Zero Tolerance for Compromise

This post has been inspired by the resignation of Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and the frenzy to name a new person to the position.

For those who may not know, the World Bank is an international organization that offers low-interest loans and aid to poor countries that use the bank as a last resort. Wealthier nations pump millions into the World Bank, and thus, have a great deal of interest in what is done with the funds. For about 60 years, the United States has taken on the role of appointing the president of the World Bank, obviously giving us a ton of influence over how the billions of dollars are handled. This in turn bestows us with a great deal of power. However, after a scandal arose regarding Paul Wolfowitz who is facing allegations that he has given a promotion and large pay increase to a mistress of his, the U.S. is fighting for its ability to name the new president.

Wolfowitz’s appointment by President Bush was something that many nations objected to. He was key in planning and implementing the war in Iraq, and a lot of European leaders saw him as a symbol of America’s arrogance (Washington Post).

While some nations agree that the United States should maintain its control on appointing a World Bank president, others feel a multi-nation merit-based process should be the determining factor. President Bush, of course, is vehement in choosing a successor to Wolfowitz. And this is where my commentary comes in.

For the past five years, President Bush has displayed an absolute unwillingness to compromise. The United States is at a new low in international relations. We are no longer a beacon to the world that presents a model for democracy, diplomacy, ingenuity, and compassion. We have become, in many respects, a nation that repels change and understanding. We are no longer at the forefront of innovation. In my opinion, President Bush’s staunch, right-wing, no bargaining attitude has helped a great deal in putting us in this place.

Friends are hard to come by for the United States nowadays. We are seen as haughty and arrogant. We are viewed as selfish, boisterous, and hard-hearted. We are not respected as a nation of dignity and honor.

While I do understand the necessity for a tough leader, someone who is firm and resolute in his or her beliefs and convictions, I also recognize the need for compromise and discussion. President Bush is resolute in appointing a new president of the World Bank. In order to hold the respect of other nations, he could certainly allow other world leaders to help in the selection of this president, while still choosing someone from the U.S. It would not be difficult to find a very qualified leader of the World Bank from this great country of ours.

I’m starting to get sleepy now, so I’m sure this blog has turned into something a lot like an incoherent ramble, but my point is, we have GOT to learn to compromise. We have GOT to learn how to give a little and take a little. The U.S. cannot afford to lose anymore allies, and we cannot afford to sacrifice anymore of our dignity and honor. Our pride, self-interest, and bull-headedness will be our downfall, and if we cannot learn to respect the various interests of the countless other countries with which we negotiate, we are going to be in a lot of trouble. I am by no means saying that the United States should not look out for its own interests, but we need to figure out a way to do that, while still valuing the positions of those other countries.

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6 Responses to “Zero Tolerance for Compromise”

  1. Trent Says:

    You say, “The United States is at a new low in international relations.” We’ll let me point something out to see what you think. In 2005, pro-American Angela Merkel beat the anti-American chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in the German elections. Now France has elected a pro-American conservative, Nicolas Sarkozy. (We haven’t had a pro-American leader in France since Louis XVI.) Last year conservatives swept the Canadian elections, making Stephen Harper, another pro-American conservative, their prime minister. Australia’s prime minister, John Howard, though hardly conservative, is definitely pro-American, and is Australia’s longest-standing prime minister. And although Tony Blair is stepping down as Britain’s prime minister, he is highly likely to be replaced by a more conservative leader, and even more pro-American than Blair, if you can believe it.

  2. Trent Says:

    One more thing: It used to be that the Republican Party would use this scandal to eliminate this 63-year-old bank. It was created when we (the US) were the largest creditor on earth to help fund the reconstruction of Europe and Asia. Now that this is complete, there is no need for the bank (or the UN or NATO or the IMF for that matter). Now we are the largest debtor in the world. Yet we continue to borrow billions of dollar per year so the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) can subsidize corrupt third-world nations. So you can make the point that Bush doesn’t listen. This may be true, but if he and his people were real conservatives, this problem would be better solved.

  3. 06jk Says:

    Agreed about Bush’s “conservativism”. He spends like a fascist.

    Howeverrrrr despite your very good (and duely noted) points about pro-American leaders, the overall feeling across the globe tends to look down on us quite a bit. I don’t know if you like the Washington Post or not, but there was an awesome forum-type-deal regarding how the world feels about America. Very interesting. You can find it on the paper’s website.

    Also wanted to thank you for paying so much attention to my blogs. You always have great input, and it’s a pleasure to hear from you.

  4. Trent Says:

    I will have to check out the forum. It sounds interesting.

    And when people talk about why they and others hate America, some points are quite valid. Back in the ’80s, these same people who attack us in Iraq, and who attacked us on Sept. 11, back in ’93, and the USS Cole in 2000, were our allies. We helped them expel the Soviets from their countries. During last week’s Republican presidential debate, Rep. Ron Paul stated some of the reasons for Arab and Islamic intolerance for the US. He was talking about Osama bin Laden saying that he was attacking us because US troops were in Saudi Arabia, for US bombings of Iraq and because the sanctions on Iraq were hurting the Iraqi people (obviously not hurting Hussein), and for our support of Israel’s persecution of Palestinians.

    However, other reasons of his distaste for America include fornication, homosexuality, gambling, and intoxicants. While I agree with him on these points, I don’t want a terrorist to tell Americans how to live. He wants us to live by Shariah of Allah, but instead we make our own laws how we see fit. So some of what what happens is karma (if you believe in that..I’m not so sure about it), but some if it is just disagreements, and people may want to kill you for it.

  5. 06jk Says:

    Well put. Funny enough, yes he hates our use of intoxicants, and drinking is prohibited in the Koran (although, many Muslims in America choose to disregard that part…), the men who took part in the hijackings in 9/11, although “devoute” Muslims who were doing this for their faith, got extremely drunk the evening before. Just one of those interesting facts to think about…

  6. Trent A. Says:

    I certainly agree. Here are some articles I’d like you to look at:

    http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/mmalkin/2007/mm_05301.shtml
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010123

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