Thursday, July 27, 2006
Nick Gvosdev, Enemy of Freedom
I believe in evolutionary change for sustainable societies, not hey-presto! sudden revolutions.
I believe that you have to set priorities in relationships with other states, especially when you don't have leverage. If the US wants to be a force for freedom, move to energy independence and cut back on wasteful consumer spending. Otherwise deal with the real world as it is.
I sympathize with activists but I don't pretend that they automatically speak for a majority of their people especially if they have no track record of winning elections.
I believe in paying attention to the priorities that others set for themselves and understand that their list of priorities may not always accord with mine.
Like former German ambassador to the US Issinger I am looking for long-term trend positive trend lines recognizing that there will be short-term problems along the way.
Criticism has to be part of a larger strategy and has to be weighed against other objectives to be coherent. Grandstanding never seems to work, especially when we are vulnerable to charges of double standards.
I believe common values help to cement interstate relations but that common interests is what forges relationships to begin with. I do not pretend that Finland, Indonesia, Australia and Bolivia have to share a common foreign policy outlook with each other or with the United States simply because of democratic forms of governance.
I do not believe that words speak louder than actions, or that intent is better than results.
All of this makes me an "enemy of freedom" to some, but this is why I am proud to call myself a realist.
Like former German ambassador to the US Issinger I am looking for long-term trend positive trend lines recognizing that there will be short-term problems along the way...
That sounds like a pretty good description of promoting freedom to me. Can you tell us exactly who disagrees with you?
Much of this debate now revolves around the selected cooperation approach, the idea we can pursue strategic issues with nasty regimes but preserve our honor intact by also working to promote regime change, as opposed to having to make judgment calls as to which regimes we can live with and which ones we can't.
Look at the debate Stephen Blank and I have in the pages of JINSA--Blank's critique was in the past issue and my response will be in the forthcoming one.