News / USA

Political Crisis Could Hurt US Image Abroad

Political Crisis Could Hurt US Image Abroadi
X
October 09, 2013 6:44 AM
As the U.S. political crisis and government shutdown move into a second week, there is growing concern about how the stalemate could damage the U.S. image around the world.

Political Crisis Could Hurt US Image Abroad

As the U.S. political crisis and government shutdown move into a second week, there is growing concern about how the stalemate could damage the U.S. image around the world. 
 
House Speaker John Boehner declares, “it’s time for us to just sit down and resolve our differences,” while Obama replies, "we can't make extortion routine in our democracy." The bickering over the government shutdown shows no signs of letting up.
 
Now, another dangerous deadline looms: October 17th, when Congress must raise the U.S. borrowing limit or put the country on a path to financial default.
 
Concern about the global economic impact is spreading, including in London’s financial center.  
 
“I think it’s a massive fear that we go into recession again, especially since we are starting to recover from the previous one,” said Oliver Elliot, a student, sounding a common sentiment.
 
Other observers, such as Beverly Thomas, a financial analyst, feel the entire episode is little more than partisanship gone amok. “I think it is really about two-party politics and they are not thinking about the wider implications.”
 
Although the city has always had a certain amount of disagreement, the level of dysfunction in Washington today is so bad it is undermining the U.S. abroad, claims James Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
“I think it raises real questions in the mind of many foreign publics, many foreign leaders about whether the United States is a country that can be counted on,” said Lindsay.
 
President Barack Obama cancelled his trip to the Asia-Pacific summit in Indonesia because of the U.S. government shutdown, and sent Secretary of State John Kerry in his place.
 
“I want you all to know that in 2004, obviously, I worked very, very hard to replace a president.  This is not what I had in mind,” joked Kerry during his remarks, referencing his failed bid for the White House against George W. Bush.
 
The president’s decision to stay at home disappointed Asian leaders, noted Lindsay.
 
“I think it sends troubling signals in the region because Asian leaders look up and wonder is the United States going to be a stalwart ally.  Is it really going to be here in Asia for the long term or is America going to be too withdrawn, too insular, too focused on its own particular problems to really play a major role in the region?” wondered Lindsay.
 
John Fortier at the Bipartisan Policy Center says the dysfunction on display in Washington shows no signs of easing anytime soon.
 
“It’s now part of our polarized world to the extent that we have divided government and our parties differ a lot.  Some of this is likely to be the new normal,” claimed Fortier.
 
If that’s true, the rest of the world will simply make adjustments, according to Lindsay.
 
“We really run the risk of lurching from one fiscal crisis to another fiscal crisis.  That ends up producing a country that can’t invest in its future but it also produces a country that hardly serves as a model that will inspire others,” pointed out Lindsay, making clear the potential implication to American soft power.
 
The political fight may be taking place in Washington, but unless it’s resolved soon, the impact could be felt worldwide.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
October 09, 2013 8:14 AM
This so called "crisis" could not do much more damage to our credibility than our current president already has.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid