.”

How should Western Hemisphere nations leverage combined resources (economic, political and judicial) to address shared challenges?

Comments

Comments

Wendy
|
California, USA
April 18, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

I feel so strongly that it is time for our hemisphere to garden our future together. If we applaud and uplift the splendid human resources and best practices in all our countrys, there would be such a bounty and beauty to our beloved planet.

I think that we could promote the human resources and the Best Practices by bringing together college student teams from various countrys of the Americas to join together to research intra-Americas Best Practices in Energy; Education; Transportation; Health; and so on. These young folks could organize and present their material in an Annual Best Practises of the Americas.

They could put short videos showing and interviewing about Best Practices on youtube.

The Best Practices would range from macro-micro. The future leaders (micro & macro) would meet each other and form the bonds that working together on a fabulous future would bring to bloom. And we could all benefit from learning about the Best Practices.

Zharkov
|
United States
April 18, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

What the question presented means is that the State Dept. is asking us how we should proceed to abandon our constitutional safeguards protecting us against foreign laws and foreign rulers, abandon our culture, and adopt socialist laws, culture, and viewpoints currently prevalent in Europe and Latin America.

In stark contrast to this agenda, the U.S. State Department has been defined as a "rightwing extremist group" according to Department of Homeland Security in that the State Department rejects free trade agreements with Russia, Iran, and other nations having a significant minority population; opposed the decline of U.S. stature in the world; and opposes a policy of unlimited trade with communist regimes such as North Korea and Cuba.

According to the federal government, characteristics of members of the suspect group of rightwing extemists include those who:

Oppose continuation of free trade agreements

Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world

Has paraonia of foreign regimes

Fear Communist regimes

Oppose one world government

Oppose restrictions on firearms

Oppose lax immigration

Oppose same-sex marriage

Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship and the expansion of social programs

Oppose the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India

It was less than 50 years ago that these same groups would have been called "patriotic Americans" and praised for their views, and people who clamored for us to adopt European or Latin American socialist views would be called "communist agitators".

Foreign citizens who see our foreign policy as a beast with two heads, each pulling in different directions are correct, I think.

Jackie
|
California, USA
April 18, 2009

Jackie in California writes:

We can't do it alone as we've seen this tried for the pass 8 years. Hillary this is one of the biggest jobs in the History of the U.S. Some much repair work is needed. Once the U.S. lost the trust of the World it's hard to get back. I look at the faces of the people as you and President Obama travel and the time is now. Leaders are still hard but the people are open. But Hillary remember alot was done in the pass 8 years they you didn't know about. As we are learning the truth it's even a shock to Americans. So just be yourself and do what you've always done for the 17 years I've watched you. You have always been gifted with bringing people together. Remember no matter what country your in we all pray to the same God, as he created all of us. I'll keep watching and commenting.

Wendy
|
California, USA
April 19, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

I've been thinking more about this Question of how to Combine Resources, especially in our dear hemisphere, surely a beloved community, which I think is The Question of the Coming Decade.

I would add to my thoughts on college teams re Best Practices, the imperative that we fast-forward our thinking to an even smarter model than our rut of "global competition." We don't really want to prepare our children to "compete" in the global marketplace. We want to prepare them to collaborate, to partner in the global marketplace.

We don't have time to spend any more faux effort & posturing on the more primitive, Cutthroat Capitalism model which proposes Winners and Losers. I like to call the widened thinking of the future, the Navajo Model.

The Navajo Model is not socialism nor capitalism. A true leader would be ashamed to win if others must lose. The truly strong must be imaginative and inventive enough to bring along the younger or older or weaker. The wise individual is only fulfilled by leading all across the 'finish line.'

Eventually we need to eschew or dump overboard the baggage of sports, war, or conquering lingo. In truth, in life, there is no finish line, only a continuum -- in which we mean for all children to thrive and prosper. Don't we? Competition is great for baseball and soccer. Lousy for life.

