Secretary Rice on Foreign Policy in the Last Eight Years

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 9, 2008
Secretary Rice

Secretary Rice reccently wrote a comprehensive article on U.S. foreign policy in the July/August issue ofForeign Affairsmagazine.“My admonition in 2000 that we should seek to get right the 'relationships with the big powers' -- Russia, China, and emerging powers such as India and Brazil -- has consistently guided us. As before, our alliances in the Americas, Europe, and Asia remain the pillars of the international order, and we are now transforming them to meet the challenges of a new era.

What has changed is, most broadly, how we view the relationship between the dynamics within states and the distribution of power among them. As globalization strengthens some states, it exposes and exacerbates the failings of many others -- those too weak or poorly governed to address challenges within their borders and prevent them from spilling out and destabilizing the international order. In this strategic environment, it is vital to our national security that states be willing and able to meet the full range of their sovereign responsibilities, both beyond their borders and within them. This new reality has led us to some significant changes in our policy.”

Comments

Comments

Zharkov
|
United States
June 9, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

I suppose we are lucky that Switzerland does not have the kind of foreign policy that America now has, or it would be telling us how to run our elections and trying to overthrow the Clinton loss in the primaries.

America was founded to be a neutral nation and advised by its first president to avoid unnecessary foreign entanglements, advice which today proves both accurate and brilliant in its simplicity.

The Korean Conflict, Vietnam Police Action, and Iraq Invasion, involved no formal declaration of war, no national security risks to American citizens within US borders, but participating in those unconstitutional wars got them killed.

We have the world's most expensive intelligence agencies plus an army, navy, and air force to forewarn and protect us from attack. National security disappears when we make mutual defense treaties that get us involved in foreign civil wars, foreign revolutions, and foreign election disputes.

Our national security should not depend so much on what happens in other countries. Nothing in our federal constitution makes it America's job to prevent or direct revolutions in weaker nations in Africa, Latin America, or Asia.

If people in Iran want to be ruled by ayatollahs, we should not be offering to rescue them from their choice. If Russian people do not want US missile bases next door to their homes and villages, we should respect their wishes, out of common courtesy if not policy, unless we are prepared to accept the same treatment from them.

The ideal rule in a nuclear age is the Golden Rule, and America should apply it more frequently.

John
|
Greece
June 9, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A.

Zharkov, if that's your real name, you love Russia, Iran and China and you hate AMERICA.

YOU WRITE:

"We have the world's most expensive intelligence agencies plus an army, navy, and air force to forewarn and protect us from attack. National security disappears when we make mutual defense treaties that get us involved in foreign civil wars, foreign revolutions, and foreign election disputes.
Our national security should not depend so much on what happens in other countries. Nothing in our federal constitution makes it America's job to prevent or direct revolutions in weaker nations in Africa, Latin America, or Asia.
If people in Iran want to be ruled by ayatollahs, we should not be offering to rescue them from their choice. If Russian people do not want US missile bases next door to their homes and villages, we should respect their wishes, out of common courtesy if not policy, unless we are prepared to accept the same treatment from them".

EVEN A KID UNDERSTANDS THAT YOU DO NOT LOVE USA.
EVEN A CHILD UNDERSTANDS THAT YOUR COMMENTS ARE PART OF YOUR SERIAL ANTI-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA.

ACCORDING TO MY OPINION, A STRONGER "intelligence agencies plus an army, navy, and air force" ARE THE ONLY "WEAPONS" THAT CAN PROTECT AMERICA.
A STRONG, HEALTHY -AS IT IS- DoS TOO.

YOU ALSO WRITE: "If Russian people do not want US missile bases next door to their homes and villages, we should respect their wishes".

WHY???
DO (AND DID THEY EVER) RESPECT USA's WISHES? (THINK OF CUCA CASE)
NO!

YOU ALSO WRITE: "If people in Iran want to be ruled by ayatollahs, we should not be offering to rescue them from their choice".
WHY???
IF YOU SEE A CHILD THAT IS IN DANGER, YOU WILL LET IT DIE?

BESIDES, IRAN CAN CREATE MANY OTHER "IRANS". AND ALL THESE A TYPHOON? AGAINST USA.

Nevertheless, I understand that you love Iran as long as Russians deal and collaborate with them.
May I ask you something?
What do you love more?

U.S.A. ?
or Russia, Iran and China?

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 10, 2008

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

John, I have read your comments on other postings, and I think you often make a good point. In this case, I think Zharkov makes a valid point when he reminds us that America's founding fathers warned us of foreign entanglements. There is certainly wisdom in their guidance, and it remains a legitimate - but certainly debatable - argument today.

I wonder whether President Washington would - whether he could - give such advice today. I would assert that he could not. That the realities of the world have changed, and the United States must be engaged in it.

Leaders - and nations - sometimes have to change their minds, and it takes courage to do so. To me, Secretary Rice's article in Foreign Affairs is about changing one's mind. The world is a different place than it was in 2000.

She writes, "In these pages in 2000, I decried the role of the United States, in particular the U.S. military, in nation building. In 2008, it is absolutely clear that we will be involved in nation building for years to come."

We Americans may want to disengage from the world right now, but we cannot. It is not in our interest. What happens across the world does impact us: political instability, economic markets, infectious diseases, climate change.

