Tuesday, December 07, 2004

An Obsession the World Doesn't Share

A fantastic column:
The United States has a strategic problem: its war on terror, unlike its long fight against Communism, is not universally seen as the pivotal global struggle of the age.

Rather, it is often portrayed abroad as a distraction from more critical issues - as an American attempt to impose a bellicose culture, driven by the cultivation of fear, on a world still taken with the notion that the cold war's end and technology's advance have opened unprecedented possibilities for dialogue and peace.
If Condoleezza Rice, nominated by Mr. Bush to be the next secretary of state, is to change this negative impression, she may have to concede that the war on terror is not, like the cold war, a label for an era. It describes the focus of America, a new principle and project guiding national policy, but it describes no more than that, because other countries have other agendas. What these countries want, above all, is to sense that the Bush administration, in its second term, hears them.

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