Ole
|
New York, USA
April 19, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

@ Zharkov, 50 years ago you also might not be granted permit to enter U.S.A., or subjected to a 'fox hunt' and/or blacklisting on suspicion of being 'communist agitator' yourself, just due to your origin. "one world government' theme can be debated at lengths, and be interpreted both as Satan's kingdom, or as realization of prophecies of 'lion and lamb laying next to each other in peace', which is hardly bad. Gun control is another issue that is debatable, as is gay rights; especially now with all that's happening at our home and just south of the border. Free trade is something everyone wins from, though admittedly i am against giving too much leverage over our economy to hostile regimes like that of China -- but somehow, previous administration and 'patriotic' groups supporting it, didn't do much to stop Chinese from getting that leverage, actually did a lot to increase it. Just being pro- or against gun control doesn't mean being patriotic or not, and neither does being more open to 'European socialist' ways. I prefer to see American foreign policy as a two-headed 'beast' whose standing isn't hurt just because here or there a more right-wing party loses an election. If one would ask me, I'd say it is Latin America, and not Russia that we need a 'reload' in relations with. Unlike Jackie, I do not think Bush administration undermined much of anything, after all Chavez became president of his country back in 1998; still lets face it: we need good relations with LatAm, it's our 'backyard'.

Ron
|
New York, USA
April 19, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Global Asset Forfeiture for Human Security

Global Asset Forfeiture can yield over 1 Trillion in illicit/crime proceeds....This partnership requires inter-governmental and inter-regional trust; and a committment to transparency, anti-corruption and good governance....Take the money out of corruption/crime and put it into prosperity-building and common security.

John
|
Greece
April 19, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Ole in New York -- "we need good relations with LatAm, it's our 'backyard'? I would trust NOBODY, though! Otherwise, use your "front yard".

Chavez ??? you are referring to Chavez? He (Chavez) is the Devil!

If anybody got the picture that LatAm "leaders" respect U.S.A., then, I'm the blind one.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 20, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece -- While it can be demonstrated that Chavez has an overblown ego driven persecution complex by the many times he's accused America of trying to remove him from the political scene, calling him "the Devil" is giving him way too much credit for becoming his own worst enemy.

When Spain told him to "shut up" awhile back regarding another baseless accusation, I think it was a telling sentiment payed to idiocy in general.

Apparently some enterprising fellow recorded this on MP3 and it was downloaded as a ringtone some 250,000 times in the first 24 hours after.

Zharkov
|
United States
April 20, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Our government, having run their own business into the ground, are certainly qualified to run everyone else's government into the same abyss.

The Navajo nation shared what it had because that was their culture. The lack of modern living standards did not bother Navajo. Their lack of concern for themselves and their own impoverished condition ended badly, with them confined to federal reservations. The "Navajo way" is an example of an failed strategy for dealing with other nations.

Some need a reality check:

Harper, Texas, has no sidewalks, no central sewer system, and no jobs. They are forced to share what little they've got with the rest of the world because our tax system says so.

What more could they provide -- rotted tin roofs, the stones from their walls? What more shall we take from Americans so our bankrupt government can give it away?

Coupeville, Washington, has not enough potable water available, so building permits are won like in a lottery and residential areas have no sidewalks, no street lights, and no central sewer system.

Entire forests in the Northern half of the United States -- Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, all the way to Minnesota, are dying as a result of untreated infestations of Japanese Beetles. The U.S. Forest Service conceded victory to the insects. Our timber industry has been destroyed.

Our fishing industry is nearly terminated. Our automobile industry is decimated. Our clothing industry is dead. Our shoe industry is dead. The machine tool industry has mostly relocated elsewhere.

Sacramento, California, has no shelter for the poor, so they live in tents while state government officials view the camps from luxury limos, on their way to their next banquet of steak and lobster at taxpayer expense. California is bankrupt from excessive "sharing".

Detroit, Michigan, so lacks jobs that the poor are stripping the plumbing out of abandoned homes to get money. News commentators have to lie to find anything positive about the economy. America is dying of a cancer and our government wants to give away our stuff before our body is cold.

Some people who live in New York or Washington DC, may see wealth everywhere, but 90% of the rest of this nation lacks the things that other nations lack -- affordable medical care, decent housing, central sewer systems, clean water, infrastructure, etc.

Can we "leverage" this poverty in any respect when our economy cannot support Americans in a sustainable way?

When has the word "government" not been synonymous for "waste, inefficiency, laziness", and a whole host other disparaging terms? How much more do you want to pay in taxes to alleviate the world's (mostly self-induced) problems?

A few Americans feel guilty about seeing other nations in poverty. This is why we ask questions on sharing government resources with foreign nations in order to solve shared problems. But we are not in a position to help share the world's problems while the U.S. government remains functionally insolvent.

It is only a small group of people in our government who are willing to take money away from future water and sewer systems for places like Harper, Texas, in order to solve problems in foreign nations.

John
|
Greece
April 20, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Spiritual as always Eric! "The best ad is to take advantage of a reaction". Now -- like the ringtones, as you perfectly say -- we have the same with the "book".

