Thursday, October 04, 2007

Governor Richardson's "New Realism" on Iraq

I had the chance to meet with Governor Bill Richardson today following his remarks at Georgetown University.

It seems to me--and I'll let readers decide--that some of the elements of his "New Realism" for foreign policy align well with former Secretary of State James Baker's pragmatic idealism as well as General Brent Scowcroft's concerns that the United States has still been too slow to recognize how revolutionary the changes sweeping the globe are. I also assume there are strong points of similarities with the analysis that his former colleague Congressman Lee Hamilton will present in the next issue of The National Interest.

What I found refreshing today, however, was his candor. He says "We should harbor no illusions" on Iraq. "There are no guarantees that our departure will end the civil war." That "Iraqis might, or might not, resolve their political crisis." In other words, he lays out a course of action, says why he thinks there is a good chance of success, but doesn't gild the lily.

It was also interesting to hear his call for a regional conference for producing a settlement and how that accords with with al-Rubaie said yesterday about the interrelationship between a larger regional settlement and stability in Iraq.

We are truly in un-charted territory.

The world history has become one - traditional academic distinctions of East Asian History, Muslim History, [rooted in historical experience] are outmoded when one considers China and Iran competing with "West" in South America and Africa.

Moreover, the leaching of lethal technologies from US, EU, and FSU to the rest of the world is increasing the cost of "Whiets" acting against the "colored-people".

US has been compared, at this historical moment, to Spain at the time of Olivares. But where is the historical analogy for India, Brazil, China, and others.
Americans seem to have difficulty distinguishing between being the leading power (which is true) and being the only or sole power. Because you have a world where the U.S. is the main power but not the only one--yet so many of you want to act as if you can do anything around the world. If you can't adjust to being the first power among a number, then you will fail.
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