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Condoleezza Rice is wrong

June 30, 2007

I was pretty amazed when I read an AP story where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Paris after meeting with France’s new President Nicolas Sarkozy that democracy will come to the the Middle East no matter what.

“Yeah, it’s really hard,” she said. “It’s hard for democracy to take hold in a place where it has not taken hold before, but I am confident about the triumph of these values because I’ve seen it before.”

Rice continues: “Democracy is hard and I see it as especially hard when there are determined enemies who try and strangle it.”

While it’s debatable if the Bush administration wants democracy in the Middle East in the first place, Rice’s and Washington’s foreign policy continues to show a remarkable amount of ignorance of how the world has changed since the invasion of Iraq.

If anything, it reveals how fixated the US is on imposing its unilateral will on other countries.

One way to show how out of touch Bush’s foreign policy is to pay close attention to what gurus like Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brezinski and Brent Scocroft said recently about the US and its role in the world.

While they all served under different administrations, they agreed that the US needs to be less arrogant about using its might and more willing to talk with other countries.

One of the many big lessons learned from the Iraq debacle is that a hyperpower like the US can impose its will on smaller countries and rogue states through sheer might but this method is no longer feasible.

Might in no longer right. It can, however, get you in a hell of a costly mess.

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