Body and Soul posts the test of a recent speech by John Brady Kiesling, the first (but not the last) US diplomat to resign in protest of the Bush Administration's foreign policy. Here are some great excepts...
The goal of American foreign policy, and of the President, is to safeguard the security, prosperity, and democratic institutions of the American people. Is that more or less difficult to achieve when our traditional friends and allies fear us and think our values and theirs have become estranged? The Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz answer is that it makes no difference. Let them hate us so long as they fear us, as Caligula said. We are militarily untouchable. We will assert our interests as we choose.
The President and his advisors have bolstered this unilateral approach with a rhetoric -- and apparently a world view -- of the American government as the arbiter of good and evil in the world. Our "moral clarity" dictates, for example, that Saddam Hussein was part of an "Axis of Evil" while Ariel Sharon is a "Man of Peace," The logic of good and evil is politically impeccable. It has helped mobilize for the President the populist energy and anger unleashed by 9/11. It has silenced meaningful political debate, helping his party win the mid-term elections, making political pressure for tax cuts and big military spending increases unstoppable. Successfully maintained, it will win the President a second term.
...Even on the most primitive level, it is bad for U.S. interests abroad when an American president adopts a rhetoric of transcendental morality combined with a policy viewed by 90 percent of the human race as brutal, cynical and selfish. Were we to present a view of the world based on rational interests, our world interlocutors would have more hope of finding ground for shared interests. Were we to have a policy whose moral basis was somehow humane, we could hope for cooperation at least from those countries with similar values.
(continued in the next post)