Later in the article, Secretary Rice writes: "Perhaps of greater concern is not that the United States lacks the capacity for global leadership but that it lacks the will. We Americans engage in foreign policy because we have to, not because we want to, and this is a healthy disposition -- it is that of a republic, not an empire. ...I find that whatever differences we and our allies have had over the last eight years, they still want a confident and engaged United States, because there are few problems in the world that can be resolved without us. We need to recognize that, too."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 10, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I think what people tend to forget is that being "neutral" and cautious about getting involved in European rivalries in this nation's early years was because our nation had only a defensive capability, no navy to speak of, and was more concerned with building a nation from scratch than getting involved with the conflicts of others.

This nation's isolationism came to an end off the Barbary coast, and while it's true we were dragged kicking and screeming into two world wars, I think the founding fathers would have aproved of that intervention, and the interactive role America plays in the world today.

Including being a nation of nation builders.

John
|
Greece
June 10, 2008

John in Greece writes:

John@Anna
I certainly agree with your theoretical perspective and of course with what Secretary Rice writes. This would be the ideal.

Nevertheless, let me explain what I mean. As Eric from New Mexico notes, things change and policy -- especially foreign policy -- must be dynamic and adaptive. America did not choose to engage in all these situations, but what would had happened to the world if, for example, U.S. had not engaged in WW2?

Another example is Afghanistan. What if U.S. had not stopped the Russians there, even if they had to "deal" with Taliban back then?
And there are hundreds of similar examples of this vital engagement.

That's why I liked so much this phrase of the Secretary Rice: "We Americans engage in foreign policy because we have to, not because we want to, and this is a healthy disposition -- it is that of a republic, not an empire. ...I find that whatever differences we and our allies have had over the last eight years, they still want a confident and engaged United States, because there are few problems in the world that can be resolved without us. We need to recognize that, too."

In other words, I strongly respect the theoretical basis that the founding fathers offered, although I think that, as Eric writes, "the founding fathers would have approved of that intervention, and the interactive role America plays in the world today".

I strongly disagreed with Zharkov on the ground that he -- below the line -- suggests the "disarmament" of Intelligence and Army.

All the western world needs a strong, healthy, democratic America that can offer theoretical advice, help, security and vision to the rest of the globe. I may be wrong, but according to my opinion the 1 to 3 list for achieving this global mission are:
1. Extremely strong Intelligence
2. Productive and healthy DoS
3. Powerful army (just in case?)

Thank God, America has already achieved the theoretical part.

U.S. philosophy for global democracy is clear and complete. That's why all of us love the States.

However, the above 3 tools are prerequisites if we want a strong, secure America.

Bests regards Anna, I read your very interesting posts too.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 10, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Conducting foreign relations is a duty of the President and effected through the Secretary of State, under our constitution.

"Foreign relations" includes drafting treaties, diplomacy, and negotiation but does not include nation building other than our own. The rebuilding of europe after WW2 was illegal and unconstitutional, as was much of what President Roosevelt did. Such things are not authorized under the US Constitution nor should they be. If the grant of power is not written in that document, it is illegal for federal officials to do it. The expenditure of funds to build other nations constitutes a misappropriation or gift of taxpayer funds. To advocate nation-building is to advocate the violation of law.

If the Soviet Union had succeeded in Afghanistan, the US would not be there today. When the Soviet Union dissolved, Afghanistan would most likely have received the same deal that the Baltic Nations received - withdrawal of Soviet troops and complete autonomy. We know this is likely because it already happened for the Baltic States.

What would have happened if the Roman Empire had not conquered Britan, or the Mongols had not conquered Russia, or if Roosevelt had not embargoed oil for Japan, or if President Carter had not supported the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran? We could not know or guess. Making history allows no second chance in most cases.

Today, US foreign policy includes shaping the world's future with American military power, the same basic mistake made by the Roman Empire. One would hope our leaders would have learned from that mistake but perhaps not.

Prince S.
June 16, 2008

PS in Europe writes:

(swift improvisation -- please excuse any errors)

I deeply appreciate the courage and positive outlook US Secretary of State Very Honorable Ms Doctor Condoleezza Rice demonstrates by striving to enhance understanding and cooperation between major powers and most populous developing states in the world.

The US Government and People are thus well represented by such strivings, and by seeking common grounds with great powers and developing nations, the best forces in the world could be encouraged towards consensus and civil societies could gradually gain far more.

The present UN Charter was designed shortly after the second world war, and had not foreseen problems of multinational extremism, fanatism, tyranny and those most proliferous drug cartels which have long funded terrorists in the Middle East (along with states who abuse oil resources).

UN and world insitution reforms are needed to include protection of diversified Civil Society and protection of unique people and individuals.

This is best achieved by consensus between the great Powers and Peoples of the World, and thus the horrors of terror and tyranny and narcoterror could be broken and good people protected.

This is best achieved by the understanding and consensus along the lines the Very Honorable Secretary of State has been struggling ( - and simultaneously, all positive forces within Civil Societies can be encouraged)

By encouraging Great and Populous Nations as Russia, China, as well as Brazil and India, along with others, the US gains in friends, and understanding and consensus will be easier now and for future generations.

