Skip to comments.Nation's image tarnished, says former senator
Posted on 10/19/2006 1:18:10 PM PDT by visitor
By Amanda Crissup Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer
MARIETTA - America's image as a Lone Ranger cowboy figure troubles former Democratic U.S. Sen. Wyche Fowler Jr.
"If we're the superpower, if we have all the cards - why can't we be like John Wayne and walk into town and talk first before we shoot?" Fowler said.
Fowler, an Atlanta native and former Marietta resident who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1987 to 1992, addressed the Marietta Rotary Club on Wednesday about America's international image.
"America isn't acting like America," Fowler said.
As chairman of the board of the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., Fowler works to bolster American understanding of the Middle East. He said the United States has lost credibility in the international arena largely because it no longer has any regard for the opinions of other nations.
"In my opinion, this must be resolved or the problems of the world and this democracy will not be resolved," Fowler said. "We can't continue to make policy in isolation. We need allies in the world," Fowler said.
President George W. Bush has helped accelerate change in Iraq, but Fowler said he disagrees with the president's line of freedom being a God-given gift.
"I beg to differ with our president because freedom as represented by Western-style democracy is not given, it's an achievement," Fowler said.
That achievement was made 225 years ago Wednesday on the anniversary of Lord Charles Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown, Va., ending the Revolutionary War.
But Fowler said the problem of importing a political system like democracy to Iraq is that the political climate isn't the same.
"I think we'd make a mistake to try and enforce democracy on the cultures and other countries that have had no experience with active citizenship and institution building that true democracy requires," Fowler said.
He has spoken with active military leaders who say the military has done everything it can in Iraq.
"Our military is seriously asking for help, and I'm not talking about more troops on the ground," Fowler said
Now it's time for democracy, but democracy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Fowler said Islamic organizations should be directly involved in the process.
Fowler didn't just dwell on problems, but also suggested some solutions.
The key to patch up the past 15 years of a deteriorating public image, Fowler said, is to talk. Continued negotiation with Israel and Palestine is necessary, as well as with North Korea.
Fowler's speech gave Rotarians some food for thought.
Patrick McCord, chief business officer at Southern Polytechnic State University said Fowler's comments gave him something to consider before next month's elections.
"That's not something you want to hear, but it got me to thinking, is that true?" McCord said.
Mayor Bill Dunaway said Fowler's speech struck him.
"We all say we want democracy but what he was saying is be careful what you ask for, you may not like what you get," Dunaway said.
Fowler has a history of civic involvement that predates elected office.
As a boy in 1947, he presented a 5-minute speech to 35 different Rotary clubs across the state on the community chest.
Wednesday's visit with Rotarians was at least his second keynote address to the Marietta club.
In 2003, he shared with the club his perspective on U.S.-Saudi relations and his personal connection to Sept. 11. 2001. His only daughter worked at the World Trade Center and was one of the few who walked away after the attacks.
Did Fowler ever actually SEE a John Wayne movie?
Because life isn't a movie, jackass. It's real and there are real consequences, and the Diplomacy angle fails more often than succeeds.
That's why I always preferred Clint Eastwood. He didn't say much, he just rode into town and started killing people.
Is this why all the 'cool' people are Democrats? (ie: Hollywood types) Because I could really give a rat's butt what the rest of the world thinks of us and for some odd reason all Democrats do. Maybe it is left over from High School and they haven't grown up. Well, then again... I could have cared less then what people thought of me.
Yeah we should waste time of the same collection of rabidly ignorant fools who created this whole mess with Islamic Fundementalism in the 1970s by selling out the Shah of Iran
Why is he a former Senator?
McClintock: "I'm not gonna hit ya. No I'm not gonna hit ya. The hell I'm not!"
Sounds like pretty thin gruel.
Wayne was frequently the only guy who would stand up to the bad guys in his movies. We could do a lot worse.
I can see why this dink is a former...
"Why is he a former Senator?"
Because we liked Paul Coverdell better.
LOL! I love Jackie Chan movies.
Actually the idiot was a Senator in that period. The loser was defeated by Paul Coverdell.
Clinton later appointed the idiot loser as ambassador.
Is this a real paper?
I was all for 'imposing' democracy on Iraq, then the rest of the Middle East, too. That was before I realized Islamic hatred in not only a bane to western civilization but to democracy itself. Since people aren't reasoned into their religious beliefs, they can't be reasoned out of them, even at gunpoint. Islam will be Islam. They can have it.
We'll end up pulling out of an Iraq that will sink into civil war and re-emerge a theocracy. It may take a Democratic president. The shame now is how many more Americans will die before we declare victory and come home.
Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have done more than their share to see to it!
Diplomacy. John Wayne Style.
Man, what a dumb@ss!!!
Well, obviously this moron has never seen a John Wayne movie...
Even John Wayne wouldn't have "talked" for 12 years before shooting, like we did with Saddam.