Our Ms. Brooks: On Madam Flip-Flop
The article was brash, bold and widely seen as a Bush campaign manifesto. In it, Rice made the case for a hard-nosed U.S. foreign policy, one that would keep our national interests front and center and not be led astray by mushy globalist or humanitarian instincts or a foolish yearning for ideological purity.
That was then, and to be fair, pre-9/11.
And now? Well, Ms. Rice has just written another article for Foreign Affairs.
Analyzing the root causes of terrorism, Rice at times sounds like she wandered into the wrong political party. "In the broader Middle East," she asserts, for too long the U.S. "supported authoritarian regimes," but this "produced false stability ... there were virtually no legitimate channels for political expression." No wonder, then, "that Al Qaeda found the troubled souls to prey on and exploit as its foot soldiers. ... Our theory of victory, therefore, must be to offer people a democratic path to advance their interests peacefully -- to develop their talents, to redress injustices and to live in freedom and dignity. In this sense, the fight against terrorism is a kind of global counterinsurgency: The center of gravity is not the enemies we fight but the societies they are trying to radicalize." ...
Ms. Rice, after 8.5 years has finally come around to what the DFHs were saying at least 7 years ago. For a brilliant woman, she sure is a slow learner, eh? Not nearly as slow as her bosses are, however, as Rosa Brooks points out.
...Rice's latest essay has been almost universally ignored. No one seems to care much, one way or the other, about the secretary of State's foreign policy philosophy.
Maybe that's just Bush administration fatigue. Or maybe it really doesn't matter what Rice says. The philosophy she articulated in 2000 made no difference, and her revised one won't matter either. With Bush and Dick Cheney at the helm, Bush foreign policy will be what it's always been: morally bankrupt, intellectually incoherent and incompetently executed. And we're stuck with it for another seven months. [Emphasis added]
Labels: Foreign Policy