Student,

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A US foreign policy that is grounded in humility.

It's no secret that much of the world (as well as many US citizens) treat the United States with mistrust. Most of that mistrust is founded upon our attitude toward foreign policy as well as many bad decisions in the past (and the present).
-replacing democratic leaders with 'friendly dictators' in the cold war in countries such as guatemala
-nuking of japan
-provoking a war with, and stealing half of mexico's land (as well as ignoring mexico)
-Vietnam, Iraq, etc. that are still fought today
-exploitation of many countries

I believe that foreign policy should be treated as any other human relationship. In any human relationship when you hurt someone else, the first step to repairing a relationship is to apologize.

My idea is that a lot of good could come out of a public apology from the United States. To construct a list of past transgressions and say I'm sorry.'
-It would help mend the idea of 'western arrogance' and be good to see some humility.
-It would outline awareness to the American public. Part of the problem is, in the past, the American public was completely ignorant of the government's actions.
-it would show that the United States is accountable.

Of coarse this would only be the first step in repairing relationships and image, but admission of wrongdoing is a big step to take.

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    Oct 23 2011: Humility and compassion are necessary to achieve peace and reconciliation between people and their nations. Nation states are created and perpetuated without either quality. All nation states are arrogant.
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    Oct 23 2011: lol you're kidding right?

    rule no. 1: never back down
    • Oct 23 2011: No i am not kidding.
      Please elaborate upon why you object.
      Why do you believe 'never back down' is such a good attitude?
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    Oct 24 2011: The government of Armenia won't even admit to their own genocide, China has no recourse for its own human rights abuses. This is not a defense for America, just an acknowledgment of how broad this problem is. There is not very much accountability for most countries these days, they'd rather go to the U.N. and pat each other on the backs for the jobs they're not doing.

    Many of the foreign policy choices the American government has made are a result of incomplete information, and afterwards rationalized from that discourse. Assuming they were doing the best they could at the time makes apologizing pointless and humility a moot point.

    It would be wonderful to have a government that had more compassion and governed with the ability to make decisions that are tempered with reason. We may fall short, but it's the trying that's important.
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    • Oct 23 2011: good point.
      A true apology predicates upon a certain level of sincerity that is difficult to achieve on a national level.