[Hoje Macau, Macau]
Will America Go
the Way of General Motors?
triumph of U.S. ideology after the Second World War was in no small measure due
to the positive associations connected to America. Brand 'USA' was attractive
and appealing. … But this attraction - just like the status of Cadillac as a
dream car - is long since gone. Instead there is a general unease toward the
By Patrik Etschmayer
Translated By Patrik Etschmayer
June 4, 2009
Switzerland - Nachrichten - Original Article (German)
The last few months - actually
ever since his inauguration - have been a hellish time for Barack Obama.
Wherever he looked, there was crackling and crumbling and at times, entire walls
came tumbling down. The legacy of the Bush era was manifold and disastrous: Horrid
diplomatic standing wherever you looked, an ailing domestic economy, a collapse
in the financial sector, bankruptcies, unemployment, exploding deficits and a crisis
in the Near and Middle East that seemed to be increasingly volitile.
The United States today seems
like General Motors did not too long ago. It's still the greatest power in the
"market," but customers are beginning to turn away from the goods it offers. They no
longer seem enticing or up to date. Meanwhile, competitors have been quick to snatch up
market share. Brand "USA" now has some nasty blemishes.
But the parallels don't end
here. Former President Bush and ex-GM CEO Rick Wagoner pursued similar tactics
when they tried to hold their ground, or even regain some. Wagoner ruined GM by
discounting cars lacking a market to the point that every sale constituted a
loss. Bush tried to expand America's global influence with military power without
understanding those he intended to win over by entrenching himself among them.
The triumph of U.S. ideology after
the Second World War was in no small measure due to the positive associations
connected to America. Brand "USA" was attractive and appealing. To befriend
this country held the promise of some day living in a glittering world shining
with chrome-plated cars.
But this attraction - just like
the status of Cadillac as a dream car - is long since gone. Instead there is a
general unease toward the United States, a country regarded as aggressive,
financially ailing, the birthplace of a global recession and partly autistic when
it comes to understanding the sensitivities of other countries and their
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
Obama now has to restore
this brand on the world politics market if he wishes to prevent the United
States from losing even further ground - and one decisive venue for this
political marketing offensive is the Middle East. This is where one finds the
most embittered enemies of the U.S. It is there where the United States, along
with its allies, is most tangled up in conflict since it was there where George
W. Bush broke the most crockery.
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany:
General Motors' Collapse Leaves Americans 'Cold'
The intensity of the battle
being fought over this political market is amply demonstrated by the fact that
Osama bin Laden, whose political niche is terror, was forced to release a video message
in advance of Obama's speech in Cairo. The contents were no surprise, but the
fact that bin Laden would pipe up at all amply demonstrates his admission that Obama
has some chance of succeeding.
And this is where the big
difference between the U.S. and General Motors begins. Obama cannot - he had found
out painfully in connection with Guantanamo - just begin anew. He cannot file
chapter eleven, sell his bad assets to China or just give them up.
His first dance on egg shells
will be to establish a new relationship with the Arab world without stepping
too badly on Israel's toes. Next, without loosing face, he must get close
enough to the Iranians to keep them from obtaining the A-Bomb. Then he has to restore
relations with Europe which, since Bush's departure, are already much more
relaxed - and in the far east he needs to make lunatic Kim Jong-il see reason
and keep him from playing too much with his new bomb. And Obama must do all of
this against the background of a worldwide recession.
But as it does in all places,
change begins in the minds of people - and here, Obama may actually manage to restore
at least some of the luster of the United States, giving it back some of the
aura that once made this great idea of a nation so appealing. If he manages
that, then he might be capable of almost anything ... even Chevrolet might one
day regain its good name.
CLICK HERE FOR GERMAN VERSION
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US June 10, 11:39pm]