Thursday, November 18, 2004

George Will: Questions for Condi

Not usually a big fan of George Will, but these questions for Condi are right on.

If you had been secretary in 1991, would you have advocated regime change — driving on to Baghdad?

In 1991, the secretary of defense, explaining the unwisdom of regime change, said: "Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shi'a regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists?

"How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?"

Was Dick Cheney right?
And, you might want to ask Dickie boy about that one as well.
The president says it is "cultural condescension" to question "whether this country, or that people, or this group, are 'ready' for democracy." Condescending, perhaps, but is it realistic? Tony Blair says it is a "myth" that "our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture." Are there cultural prerequisites for free polities? Does Iraq have them? Do the Palestinian people, after a decade of saturation propaganda inciting terrorism and anti-Semitism? Does the United States know how to transplant those prerequisites?
Good question. Seems like stability and security are prerequisites and that democracy can't be imposed from the outside, but what do I know?
You have said that it would be "unacceptable" for Iran or North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons. What, if anything, does that commit the United States to do if negotiations continue to be unavailing? Or if, as some intelligence reports suggest, North Korea already has several such weapons?
All of his questions are excellent, I would recommend reading the whole article.

New York Post

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