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The US must continue to lead the world.

With waning economic power, the US is in no position to lead the world politically.


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    Sep 7 2012: In what way does the US lead the world? This concept only seems popular to Americans - and also, my best phrase, "the greatest country on earth" .. . you have to laugh to that.

    America does not lead the world and she not the greatest Nation on earth - not a chance. In reality, it is the biggest problem we have on planet earth. A true evil Empire in red - that uses covert means to silent dissent, assassinate foreign leaders, cause huge social and economic damages is distant shores and overthrow government that doesn't fit with her intentions. Only a nincompoop would consider America the leader of the world or the greatest Nation on earth. More like the tyrant/oppressor who calls himself a leader.
    • Sep 7 2012: D'accord.

      Its a clear case of megalomania.

      They also think they are the freest country in the world. Always makes me laugh.

      Just Hitler thought he was the greatest leader ever and led Germany and the world into disaster, so do the US "lead" the world from one disaster to the next.
      • Sep 7 2012: Ehis/Lucas: Your gloomy views of US are subscribed to by many others. But, in fairness, one has to admit that America has contributed greatly (in technology at least) to world development t. For example, we would not be here criticizing them if not for TED and other social media.
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          Sep 7 2012: Benj, How does technological advancement make up for the evil deeds she perpetrates across the edges of planet earth? What if the internet was invented by Nazis - does it then excuse the evil deeds they conducted during second world war? This is the question you should ask yourself.

          The US has NEVER led the world politically - they kidnapped the world politically and intimidated anyone that went against them.

          I bet you think US is not am empire . .keep dancing in the dark
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          Sep 8 2012: That is more conjecture than I hear from an Apparatchik. How about some facts to go along with your conjecture?

          The U.S. has been the most free country of the past century and has raised the standard of living of the world even a 3rd world country like the U.K.
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          Sep 8 2012: Pat, what sort of facts do you want? OF USA assassination of foreign leaders??? - you want names?? Ok. In which continent and what decade - the atrocities goes all over lets have a focus.

          "the most free country of the past century " go slowly. Jim crow lasted to 1965 on paper. So to call the United states the freest country of the past century doesn't make any sense.
    • Sep 8 2012: Yes some US politicians and government entities did evil things and that has to be acknowledged and prevented in the future from happening. However claiming that US is evil ignores a long history of US fight for freedom of other nations.

      United States citizens used substantial resources to help other nations. Their soldiers gave lives in order to save people in:

      - Western Europe from Fascism and Communism

      - Bosnia Muslims from Serbian aggression

      - South Korea from communists

      - Pacific and Asia from Japanese aggression

      - Taiwan from Chinese aggression

      - to some degree Vietnamese people against Communism

      - Afghanistan from Soviet Union

      United States helped and is helping to support freedom movements around the world including China, India, Middle East (to some degree), Easter Europe and Asia.

      United States donates large amount of money to many countries including Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan to support basic infrastructure and government related projects. United States Aid program is also substantial:

      "USAID, and other foreign affairs agencies totaled approximately $39.5 billion, including $26.1 billion for Foreign Operations and Related Agencies, $11.2 billion for Department of State, and $2.2 billion for Other International Affairs."

      However I think the most important is the role US plays as an example of country where people are free, are given opportunities and independence. They are role for people all around the world. US leads the world in terms of scientific research and development. US brought to the world a way to communicate with each other through the Internet, social media like Facebook and Linked In, search engines like Google and organizations like TED and Wikipedia.

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        Sep 8 2012: The gap between slogan and reality was laid by Thomas Jefferson who proudly declared 'all men are equal' but own slaves until the day he died. That gap replayed when USA took Russia to UN for violation of human rights in the 60s, a decade after you adopted the slogan 'leader of the free world', even though jim crow was still the law of your land.

        When it comes to the evil things it is "some US politicians” but you included citizens when talking about the things you considered good. This is just to point out how caged you are in your thought .

        Yes you donated money to Egypt and then tell them what to do. You then tell them to join Israel against the Palestinians if they don't you close the tap. Foreign aid is simply a way of controlling foreign government - A TED host should know that. Any government who disagrees with the empire does not receive aid - - do they?????? so what is aid?

        USAID cannot make up for the ills that your agricultural policies are creating in poor peasantry communities - especially in Africa, It is just a way of feeling good about yourself. . we do not need any aid I would think that much is clear. That is how you control the government against the people. The so-called aid end up in Europe and America banks - - lend to Europe and America business men. . . Only an ignorant thinks aid does any good.
        • Sep 8 2012: Yes Thomas Jefferson was controversial figure with slavery but he did push for slavery to end and passed laws in that regard. Nowadays it is quite clear that slavery is wrong but context in those times was different. It was a gradual change in the society's attitude.

          Again US had its problems with human rights (racial segregation) but they were fighting for minimum freedom that people in Soviet Union did not have at all. So while blacks did have fewer rights they were in better position than people under communist rule.

          Sure some USAID efforts were politically or economically motivated. But marking all USAID as bad is absurd.

