More and more Americans are looking outside the box to see what the rest of the world thinks about the their country and the role it plays in the lives of millions worldwide. Here are two projects which ventured outside the US to poll international citizens for their views.
Americans will soon be going to the polls to make a decision on behalf of the entire world. At least this is what international folks say. To shed light on what â€˜foreigners' think and feel, Link TV has launched Dear American Voter, a pioneering project in which people from outside the US send video messages to Americans. Here is a cross-section of reactions, focusing on international affairs.
In addition to talks with the New Zealand Government, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in for a surprise when the Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA) announced a $5,000 reward for any student who makes a citizen's arrest on the visiting official. The reward has since been withdrawn and according to Press reports, AUSA had said the arrest would be for Dr Rice's role in â€œoverseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupationâ€ of Iraq, and crimes under the Geneva Conventions Act 1958, and the Crimes of Torture Act 1989."
With both candidates spending some time abroad to explain their foreign affairs strategies (Obama currently in Afghanistan and soon in Europe, McCain in Mexico and Colombia) the rest of the world wonders whether they should celebrate this new emphasis on international relations or expect a potential backlash for either candidates.
Indian bloggers are joining the rest of the world to decipher Barack Obama and reflect on what his election to the White House would mean for their country and its civilian nuclear development programme and Indo-US relations. In a post entitled Obama in Black and White, Delhi-based blog Chanakya's World discusses what Obama's nomination could mean to India and its neighbours, the War on Terror and the delicate balance of power in a volatile part of the world.
A number of websites to poll readers from around the world on their choice of who the next president of the US should be have popped up recently. And while non-Americans do not have a vote in the elections, they are still having their say online.
Issues such as the war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan have dominated Australian posts but there is also lively interest in the US presidential election. Most of the key bloggers about international and US politics could be categorized as progressive, left or liberal. Most support an independent Australian foreign policy, oppose what they see as US hegemony and have been stridently anti-Bush. They have been strongly against the Iraq war, though less vocal about Afghanistan.