I believe that plans to encourage protection of unique refugees, proponents of peace and reform, as well as peace loving minority peoples, can be best achieved through mutual understanding and not the antagonism certain sensationalist media, ( some extremist lobby funded, ) may demonstrate from time to time.

With ardent zeal and interest, relationship building will gain the USA, thus enabling true 'pre-emptive' problem prevention, by winning hearts and minds.

By the USA moving out into the world and creating alliances and friendships does not need play into the snares and schemes of certain local states and politics.

Partisan politics may want to make hostage out of the Great Nation of the USA - but with positive outlook, people will be drawn to look away from differences, and grow to understand better intentions of common security and mutual prosperity that helps good people and forces and avoid becoming hostage of certain ulterior unclear motives and confusions ( as participants of certain NGOs have been 'running in packed antique shops' crashing issues and squandering opportunities towards progress that keeps in touch with the local problems and dilemmas of people and administrations.

In order to achieve these most lofty aims as expressed by Secretary of State, Very Honorableable Ms Doctor Condoleezza Rice, a tremendous attention from the entire US society and people around the world, appealing for heartfelt and devoted support and encouragement.

People all around the world must needs recognize and appreciate the most unique catalyst and consolidator role the USA can play.
Those most hard working Civil Servants of the Department of State must be encouraged in every way possible and imaginable, as well as all positive potentials all around the world must needs be appreciated and defended.

It is a logical falaccy if anyone expects the USA to be able to limitlessly shoulder such a huge burden, as just for example, the US contributes at least 50% of all world food aid.

People around the world must learn to appreciate and encourage the potentials of the USA with all their hearts minds and souls, for the USA can bring together great proponents of World Peace and Prosperity that can be consolidated through multitudes of joint projects and ventures.

It is paramount that during these US elections, all minds and hearts be focused on 'keeping their eyes fixed on the ball' in this so crucial world scenario of peace and confidence building.

Re-emerging powers as Russia and China, and populous economies as India and Brazil could realize more and more through US cooperation - and rationally, by building along these lines, the USA will gain by such confidence building - and will always retain the greatest advantages of being multicultural, uniting so many peoples, nations and walks of life, and a world recognized language of communication: English.

I appeal to all to look away from party political divisions and focus on how we can build and encourage a strong US Civil Service that rises above all party political lobbies and divides.

I hope to post issues in future that could help encourage the securing of good individuals in Civil Societies and recognition of positive legacy and heritage.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 10, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

To John in Greece:

I am loyal to America. This loyalty runs to our country and not necessarily to a political party and their often misguided policies and temporary occupants of office.

When I salute our flag, I salute the soldiers who fought and died for our freedom and the founders who risked their lives and fortunes for liberty, but I do not salute the mistakes made by current and past government administrations and their increasing efforts to ignore our constitution, our liberties, and our purpose as a nation.

When I pledge allegiance to the flag, I do not ratify undeclared wars, unauthorized expenditures, criminality, graft, bribes, and corruption of Congress, the exercise of undue influence on foreign elections, the overthrow or assassination of foreign leaders, secret plans to permanently occupy foreign nations, torture of foreign combatants, or abuses of power.

When I wear a uniform in the US military, I wear the colors of my country and not that of the United Nations, the E.U., NATO, or any other cadre internationale.

When I cross the border of my country, I expect that border to be there when I return and not disappear or require a briefcase of documents to cross it. I expect to travel intrastate without government checkpoints demanding to see my papers. I expect a government that can function without my biometric data, my shoe size, or my preference for dessert.

There is only one American Constitution in the history of man and it is our only defense against a fantastically powerful federal government. I would like to see our government live within its means and within its borders.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 11, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Ah Zharkov, with all due respect..your oath to protect and defend the Constitution does not preclude abandoning the values which concieved it.

The common inalienable rights of all mankind, for one.

You have interpreted the words to mean what they never implied, for nowhere in the Constitution does it suggest a doctrine of isolationism from the rest of the world.

As I understand it, Ben Franklin had a pretty good time in Paris and London being this nation's very first ambassador.

I just have to say that what you believe America should be all about never had anything to do with what America is all about...no insult intended, just raw analysis.

And how many people would starve to death worldwide were America to adopt your "America First" foreign policy aproach and hide behind our borders eh? No, that's not putting America first, that's a sure strategy for us to finish last in credibility among nations.

Quite the dilema, no?

Well, I'd say if you were going to toss out policy ideas for debate, you might want to consider whether they are morally doable, as well as Constitutional.

And FDR's "Four Freedoms" violates our Constitution? Must I guess if you say the Marshall Plan which based it's entire premis on them was "unconstitutional".

You know folks tend to get a little upset at how you voice your patriotism, Zharkov, when they tend to use ALL CAPS...(chuckle). I'm not saying this to rail on you or to change your mindset. Only you can do that. But you seem quite bitter about the way things are, and I don't think you need to be.

Shamir in Europe's "swift improvisation" got it about right.

I would only add that "winning hearts and minds" is a two way street. What comes around, goes around.

