the ugly American
- From: hawat.thufir@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: 23 Oct 2005 03:21:32 -0700
"BUSH: Let me comment on that. I'm not so sure the role of the United
States is to go around the world and say this is the way it's got to
be. We can help. And maybe it's just our difference in government, the
way we view government. I want to empower the people. I want to help
people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do. I
just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a
country and say, we do it this way, so should you. I think we can help.
I know we've got to encourage democracy in the marketplaces. But take
Russia, for example. We went into Russia, we said here is some IMF
money, and it ended up in Viktor Chemomyrdin's pocket, and others, and
yet we played like there was reform. The only people that are going to
reform Russia are Russia. They're going to have to make the decision
themselves. Mr. Putin is going to have to make the decision as to
whether or not he wants to adhere to rule of law and normal accounting
practices so that if countries and/or entities invest capital, there's
a reasonable rate of return, a way to get the money out of the economy.
But Russia has to make the decision. We can work with them on security
matters, for example, but it's their call to make. So I'm not exactly
sure where the vice president is coming from, but I think one way for
us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around
the world saying, we do it this way, so should you. Now, we trust
freedom. We know freedom is a powerful, powerful, powerful force, much
bigger than the United States of America, as we saw recently in the
Balkans. But maybe I misunderstand where you're coming from, Mr. Vice
President, but I think the United States must be humble and must be
proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations
that are figuring out how to chart their own course."
"I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a
country and say, we do it this way, so should you," is a bit weaker
than how I remember it. Does anyone else recall Bush saying something
stronger, like "we shouldn't impose our culture on other countries"?
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