How does U.S. President George W. Bush's preelection spending binge stack up against history?
Excerpts from U.S. President George W. Bush's speech on freedom in Iraq and the Middle East at the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy on Nov. 6, 2003.
If you want to understand why the Bush administration invaded Iraq, read Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, not the National Security Strategy of the United States. Only the twisted logic of dreams can explain why the United States thinks that the aggressive pursuit of contradictory goals -- promoting democracy, affirming U.S. hegemony, and ensuring stable energy supplies -- will produce success.
A cabal of neoconservatives has hijacked the Bush administration's foreign policy and transformed the world's sole superpower into a unilateral monster. Say what? In truth, stories about the "neocon" ascendancy -- and the group's insidious intent to wage preemptive wars across the globe -- have been much exaggerated. And by telling such tall tales, critics have twisted the neocons' identities and thinking on U.S. foreign policy into an unrecognizable caricature.
Worried about the aggressive and unilateral exercise of U.S. power around the world today? Fine -- just don't blame U.S. President George W. Bush, September 11, or some shadowy neoconservative cabal. Nations enjoying unrivaled global power have always defined their national interests in increasingly expansive terms. Resisting this historical mission creep is the greatest challenge the United States faces today.
Anti-American sentiment is rising unabated around the globe because the U.S. State Department has abdicated values and principles in favor of accommodation and passivity. Only a top-to-bottom reform and culture shock will enable the State Department to effectively spread U.S. values and carry out President George W. Bush's foreign policy.
As befits a nation of immigrants, American nationalism is defined not by notions of ethnic superiority, but by a belief in the supremacy of U.S. democratic ideals. This disdain for Old World nationalism creates a dual paradox in the American psyche: First, although the United States is highly nationalistic, it doesn't see itself as such. Second, despite this nationalistic fervor, U.S. policymakers generally fail to appreciate the power of nationalism abroad.
Why knee-jerk criticism of the United States carries dangerous hidden costs.
North Korea is not crazy, near collapse, nor about to start a war. But it is dangerous, not to mention dangerously misunderstood. Defusing the threat that North Korea poses to its neighbors and the world will require less bluster, more patience, and a willingness on the part of the United States to probe and understand the true sources of the North's conduct.
George W. Bush's policies toward North Korea and Iraq are under fire, and public approval of his presidency is declining. What's the Democratic alternative?
George W. Bush should use a U.S.-Brazil trade deal to jolt Latin America out of its drift toward political morass and economic chaos.
President George W. Bush's national security strategy could represent the most sweeping shift in U.S. grand strategy since the beginning of the Cold War. But its success depends on the willingness of the rest of the world to welcome U.S. power with open arms.
Once, nations were forged through "blood and iron." Today, the world seeks to build them through conflict resolution, multilateral aid, and free elections. But this more civilized approach has not yielded many successes. For nation building to work, some harsh compromises are necessary -- including military coercion and the recognition that democracy is not always a realistic goal.