Fareed Zakaria at PostGlobal

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. He is a member of the roundtable of ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanapoulos" as well as an analyst for ABC News. And he is the host of a new weekly PBS show, "Foreign Exchange" which focuses on international affairs. His most recent book, "The Future of Freedom," was published in the spring of 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller and is being translated into eighteen languages. He is also the author of "From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role" (Princeton University Press), and co-editor of "The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World" (Basic Books). Close.

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. more »

Main Page | Fareed Zakaria Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Ending Our Imperial Foreign Policy

As George W. Bush's term ended, he had few defenders left in the
world of foreign policy. Mainstream commentators almost unanimously agreed
the Bush years had been marked by arrogance and incompetence. "Mr. Bush's
characteristic failing was to apply a black-and-white mind-set to too many
gray areas of national security and foreign affairs," The Post
editorialized. Even Richard Perle, the neoconservative guru, acknowledged
recently that "Bush mostly failed to implement an effective foreign and
defense policy." There was hope that President Obama would abandon some of
his predecessor's rigid ideological stances.

In its first 50 days, the Obama administration has naturally been
consumed by the economic crisis, but it has nevertheless made some striking
shifts in foreign policy. Obama announced the closure of Guantanamo and the
end of any official sanction for torture. He gave his first interview as
president to an Arab network and spoke of the importance of respect when
dealing with the Muslim world -- a gesture that won him rave reviews from
normally hostile Arab journalists and politicians.

Hillary Clinton has racked up more miles in a few weeks than many of
her predecessors as secretary of state did in months, mixing symbolic
gestures of outreach with substantive talks. The administration has
signaled a willingness to start engaging with troublesome regimes such as
Syria and Iran. Clinton publicly affirmed that the United States would work
with China on the economic crisis and energy and environmental issues
despite differences on human rights. She has also offered the prospect of a
more constructive relationship with Russia.

These initial steps are all explorations in the right direction --
deserving of praise, one might think. But no, the Washington establishment
is mostly fretting, dismayed in one way or another by these moves. The
conservative backlash has been almost comical in its fury. Two weeks into
Obama's term, Charles Krauthammer lumped together a bunch of Russian
declarations and actions -- many of them long in the making -- and decided
that they were all "brazen ... provocations" that Obama had failed to
counter. Obama's "supine" diplomacy, Krauthammer thundered, was setting off
a chain of catastrophes across the globe. The Pakistani government, for
example, had obviously sensed weakness in Washington and "capitulated to
the Taliban" in the Swat Valley. Somehow Krauthammer missed the many deals
that Pakistan struck with the Taliban over the past three years -- during
Bush's reign -- deals that were more hastily put together, on worse terms,
with poorer results.

Even liberal and centrist commentators have joined in the worrying.
Leslie Gelb, the author of a smart and lively new book, "Power Rules," says
that Clinton's comments about China's human rights record were correct but
shouldn't have been made publicly. Peter Bergen of CNN says that "doing
deals with the Taliban today could further destabilize Afghanistan." Gelb
writes ruefully that it's "change for change's sake." Ah, if we just kept
in place all those Bush-era policies that were working so well.

Consider the gambit with Russia. The Washington establishment is united
in the view that Iran's nuclear program poses the greatest challenge for
the new administration. The only outside power that has any significant
leverage over Tehran is Russia, which is building its nuclear reactor and
supplying it with uranium. Exploring whether Moscow might press the
Iranians would be useful, right?

Wrong. The Post reacted by worrying that Obama might be capitulating to
Russian power. His sin was to point out in a letter to the Russian
president that if Moscow were to help in blunting the threat of missile
attacks from Tehran, the United States would not feel as pressed to
position missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic -- logical
since those defenses were meant to protect against Iranian missiles. It's
also a good trade because right now the technology for an effective missile
shield against Iran is, in the words of one expert cited by the Financial
Times's Gideon Rachman, "a system that won't work, against a threat that
doesn't exist, paid for with money that we don't have."

