Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Condi uses some soft power

More reason to like Secretary of State Rice, from the Opinion Journal piece linked in the title:

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."

Great stuff in the most autocratic area of the world.

Read it all.

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