Essay about The United States ' Tactics Of Our Adversaries

Essay about The United States ' Tactics Of Our Adversaries

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1. What does Carter refer to when he says that the United States has too often abandoned "democratic methods" in foreign relations in favor of adopting the "tactics of our adversaries"?

When President Carter states that the United Sates had too often abandoned "democratic methods" in foreign relations in favor of adopting the "tactics of our adversaries", he was specifically referring to the events in Vietnam. He states that the United States tended to “…fight fire with fire, never thinking that fire is better quenched with water” (Voices of Freedom 309). This meant that in order to secure allies in the fight against communism, foreign policy promoted the United States to abandon their own ideals and “adopting” new ones in order to appeal to potential comrades. The overall mindset was that it was better to approach countries with a commonality (fire and fire) rather than introduce totally opposite viewpoints (fire and water) when it came to foreign relations. However, as stated by President Carter, “This approach failed, with Vietnam the best example of its intellectual and poverty” (Voices of Freedom 309). When tensions initially broke out between Communist North Vietnam and the pro-American South, the United States became “…committed to the survival of this corrupt regime” (Give Me Liberty! 985). It is also acknowledged by Carter that foreign policy during the time was influenced by two factors alone: “…a belief that Soviet expansion…must be contained, and the corresponding belief in the importance of an almost exclusive alliance among non-Communist nations” (Voices of Freedom 309). Overall, the United States was so consumed with obtaining allies and containing communism that it turned a blind eye to their drastic moral differe...


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... be that since “…Americans are as diverse a nation as the world has ever seen” (Voices of Freedom 310), we assume that every other nation would be as “open-minded” and “accepting” as we are. However, in reality, this is not the case because a majority of countries are so deeply rooted in religion, culture, and tradition that they are not willing to change their ways. As Carter stated, “We live in a world that is imperfect and which will always be imperfect” (Voices of Freedom 310), which is why it cannot be expected to solve worldwide human rights issues through foreign policy. If we tried to, we would meet the difficulty of having to be in constant disagreements with other countries, the highly-likely possibility of resistance and disagreement from other nations, and the task of trying to combat mindsets whose deep roots in religion and tradition span for centuries.

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