Bush’s new national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, says that the new administration will combine “humility with strength” in foreign affairs.
Why should America be humble? We should be proud of who we are and what we have been able to accomplish. The accomplishments of this country are not due to any kind of racial or ethnic superiority — as if that even applied, given the vast mixture of different races in this country. The accomplishments of this country are due to essentially two things: one, the widespread and historic commitment to freedom; and two, the widespread and historic commitment to reason, technology, and business.
As a scholarly foreign affairs expert, Dr. Rice must be aware that the last 8 years of the Clinton Administration have been filled with humility and self-effacement. From becoming involved militarily in former Yugoslavia, more out of “duty” than self-interest … to allowing the military to become run-down and weakened … to refusing to take action on building a missile defense system, even as countries like China and North Korea openly threaten us with their own growing arsenal of missiles … to the plainly stupid and ineffective missions of selflessness in Haiti and Somalia … to humbly turning over an innocent little boy (Elian Gonzalez) to the Cuban dictator Castro … the list goes on and on.
America has done stupid things throughout its history, but rarely have so many happened in so short a span as during the eight long, dreary years of the Clinton Administration.
America does not need a good dose of humility. It needs a good dose of pride, strength, and decisiveness. It must once again become clear that a military’s essential purpose, in a free country, is to keep the inhabitants of that free country safe from outside aggressors.
It’s not the military’s job to go protect the peoples of East Timor, Haiti, Russia or Africa. It’s our job to take care of ourselves, and open our borders to people who are willing to work for a living. This is the best foreign policy over the long-run. The stronger the United States becomes, the more the rest of the world is forced to follow our example of freedom, individualism and capitalism. This was the spirit that built America, and this is the only spirit which can sustain and renew it.
Perhaps Dr. Rice would agree with many of these arguments. If so, then she should not undercut herself by merging two opposites: strength (rationally defined) and humility. Forget humility. Strength — and freedom — are all we need.