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George Bush: Dictator or Peacekeeper
By Chung Ung, Parafield High, Adelaide, Australia

What do you think of America?

Is George Bush a dictator or a peace keeper? When this question was asked by The Australian newspaper, the aim was to sell newspapers. What we can take from this though is that the majority of Australians including myself can't make up our minds about whether President Bush is an evil man or a saviour of the world.

Increasingly, when we talk about globalisation we tend to think more toward Americanisation. America dominates the world with its military power and saturates the world with its culture. As the countries around the world struggle to find their place and to identify themselves from America, tension in certain regions of the world mounts to the point where we have the events of 9/11 in America.

In this article I will attempt to weigh out the positive and negative effects America has on the rest of the world and upon me as a citizen of the world.

Each morning children across Europe, Asia, Africa and no matter what time zone it is, chances are they're watching a program produced by Disney, America. Most prime time TV spots are all showing American tv programs. "Friends", an American sitcom about a group of six friends' life is dubbed in the local language. In parts of the world where the official language is not English they're watching "Friends" in English. It shows how deep rooted America's culture is in their lives. America has been credited for creating "Reality TV". The success of "Survivor" and "Big Brother" give rise to "trash tv" as "Reality TV" is known. Most programs involve people degrading themselves to win a cash prize, usually set at a million dollars. Critics of "Reality TV" say the formula for success of shows such as "Big Brother" degrade society morals and make everyone suspicious and less trustworthy.

Most movies being shown in your local cinema are made in Hollywood, America. For this reason, countries such as France have a tariff on the percentage of American movies allowed in their cinemas. Hollywood is able to make block buster movie full with million dollar explosions and special effects because of their economic scale. There are more consumers in America with money to spend than anywhere in the world.

America is looked upon to keep the world in order. The man with the task at the moment is George W. Bush. With his Texan accent and life attitude this President has not been seen as a foreign policy kind of man. In a cartoon in "The Economist" weekly magazine, an advisor of the President commented "since you're not a foreign policy kind of guy ... you pick things up pretty quickly." The illustration shows President Bush in a mass of troubles. His hand was stuck to a bees' nest, "Europe". His other hand in a trap, "Middle East" and he's stepping on an echidna, "North Korea". The cartoon captured the mess the U.S. is involved in as a military stronghold of the world.

What the rest of the world wants to replicate more about America are the ideals. The "equal for all" idea, the freedom to express your individuality and the dreams that anyone can make it to the top if they desire it enough. In the light of the scandals such as Enron and Worldcom, the world has just again been reminded that the American way may not be the best way. Most big corporations are run in the American style.

Right now I feel very sorry for America. What they're trying to do, and I'm still not certain if it's for the benefit of the world or for America, should be commended. But at the same time we should keep a careful eye on their activities. The Iraq Second Gulf War nearly ruined the United Nations and NATO. I think in the case of America with such domination over everything they're going to be called nasty names.

What the world needs to do now is to take a step up and not let America rule over them.

Originally published in Parafield Student Magazine http://www.pghs.sa.edu.au/svy.htm


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