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  1. The bargaining chip that Canada needs for better relations with the U.S. administration, is oil. I'm an American, and I am disappointed with the direction that the American malaise is headed; downhill. I'm not Anti-American, but I think that the mode of thought for America is too directed by finances. In Afghanistan, after we deposed their regime, we put in Hamid Karzai, and immediately afterwards, installed a shiny new oil pipline. And I think, sadly, that the only way for the United States to take a foreign country seriously is to have some sort of long term interest in that nations resources. With the Middle East, it seems that the over-all reason for our presence and interaction is the strategic position of our armed forces. Once again, I'd like to reiterate that it's not Bush, or Clinton's former policies; as the hard-line Republicans allude to; but the over-all thought, which in turn affects the conception and execution of legislation, that leads to poor decision-making by the administration. But the fact that we've now, by chance alone (pun), armed forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. But I only minutely worry about foreign opinions of the U.S.. What worries me is the overly-zealous "patriotic" American public. I fear that they have become gullible. I think that we should all be cautious of groupthinking situations, and realize that the government knows more than we know, and will mislead us in their best interests. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but have historical precedence to support my opinion. During the Cold War, NSC-68 stated that one of the objectives of the administration to help back the fight against Russia was to "mobilize the public". Basically, this meant to start a propaganda movement internally to make the Americans empathize for the Russian people, and disdain the government "oppressing" them. I just wish everyone would not jump whole-heartedly behind one man. He is man, he makes mistakes. Unfortunately, what we are seeing now is political games. In retrospect, I blame not the administration, but the public malaise leading to poor administrative execution. In turn once more, if you've got oil, we *heart* your country.
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