Poll About America

So I have been thinking about the BBC poll that I posted about at the community blog so more. It seems like this poll perfectly captures so of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" attitude that America faces.

Take the world total of these three questions:

Handling of | Approve | Disapprove
Iraq | 19 | 74
Iran | 28 | 61
North Korea | 29 | 54

Say what you will, the US has handled all three of these situations very differently. In Iraq, when the UN refused to grant a resolution authorizing force, the US attacked relatively unilaterally. In Iran, the US has worked with the UN and IAEA to impose sanctions and have inspections. In Korea, the US negotiated an agreement that the North Koreans broke, and since has refused North Korea's demands to negotiate one-on-one, insisting that the other regional powers participate as well.

I am certainly not smart enough to know what the right thing to do is in any of those situations. I'm also sure that there are people out there who don't mind North Korea and Iran developing nuclear weapons or Saddam and his sons remaining in power (operating under increasingly ineffective sanctions that were only hurting the Iraq people and scheming to have sanctions lifted). Those people are not going to be won over by anything that the US would have done in these three situations. But if you assume that all three of those situations are bad, then what exactly was the policy that the US could have chosen that would meet with your approval?

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