NPR logo The Rest of the World, Remember That?

The Rest of the World, Remember That?

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks on day three of the Republican National Convention (RNC) on September 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota Rolando Arrieta hide caption

toggle caption
Rolando Arrieta

Rudy Giuliani reminded us in his speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) that the world is a scary place. But then he would say that, wouldn't he. While I don't completely subscribe to the former New York mayor's bleak world view, he reinforced, for a few moments, that the rest of the world is a complicated place and will test the skills of the next team that takes over the White House.

There have been some intriguing international news stories that may have passed under the radar with all the recent attention on a soccer (or hockey) mom from Alaska:

- American troops crossed the border into Pakistan for the first time to chase down Taliban targets. This is a major escalation and is likely to weaken the Pakistani government.

- The Bush administration upped the ante in the confrontation with Russia, pledging one billion dollars in aid to Georgia after Russian sent troops into Georgian territory. This is Middle East kind of money. Big problem money. Georgia is now one of the highest per capita recipients of U.S. aid in the world.

Article continues after sponsorship

I talked to three international journalists this morning on Tell Me More to find out how the U.S. elections are playing in Mexico, in the Middle East, and in Russia. The good news is that the elections are closely followed in the rest of the world. The bad news is, "they" don't like us very much out there. But, still, there is an expectation that the United States has to take a strong role in the world, or the festering problems will only get worse.

We've had a bit of a vacation during this election season from the daily focus on the most destabilizing world problems. This is an American election after all, and we've been talking about the most pressing issues at home: the economy, education, the high price at the pump.

We are having a much needed American conversation, and while, as voters, elections are rarely decided on foreign policy, the rest of the world will reassert itself on the agenda in January, 2009.

— Deborah Amos

About