Monday, May 08, 2006

Albright, still behind the curve….

My fear is that, in the process, a new conventional wisdom will emerge that promoting democracy in the Middle East is a mistake. It is not.

Even when she’s part right, she’s frustrating because it seems she’ll forever be at least part wrong. First, she wants to draw the line between the realist camp and the idealist camp, and then sides with the idealist camp though she thinks their main crime is over-promising the perks of democracy…oh yeah, and doing something about it. You may remember Albright as the Madame secretary that did little, if nothing, to promote democracy in the Middle East, but that’s water under the bridge, right? When she had the chance to shape our policy in the region, she chose stability over independence, which she now criticizes. Well that’s fine, welcome to the outskirts of the idealist camp, Madame. Don’t worry, nobody’s going to expect any leadership from you.

She concludes her article:

The time has come to start looking beyond the Bush administration to its successor. Our new leaders, of whichever party, will face daunting challenges, including that of redefining what America stands for in the world. Their "to do" list is sure to include winning the battle of ideas -- as we should have long ago -- against the likes of Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, halting nuclear proliferation, devising a sensible energy policy, and restoring America's reputation as a supporter (and observer) of international law and human rights. At the top of that list, however, must be a reaffirmation of America's commitment to liberty and respect for the dignity of every human being. Without such a commitment, all else will be in vain.
It would be nice of her to give credit where credit is due. Bush has redefined our stance in the world and restored our reputation and support of human rights, if not international law. And what is international law these days if not a tool for stability over freedom? And to suggest that Bush hasn’t reaffirmed our commitment to liberty and respect for the dignity of every human being? Sheesh!

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