I think that after dictator Chavez, hopefully, "finish" his "political" career, allowing Venezuela to become democratic again, Madison Ave guys should seriously think to offer him a job in advertising.

After all, "DARN", he'll be better in this, than the political leader with the military uniform he plays now.

Ole
|
New York, USA
April 20, 2009

Ole in New York writes:

I wish our friends, pro-american, pro-western pro-liberal pro-democratic leaders in their respective countries, from Venezuela to Iran, were as fiery and devout to their ideas and causes, as Chavezes and Ahmadinejads. not of course that they were as dictatorial, but just as passionate.. lack of passion, energy and popular appeal is what hampers the cause of democracy in many nations. the wicked ones are passionate about their craft, but the righteous ones are not. hopefully that'll change. as for Chavez, he's not the only leader in LAtin America, most of them are center-left, and quite reasonable -- be it Bachelet, Garcia, or Lula. and to risk further rifts in relations with them is a mistake. let's allow semi-dictatorships of Ortega, Castros, Morales, Chavez & Co to run their course, while Brazil watches them to not cross fine lines in their foolishness. to that goal, this was hopefully a very productive summit

Susan
|
Florida, USA
April 20, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

The old adage "charity begins at home" comes to mind. At this point we need to direct all our economic, political, and judicial resources to repairing our own country. We need to face the truth that we have nearly destroyed our country by allowing corporate greed, whether it is Wall Street, or the banking/insurance industries, or the medical/pharmaceutical companies, or big oil, or the judical/legal system, to run, and nearly ruin, this country. We have asked no hard questions, we have been passive and done nothing, and then are surprised that we are at this point. What is wrong with this picture?

Marsha
|
Ohio, USA
April 21, 2009

Marsha in Ohio writes:

This question cannot be answered yet. First, there must be a search for those who profit from the impoverishment of the citizens of American nations. They are in every nation in the Americas. There are no innocent nations on this issue.

In the early 80s, during the Reagan administration, I was in college in Washington, DC. My economics professor in 1983 or so said that there was an idea on Capitol Hill that the best thing for America was to export factory jobs from the U.S. to Latin America. He said that one of the justifications that circulated claimed that illegal immigration would stop if we sent our job opportunities there.

This sounded wrong to me then and the results of this idea have been wrong, from the implosion of U.S. manufacturing to the contamination of continental environments due to 1890s' style corporate citizenship -- pollute the land and injure the people.

How can the legacy of that Reagan era idea be undone?

Ideas?

Wendy
|
California, USA
April 23, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

@ Zharkov takes the navajo model notion a tad too linearly. The point is to begin our radical re-thinking about what is honorable, what we can consider to be "successful." I use 'navajo' to tip our sombrero to a more fractal and holistic comprehension of the notion of 'winning' than that which vampire capitalism currently embodies.

If we are always yearning after some cutthroat self-bepuffed version of spiritually squalid success, we can't begin to pursue the Best Practices which might include essential contentment for all our planet kin to become our new widened grok or greater embrace of a success which only counts inclusion in its bottom line.

It is instructive to look back at Our Time from the Year 3000. Clearly from that vantage, we would be ashamed to countenance self-giga-aggraniosedizement as any measure of success. At best it would seem ridiculous -- or sickening. So let's just quantum-leap-frog to crafting a saner, more luscious version of How to Inhabit a Planet right now.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 23, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Wendy, Ya te heh na. Navajo could teach mankind much about the world, but the currently held notion of "competition" for resources would go out the window if anyone listened.

When the word, "community" actually is honored by the family of nations, then maybe we can start being good stewards of the planet.

But only if we stop trying to destroy it and each other in the meantime.

If the "community" stopped building nuclear weapons, and invested every cent of that bad investment ( being Not in the public's interest), into reforestation projects- globally, we could end what can only be described as planetary COPD (cardio obstructive pulmonary disease).

You can't scrub Co2 out of the amosphere without trees, a lot more trees than we have left at present.

Woe is us if some bright bulb thinks global warming can be solved by a nuclear winter.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 25, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

A nuclear first strike can happen at any moment, and it can happen whether or not we have a capacity for nuclear retaliation. Some security services tell us that nuclear weapons are already in place inside our cities, awaiting orders for detonation.

Unilaterally abandoning nuclear weapons would be a terrific idea but only if our leaders are willing to absorb a nuclear first strike without nuclear retaliation. This means a large portion of our federal government will be destroyed because they will have no time to go to their fallout shelters.