The problem with American foreign policy goes beyond George Bush. It
includes a Washington establishment that has gotten comfortable with the
exercise of American hegemony and treats compromise as treason and
negotiations as appeasement. Other countries can have no legitimate
interests of their own. The only way to deal with them is by issuing a
series of maximalist demands. This is not foreign policy; it's imperial
policy. And it isn't likely to work in today's world.

The writer is editor of Newsweek International and co-host of PostGlobal,
an online discussion of international issues. His e-mail address is
comments@fareedzakaria.com.

Comments (189)

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796

ARTICLE 11.

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen #,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation,## it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bar1796t.asp
# - Musselmen ( means )= Muslims.
## - Mehomitan nation ( means )= Muhammadian Nation Islamic nation

#

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

tranquility means peacefully .

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

Attention To :
Those who are anti-Islam and anti-Muslims , please read the follow then respect the U.S. Constitution .
-------------------------------------------------
Constitution of the United States : Preamble

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

U.S. Constitution - Article VI

Certain debts, ect. declared valid, Supremacy of Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States, Oath to support Constitution, by whom taken. No religious test.

1. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this constitution, as under the confederation.

2. This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

3. The senators and representatives before-mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

madameamol Author Profile Page:

Foreign policy formulation demands more than much wisdom as a property in the leadership, especially the leadership happens to be the executive head of the nation. Similarly he should possess an anticipative mind for making any required changes before just the situation is going to changed. For ex. in India now after elections there are 99 percent chances of Mayawatiji of becomming prime minister, then what should be the approach of US with India during her term. I think Obama has both the abovementioned, if not others, characteristics to be entitled as good leader.

gabraeal Author Profile Page:
gabraeal Author Profile Page:

The Jews insulting Jesus Christ and his mother Mary in TV10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&v=t9DqEBN34xY

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

Please if anyone want to contact me or to ask any question My Email address is : gabraeal@hotmail.com

gabraeal Author Profile Page:


My comment in Democrats org.in Aug.16,2007 that G.W.Bush is going to distroy the sicurity & the economy of the United states and the world wide's.
-------------------------------------------------

The US People through NASA reaching to planet of MARS
G.W.Bush want to take back the USA to the middle age .
He want with the republican party to change the democratic administration of the US to Dictatorship administration to be
Emperor Nero the II . He is a lire murder & guilty . He found his OWN GOVERNMENT out of US using the power of USA . He found mercenaries , spays , jails and security police who serving his madness only.
He may use them once against US and say after that that it's done by the terrorists to effect in the 2008 election.
The congress must do something to stop this mad
before he destroy the USA & the WORLD WIDE ' s security & economy.
Please every body every where must know that
there are many other duties to Begin to do , to save EARTH & LIFE by unit peace love and co-oporation than fighting and killing women children and civil people .

Gabraeal

http://democrats.org/a/2007/08/bush-administra-33.php

Posted by Gabraeal on August 16, 2007 at 07:00 PM

optimist3 Author Profile Page:

Am I the only one who seems to be UNABLE TO LINK to this article using the regular channel: by way of the FRONT PAGE?

For some reason David Ignatius' mug is the only thing that comes up. No offense to David...

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

Dear readers : Pleace to be sure about what I wrote about 9/11 please watch the link below :

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=9%2F11+in+the+US+curruncy&aq=f

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

G.W.Bush's administration said that the attackers of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11 , 2001 ( known as 9/11 )were 19 Saudi Arabia citizens . But after one or two years till now the best friends / partners of Bush family are Saudians and the States of GCC, U.A.E , Kuwait , Bahrain , Qatar and Oman. Once G.w.Bush accepted to give Dubai Sea Ports Company to manage six main sea ports in the United States as New York etc. but the congress of the United States refused it .The same time Dick Cheney transferred the head office of
Hellertown Company from Texas in the US to Dubai in the U.A.E. United arab Emirates . Why ?Also I watched from Aljazeera TV a documentarian film named The other September shows that all the 19 Saudians those the United States informed that they are the attackers of 9/11 are alive and working in several positions in Saudi Arabia .So who did it . the most are saying that 9/11 was inside job done by the CIA and the Mussed permitted by G.W.Bush only to get a reason to attack Iraq after Afghanistan to end Saddam Hussein's Regime . Working to make money for himself not serving the nation of the United States nor the people of the US.