I think the smart thing is to be of cautious mind and flexible to change, and so to John from Greece who may on occassion mistake "the loyal minority" for anti-Americanism I can simply say that I do believe you're about to get an education 'round November. I hope this election sets a good example to others for what is possible. Thanks for the kind words. I've given up any attachment to permanance long ago....(LOL!)

On the other hand, folks around the world that fear radical change in US foreign policy need not. For there are far too many checks and balances within government for things to get too far out of whack one side of the pendulum or the other. I just trust the American people's center of gravity as we the people proceed to the vote with our traditional revolutionary instincts. Works for me all the time.

The power we invest in our government comes from us, the people. So please do feel free to raise a glass, and celebrate. No need to crash the party, the world's invited.

Mi' casa, es su' casa.

"we the people" is all of you who've come from distant land to become citizen, those native to the land, and those born of the land known as America.

What America is becomes an evolving process, and when when one thinks of a diplomat being America's face to the world, it be only natural for the Sec of State to project the mirror that America has become to the rest of the world. We are no different from the world, the world is us in a great meltingpot.

Sometimes folks don't like the mirror held up too closely. They may be comforted in that it is a two way looking glass.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
June 11, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Sovereign Responsibilities?

Get over SOVEREIGN and see the interconnectness of resonsible governance. The world can no longer be run by reciprocal contracts. Look at Darfur, for example.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
June 11, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

1. US forces would be free to attack via Iraqi airspace, land or waterways any country which threatens global and regional peace and security, menaces Iraqi government and constitution, or instigates terrorist and paramilitary groups.

2. US forces would have the right to set up additional military bases and stations inside Iraq that will support the Iraqi army. The number of the bases would depend on several factors, including the security conditions the US government deems desirable, negotiations with the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US command as well as discussions with the Iraqi Defense Ministry and relevant authorities.

3. The Iraqi government and its judiciary would not have the right to prosecute American forces or individuals. The immunity measure would extend to the US military, security, non-military and logistics firms affiliated with the US Army.

4. The Iraqi government would not have the right to independently determine whether US forces inside Iraq are qualified, nor would it have the right to limit or determine the size of American military bases and their routes.

5. US security forces would have the right to build security centers, particularly their own special prisons, to maintain security.

6. US forces would have the right to use their privilege to arrest those who threaten peace and security without a warrant from the Iraqi government or its institutions.

7. The US government must be informed of and negotiated with on Iraq's regional and international relations as well as signing of agreements so as to safeguard the country's security and constitution.

8. US forces will control Iraq's defense, interior and intelligence ministries for 10 years to carry out efforts toward training and enabling their staff, a measure which would mean even the weapons used by Iraqi forces and their types must be employed with the consent of US forces.

9. The agreement to be signed would be a pact rather than a treaty.

10. US forces would remain in Iraq for an unspecified and presumably lengthy period depending on conditions in the country. Future reviews on the matter would depend on the US and Iraqi governments. Any review would only be made under certain preconditions, including that Iraq's security and military organizations improve their performance; the country's security situation improves; national reconciliation takes place; neighboring countries are warned; the Iraqi government regains complete control throughout the country; and put an end to the presence of paramilitary forces inside Iraq.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 11, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. Writes:

After we read the Federalist Papers, we will understand that "America first" was the entire point of the American revolution against Britain. Many royalists who did not want to separate from England left America for Canada.

If not "America first", then which country should be first in the minds of Americans? Which country is more important that our own?

Do we really want an international group such as the U.N. to govern the world? Are you so ready to abandon the U.S. Constitution? If so, then perhaps Canada is the country for you.

Who elected the U.N. to govern Darfur? Do we have an obligation to govern the ungoverned in every nook and cranny on earth? In which document is that obligation stated? Or is this a matter of sheer military power that grants such a right?

Lawlessness cuts both ways. If we assume obligations without request to do so, and compel obedience to our policies through force, we may expect the same officious intermeddling by other countries in our own domestic politics, eventually.

Contrary to what Eric said, I do not advocate isolation from the world, but merely hope for respect for other cultures - The Golden Rule.

Iranians are not our children and we are not their nanny. If they wish to have another revolution, our Declaration of Independence suggests that is within their right, without our stepping into the middle of it. One would expect the same for any country, including Sudan, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, or any other misgoverned nation.

If Iran is making atomic bombs, I would expect the IAEA to say so, and they said Iran is not doing that, so then what is the point of funding the IAEA if nobody can trust its report?

Are we going to war again based on speculation and doubts? Would we go to war with Iran if we had a different foreign policy that did not try to second-guess everything that other countries might do?

Is the foreign policy that got us mired down in Iraq working for us or is our dollar devaluation evidence that we are spending too much on wars?

Will America still be as loved when we run out of oil and our military power has diminished or will that be payback time for our past sins? I think we need to back off some of our agressiveness regarding weaker nations and try persuasion and reason and maybe even see if the U.N. can do what it was created to do - avoid war. If the U.N. is a waste of time in that regard, then why do we remain there?

JOE U.
|
Tennessee, USA
June 11, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge the admiration I have for the loyalty and commitment that Ms. Rice had for the Presidents policies and direction toward democracy throughout the world, but...

