As I am not a native english speaker, it is always a problem for me to write a more or less good essays. Could you please share your thoughts about some of my writings?
Thank you in advance.
Here is a first one:
This is a right time to take a closer look at Obama’s acting on the world stage, as only a few days ago the president has returned from his first long trip abroad. During one week, president Obama attended the G20 summit in London, a NATO meeting in Strasbourg and a conference of European leaders in Prague, as well as visited Muslim Turkey and Iraq. This chain of meetings has clearly shown the new image America will have on the international scene for the next four years. So, I am offering you to make a tour around international issues Obama’s administration has to deal with, find differences and similarities of the new president’s approach to diplomacy from his predecessor, and appraise the progress Obama made for the first months being in the White House.
Obama’s foreign policy: a new chapter of American engagement?
Let’s take a step back to the days when Obama just came to office and look over major challenges the new president faced in terms of foreign policy. There are two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Obama inherited from his predecessor. They serve as a good remainder of American mission to fight against global terrorism, what, no doubt, Barack Obama will continue performing. We should also add to this group North Korea and Iran with their ambitions to create nuclear weapons. Another thorny issue is relations with two superpowers – Russia and China. There are also old clashes between the US and Cuba. The last important question is an American role in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
From the first moment Obama got down to settle these issues, one thing became clear: foreign policy of the Bush era was over. After 8 years in Washington his diplomacy is mostly described as incompetent by foreign policy gurus. As The Washington Post put it, “It won't be easy to undo what Mr. Bush has done,” talking about the enormous amount of errors made during his term. Nevertheless, president Obama managed to take a giant step forward since he entered upon his duties.
Well in advance of his notable trip overseas, Obama signed the executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and CIA detention centers all over the world. Soon after, President Obama gave a formal interview to an Arab TV network, where he spoke of the importance of respect when dealing with the Muslim world. He also announced the plan of withdrawal from Iraq. Even though the last one caused lively debates over terms of withdrawal, it must be admitted that it is a significant move to finish prolonged war. In the meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had some important talks in Washington and abroad. She visited four Asian nations as a gesture to build new international relationships; in particular, Clinton affirmed that the US would work with China on many crucial issues despite differences on human rights. During her next trip to the Middle East, she announced the US aid package of 900 million dollars to help the Palestinian people, showing American concern in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Secretary also mentioned about the ways of improving relations with Russia, which could play a crucial role in negotiations with Iran.
Chosen tactics mark the beginning of end of the Bush era. Moreover, we should remember that all of that was reached while major resources were directed at fighting with economic crisis. Nevertheless, some commentators criticized Obama’s foreign policy for its wrong direction and similarities with Bush’s approach. Thus, Foreign Affairs magazine came up with an article “The making of George W. Obama.” The Post’s columnist Krauthammer called Obama’s policy “supine diplomacy” concluding that Pakistan "capitulated to the Taliban" because of indecision of Washington; as a result, according to him, Obama was forced to increase amount of troops in Afghanistan. Others blamed him for his friendly tone in relations with Russia what resulted in some strategic concessions.
The trip in Europe revealed even more interesting facts regarding people’s attitude towards Obama’s diplomacy. Public approval of his foreign police increased by 7 percent, from 54% in February to 61% in the beginning of April. However, disapproval rating rose too, from 22% to 28%. First of all, it shows that activities in the White House attract more and more Americans to what is going on. Second of all, shifts in the ratings prove peoples’ two-fold attitude to some of Obama’s plans. For instance, in Europe he told about his believes to reduce and eventually eliminate both Russians and American nuclear stockpiles and prohibit any nuclear tests. His resounding speeches about standing “together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century” is that what actually scare some skeptics. For many people it sounds too good to be truth. Thus, Newt Gingrich, a former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, called Obama’s proposals “a dangerous fantasy.” The Economist gave a good summary of the Republicans’ grievance. ”The conservative critique," the magazine writes, "of Mr. Obama is that he is Jimmy Carter redux: a woolly idealist who thinks he can sweet-talk bad guys into behaving. While he pursues talks with Iran, Republicans fret, Iran's leaders chuckle behind their beards and carry on enriching uranium.”
Personally, I see more positive than negative changes with Obama’s accession to power. With already habitual confidence he assumed a responsibility to solve the old problems. He just uses a different approach from what we used to see. America under Bush was always separated from others. George W. Bush created the “us vs. them” ideology and ignored the idea of cooperation and unification with others countries for better security. And we all know where it led us to. President Obama tries to replace an attitude of force with dialogue. In his brilliant speech one in Turkey Obama clearly expressed his motives, and I couldn’t not to agree with these words. “First, I believe we can have a dialogue that’s open, honest and vibrant, I want you to know that I’m personally committed to a new chapter of American engagement. We can’t afford to talk past one another, to focus only our differences or to let the walls of mistrust go up around us. Instead, we have to listen carefully to each other. We have to focus on places where we can find common ground, respect each other’s views — even when we disagree. And if we do so, I believe we can bridge some of our differences and divisions we’ve had in the past."