Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Question for Chris Dodd

Chris Dodd blogging today

Today, Sen. Chris Dodd posted his first diary at the Booman Tribune to talk to bloggers. I found this to be pretty interesting since so far everyone has pretty much stuck to Daily Kos.

As was the case with Gov. Vilsack's diary at Daily Kos last week, I managed to get a question in early and was lucky enough to get an answer, too. While this one does not deal directly with Nevada, I thought it was significant enough to ask, especially on a personal basis for me:


ten years ago I lived in the United States as a high school exchange student from Germany at Lake Tahoe, NV. It's become a second home.

The last couple of years were really hard as sentiment not only towards the Bush administration but to the US as a whole started to sour after the start of the Iraq war. This sentiment seemed to turn from an anti Bush sentiment into an anti American sentiment after Bush was reelected by the American people.

As the actions of the Bush administration have alienated many nations around the world, I wonder what you would do in order to restore America's international relations.

Thanks for being here!

Nevada Caucus 2008

Thank you for honesty of the question.

I am very concerned about this and I hear about it every single day from people who travel outside the US. I don't think the situation is irreversible, clearly there is a lot of disappointment and anger over present policies in international relations. But I believe a majority of people around the world would like to see the US doing the things we are best known for during a good part of the 20th century. Standing up for people, helping people get on their feet, willing to place their lives on the line so other people can be free from one form of dictatorship or another.

I was a peace corps volunteer in Latin America in the 60s. I still hold a very close relationship with the people in the neighborhood where I worked. I usually meet with peace corps volunteers in countries where I am traveling.

I find they give me a very unique and honest appraisal of how Americans are perceived and received. At a recent meeting with 20 retiring peace corps volunteers in Jordan (regrettably, one of only 2 Arab countries where we have a Peace Corps program), I was told by these fluent Arab speakers, many of whom were going on to graduate school in Arabic Studies, that while there were serious points of disagreement with US policies in the region, it had been their experience that the people in the villages and neighborhoods where they had worked for the previous 2 years, still wanted to see the US be a good leader in the world.

And to identify with the hopes and aspirations with millions around the globe. I'm old enough to remember a scene in 1959 when Richard Nixon's car was being stoned in Caracas, Venezuela because of anti-American feelings. Roughly 24 months later a new American president was elected who took us in a different direction, more than 45 years later this President's picture can still be found in huts and houses in Venezuela. I know these times are different. I know the challenges are different. But as your question to me indicates, there are many around the world who would still like to see the US back on its feet doing the right thing for itself and for others around the globe. I'm optimistic that leadership will emerge in the elections of 2008.

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