Free «American Foreign Policy» Essay Sample

Today, relations between West and East are characterized by religious, economic and political confrontations. Samuel Huntington explains relations between two hemispheres as “a clash of civilizations” and supposes that American foreign policy must confront a clash of civilizations in the Middle East. For the USA, the potential is to create the basis for a new sense of global space and also help bring about an enhanced network of communication. The failure to bring about this transformation is attributable in part to forms of news coverage which reaffirmed first world dualisms. Arguably chief amongst these dualisms is the distinction between foreign and domestic news, a distinction conventionalized against the backdrop of the nation-state. Thesis This policy would help the USA to solve political problems and respond effectively to terrorist attacks and Fundamentalism.

The US foreign politics should confront a clash of civilizations in the Middle East because of political and religious differences between these two worlds. War and crisis have historically played a major role in the process of nation building. Whereas the war in Vietnam, for instance, introduced new dimensions to international reporting-courtesy of television news, it became known as the “living room war”-it was the war in the Persian Gulf in 1991 that has arguably had an even greater impact. Huntington explains that civilization clash means: "a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power" (Huntington 56). Moreover, associated with the conflict was a tremendous expansion of news space, such as through the advent of so-called “rolling” coverage that provided constant updates in breaking news formats. So-called “foreign” and “national” news flows were no longer easily distinguishable. Since the time of the Gulf War, the international news infrastructure has changed even more dramatically. Moreover, signals are increasingly diversified, providing transnational “point-to-point” and “point-to-multipoint” political transmission (Rejwan 98).

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Samuel Huntington is right that foreign policy cannot exist in isolation from global problems and conflict in the Middle East. In essence the political issues become “reflectors” that is, they act as reflectors of a global reality which is otherwise inaccessible and yet which increasingly shapes the context for the identity of political communities within a new global public sphere (Firestone 72). Following Huntington “In this new world the most pervasive, important, and dangerous conflicts will not be between social classes, rich and poor, or other economically defined groups, but between peoples belonging to different cultural entities” (Huntington 27). In this new global sphere, the political spheres are divided into close and remote zones and are increasingly separated from geographical locations, where proximity as a key factor in news coverage seems to disappear. As reflectors, the foreign politics become the variable even in crisis situations, re-formatting political crises and shaping the rationale for subsequent political action. Although the question seemed to focus on the perception of the US in Arab nations, it also illuminated obvious gaps across different religious and cultural worldviews (Firestone 59). For some days, the clash between the “West” and the “East” appeared to be deeper than ever. In crises situations, when live and on-location coverage is required despite the international cutbacks of US politics, authentic angles are in particularly high demand. These new outlets quickly gain a fresh status in the global news flow. It can be argued that in future they will increasingly create counter-flows to mainstream news coverage-internationally and domestically-and create “micro-spheres” in an extra-societal, global political and social space (Rejwan 54).

This US political sphere integrates national public spheres, thereby undermining the dualism separating domestic from foreign journalism. It may be viewed as a new political space, reaching from the sub- to the supranational extra-societal, global community. This global sphere can also enforce political pressure on national politics and provide a communication realm, which would otherwise not be possible on the national level Moreover, under this new structuring of global and international extra-societal environment, the public sphere, originally defined as a sphere of societal reasoning within one nation, is increasingly influenced by this sphere of mediation (Firestone 44). The dialectic of the societal and extra-societal, or national and global, requires new, distinct roles for politics. Instead of reflecting the question in a global security, in alliance with other nation-states worldwide, which would have provided a widened spectrum of perspectives it instead appeared that the question is one of a particular political worldview (Rejwan 98).

In sum, Huntington is right that the US politics should and must confront a clash of civilizations in the Middle East. Following this conclusion, it is possible to say that, in a modern view, politics is indeed mediators in this process of international communication and collaboration. In fact, international politic and the response to events beyond the borders of one's own nation is more important today. Huntington proposes not the final solution to political organization as it is not to everybody's liking, least of all those on whom it imposes restraints of office. Modern politics should seek to entrench themselves in power, fearing that any change of regime is likely to insist on the need to punish past misdeeds as a necessary base to the new politics of reform. Although the wish to bury the past may also be there, the capacity to punish is indispensable to the restoration of justice, and governments which fear retribution will do everything they can to avert it.


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