[EDITORIALS]The time for cooperation

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[EDITORIALS]The time for cooperation

Amid the likely prospect of U.S. President George W. Bush’s reelection, the ballots are being counted in the U.S. presidential vote. As of now, it appears that the history of U.S. elections will likely be repeated ― why change horses in mid-stream?
If Mr. Bush is indeed reelected, his administration will have a firmer basis because the Republican Party has already expanded the number of seats it holds in the Senate and House of Representatives, far exceeding a simple majority.
The election result would indicate that U.S. foreign policy and global strategies will see no significant changes from the past four years.
Apart from the election of the president, the Republican Party will continue to dominate Congress, which helps shape the fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy.
Experts have already forecast that Washington will maintain its basic position in international issues, including the nuclear problem with North Korea.
The United States will continue to reject direct talks with North Korea and maintain the six-party format, they predict. American unilateralism in major global issues such as Iraq and the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol will likely continue, the experts say.
But the United States has suffered great damage from its unilateral diplomacy over the past four years. The Bush administration has suffered unusually low support from around the world.
If Mr. Bush has indeed been reelected, the administration must reflect on the international community’s opinions and cooperate more closely with international organizations such as the United Nations. Washington must reinforce its relations with its allies.
During the second term, the Bush administration must be more considerate of its allies and reflect their views in its foreign policy. That will be the only way to reduce the allies’ rejection of the U.S. unilateralism of recent years.
The United States is encountering difficulty in Iraq, and there are many issues in the world that Washington cannot solve alone. Discord between the United States and the international community must not continue for long, because that never helps to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the world.
Therefore, the new U.S. administration must promote a cooperative foreign policy, different from the unilateralism of the Bush administration’s first term, to regain the confidence of the international community.
There has not been a U.S. presidential election that has drawn the world’s attention as this one. Major issues in the race ― Iraq, the war against terror, taxation, stem cell research and gay marriage ― are not only U.S. domestic issues but also global matters.
This election demonstrated the status and influential power of the United States in our world today. It also showed that the world is more closely connected than at any time previously.
A serious aftermath is expected from the election. The chasm between “Red” and “Blue” America ― or the segments of the population that support the Republicans and Democrats, respectively ― has largely undermined the unity of U.S. society. There was no middle ground, and the voters have become more polarized.
Discord and conflicts among generations, urban and rural populations and classes have become more serious. The new U.S. president will face more difficulty in playing a leadership role in unifying society.
By achieving domestic unity and international reconciliation, the United States will regain its world leadership and that will bring peace, stability and prosperity in our world. The United States and the world should become more mature through this U.S. election to achieve progress through reconciliation.
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