T V Parasuram in Washington
Three US lawmakers have suggested an ambitious $110 million programme to woo
America's most powerful allies, 'the people of the world', by bypassing the governments and the ruling elite.
Chairmen of International Relations Committee Henry J Hyde, Congressmen Tom Lantos and Howard Berman have sponsored legislation suggesting that the US 'speak effectively and directly to the peoples of the world, bypassing their governments and the ruling elite'.
"The US conducts the world's only truly global foreign policy. It has an elaborate array of official relationships with nearly 200 governments and scores of international organisations," the three Congressmen said in the legislation -- Freedom Promotion Act of 2002 -- they have sponsored.
"This is a complex and important undertaking but something is missing. The US is overlooking its most powerful allies, the people of the world," they said,
The Congressmen propose among other things, an additional $70 million for exchange and cultural programmes and $40 million for global public diplomacy over two years.
Uniquely, among the world's powers, the US possesses an extensive network of associations and shared interests with people of virtually every country in the world, they added.
"These connections are typically independent of any formal relationship with their governments. These ties extend across an amalgam of cultural, economic, familial and other links. But among the most powerful is a bond that derives from the values America represents. At its core is the belief that these values have universal application," the trio said.
Tell us what you think of this report