Kissinger on "crusading" Bush's "Freedom Agenda"
As you read his world overview in his Washington Post piece today you can hear that croaky Bavarian monotone that of itself intones a degree of credibility that the fly-weight, hesitant, Condoleeza Rice can only dream. His analysis, as usual, is insightful, global and forboding.
I found his description of the Bush administrations policies rather alarming.
"President Bush's Middle East policy... elevated the progress of freedom in the world to the defining objective of U.S. foreign policy... Strategy must begin with the recognition that the freedom agenda does not make geopolitical analysis irrelevant. There are issues for which crusading strategies tend to be off the mark. The rise of China is, in essence, a geopolitical challenge, not a primarily ideological one."
"Americans need to understand that successes do not end their engagement but most probably deepen it. For as we involve ourselves, we bear the responsibility even for results we did not anticipate. We must deal with those consequences regardless of our original intentions and not act as if our commitments are as changeable as opinion polls."
"Elections are not an inevitable guarantee of a democratic outcome. Radicals such as Hezbollah and Hamas seem to have learned the mechanics of democracy in order to undermine it and establish total control... It is not possible to automatically apply models created over centuries in the homogeneous societies of Europe and the United States to ethnically diverse and religiously divided societies in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In multiethnic societies, majority rule implies permanent subjugation of the minority unless it is part of a strong federal structure and a system of checks and balances."
"No single nation is strong enough or wise enough to involve itself in every political evolution around the world simultaneously. Priorities based on the national interest are imperative. Otherwise, psychological exhaustion and physical overextension are a real possibility, along with a global coalition of the resentful and nationalistic resisting perceived American hegemony.
President Bush has put forward a dramatic vision. The national debate now needs to focus on the concrete circumstances to which it must be applied. The nongovernmental groups should participate in this process."
Kissinger's analysis of elections is apt. Israel is democratic but often votes for extremeists rather than moderates - same with the Palestinians - even the USA?