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Once marginal, morality has now become a major force in foreign policy. For all the problems this development raises, the United States and the world are better off.
Harsh new restrictions on Muslim visitors have told potential friends that the United States no longer wants them. Goodwill is being squandered; Americans will pay.
One thing the current Iraq crisis has made clear is that a grand experiment of the twentieth century--the attempt to impose binding international law on the use of force--has failed. As Washington showed, nations need consider not whether armed intervention abroad is legal, merely whether it is preferable to the alternatives. The structure and rules of the UN Security Council really reflected the hopes of its founders rather than the realities of the way states work. And these hopes were no match for American hyperpower.
What follows the war in Iraq will be at least as important as the war itself. Nurturing democracy there after Saddam won't be easy. But it may not be impossible either. Iraq has several assets doing for it, including an educated middle class and a history of political pluralism under an earlier monarchy.
The Bush administration's plan for Middle East peace is a road map to nowhere. A more ambitious approach will be necessary to parlay the bounce from a successful Iraq war into serious Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The time has come to consider the notion of a trusteeship for Palestine.
The September 11 attacks led the United States to replace its previous engaged and enlightened approach to Latin American relations with a total focus on security matters. This pullback has undermined recent regional progress on economic reform and democratization. To meet the pressing challenges ahead, Latin America needs the United States to be a committed partner.
Yugoslavia's former tyrant now sits in the dock facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Serving as his own counsel, Slobodan Milosevic rages against NATO conspiracies and victor's justice. But these courtroom antics cannot detract from the trial's great achievements: revealing the truth about Milosevic's role in the Balkan wars and removing him from Serbian politics once and for all.
Brussels has delayed a decision on whether to admit Turkey to the EU. This caution is wise: it may aggravate the Turks, but no one really knows what consequences accession would bring, and Turkey has yet to achieve Europe's economic standards. History suggests that open borders would bring a flood of Turks northward looking for better jobs--a negative development for all the countries involved.
India and Pakistan remain caught in a dangerous deadlock over Kashmir. Pakistan-backed terrorists continue daily provocations against India, and an increasingly frustrated Indian government feels that it has no recourse short of full-scale war. The only way out is for both sides to accept that their current strategies are not working and to start talking. And only the United States can help them do that.
Reviews & Responses
In his provocative new book, Fareed Zakaria argues that without liberty, democracy can lead to trouble--both abroad and at home.
A new memoir from Mike Moore, the former director-general of the World Trade Organization, sheds light on the institution and ponders globalization's challenges.
ResponsePaula J. Dobriansky and Thomas Carothers
Letter to the EditorPaul Kellogg
Letter to the EditorAllen McDuffee
Letter to the EditorAdam M. Smith
Letter to the EditorJohn Ragosta, Navin Joneja, and Mikhail Zeldovich
Letter to the EditorMatthew Evangelista