Protesters who marched around the world last week were wrong to assume that American inaction against Iraq will make their children safer or the Iraqi people better off. The protesters were right, however, to question whether war against Iraq will produce more security at home and real freedom for the Iraqi people.
There will certainly be a regional reaction to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but it will not be a wave of democratic revolutions. We just have to look back at the previous efforts of empires with the best of intentions -- the British, the French, and the Germans -- to understand what happens when Western nations try to bring "civilization" to the Middle East on the points of their bayonets.
Europe sees the U.S. as high-handed, unilateralist, and unnecessarily belligerent; the U.S. sees Europe as spent, unserious and weak. The anger and mistrust on both sides are hardening into incomprehension.
Carnegie Endowment President Jessica Mathews appearing on Oprah.
Meeting Emerging Security Challenges
While it is not certain that North Korea would negotiate away their nuclear programs and fully abide by any agreement, such a resolution was and remains a possibility. By refusing to aggressively pursue a negotiated approach, the Bush administration has essentially green-lighted North Korea's nuclear program and may be encouraging the North to take even more drastic steps in the future.
It may be time to admit that there will never in fact be a common European foreign and security policy. Long before the crisis over Iraq erupted, momentum towards the creation of such a policy was quietly ebbing away.