I am surprised that with the US economic situation a review of the last eight years has any relevance to be honest. I am especially awed that the blind eye turned toward Russia for the last eight years which went unnoticed by one of our most educated Russian Specialist. Without even a shot fired:

Pravda today June 11, 08:
Bush in Europe tries to save the West from collapse
US President George bush tries to save the West from the imminent crisis that may result from the growth of prices on energy sources. It goes without saying that the incumbent US president is just a lame duck. His influence and image in the States continues to decline. His IQ is not higher than that of a gorilla

Russia stands up for new world without America

The XII World Economic Forum, which took place last week in St. Petersburg, will be remembered for its daring statements made by Russia's top economic officials. The opening speech made by President Dmitry Medvedev produced a furore. Dmitry Medvedev did not hesitate to point out the major initiator of the unfortunate situation. He believes that the formal role of the United States of America in the global economic system does not comply with its real possibilities

Oil price may double within 18 months

Russia 's Gazprom, the supplier of a quarter of Europe's natural gas, expects the price of crude oil to almost double within 18 months and to take gas prices higher with it. "We think it will reach $250 a barrel in the foreseeable future," Chief Executive Alexei Miller told reporters at a presentation in France, adding high demand rather than speculation was the primary factor for high hydrocarbon prices.

So, how does that fit into the last eight years? If the red flags were not sent upline, it would not bother me. Why did it all go without addressing?

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 11, 2008

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

@ John in Greece -

It touches my heart what you write about America in your postings. I am encouraged to read that someone from Greece can see all the things that makes America so great, someone who appreciates what this country stands for, in theory and in practice (and I say practice, because as Eric points out, America is evolving). I am glad to know that there are people out in the world with your perspective on the U.S.

I guess what I was saying earlier was that advocating for isolationism in U.S. foreign policy doesn't translate to anti-Americanism, so when many of us interpreted Zharkov's first posting to mean that he advocated for a foreign policy that was more isolationist in practice, I didn't think that he was being anti-American. I may not have agreed with that position, but I think that an American has a right to that opinion. I read now that Zharkov writes that he doesn't want to see America retreat into itself. Maybe we all agree more on that than we first thought.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 11, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

I think a bit of research will reveal that Pravda Online is not the same "Pravda" that was an official news source for the Soviet government.

Pravda's website does not speak for the Russian government, which has its own website, and there is no particular purpose served in the Secretary of State responding to name-calling by some independent journalist with a grudge. The State Department has a long list of duties but answering newspaper insults isn't one of them yet. If Mr. Bush submitted to a DNA test to refute the accusation, it would not change any minds at that website.

Prince S.
June 16, 2008

PS in Europe writes:

Thanks 'Eric in New Mexico' for understanding and I agree with what you added re my posting of June 10th.

My posting was a 'generalities' comment on the main theme of this blog line regarding the Sec of State Hon Ms Doctor Rice's admonition in the year 2000. I concur and highly applaud Her tireless efforts along those lines as described above, as She has striven to unite the best interests of all sides as well as U.S. interests.

We have just rounded June 11th which brings us 81 months on after September 11th 2001 attacks, being most psychopathological and cruel attack on Metropolitan Society in recent times. This did not deter the US Secretary of State from continuing the most important work of reaching out, - on the contrary, good people rose above party politics and there is still immense work to be done, for we must never become complacent for a split moment.

I pay tribute to the Beloved American Peoples and Government for rising above such horrific events.

If I had been the President, I could not imagine how I would react. President G.W. Bush reacted immediately comforting the US public, stating that we must not allow ourselves to become like the terrorists - for then they would have won.

President G.W. Bush, proved that the U.S.A. is not to be messed around with, and it will never serve the purpose of any psychopath to ever imagine such pathological ideas ever.

Communities across the entire world can understand that -- for they all need to just put themselves in U.S. American shoes, and feel the distress and grief as evil plots unfolded -- such that nobody could imagine, how evil and cruel some could become, misguided by extremism and trying to play reactively into the hands of certain ultranationalist hate movements in Europe who had dreamt of an excuse for blanket judgemental attitudes.

The President judged well to strive to stop those tyrants that threatened to run a proxy war funded by offshore accounts. Saddam did have simple biological precursers to WMDs not apt to discuss here - and not only the intent, but was in the process of unleashing his ' mother of all battles ' and had reinstated many times that he had come to complete what Hitler had not completed.

I highly respect Very Honorable U.S. President G.W. Bush turn criticism back on those who had a shared responsibility to 'step up to the plate' when innocent people were massacred in Iraq.

In early 1991 I wrote an article in a local European newspaper entitled 'Global shared responsibility ' ( translated approx. ) -- the editor removed my name and left my two cosignatories although they were not the writers.
Some people make cruel judgements as they lack insight and empathy on events -- and some resort to cruel name calling or demeaning media propaganda.

I for one, am grateful that many world leaders of today are careful, wise and mindful about the urgencies on struggle against terrorism, tyranny, extremism, and specially drug cartels which had also become part of Saddam's family activities as well as cruel fanatic bigots in Afghanistan regions.

To make it clear, when I wrote 'pre-emptive' I also meant 'prophylactic' or 'preventative' as ALL possible measures must needs be taken to prevent all high crimes of terrorism, whether due to fanatism, tyrannic state funded, ultranationalist hate group instigated, or instigated by narco-terror affiliate interests.

