There may be circumstances in which damaging our relationship with countries over human rights is counterproductive and the benefits to human rights may be very small because of our limited capacity to enforce our stance. That was the dilemma the United States faced after Tiananmen Square.
Missing from much of the public debate is discussion of the simple fact that lurking behind every terroristic act is a specific political antecedent. That does not justify either the perpetrator or his political cause. Nonetheless, the fact is that almost all terrorist activity originates from some political conflict and is sustained by it as well.
Eurasia is the world's axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions: Western Europe and East Asia.
The public has been told repeatedly that terrorism is 'evil,' which it undoubtedly is, and that 'evildoers' are responsible for it, which doubtless they are. But beyond these justifiable condemnations, there is a historical void.
The first and most important is to emphasize the enduring nature of the alliance relationship particularly with Europe which does share our values and interests even if it disagrees with us on specific policies.
We should be therefore supporting a larger Europe, and in so doing we should strive to expand the zone of peace and prosperity in the world which is the necessary foundation for a stable international system in which our leadership could be fruitfully exercised.
The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The difference between the Bush I war against Iraq and the Bush II war against Iraq is that in the first one, we appealed to the sentiments and interests of the different groupings in the region and had them with us. In the second one, we did it on our own, on the basis of false premises, with extremely brutality and lack of political skill.
There's something troubling about a condition in which one country alone, which has roughly 5 percent of the world's population, spends more than 50 percent of the world's defense budgets. There's something weird about it.
During the twentieth century, men fought on behalf of nationalism. Yet the wars they fought were also engendered by dislocations in world markets and by social revolution stimulated by the coming of the industrial age.
I think it is important to ask ourselves as citizens, not as Democrats attacking the administration, but as citizens, whether a world power can really provide global leadership on the basis of fear and anxiety?