Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 28, 2005 / 25 Tishrei, 5766

Understanding Condi

By Diana West


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If Condoleezza Rice ever does run for president, the following line may become very familiar:

"The only problem, of course, was that when the Founding Fathers said, `We the people,' they didn't mean me."

For the past few years, the most powerful woman on earth has been delivering this clincher. And it gets a gasp every time. I first read it in a speech Ms. Rice gave last week in Birmingham. Of course, it's a dramatic, even melodramatic, statement—a testament to the continuing expansion of liberty provided by our 218-year-old Constitution. But Ms. Rice drops it in by way of illustrating the historic flaws of democracy, American-style; and this she drops in by way of dismissing the current flaws of democracy-building in the Muslim world.

It's an awkward exercise, but she's bent on it. "We should note that unlike in our Constitutional Convention, the Iraqis have not made a compromise as bad as the one that made my ancestors three-fifths of a man," she said. Is it politically incorrect to find this statement offensive? Yes, slaves were indeed counted as a fractional person in pre-abolition censuses that determined how many representatives a state would send to the House of Representatives. (Slaveholders, not slavery opponents, wanted a slave to count as one person to augment their state's political power.) But it is the miracle of that 18th-century document that it contained the blueprint for abolition. By contrast, the 2005 Iraqi Constitution (also the 2003 Palestinian Authority constitution and the 2004 Afghanistan constitution) contains provisions for a sharia state under which all men are not created equal, and freedom of conscience is denied.

But that's not what Ms. Rice sees, and it's her prism that counts. While the president works his way through a string of "isms" (fascism, totalitarianism, communism, Nazism) to place the ideology of Islamic terrorism into context, the Secretary of State studies something else: the lessons of the civil rights movement. In the transformation of her hometown of Birmingham from, as she put it, "a place called `Bombingham,' where I witnessed the denial of democracy in America for so many years," the Secretary of State seems to see the blueprint for the democratization of the non-democratic, particularly Muslim world.

This Rice Doctrine grows from the segregated South: "Across the empire of Jim Crow, from upper Dixie to the lower Delta, the descendants of slaves shamed our nation with the power of righteousness and redeemed America at last from its original sin of slavery," Ms. Rice said. "By resolving the contradiction at the heart of our democracy," she continued, "America finally found its voice as a true champion of democracy beyond its shores."

In this worldview, it's not, say, the 700,000 casualties of the Civil War plus one assassinated president who redeemed that original sin of slavery, but rather the civil rights movement that helped overturn Southern segregation laws a century later. Indeed, it was only at this relatively late date, if I'm reading Ms. Rice's words correctly, that America could finally sally forth as a "true champion of democracy"—which makes you wonder who it was who went to Belleau Wood in 1918, St Lo in 1945, and Chosin Reservoir in 1950.

The implication seems clear: American democracy wasn't all that much to be proud of until the civil rights leaders Ms. Rice calls the "impatient patriots" — Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, for instance — came along. This supports one of her main policy points; namely, that even in America "democratization is a long and difficult process, not a singular event." So much for the miracle at Philadelphia.

Such a view of American unexceptionalism makes it perfectly okay to support other "impatient patriots" (her phrase again) in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Authority. They, like our Founders, she might say, permit anti-democratic tendencies to mar their nascent democracies (sharia on the books, bomb-toting terrorists on the ballots), but no one should balk. Only "cynics," as Ms. Rice said—the same people she said "once believed that blacks were unfit for democracy"—argue "that the people of the Middle East, perhaps because of their color or their creed or their culture or even perhaps because of their religion, are somehow incapable of democracy."

In this mix 'n' match take on history, facts about clashing belief systems have no place, and fears for freedom under sharia are "cynical" or worse. But when debate is stopped cold by pushing the hot buttons of racism and bigotry, realpolitik gives way to feelpolitik—maybe the ultimate doctrine of pre-emption.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Diana West Archives

© 2005, Diana West

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles