Friday, September 30, 2005
Secretary Rice spoke to perhaps 5,000 alumni of the Wilson School, faculty, current students who won the lottery and random guests who otherwise managed to score a ticket. Both Princeton president, Shirley Tilghman, and the dean of the Wilson School, Anne-Marie Slaughter, introduced Secretary Rice, the latter devoting considerable attention to her Rice's June speech in Cairo, which "marked a historic turn." Slaughter emphasized the two big breakthroughs in that speech: that the United States was no longer going to sacrifice democratic aspirations on the alter of stability, and our acknowledgement of our own faults.
Secretary Rice then took the podium and graciously recognized that "many renowned American statesmen have worn the orange and black" (Kennan, Dulles, Schultz, Baker and, of course, Woodrow Wilson). After that, the audience was rapt (it not taking much to earn the attention of Princetonians -- we are simple people).
It is one thing to have ideals, but forging policies from those ideals is the practice of statecraft. In ordinary times, it is the job of diplomats to preserve the institutions that promote stability. In extraordinary times -- and she named examples from history, including particularly the horrid years following the Second World War -- the mission of statecraft is to transform our institutions and our relationships with other countries of the world.
Looking, then, at the example of the tough, early years of the Cold War, we can imagine how dismal the world must have look to the strategists laying the foundation for the victory of the West in that struggle. In 1946, Germans were still starving, and the reconstruction was a mess. In 1947, Japan still lay utterly in ruins. In 1948, the Berlin crisis solidified the division of Germany. In 1949, the Communists won in China, and in 1950 a horrible, bloody war broke out in a divided Korea.
In 1989, Rice said, she had the enormous privilege of serving as the principle expert on the Soviet Union in George H.W. Bush's White House, an amazing place from which to witness the collapse of the Communist system. Within weeks, transformations that once seemed impossible suddenly looked inevitable. Yet she realized that the success of 1989 was built on the strategy developed 40 years earlier by those statesmen of the early postwar era, who "succeeded brilliantly."
We live in similarly extraordinary times. Today we are building the institutions that one day will alter the political landscape of the Middle East.
To support her argument that the years since September 11 have been remarkable, she repeatedly and eloquently hammered home the difference between the talk of the nineties and the action of this decade. For years, the entire world talked about ending the Taliban's reign in Afghanistan, but we did it and now democracy is taking root there. For years, the entire world talked about ending Syria's occupation of Lebanon, but the United States and France joined forces to see that it happened. Rice pounded through several more examples showing that "for years, the entire world talked" but now, finally, there is actual change, ending of course, with the removal of Saddam's Ba'athist tyranny in Iraq.
Rice then spoke to the particular case of Iraq, discussing in detail the offenses of the foreign jihadis and explaining -- to those for whom it is not obvious -- why we must not withdraw now. To do so would be to cede Iraq to al Qaeda, and that will destroy all that we have been fighting for. Instead, we create the space for Iraqis to build the institutions necessary to succeed without us, and give them the time that we ourselves required to build our own functioning government out of the terms of our constitution.
If I can locate a transcript later this evening, I will revise this post to add the most important direct quotations and my own analysis.
Secretary Rice also took questions from the audience, which are not likely to show up in any transcript. Of these, two stood out. The first questioner challenged her on the apparently softer line that the United States was taking toward Hamas, and wondered whether that was not inconsistent with the ideals Rice had expressed in this speech. She responded by emphasizing that the United States has been "very clear" that Hamas remains a terrorist group that must disband. However, this may be a time to give the Palestinians the "political space" to achieve that result on their own. That having been said, Hamas stands for a "one-state solution," which means that there can never be peace in the region as long as Hamas remains armed.
Another questioner asked Rice to comment on the reception that Karen Hughes had received in Saudi Arabia (my post on her "reception" in Turkey is here). Rice said quite forcefully that public diplomacy is a "conversation, not a monologue," and that she was very excited to see Saudi women, in particular, speaking out publicly about issues that concern them. This, she said, was very heartening progress notwithstanding the substance of their opinions, which Rice said were "quite diverse."
In the end, she received an extended ovation, and the chattering as the crowd exited was extremely favorable. She is a very charismatic woman, and should she choose to seek elective office she will be a force to be reckoned with.
UPDATE (8:45 pm EDT): It's now later, and the transcript of Rice's speech is up at the State Department web site. It is well-worth reading in its entirety. As promised, I have a few supplemental notes.
On the stability vs. democracy trade-off:
Some would argue that this broad approach to the problem is making the world less stable by rocking the boat and wrecking the status quo. But this presumes the existence of a stable status quo that does not threaten global security. This is not the case. A regional order that produced an ideology of hatred so savage as the one we now confront is not serving any civilized interest.
For 60 years, we often thought that we could achieve stability without liberty in the Middle East. And ultimately, we got neither. Now, we must recognize, as we do in every other region of the world, that liberty and democracy are the only guarantees of true stability and lasting security.
There are those who worry that greater freedom of choice in the Middle East will only liberate and empower extremism. In fact, the opposite is true: A political culture of transparency and openness is not one in which extremist beliefs can ultimately thrive. Extremism is most dangerous when it lurks in the dark and hides underground. When there is no political space for individuals to advance their interests and redress their grievances, then they retreat into the shadows to grow ever more radical and divorced from reality. We saw the result of that on September 11th and now we must work to advance democratic reform throughout the greater Middle East.
In this passage, Rice is responding to a growing academic assault on the Bush administration's democraticization initiative. See, for example, this very narrow-minded article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs (a fisking of which is coming soon, I might add).
On the difficulty of seeing strategic success in the early stages of a long struggle:
In 1989, I was lucky enough to be the White House Soviet specialist at the end of the Cold War. It doesn't get any better than that. I was there for the liberation of Eastern Europe; the unification of Germany; and for the beginnings of the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union itself. I saw things that I never thought possible. And one day, they seemed impossible; and several days later, they seemed inevitable. That is the nature of extraordinary times.
But as I look back now on those times, I realized that I was only harvesting the good decisions that had been taken in 1947, in 1948, and in 1949. And sometimes, I wonder how in the course of events, the course of the moment, people like Acheson and Truman and Marshall and Vandenberg saw a path ahead. After all, in 1946, the Germany Reconstruction was still failing and Germans were still starving. Japan lay prostrate. In 1947, there was a civil war in Greece. In 1948, Germany was permanently divided by the Berlin Crisis; Czechoslovakia was lost to a communist coup. And in 1949, the Soviet Union exploded a nuclear weapon five years ahead of schedule; and the Chinese communists won their war. In 1950, a brutal war broke on the Korean Peninsula.
So, if you think that this war looks long and tough now, consider the pressures on the generation that had just emerged from the Great Depression and World War II, only to face the rise of Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China.
These were not just tactical setbacks for the forward march of democracy. Indeed, it must have seemed quite impossible, that we would one day, stand at a juncture where Eastern Europe would be liberated, Russia would emerge, and Europe would be whole and free and at peace. If we think back on those days, we recognize that extraordinary times are turbulent and they are hard. And it is very often hard to see a clear path. But if you are -- as those great architects of the post-Cold War victory were -- if you are true to your values, if you are certain of your values, and if you act upon them with confidence and with strength, it is possible to have an outcome where democracy spreads and peace and liberty reign.
And welcome Roger L. Simon and Instapundit readers!
UPDATE (Saturday afternoon): Fausta has more here. In addition, later tonight I will publish my coverage of Lt. General David Petraeus' discussion at Princeton this afternoon, in which he reported on the preparedness of the Iraqi military and special police.
I noticed from the school's web site that both General Petraeus and Secretary Chertoff will be speaking tomorrow. That should also be worth checking out, I think.
hello - I'm the fella that linked to you over on the other blog - the lottery did turn out to be a really inconvenient signup. Either the gym was really big for the expected crowd or Condi's not terribly popular with the students. I concur on the rave reviews - I heard nothing but glowing praise for her from most everyone who was heading out - well, at least until I actually got outside and heard nothing but drums and chants.
It's hard to sit still and listen like a good boy when Rice compares the GWOT to the conflicts that have gone before. We weren't an aggressor then.
But, anyway, I'm glad you went, and I'm off to read the transcript now.
As someone who shares the same last name, I believe that the former Secretary of State's last name is spelled "Shultz," not "Schultz."
And yeah, for someone who's name is misspelled 99 out of a 100 times, it's a deal. Maybe not a big deal, but a deal.
I just read the transcript of the Secretary's speech. Breathtaking. I feel like gushing over it. Is this the way Lefties feel after hearing Hilary speak? Well, not only is Ms. Rice the smartest woman in the universe, she is the most powerful. She's also prettier than her Dem counterpart.
Ms. Rice is mistaken, Idealistic, intelligent and articulate but mistaken.
J O S H U A P U N D I T
The problem, of course, is Islam. And we refuse to acknowledge it at our peril.
The very nature and innate structure of Islam is imperialist in nature and mandates Islam's PHYSICAL domination and rulership over all other faiths. That is the central purpose of the religion, and jihad is the tool for the subjecation of the non-Muslim world, AKA Dar Harb, literally the place of struggle as opposed to Dar Islam, the part of the world ruled by Muslims.
That isn't going to change, merely because people can now vote for their favorite jihadi.
A good example of this can be found on my site which discusses the Karen Hughes trip. Along with her farcical interlude with Muslim women (did she ACTUALLY expect women living under that kind of tyranny to LEVEL with her and say anything contrary to what their masters wanted?) she also asked the Saudis to pretty please stop the flow of hate literature and jihadist teaching to the mosques and madrassahs they fund here in America and all over the world..and this is four years after 9/11!