It is up to the entire World Community also to seek to understand and to help positively and constructively towards a Global Coalition of the Conscientious so that all forms of terror and tyranny and the scourge of drugs be halted and disease and ignorance be remedied - for the the lives of innocent masses are in dire danger - and certain do not yet know how to interact optimally and positively..... Thanks to Dept of State for opportunities !

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
June 12, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. The Russian Govt. owns Pravda. It is also listed in three other Publications within the Russian domain.

2. All news sources are checked OUTSIDE the Russian Domain...such as the following: Russia is trying to claim the North Pole oil rights, Denmark is sending ships to claim Arctic oil rights, Canada is shifting military to its borders to protect its oil rights and America is sending ships and subs to claim the Arctic rights. Like some Novel...it is happening and what newspaper did you read it in here in America?...

3. Putin, long ago, stated he would economically destroy America and defeat the U.S. without firing a shot. That is not my words, but his....and he has.

4. News in all countries is tainted; but verifiable sources are not as hard to find as in the past.

Greece: John, what you see as the American ideology is seen by Americans as having been hijacked. We started a country to be fee of a King and enslavement, to have a country of citizens who were Represented and have a say in their future, not controlled by pseudo intellects, people who failed in their own occupations, or never worked and simply as an occupation and certainly not to be TOLD what is best for us by profiting outside its own people and definitely not dominated by a hundred little Kings.
Representation of the people simply has not been an actuality in the last decades and the American Dream is not a Middle Class that works at McDonalds or Wall Mart and lives out of their vehicles....

This morning in Congress is a case in point: They had an emergency meeting to extend unemployment benefits for the largest non employed population since the great depression here and I guess it was too early as there were only about 1/10 of the Congressional Representatives on the floor and all they did was argue and point fingers, just like Ross Perrot said long ago. They care? They passed the bills that sold American jobs overseasã.America and Americans are hurting, that is FACT not propaganda.

Russia recognizes our economic weaknesses and Congressional apathy quite well.

Lastly, if the last eight years were so GOOD and we Know so much, why is the world as it is?

Words don't win wars or feed people and America is the leader in all this, but we cannot keep it up printing bad money.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 13, 2008

Zharkov in U.S. A. writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee --

1. Joe, you might want to read: http://english.pravda.ru/about/

2. Congress will not approve oil drilling anywhere near the artic. What they intend to tax next after people stop buying oil is a mystery, but right now the gas tax is like winning the lottery for them.

3. Krushchev said that, not Putin.

4. I agree.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 13, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. wrote:

Here is what the current Russian leader said:

Dimitry Medvedev - Speech at the V Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum

"Our policy is founded on a principle that, for all its self-evidence, I consider the most important in the life of any modern state seeking to provide high standards of living. This is the principle that the existence of freedom is better than its absence. These words are the quintessence of human experience.

I am talking here of freedom in all its different manifestations: personal freedom, economic freedom, freedom of self-expression. I think that achieving harmony between freedom and law and order is crucial at this stage."

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
June 13, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I think to get back on 'track', the problem we have in general is exactly what is demonstrated by our Knowledge Base.

I'll explain: In the late 90s, there was a symposium on Russia and its rebuilding. Included were two prominent past officials of the old Communist regime. Not to embarrass a prominent DOS official, and it is not Rice, the discussion came to the histology of Russia and its people. Two of Americas best minds continued to tell the history of the Russian people, both economically and culturally ...This is the reaction of the Old Party Members:

That is the trouble with America. You think your so smart. Your not Russian, how could you possibly know what it means to be a Russian or live in Russia at any time in its history? You read books, study and think you know everything about everyone. I will tell you this now, America is over, its over and you do not even know it...

It was at this juncture I stated watching their economic treaties, movements to South America, new ties with Asia, purchasing of raw materials ...etc. Where was our Intel? The same place it was on Iraq ...non existent. CNN knew more than the CIA regarding Iraq. Apearently most old Mercs and German Enginerrs knew more about what they built underground as well...

Anyone who was in the game back in the 80s knows more about Russia ...but everyone was shelved or buried or burned. You cannot denounce that fact. Somehow, because someone shakes our hand, listens attentively, goes along with any program that mutually benefits them as well as us, we consider them our friend. It is not true to any degree.

The same concept exists on even a Military basis. IE: When Russia started flying the old Russian Bear, Tupolev Tu-95 , what did the DOD say: If they want to take that rusty plane out of mothballs, who cares. Guess what: it has new engines and a much greater pay load that includes smaller tactical WMD capable of being launched even if the plane is destroyed. Doesn't sound like a moth balled plane to me...and guess what, they can afford to fly them 24/7.

Now you tell me, why anyone should believe any of our best minds views to be worthwhile? Ideology and application are only as good as the intelligence and reactions of any Administration. Where are we NOW and why?

Our leadership is as far from the people it represents here, why do you we think we are so superior in knowing the people on others soils? Numbers do not always apply to the human factor unfortunately.

It is the Failure of American Politics and intellectual arrogance which eliminated or contrived Intel resourcing for its own purposes which have led us to where we are and QUOTE: This new reality has led us to some significant changes in our policy. END QUOTE..

