2.27.2009

All eyes on America

Thomas L. Friedman begins his op-ed piece, datelined Seoul, Korea in Tuesday’s New York Times, thusly:

“It is very useful to come to Asia to be reminded about America’s standing in the world these days. For all the talk in recent years about America’s inevitable decline, all eyes are not now on Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels or Moscow — nor on any other pretenders to the world heavyweight crown. All eyes are on Washington to pull the world out of its economic tailspin. At no time in the last 50 years have we ever felt weaker, and at no time in the last 50 years has the world ever seen us as more important.”

What foreign journalists and government officials in Asia are telling Friedman puts a heavy burden on America to cut through the political bickering and BS and allow the brain power behind Obama’s team to sort all this economic mess out.

Friedman uses a word I’ve heard a lot on TV lately – a buzzword - I will clarify for you: “schadenfreude,” meaning “taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.”

Those Americans who are leaning toward “protectionism” will be particularly surprised to learn that the world feels very dependent on the United States at this crucial time. We are citizens of the world, and the world, according to Friedman, needs us.

I highly recommend you take a moment to read “Paging Uncle Sam.”

7 comments:

Papamoka said...

Friedman is 100% correct that it is up to us to fix this mess. I hope and pray that the problem isn't to big to actually be fixed. I'm concerned that the three biggies, banking, homes, and automotive is like a giant turkey dinner, you can't eat it all in one day but you can be creative with all the leftovers.

Great post BJ!

Frodo, up periscope. said...

For some inexplicable reason, the very first synaptic message in the mind of Frodo is "There's still time brother. . ."

from "On the Beach"

Let's just hope that it isn't a Coke bottle caught in the window shade (boy, will this drive airth10 crazy!).

airth10 said...

I know of the coke bottle caught in the window shade in "On The Beach". I don't think that America or the rest of the world is at that point, of the earth setting up a robot to signal for help to the rest of the universe.

I think it is the duty of the United States to fix things up financially for the world since it created the model that has created the economic hardship experienced around the world. America said to the world, be more like us. And the world followed and in the end came to an economic abyss. (Everybody took "the pursuit of happiness" a bit to literally.)

There is still time to fix things. And America will, in time.

B.J. said...

Actually, Airth0 is a lover of good movies, as am I. In this case, the book was better than the movie when I read it so many years ago – until I saw the movie. I digress. Actually, I think Airth, a very nice person, was speaking more to Frodo’s propensity for writing cryptically than to any question about movie trivia. You both grace this zone with your comments. BJ

airth10 said...

Going back to the movies, I am thinking of "Independence Day", in which the world comes together to fight an alien invader.

In reality I see the world as coming together to fight a common enemy, a global financial/economic contagion. The world is beginning to throw everything in its intellectual arsenal at it.

Falzone for OBAMA said...

Never fear a liberal is here!

Obama is doing things that should have been done decades ago! No other man was able to break away from the influence of big business. It won't all go away tomorrow but I am confident it will very soon. Bullet trains, maglift trains, mass transit of all sorts, green renewable energy, education on par with all other industrialized nation, the health companys off our backs and the backs of business big and small, suring up Social Security, investment in things that will make living in this country better for many decades to come, adjusting the tax code to allow the rich to contribute in accordance with their ability, bringing the military budget to a sane, sustainable, and effective level, etc, etc,.

Most of these things can't be taken away by Republicans!

YAHOOOO!

sue said...

Falzone is spreading hope, THANK YOU!!