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U.S. Elections: "It’s the policy, stupid!"

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Autor: Daniel Daianu 15 Noi 2006 - 00:00
U.S. Elections: "It’s the policy, stupid!"


The partial results of the USA elections have been decided mainly by the evolution of the situation in Iraq. This round of elections proved that not agreeing with the Bush Jr. Administration is not just a form of anti-Americanism. On the 5th of May 2004, I wrote in Jurnalul National:

"During the last decade, there used to be a famous phrase that ruled the world: "it’s the economy, stupid!". It means the economy status would explain the result of the elections in the USA. The title above is a rephrase of the things I have just mentioned.

Saying the events are a result of the public policy seems redundant, because the reasoning of the ones taking the decisions would lead to better options. However, life has a lot of surprises in store for us… In time, public policy could be corrected… The public debate, as an expression of democracy, helps finding the pathway to public policy…

A certain type of public speech and analysis that is easy to detect before and after the military intervention in Iraq has to be removed. There are commentators that have already taken firm decisions, one way or the other, and this isn’t so good for the public debate. We have to emphasize that being against or for certain measures of the public policy doesn’t mean being against or for a certain country… ….There is less than one year from the intervention and the deadlock is obvious. The most important thing now is to block the degradation of the situation in order to avoid Huntington’s <>; the insecurity in Iraq could seriously harm the situation in the region. There are important lessons to draw from this deadlock. One lesson regards the justification and credibility of a policy (like the invoked gist of the mass destruction weapons). The other lesson regards imagining the consequences of a policy, especially when motivation is rather preventive. This could also include the "democratization" of the countries in the region. It seems that "romanticism", as far as strategic thinking is concerned in external politics, causes unpredicted risks; that extreme simplifications are dangerous for such a complex world with so many adversities…a policy is more successful if it has an important support…if it has the <>, the power to win the minds and hearts of the other people.
…Even though the goal of fighting international terrorism is undeniable, the means for it have caused a lot of intense controversies.

The fight against international terrorism needs a wide and solid coalition, and the public opinion attitude is very important. Polls made by reputed American organizations show the fact that the US are very far away from such a thing, when we take into account the public opinion attitude in the entire world . Last but not least, we have to refer to the international environment and to the legitimacy of such a policy…

Unilateralism has limited chances if it doesn’t bring together extended suffrages regarding its main intentions. The lessons mentioned earlier are important for NATO as well..".

Let’s hope the report of the Baker-Hamilton Commission will help making another kind of policy for Iraq. The idea of an international conference that, together with Iraq, the USA, the EU, Russia, Turkey and so on, would involve important regional actors deserves all the attention it can get. A stabilization of the situation is needed in order to avoid chaos, even if this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the fight against terrorism.

A hurried withdrawal of the Romanian troops from Iraq would harm the relations with the allies. However, the Romanian society has to know the situation in Iraq and its consequences as well. The successes and failures of its strategic partner, the USA, have consequences on Romania.

P.S. Robert Gates, the new Pentagon chief, has very good relations with Brent Scowcroft and Zbignew Brzezinsky, two of the most important critics of the Iraq intervention.

Translated by SORIN BALAN
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