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Colin Powell speaks

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Here's an article that Powell wrote for the Economist's World in 2004 magazine. Thought you guys would be interested in what he has to say. Have fun with it.
The power of good intentions

From The World in 2004 print edition

Colin Powell, America's secretary of state, predicts that anti-Americanism will subside

It's nice to be liked, for nations as well as individuals. But it's more important to act responsibly. Not everyone approves of the foreign policies of the Bush administration, and this concerns us. But not as much as whether we are meeting our obligations to the American people and to international security more broadly.

Some critics of American foreign policy never tire of repeating the caricature that President Bush acts on a shoot-from-the-hip unilateralist impulse. This simply is not the case. When the president's strategy was laid out publicly in September 2002, some observers exaggerated its references to pre-emptive action. Many who did not read the document got the impression that it is mostly or only about pre-emption.

It isn't. The National Security Strategy focuses above all on alliances and partnerships. It stresses the promotion of freedom and dignity through them. Its policy emphasis includes both free trade and new initiatives in economic development assistance, and efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It demands American efforts to solve regional conflicts and, not least, it prioritises developing strong, co-operative relations with other major powers.

With the help of many allies, we are succeeding in the global war on terrorism. That success is owed in part to the victories of American and allied military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are working hard to transform those military victories into lasting political achievements, and our efforts will neither falter nor fail. Success in the war against terrorism is owed, too, to diplomatic accomplishments in enhancing law enforcement co-operation and intelligence sharing.

Partnerships, not polarities

Less well appreciated, however, we are also succeeding in other important domains of the president's strategy. The United States has a rare opportunity to enjoy excellent relations with all the world's major powers simultaneously. Of course, we have an important advantage in being blessed with many close friendships, reflected in our key alliances. Why belabour terms like multipolarity when there are no poles among nations that share basic values?

The greatest challenge lies in fully integrating an increasingly democratic Russia and a modernising China into the mainstream of democratic, free-market institutions. It also means bringing an economically developing India closer to the global councils of the major powers.

Our relationship with Russia has been dramatically transformed for the better. We are radically reducing our strategic-weapons arsenals, and in Moscow we now have a partner in combating terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction worldwide. The new relationship that is developing between Russia and NATO, too, has real substance. We are closer than ever to a Europe whole, free and at peace.

India has been a democracy since independence in 1947, and with recent reforms it is becoming a true market economy. It still faces many challenges. We want to help India overcome them, and we want to help ourselves through closer association with one of the world's most venerable cultures. At the same time, we have improved our relationship with Pakistan, a country with domestic challenges of its own. Those twin improvements helped us when a major war on the sub-continent seemed a distinct possibility in 2002. With the help of allies in Europe and Asia, we mobilised to head it off.

We have continued to improve relations with both India and Pakistan, and we aim to turn that parallel improvement into a triangle of conflict resolution in South Asia. We do not wish to impose ourselves as a mediator, but we are trusted increasingly by both sides. We deploy that trust to urge conciliation through peaceful means alone.

Sino-American relations are better than they have been in many years. We believe that it is up to us, together, to shape our common future, and we do not conceive that future in zero-sum terms. The National Security Strategy says it directly: "We welcome the emergence of a strong, peaceful and prosperous China." We co-operate where our interests coincide. A key case in point is Korea.

When we do succeed in resolving the problem of North Korea's nuclear-weapons programme, we will have demonstrated that American diplomacy is designed to satisfy not only American national interests, but the interests of international security as a whole. We will show that the equities of other powers can be best advanced along with American ones, not in opposition to them. We will have strengthened global peace, and we will have used a strategy of partnerships to do so.

Our need to respond with military force to the events of September 11th inevitably makes some people abroad uncomfortable. There has been a rise in anti-American sentiment, tied particularly to the war in Iraq. But these feelings will subside as Iraq's reconstruction proceeds. We are working hard to ameliorate other discordant issues, too.

We fight terrorism because we must. We seek a better world because we can, because it is our desire to do so. That is why we devote ourselves to democracy, development, health and human rights. Those are not mere high-sounding decorations for our interests. They are our interests. They are the purposes that our power serves.

American motives are as well-intentioned today as they have ever been. Because this is so, I know that America's reputation for honesty and compassion will be restored in places where it is today impugned. As we strive to preserve, defend and expand the peace that free peoples won in the 20th century, I believe we will see America vindicated in the eyes of the world in the 21st. To this the world in 2004 will bear witness.
Cannabis Seed Wedding Bands


TRIBE Member
The power of good intentions

[Some stuff here]

American motives are as well-intentioned today as they have ever been.

Thanks for the read. :D

(Okay, okay, I'll probably read it later. ;) )