Ever think they are NOT NEW REALITIES, just overlooked ones?

Zharkov
|
United States
June 13, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

After reading Ms. Rice's article in Foreign Policy, the reason why we disregard our constitution becomes apparent in her statement:

"We acknowledge our birth defect, a constitution founded on a compromise that reduced my ancestors each to three-fifths of a man."

This view of a defective constitution does not justify violating it after swearing under oath to protect and defend it.

The Bush Administration may be over, but America will never be over as long as there is one court willing to enforce our constitution, and as long as Americans remember why we declared our independence, and did not declare our mutual dependence on a global community.

John
|
Greece
June 13, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Anna in Washington, DC -- At the beginning of this Blog, a very thinking man wrote me something extremely intelligent (that "many people who live in the States do not feel Americans. On the other hand, others, who live abroad may feel more Americans than people who live in the U.S.") -something like this, but THIS!...

So, don't be so skeptical about my love for the U.S. ("someone from Greece")
OK!

(I would love to live there, but I am too old for this -- so don't say you ...Me- are not an American, I may be ...here in Greece)

The last days, I do not write "enough" ...but I read almost everything -- on the ground that many of the posts are discussing internal policy and economics in U.S. You are right, I do not live there, I do not know... I have no right. I respect it concerning the... internals, although I disagree if this is the appropriate forum for internal policy discussions.

Nevertheless, DoS decides for this.

You write: "but I think that an American has a right to that opinion" Are you so sure that Zharkov in U.S.A. is from U.S.A.?

Zharkov writes:
"The same place it was on Iraq ...non existent. CNN knew more than the CIA regarding Iraq."

Sure!!!

Zharkov knows NOTHING and he should appreciate more the CIA. He should respect!... Plenty of the guys there became stars on a wall -as the movie says- in order for him to write in FREEDOM.

When someone "hits" CIA, do you think that he loves America?

If you think so, bring the guy "in" and make him a Chief...

Best regards Anna.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
June 14, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

The Bush/Rice DoS set the bar for sovereign responsibility so low; that all other responsible states are wondering what the incentive is for remaining good global partners.

Rogue nations have taken USG foreign policies as a grand excuse for flagrant violations internally and internationally. Not signing onto the Intenatiional Criminal Court of Justice (ICCJ) was an early sign that all bets were off regarding U.S. military accountability. Post 9/11,

U.S. policies have destabilized international security.

I get scared everytime Bush/Rice and now McCain say, "...We haven't had a terrorist attack on our soil since 0/11".

Don't they see the provocative nature of that statement?

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
June 15, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

3. Krushchev said that, not Putin.

NO, Putin said: "We took the wrong approach to dismantling America. We could have done it Economically, without force."

Prince S.
June 15, 2008

PS in Europe writes:

In 1989-1990 I urged a certain govt foreign ministry for most urgent joining of International Forces and International Courts to judge tyrants as Saddam and Khomeini - and when asked by that Govt Ministry to render in writing, wrote in May 1990 describing the need for a system of International Brigade of forces to implement decisions of International Tribunals in order to help curb tyranny and terror. .

Subsequently, an International Conference was held in Copenhagen which was called the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
(While striving to come to that conference, I was subjected to tragic cruelties as subsequent health problems were mismanaged )

In 1991, I was shocked at the 'sun bathing' incapacities of UN observer missions, not allowed to intervene at massacres ensued on moslem Bosnians and their relatives.

This sums my background when around mid 1990s, I wrote a telefax to the International Court at the Hague calling for the establishment of International Criminal CourtS* of Justice.(*pl.)

My scope of interest then was the most hideous High Crimes against Humanity as extremist militia massacres in Somalia and new rules that could condemn the ultranationalist hate club which Radovan Karadzic was a member of.

Sidelining massacres taking place in Africa and in the Balkan conflict, certain lobbies tried to 'buy' off the issue and Arafat was a main player when instead of building bridges, issues went off hand, as some tried to legitimize the lynch terror and hard headed hatred against the existence of Israel, as demonstrated by the moral religious blackmail regime in Iran.

While not mitigating the cruel dilemmas in various societies, it is essential to respect the major powers and find ways towards encouraging the ratification of parts of the idea, which stems from my inspiration from my grandfather who was sent as a spokesperson to the Hague in Holland towards the end of 1919, when 12 nations met to discuss lasting peace after WW1. Then, the initial International Tribunal of Arbitration was established.

UNSC P-5 members have the pledged oversight to ensure that such horrific ultranationalist and facist hate crimes never happen again. The Nãrenberg Process has far from completed its mission, as there have been ultranationalist hate movements along side horrific terrorist cartels financed by drugs and certain tyrannic abusers of natural resources as oil.

Since then, the UNSC deliberates on which courts to support and how.

When I wrote to the Hague around mid 1990s, I had construed various International Criminal Courts of Justice ranging from accelerated proceedings to curb narco-terror, to 'bridge courts' to bring together legal establishments, as could have helped in the case of Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor who were accused of deliberately spreading HIV.