If we could begin acting like the original founders of America and stop fearing every shadow and every threat, convert our atomic weapons into reactor fuel, and take the same risk that Switzerland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Fiji, Tasmania, and dozens of other nations take, we might start a healthy trend away from atomic weapons.

Unless we are able to withstand nuclear extortion without waivering and without fear, we may as well keep our atomic security blanket functional.

Our Pentagon officials would never suggest unilateral abandonment of the MAD doctrine, because our nuclear forces allow them to win dozens of wars all in the same day by total annihilation of all opponents. However, in future wars, the enemy may never be identified.

Why are diplomacy and military power mentioned together in the same speech by Mrs. Clinton? Perhaps it is because our vast array of atomic weapons promises absolute power over all other nations regardless of size?

Is it our nuclear arsenal that ultimately backs the insane idea of our political class that they should rule the world and thereby make it "better"?

Would your local community feel safe if one of your neighbors kept 6,000 rattlesnakes in his house, while another neighbor kept 700 lions in his home, for "self-defense"?

Can you imagine what might be said at a town hall meeting of the citizens having these kinds of neighbors?

So what happened with the U.N.?

Where are the resolutions condemning the nuclear weapons threat from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France? We've got North Korea and Iran under discussion, so what about the rest of the neighborhood?

Why has the "world community" allowed its members to keep neutron bombs, H-bombs, A-Bombs, and other assorted variants, in their homes? Where is the outcry from other nations who have none of these? How can they possibly remain silent in the face of imminent danger to the "world community" even if only from human error?

They remain silent because they have no "world community" - it is only a useful fiction, a pretense, an illusion that serves a purpose. The "global community" is a symbol for some people who wish it were true.

The reality is that we do not belong to these other nations and they do not belong to us. They do nothing about us keeping our deadly snakes and lions in our homes because they do not consider their nation as part of our "community".

We cannot stop Iran or North Korea if they want to keep snakes in their homes because we are not part of their "community".

What we have is a world of nations, each having national interests, definitely not much of a community, and if people expect to keep their liberty, we should want government to remain local, not global.

Based on the lack of accomplishment of the U.N. towards nuclear disarmament, it is clear that no community worthy of the name ever existed. Nobody cares enough about our ultra-dangerous weapons of mass destruction to enact a resolution to stop us.

Ron
|
New York, USA
April 23, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Get Smart: Cooperate for Economic and Financial Good.

Global Shared Assets via Inter-Hemispheric Economic Intelligence...Recover the stolen trillions and put the money to work for peace, security and development. Drive down global crime, corruption and terrorism; while financing development...wouldn't it be great to acheive the MDG's before 2015?

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
April 23, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Economics, it will all center on economics.

Money is a tool...we need to address it as such.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
April 23, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

As I stated Economics.

Since my first script, I simply noticed that even Vietnam is investing with Peru for energy this month.

Energy concerns internationally have made Latin America a power. Fortunitely, their collectivness has not yet reached its optimum potential, but sooner or later...

Zharkov
|
United States
April 24, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Americans cannot be everywhere and do everything for everyone, despite the idea of some in our government who thinks we should.

The people who run Washington, D.C., want the world to believe that every international problem is an American problem.

They want to meddle in your countries, influence your governments, and run your lives for you, if you will only allow them to do so.

Our government has become pathologically obsessive in its own security, so that every twit in the world making a harsh comment becomes a "threat". Even the climate is now a threat to U.S. security. Who knows what destruction rain might do to the Washington Monument? Perhaps a little sunshine could ruin the "stimulus package"?

Before that, it was killer bees, fire ants, and measles that threatened democracy. All night long on every t.v. channel, we see serial murders, disembowlements, blood and gore everywhere, to seep into our subconscious minds and trigger feelings of fear and insecurity.

Is every problem an American problem? Or are we only told that it is?

Would civilization be lost forever if we withdrew from NATO, reduced aid to both Israel and Palistine to zero, and ignored North Korean satellite launches?

Does a nuclear-armed Taliban really affect us more than Indian, China or Russia? Is that not their problem to resolve? Can Pakistan possibly defend itself without more billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars?

Should the U.S. be involved in supppressing religious extremists in foreign nations? Must we help other governments kill or imprison anyone who might overthrow their government? Is it our problem, or theirs?

Should our soldiers die in foreign lands when foreign soldiers refuse to fight their own battles? Should we defend people who reject defending themselves? When do we begin drawing lines around the places we won't go? What are our priorities, and why are they ours?

.

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