Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fa, Fa, Fareeeeeeeeeed!

I love Fareed Zakaria. He is one of the best journalists in the country, and he offers a unique perspective on American politics, as an Indian man who moved here in 1982. He is quite critical of the path the Bush administration has taken our country down, but his writing is tempered with reason and suggestions to fix the problems we face.

Last week's issue of Newsweek featured the main article by Zakaria, titled "Beyond Bush: What the world needs is an open, confident America." It didn't disappoint. Some excerpts:

"The administration has - surprise - tried to play up fears of the consequences of a drawdown in Iraq (which is always described as a Vietnam-style withdrawal down to zero). It predicts that this will lead to chaos, violence and a victory for terrorists. When we listen to these forecasts, it is worth remembering that every administration prediction about Iraq has been wrong. Al Qaeda is a small presence in Iraq, and ordinary Sunnis are abandoning support for it. "If we leave Iraq, they will follow us home," says the president. Can they not do so now? Iraq's borders have never been more porous. Does he think that Iraq militants and foreign terrorists are so distracted by our actions in Iraq that they have forgotten that there are many more Americans in America?...

"...I have no magic formula to stop Iran from going nuclear, nor to change Iran's regime. But the strategy we have adopted against so many troublesome countries over the last few decades - sanction, isolate, ignore, chastise - has simply not worked. Cuba is perhaps the best example of this paradox. Having put in place a policy to force regime change in that country, we confront the reality that Fidel Castro will die in office the longest-serving head of government in the world. On the other hand, countries where we have had the confidence to engage - from China to Vietnam to Libya - have shifted course substantially over time. Capitalism and commerce and contact have proved far more reliable agents of change than lectures about evil. The next president should have the courage to start talking to rogue regimes, not as a sign of approval but as a way of influencing them and shaping their environment. ...

"...The Bush-Rumsfeld model of leadership - through declarations, threats and denunciations - is dead."

And to boot, Zakaria was a guest on the Daily Show last night:

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