Rice: Just Kidding
In a switch, secretary of state says the next president must embrace democracy building in other nations.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In case you missed it – or didn’t have the energy to read 9,000 words– Condoleezza Rice’s article in the current Foreign Affairs is a doozy.
U.S. Secretary of State Rice wrote an extended fugue on the importance of democracy promotion, whether by hook or crook. “We recognize,” she writes, “that democratic state building is now an urgent component of our national interest.”
She concocts something she calls “a uniquely American realism”: “We have never accepted that we are powerless to change the world. We have shown that by marrying American power and American values, we could help friends and allies expand the boundaries of what most thought realistic.”
Of course, the bastard child of that marriage between “American power” and “American values” is the war in Iraq, which Rice endorses.
“The democratization of Iraq and the democratization of the Middle East [are] linked… Our long-term partnerships with Afghanistan and Iraq, to which we must remain deeply committed, our new relationships in Central Asia, and our long-standing partnerships in the Persian Gulf provide a solid geostrategic foundation for the generational work ahead of helping to bring about a better, more democratic, and more prosperous Middle East.’’
A “generational” effort to impose “geostrategic” power. And, oh yeah, some of that democracy stuff.
The most amazing part is her take on her 2000 Foreign Affairs piece, in which she renounced nation building.
“In these pages in 2000,” she writes, “I decried the role of the United States, in particular the U.S. military, in nation building. In 2008 it is absolutely clear that we will be nation building for years to come.”
In 2008, she’s saying, “Fooled ya!”
She says America has loaded up on nation-building capacities that must be expanded by the next president. She says Washington has “prepared a new generation of military leaders for stabilization and counterinsurgency.” And she warns: “Those who follow us must build on this foundation.”
John McCain or Barack Obama better take notes. Rice says either has no choice but to build new U.S. capabilities for global democratization.