Notes: What if another country told us to elect someone other than George W. Bush. President. Bush has done just that on behalf of the United States. He's told the Cubans to get rid of Castro, the Palestinians to drop Arafat and the Iraquis to jettison Hussein. These men are not admirable leaders. Moreover, they have shown an dour disdain for human rights. Still, I thought it would be interesting to put the shoe on the other foot in this strip.

Citizens of other countries perceive in the United States as an arrogant bully when it goes around the world telling people how to run their countries. We appear a combination of the busybody neighbor who's always sticking her nose into other people's business and the bully in the bar who tells you he's going to kick your butt if you cross him. A lot of the world's peoples think of us that way and consequently don't like America.

While I think it's arrogant of us, I do find myself going back and forth on this one. Nations deal completely out of self-interest. If they're powerful they use that power and that's what the United States is doing. I think it comes down to whether you believe in realpolitik (essentially power) or whether you believe countries should stay out of other countries' internal affairs. This is a difficult issue to be consistent on. You may believe that the United States should stay out of other countries' internal affairs as a general proposition, but think it should put pressure on a country over human rights abuses. I'm sort of that school, but realize my own inconsistency.