February 6, 2005


Condoleezza Rice brings morality to realpolitik (Daily Telegraph, 05/02/2005)

Consider the six countries where Miss Rice says she wants America actively to promote freedom: Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe, Belarus and Burma. It can be argued that Washington has (to borrow John Major's notorious phrase about Ulster) a "selfish strategic or economic interest" in the first three, but what possible stake does it have in the others?

In each case, the Bush Administration is seeking to tilt the balance of power towards freedom. Contrast this with the EU, fĂȘting Robert Mugabe, withdrawing its support from anti-Castro dissidents, seeking accommodation with the Iranian ayatollahs.

When Europeans talk of "stability" and "constructive engagement", what they often mean is doing deals with dictators. A case can, of course, be made for such an approach. But, whatever else it is, it is not ethical. Miss Rice, by contrast, talks without embarrassment about exporting liberty.

"There cannot be an absence of moral content in American foreign policy," she says. "Europeans giggle at this, but we are not European, we are American, and we have different principles."

If it's ethical it isn't Real.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2005 6:32 AM

When was the last time you heard an American diplomat use the word "giggle" in a foreign interview?

It's sort of like George W saying what he means and meaning what he says, if in unorthodox diplomaticspeak.

It does grab the world's attention, though. Which is the purpose.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at February 6, 2005 9:02 AM

"...we are not European, we are American, and we have different principles."

I just fell in love. I hope she push this line into the faces of the next Democrat Congressman who disses her.

Posted by: ray at February 6, 2005 3:24 PM