Sunday, January 16, 2005

Two Sides of Foreign Policy

WHEN George Bush is sworn in this Thursday for a second term in office, he will use his inauguration speech to emphasise his belief that "liberty is powerful and freedom is peace".
The citation above is from today's issue of The Scotsman.  And writing at the invitation of Foreign Policy magazine, outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote:
The United States cannot win the war on terrorism unless we confront the social and political roots of poverty. We want to bring people to justice if they commit acts of terrorism, but we also want to bring justice to people. We want to help others achieve representative government that provides opportunity and fairness. We want to unshackle the human spirit so that entrepreneurship, investment, and trade can flourish. This goal is the indispensable social and political precondition for sustainable development; it is the means by which we will uproot the social support structures of terrorism.
President Bush and Secretary Powell have voiced some powerful ideas.  Furthermore, there are actions to back up these voices.  The United States of America has had some successes in the area of foreign policy.  The victory in Afghanistan is one example, ...and when I think of a second example, I'll let you know.

Is there any reason to think that the US is really going to act in such a way as to promote the humanitarian ideals of freedom, health, and prosperity?  Perhaps.  But there are two sides to foreign policy: the good side and the bad side.  Looking at it another way, there is the outside policy: the way our country relates to other countries; and the inside, the way our country regulates the behavior of its citizens and corporations that interact with other countries.  In this post, I show that the USA is taking steps to improve one of these, but not the other.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story