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International relations are tricky at best and disastrous at worst Innocent mistakes brought about by cultural differences can sometimes have unexpected consequences In the Liberalism vs Realism debate Im sitting firmly over here on the left I think people should be more important than money and I think America needs to remain aware of and engaged in the global community I define myself as a Liberal and to me that means that in general I am more concerned with human rights human potential international cooperation and a just society than I am with monetary gain I see government as neither adversary nor oppressor but as a partner that can indeed must provide services that people and the private sector cannot provide for themselves Realism as I understand it is exactly what its name implies a way of looking at the world without rose colored glasses of seeing things exactly as they are In this regard at least the two schools of thoughts are in conflict since most Liberals are admittedly more than willing to overlook peoples faults and failings if the end result is a more harmonious relationship realists would not allow such generosity In the international arena Liberalism encourages a global community Realism is likely to pull back from any such commitment until its adherents can clearly see whats in it for them I believe the basic problem of international affairs is the potential for innocent misunderstanding the so-called culture clash I realize this is a glimpse of the blindingly obvious but I dont think we can afford to minimize it There have been far too many stories of Americans failing to complete business transactions because our brusque to-the-point style of business offended the other party If we consider this type of thing multiplied by the difficulties of two governments interacting successfully it is easy to see why international affairs is such a difficult subject In my view it is
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