State Department diplomats view the Holy Grail of foreign policy as ?stability.? Stability is great for people living in free societies, such as the United States or the United Kingdom. But for those under the thumb of oppressive despots such as North Korea?s Kim Jong-Il or the Iranian mullahs, stability is simply a promise of continued tyranny.
Though stability may sound appealing from a security standpoint?the devil you know is not necessarily better, but it is more predictable, as the logic goes?it doesn?t work in the long-term. Today?s strongman ally can easily become tomorrow?s Taliban or Saddam Hussein.
President Bush fundamentally understands that the only true, reliable long-term allies are free societies. Yet on the same day he made his speech last spring presenting his ambitious goals for a free Middle East, State published?and conveniently leaked to the Los Angeles Times?a report called ?Democracy Domino Theory: Not Credible.?
History does not support State?s belief in tyrants. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the State Department only pressed for closer relations with Saddam after he gassed and killed some 100,000 Kurds in August 1988.
It was in early 1989 that State wrote a then-top secret memo urging stronger ties with Saddam, arguing that he was a bastion of ?stability.? Less than two years later, Saddam?s tanks rolled into Kuwait.
Not learning from its past mistakes, State adopted a tilted neutrality policy toward the Taliban?which effectively supported a regime recognized by only three governments around the world?despite clear evidence from the beginning of gross human rights abuses, including actions that could be described as war crimes in capturing the country.
Because of President Bush, neither former State Department ally is still in power. But if the former State Department officials?and their prot?s still there?have their way, Bush won?t be for much longer, either.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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