I therefore strongly defend and appreciate the U.S. DoS and quite disagree with any party political bias.

asi d.
|
Turkey
June 15, 2008

Asi in Turkey writes:

thank you

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 16, 2008

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

@ John in Greece -- I meant no skepticism or discouragement when I wrote that I was touched that someone from Greece could write such beautiful things about the United States. Maybe I selected my words poorly, and I should have not assumed that you were not an American, but I sincerely do appreciate what you write about this country.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 16, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ PS in Europe -- Interesting testimonial, thanks for being one of the good guys.

While some may feel the ICC is incompatible w/U.S. justice system in regards to legal status of Americans upon facing charges brought, simply because they will be held accountable under our own domestic laws for international crimes anyway...few here on this blg seem to understand the basic premis of U.S. international moral and diplomatic support that formed the underpinnings of the creation of the International Criminal Court.

It is as if some that comment here must have gone to the "Zeitgiest" school of American forign policy (the movie).

---
@ John in Greece -- Google being the wonderful tool that it is, I think I can answer your question...being that since 2003, and 8,596 posts later on Pravda's online forum, Zharkov still claims his location to be the "Utopia of Soviet America".

Well John, either our friend Zharkov has an especially well developed sense of humor, or you are correct....and moreover I'd say deliberately out of touch. To be kind about it.

The "loyal minority" breaks new ground I guess. But if it's any consolation he actually sounds reasonable compared to the other comments I've read on that forum.
Reminds me of the Washington Post forums in tone actually, but that's another story in free speech I'll save for later.

Guess that's why he showed up here, needed an intellectual challenge I suppose. I think we should provide him with one.

Fellow asks some good questions, but I find it amazing how consistantly he draws the wrong assumption from jumping to conclusion without being armed with the facts.

Like in "Zeitgiest"(the movie) the facts in reality may be twisted to fit theory, to the detriment of understanding and debate.
One must be careful of what one accepts as truth.

And I suppose it serves some percieved purpose for some on this blog to toss a lot of chaff ( or something else ) into the wind to see if something sticks politically, but in reality is only serving to distract and disrupt an otherwise positive forign policy discussion based upon fact, not innuendo. The fellow from Tennessee should take note he is serving no usefull purpose in this regard.

In any case, the world does not revolve around Pravda, and so let's move on to more constructive debate...shall we?

My feeling is that one should be prepared in participating on this blog to leave one's assumptions at home, if one truly wants to become informed.

Because no one has the complete picture, it is only possible for us to contribute our small slice of the reality pie as we've experienced it. So it becomes important to separate perception from reality in our participation on this forum if is to become worthy of our combined intellect to reach some measure of agreement on issues, and that becomes a matter of self dicipline to look beyond one's political motivation or agenda.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
June 16, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

"In 1989-1990 I urged a certain govt foreign ministry for most urgent joining of International Forces and International Courts to judge tyrants as Saddam and Khomeini - and when asked by that Govt Ministry to render in writing, wrote in May 1990 describing the need for a system of International Brigade of forces to implement decisions of International Tribunals in order to help curb tyranny and terror."Be glad I didn't find Sadam: I would have saved everyone a lot of money and a rope...and the other SHOULD BE DEAD and had his head stuffed in pigs entrails for all the suffering he caused to humanity and the position he put the world in now as a direct result of his existence. The COMMUNIST protected the latter. The U.S. Administration of the 90s protected the first. ..That is a direct result of not having leadership who ever fired a shot in defense of their country or democracy.

Do you not think the world is beyond accepting despots as leaders anywhere? One small country can negatively impact the entire world today. Things have changed, for the worst and less complicated measures may well work better than a civil diplomatic response.

We get back stabbed because intellects tend to not understand where other people come from. Take your idea of a tribunal to any ghetto narcotics organization when they order a hit. See what happens. These leaders are often no more than that. They do not respect civility, which is why they are as they are to begin with. Why can you not accept that fact? It is not a matter of education, doing the right thing, civility or setting a better example to them or those like them. They do understand finite power, which is why they use it...it should be used in the same manner against them. It is not that complicated.

John, you are in Greece correct? What do they actually do there now? I mean, what has become of their Great Civilization? How does it impact my life today, not historically. The same is happening here in the U.S.A., the most beautiful country in the world with the best Constitution and Bill of Rights; but, we have real problems not being addressed and the middle class sturcture which the DoS touts as an example is non-existent today. You cannot compare apples and donuts as an analogy... but you can have an apple donut.

John
|
Greece
June 17, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- I totally agree with you Eric. (extremely nice "drawing")

@ DipNote Bloggers -- If I remember correctly a fellow-blogger (I think she was Anna from Washington D.C. that posted this) wrote something very interesting:

"It's not the salaries or the economy in general, but the big TVs and cars we always... desire even bigger." (in my words)

Unfortunately Joe from Tennessee sometimes presents a "dead" America. On the other hand, he is right that a strong internal economy is a must, not only for America, but also for the rest of the world that needs a wealthy, healthy and happy U.S.A. that can... offer.

Unfortunately, I don not have a clear view of the economic situation there. So, co-bloggers write your opinion...

But, first, think of "Anna's" perspective before writing.

Nevertheless, with all the respect for Joe's comments, I think that the U.S.A. is ALIVE and motivated for even more successes in the near future.

Let's all of us think and act positive!

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