Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Exporting" this and that "by force" 

Karen Hughes, who in her capacity as Under Secretary of State for public diplomacy has drawn the job of international flak-magnet for the State Department, met with women's groups in Turkey yesterday. Not surprisingly, she heard the usual objections to "exporting democracy at the point of a gun":
Feray Salman, a human rights campaigner, said that while she believed in democracy, the Bush administration was trying to export it by force. "States cannot interfere through wars," she said.

It is interesting that Ms. Salman limited her condemnation of interference to states. And there was no evidence that she had any objection even to states exporting fascism "through wars," which is precisely what Syria and Iran, at least, are trying to do in Iraq.

Hughes, though, demonstated that she remains one of the most nimble spokespersons in this administration (a "best hockey player in Ecuador" standard, I admit), pointing out the moral confusion in Turkish anti-Americanism:
Turkey has charged the Bush administration with not denouncing violent acts by the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the P.K.K. Asked by one speaker why the United States refused to label the group a terrorist organization, Ms. Hughes said the administration had done just that.

"We condemn P.K.K. terrorism," she said. But then she noted what she called an irony, that the women were expecting American support for the sometimes violent Turkish crackdown on Kurdish separatists while also denouncing American battles with insurgents in Iraq.

"Sometimes you have to engage in combat in order to confront terrorism," Ms. Hughes said.



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