U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. will no longer give explicit support to governments that are not elected, suggesting that spreading democracy now takes priority over maintaining political stability.
``The past 60 years of trying to buy stability at the expense of democracy is now gone,'' Rice said at a press conference in Blackburn, England, that was televised by the British Broadcasting Corp. The policy was one of ``Middle East exceptionalism,'' she said.
I guess it comes down to what "explicit support" means. Obviously, we won't be cutting of China's Most Favored Nation trade status. I mean, we're big fans of democracy, but we're not fanatics about it.
But beyond that, how could we quit giving "explicit support" without serious repercussions? Does this mean we end our mutually beneficial cooperative relationship with the military dictatorship of Pakistan? If we give "explicit support" to Taiwan, will that constitute formal recognition of Taiwanese independence? Will we abjure future intervention on behalf of invaded countries like Kuwait? Of course, those questions all assume the reporter reported accurately. What if he didn't?
The whole thing sounds a bit too stark — too black and white — for foreign policy, so I looked for the transcript. Oddly, while Secretary Rice does make some remarks about democracy and changes in US foreign policy...
But I would say that probably the most important thing that we've done is to declare for the past 60 years of American policy that in the Middle East, the heart of the problem that we currently face, that the 60 years of trying to buy stability at the expense of democracy is now gone. There was a kind of Middle East exceptionalism in American policy and that policy was both because we were so concerned about stability ... And that premise has been proved wrong time and time again throughout the world ... And so that is the policy change that I would hope would be somehow acknowledged by Muslims, even if they don't agree.
The word "explicit" is never used, and the only mention of "support" comes when Secretary Rice says that people "ought to be supported in that desire for democracy". Nowhere in the transcript can I find support for Bloomberg's "the U.S. will no longer give explicit support to governments that are not elected". Very odd.
Jon - I had this same reaction, but kind of in reverse, in that I found the media piece (and your posting here) after reading the actual transcript while researching a blog post. I thought sheesh, I must have missed this and what the heck does it mean??
IMHO this is another example of what you get with an open-loop, wholly unaccountable press. They have gotten so comfortable reworking and, for the most part, misrepresenting current events that they don’t think twice about (and their editors are oblivious to) changing the story to fit the leftist narrative.
I guess that would explain stuff like this, but while that process takes the time to reach its ultimate conclusion, it’s sure taking it’s toll on the truth.