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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Go Condi


'The Egyptian Government must fulfill the promise it has made to its people--and to the entire world--by giving its citizens the freedom to choose. Egypt's elections, including the Parliamentary elections, must meet objective standards that define every free election.'--Condoleezza Rice, speaking Monday at the American University, Cairo Ever since President Bush settled on a policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East, he has been repeatedly lambasted for his alleged hypocrisy: Why advocate democracy for Iraq and Lebanon, say the critics, but not for autocratic U.S. allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia? In this telling, 'democracy' is said to be just an alibi for the pursuit of narrow U.S. interests, especially a steady supply of oil. Well, so much for that view. On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Cairo and then Riyadh and, in soft tones, delivered a stark message: America would no longer pursue 'stability at the expense of democracy.' The U.S. will now notice when peaceful Egyptian protestors are brutalized by government security goons, or when Saudi citizens are imprisoned for 'peacefully petitioning the government'; and the future of both countries as American allies rests on the seriousness of their commitment to democratic reform. 'It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy,' said Ms. Rice. 'There are those who say that democracy is being imposed. In fact, the opposite is true: Democracy is never imposed. It is tyranny that must be imposed.' She also met with political opponents of President Hosni Mubarak.
Condoleeza Rice is, in my opinion, the best Secretary of State we have had since John Quincy Adams, who was behind the Monroe Doctrine. I expect that history will treat her with great kindness.


Blogger Random Gemini said...

Way to remember your American History !

I fact-checked you on Adams and the Monroe Doctrine, because I didn't remember him having anything to do with it, and you are in fact, correct!

Shows you how much I paid attention in American Civ. *chuckle*

6/22/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I agree that putting pressure on Egypt and SA is important -- I'm glad we're finally being equal in our vision. Unfortunately, I just wish we tried more diplomacy (like this, though obviously a bit more intense) with Iraq.

The funny thing is, if Bush had said from the start that democracy in the middle east was his plan to confront terrorism, I might have gone along with it. Then again, I may just be programmed to oppose him, so who knows :P

6/22/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Random Gemini said...

Patrick, you must have been watching the news reporters versions of Bush's speeches, and not the actual speeches themselves. Bush has said that from the beginning.

6/23/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Random Gemini,
I decided to take you up on your challenge. Call me bored. I went to the whitehouse web site and pulled down every news item/QA/press briefing Bush and Condi Rice gave between 1/1/2001 and 1/1/2004. I then ran a quick search (grep for the technies) on two terms "weapon" and "democra". I found some very interesting results:

"democra" - 147 / 16 before war
"weapon" - 236 / 131 before war

Igoring the fact that the word "weapon" was used 60% more times than "democracy" (and other forms), the ratio of use of the words before and after the war is _staggering_.

This really interested me, and I plan to do a longer piece on my own blog soon. Dave, if you have any comments on this, I'd really like to hear.

6/23/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Whoops, I apologize... I said "Bush and Condi Rice gave between 1/1/2001 and 1/1/2004"... I should correct that:

Bush and Condi Rice gave between 1/1/2001 and 1/1/2004 **with the word "Iraq" in the title of the link** at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/.

6/23/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

The focus of Democracy and Reform of Arab governments by the Bush Administration is widely thought to have begun publicly at the West Point Graduation Speech in 2002.

Here is the most relevant bit: When the great powers share common values, we are better able to confront serious regional conflicts together, better able to cooperate in preventing the spread of violence or economic chaos. In the past, great power rivals took sides in difficult regional problems, making divisions deeper and more complicated. Today, from the Middle East to South Asia, we are gathering broad international coalitions to increase the pressure for peace. We must build strong and great power relations when times are good; to help manage crisis when times are bad. America needs partners to preserve the peace, and we will work with every nation that shares this noble goal. (Applause.)

And finally, America stands for more than the absence of war. We have a great opportunity to extend a just peace, by replacing poverty, repression, and resentment around the world with hope of a better day. Through most of history, poverty was persistent, inescapable, and almost universal. In the last few decades, we've seen nations from Chile to South Korea build modern economies and freer societies, lifting millions of people out of despair and want. And there's no mystery to this achievement.

The 20th century ended with a single surviving model of human progress, based on non-negotiable demands of human dignity, the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women and private property and free speech and equal justice and religious tolerance. America cannot impose this vision -- yet we can support and reward governments that make the right choices for their own people. In our development aid, in our diplomatic efforts, in our international broadcasting, and in our educational assistance, the United States will promote moderation and tolerance and human rights. And we will defend the peace that makes all progress possible.

When it comes to the common rights and needs of men and women, there is no clash of civilizations. The requirements of freedom apply fully to Africa and Latin America and the entire Islamic world. The peoples of the Islamic nations want and deserve the same freedoms and opportunities as people in every nation. And their governments should listen to their hopes.

Democracy is not mentioned at all in that section, although it is clear what he is talking about, and it is only mentioned once in the entire speech (in a part about Russia). He tends to use the terms 'freedom' and 'liberty' far more often then democracy.

The pro-Democracy policy toward combating terrorism has evolved and strengthened since then. It's clearest statement was probably in the 2005 Inauguration Speech.

The increasing important of Democracy, or liberty, as a weapon against terrorism in the mind of the Administration has been very clear to anyone who has been paying attention however, and started well before the Iraq War.

6/23/2005 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

It is true, my search terms can be misleading. I'm going to keep looking through this - because I want to know if, as gemini says, I was seeing things through liberal colored glasses.

I did other searches as well, and freedom, liberty, and terror were also some. By and large, "terror" and "weapon" outweighed the others by 4:1 pre-war (which is the most important timeframe, and the one in question). Obviously, this method isn't foolproof, but when large amounts of data are taken over time, the one-offs fall out statistically.

I do plan to also do some analysis when I am done gathering my data. I will definitely provide context around the key words as best I can.

6/23/2005 04:56:00 PM  

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