          I think many people want to blame USA for every problems they are having. I don't think that is reasonable or fair and people of each country need to also participate in finding solutions.

          It is good that you are concerned with rights and freedoms of people with African ancestry. However we also need to show concern about peoples basic rights and freedoms completely violated in communist or religious regimes.

          Many people suffer under these regimes (I lived under communism for 25 years) and women suffer the most in countries like Afghanistan when under Taliban. US help to these people is something we should acknowledge and support because these people don't deserve such suffering.

          Lets look outside of our cultural limitations and see what good things US did and continue to criticize US for any actions that are in conflict with its ideals.
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        Sep 8 2012: Some of United States foreign regime change actions

        Syria 1949- USA supported and funded Husni al-Za'im to plot a coup four years after independence .

        Iran 1953 -USA planned, funded and implemented Operation Ajax . .overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh who had attempted to nationalize Iran's petroleum industry, threatening the profits of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company

        Guatemala 1954 -USA overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala led by Jacobo Arbenz.

        Tibet 1955-70s -

        Cuba 1959 -

        Indonesia 1958 -

        Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960-65

        A democratic leader of the successful anti-colonial struggle, Patrice Émery Lumumba .. A real leader but NO he was against America interest . .. USA sponsored everything to his death - Lumumba's body was disposed of in an unmarked grave by a CIA agent . . . They handed power to Joseph Mobutu with the help of the political and military support of Western countries.

        Iraq 1960-63 -In February 1960, the United States planned a coup against the government of Iraq headed by dictator Abd al-Karim Qasim.

        Dominican Republic 1961 . .

        South Vietnam 1963

        Brazil 1964

        Ghana 1966 --Kwame Nkrumah, the first democratically elected president of Ghana and Africa by extension . . .USA removed him and installed a dictator because of his non-aligned Marxist economic perspective.

        Chile 1970-73

        Argentina 1976 - - The democratically elected government of Argentina headed by Isabel Martínez de Perón was successfully overthrown by a military putsch in March 1976, Again with the help of USA.

        Afghanistan 1979-1989

        Turkey 1980 -One day before the military coup of 12 September 1980 some 3,000 American troops of the RDF started a maneuver Anvil Express on Turkish soil

        Poland 1980-81

        Nicaragua 1981-1990

        Cambodia 1980-95

        Angola 1980s

        Philippines 1986

        Iraq 1992-1996

        Afghanistan 2001

        Iraq 2002-3

        Venezuela 2002
        • Sep 8 2012: Again some examples are valid but some are not and again we can't disregard all the good things that USA did for the world.

          Just looking at few of your examples:

          Afghanistan 1979-1989 -> USA was helping to repel communism. Their mistake was to include extremists in their effort. However their cause was just.

          Ghana - that is just a speculation

          Afghanistan 2001 - leaders of the country support terrorists and expect US not to react to catastrophic event of 9/11 ?

          Poland was under the rule of Soviet Union. What is wrong with US trying to help its people against the communist regime?

          People under any kind of non-democratic regime need our help and it is fortunate that US and other Western nations are trying to defeat those regimes. At the same time we need to make US military and politics more transparent in order to prevent SOME of the US endavours that went against its core values and beliefs.
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        Sep 8 2012: "People under any kind of non-democratic regime need our help. " I guess this sums up the conversation. Any leader that disagrees with you, in system or otherwise, the people need your help. Saudi Arabia doesn't need your help but Guatemala's democracy needed it in the 50s.

        Well i can understand you pledge since you lived under communism for 25 years and was freed by the States . .
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          Sep 9 2012: It is surely true that some people will defend a country "to the last drop" and others always paint a country or an ethnic group or a religious group or an age group... as negative "to the last drop."

          Neither extreme consistent characterization tends to be valid. What's more, holding to such caricatures stands in the way of real understanding and finding ways for different people and organizations to solve problems together.
        • Sep 13 2012: Ehis Odijie:
          Your list of countries whose regime change has been the result, directly or indirectly, of US interference - is quite credible, though I do not know have full understanding of all the cases mentioned. But if all of them were true, then the US must be the most interventionist country in recent history. And it continues today, what with Hillary Clinton traveling to all parts of the world (including the smallest island countries in the South Pacific) to proclaim US interest and right of influence. Little does US realise that it was the spreading thin by the colonial powers of yesterday that quickly saw to their demise.
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        Sep 8 2012: I so appreciate the practice of considering an issue open-mindedly. This isn't even a matter of taking a nuanced view but only trying to take a balanced view rather than painting only with the broadest and often most simplistic strokes.
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          Sep 9 2012: I think you'd find Fritzie,in life, that people often take the view that favors them. In politics the rich tend to support conservative simply because they bring favor to them.. The racist, the man with Homophobic and misogynistic outlook tend to lean toward the political right because it sometimes represent them.

          Zdenek lived under communism for 25 years and was freed by the united States - i then understand why the character decide to defend America to the last drop.

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