In Britain, after the London Bombings, PM Blair put together a council of the most prominent Muslims to advise the government on how to get along better with its 2 million strong Muslim population, the first recommendation they came up with was to abolish Holocaust remembrence day as `offensive to Muslims'!
And these are British Muslims, living under freedom and democracy,of whom 60% when polled said they would not help the government against their fellow Muslims in al-Qaeda. I'm sure the statistics are similar in America and Australia.
There are many lovely people who are Muslims, and many whom love America - but frankly,mmany of the devout Muslims that follow what it says in the Q'uran and Hadith can hardly help but be part of the problem.
Rather than democracy,what's needed is a frank recognition of the problem, zero tolerance of the jihadist elements in the West,
and containment of the problem,similar to the way the Cold War was fought and won.
It's time we woke up.
"We weren't an aggressor then."
Really? What did Italy and Germany ever do to us? (Okay, yeah, technically Hitler declared war on us first. But by that standard, Hussein and co. had been talking 31 flavors of apocalyptic bullshit for 15 years ...)
Our response to Pearl Harbor wasn't to (immediately) attack Japan - it was to declare war on the rest of the Axis, and to invade and occupy North Africa.
Whatever. You don't know, and if you did you still wouldn't care.
In one sense, Hitler's declaration of war was "first blood." But the Roosevelt administration was doing as much to help the British as the isolationist politics of that era would permit. We were arming the British, supplying them with oil, etc. As between the United States and Germany, the United States had certainly given the Germans reason to declare war above and beyond its treaty with Japan.
"In this passage, Rice is responding to a growing academic assault on the Bush administration's democraticization initiative. See, for example, this very narrow-minded article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs"
I read that article. On the first reading it sounded like it might be true, on the second reading I saw that a lot of the statistics were interpreted to be more general in conclusions than they actually were and not much effort was made to discuss any contradictory evidence.
A big problem was that the author failed to really describe what sort of terrorism he was trying to show was not reduced by (or the spread of? Another vaguity.) democracy, in that he focused a lot on domestic terrorism, while ignoring international terrorism, and assumes that all terrorism can be viewed as equivalent regardless of ideology and history (Thus he references studies that deal mainly with terrorism in the '80s and does not consider whether the results are applicable to terrorism today). He also views terrorists as if they were a static ethnic group rather than a fluid organization.
The author also incorrectly connects anti-Americanism with support for terrorism, and assumes that just because democracies are antri-American, they are more likely to directly support terrorism, which is clearly not the case with Germany and France. In my opinion, the most significant problem with his article is the failure to look at whether democracies are less likely to be sources of financial support and manpower for terrorist organizations that commit attacks mainly outside that nation, due to vigorous anti-terrorist law enforcement by the government.
I say all this about his article, but I do not think the author has an ideological axe to grind. He supports democratizing the Middle East, cites statistics showing that arabs support having democratic governemnts, and gives some unrealistic suggestion on how to (slowly) promote liberal democracy.
I think it is likely that, given that he is a political scientist, he saw the common idea that democracy in the middle east will reduce terrorism, and he decided to try to disprove it. Along the way he realized that actual detailed research on this is sparse, which he actually says in the article, and ends up grasping at straws to build his case. He doesn't give up on the paper because of all the time he has already spent working on it, and ends up with a loosely-supported paper arguing his initial hypothesis. However, he does write PolSci papers well, so even though his argument is not strong, the paper appears good. What I'm saying is that I think that if you were to ask him two years from now if spreading democracy will reduce terrorism, he would tell you that he's not sure one way or the other.
By the way, I'm not sure there is any evidence to generalize that democracy will always cause less terrorism, but I can't see how the publc in a truly open democracy in any Muslim nation, given a true look at terrorist organizations operating in that nation, will tell their government to do anything but stomp the mother******s. Why I say this has nothing to do with whether they think the US and Israel is right or wrong and everything to do with the fact that in general, people that haven't been deluded into thinking that black is white by people of authority will take a look at what the terrorists in their midst have done and see that the people behind al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda in Iraq, etc. are simply psychopathic murderers, and every one of them should be killed.
You gotta point about her talking about the Cold War, Pavel - I don't know if she's makin nice for her crowd or really believes it but I'd always thought Dean Acheson (who she spoke of in glowing terms) screwed things up by "losing China" and was buddy-buddy with Alger Hiss the Commie spy. Then again, that comes primarily from the rejection of my indoctrination at the hands of lib teachers that McCarthy was evil - my actual knowledge of this comes from just a couple books and I don't really care enough to research it too heavily. I view the Truman years as the beginning of what I'll call "wuss-Dem responses" to Commie aggression, apexing with Carter's extraordinarily courageous boycott of the Moscow Olympics in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Well, whatever, the Cold War's over. We got a new one to worry about, and she at least is speaking in crystal-clear terms about this one.
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Condi has said that she has no intentions to run for President in 2008. I assume that she will return to Stanford. She will probably do a lot lectures on the college and political lecture circuit. I love talking about foreign politics here as well as on my world political forum as well. :)
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