Weaker in the World

From Holden:

You may have already heard about the latest flub with the Russains that our Sovietologist Secretary of State managed to walk into regarding Belarus:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Thursday with seven Belarusian dissidents and expressed admiration for their courage as they seek an end to what she has called “the last dictatorship in the center of Europe.”

Following democratic successes in Georgia and Ukraine, Rice said, “it’s time for a change in Belarus.” An authoritarian pro-Russian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has led Belarus for 11 years.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, here for talks on NATO-Russian ties, apparently interpreted Rice’s comment to mean she was recommending outside intervention to remove Lukashenko.

“We would not of course advocate what some people call regime change anywhere,” Lavrov told reporters. “You cannot impose democracy from the outside.”

I’m all for democracy in Belarus, and I realize the Russians are pretty stinky about the countries that used to form the area of Condi’s supposed expertise.

But this is what the Bush doctrine has done for us: the Bush doctrine has provided those who would oppose U.S. foreign policy abroad a very powerful weapon with which to do so. The Bush doctrine does indeed “advocate what some people call regime change anywhere”, under this President the U.S. did attempt, and so far fail, to “impose democracy from the outside.”

The United States has lost – no, ceded the high ground in international foreign relations.