Friday, November 12, 2004


I'm not crazy about Kissinger's tenure as Secretary of State (and National Security Adviser at the same time), but he presents a compelling big picture look at the post 9-11 world.

"Democracy in the West evolved over centuries. It required first a church independent of the state; then the Reformation, which imposed pluralism of religion; the Enlightenment, which asserted the autonomy of reason from both church and state; the Age of Discovery, which broadened horizons; and finally capitalism, with its emphasis on competition and the market. None of these conditions exists in the Islamic world."

"In the potential cauldron after the January elections, some degree of internationalization is the only realistic path toward stability inside Iraq and sustained domestic support in America. The survival of the political process depends in the first instance on security—for which the United States retains the major responsibility—but ultimately on international acceptance to enable the Iraqi government to be perceived as representing indigenous aspirations."

"Unilateralism for its own sake is self-defeating. But so is abstract multilateralism. The former absorbs purpose into a sense of special national mission; the latter waters down purpose in a quest for a formal consensus. The challenge for America is to reconcile consultation with vast power."

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