gabraeal Author Profile Page:

This happened because of :
1 - Bombing Japan by nuclear bombs.
2 - The war in Vietnam .
3 - The blind support of the Zionists, Apartheid
regime in South Africa, the support of the
colonies in Africa .
4 - Electing twise the Bad G.W.Bush as the 43rd
president of the United States .
5 - The anti-Islam /Muslims policy by discribing
all of them Terrorists and fighting in Iraq
and in several parts of the Islam world .
6 - The Guantanamo Bay .
7 - The thifty ,fear & lie policy of G.W. Bush's
adminisration for eight years .

BruceM1 Author Profile Page:

Five words hat will never be said in my lifetime (but should)

The Iraq Exit Strategy: There's the plane, move out!

Our Middle East Policy: Israel, your're on your own!

Person7 Author Profile Page:

Unfortunately, Obama rates a big fat zero on foreign policy. He said he is closing Guantanamo, but he hasn't done it, nor is he sure on how to do it. He promised to end torture, but the CIA is still holding open the option, if not the day-to-day practice, of secret renditions. He promised to remove 1-2 combat brigades per month (i.e. 5000-10,000 troops per month), but he's not pulling any troops out now, and he shows all the signs of someone who is planning to stay in Iraq forever (as In Germany, South Korea, Okinawa, etc). He promised to widen the war in Afghanistan, and he is doing just that. He promised to attack Pakistan and he is/fanning the flames of war there. He promised to negotiate with Iran, but he and his aides keep making hostile and bellicose pronouncements, on and to, Iran. He keeps accusing Iran of having a nuclear weapons program despite the October 2007 NIE, which states the exact opposite. He keeps telling us that he wants the U.S. Military to be the most powerful in the world, but our military budget is already larger than the all the other world's military budgets combined. He talked of change, but his foreign policy team is far right of center, just as was the Bush-Cheney team. He let Chas Freeman twist in the wind until Freeman was, de facto, forced to resign. He remains mute on the ongoing atrocity and suffocation of Gaza (imagine if hundreds of Israeli women and children had been murdered by Hamas). Obama is hemming and hawing on missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic, while moving to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, a MAJOR sore point with Russia, to say the least. And so on, and so on...

In fact, Obama's foreign policy is IDENTICAL to the Bush-Cheney policy. This is not change I can believe in. This is why the neocons, by and large, are cheering Obama. For someone as smart as Obama to know absolutely nothing of foreign policy, nothing of our empire (which is all too often unnecessarily destructive), is, in a word, disheartening. Obama is squandering the feeble remnants of what was left of American goodwill by the previous administration. And he is blundering, and blundering badly. How truly sad and pathetic.

Garak Author Profile Page:

jmounadi wrote: "All of you must remember that it is the force and military might that we displayed in dominating Iraq that has the Arab world willing to sit at the negotiating table. And not because Obama is president."

All of us must understand that the Jewish world understands only force. It was only the threat of economic force by Bush II that got the Jews to temporarily stop stealing Palestinian land on the West Bank for Jewish colonies. But as soon as this threat vanished, the Jews got right back to stealing land and building colonies. This lack of fear is the only explanation why this Jewish theft continues today, and at an accelerated pace. No fear, no stopping.

It was the lack of a military response to the Jewish attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 that told the Jews that attacking the USA carries no penalty. It was the lack of a forceful military response to the Jewish attack on Lebanon in 2006 that emboldened the Jewish attack on Gazauschwtiz this summer. Without fear, Jewish attacks on America will continue unabated. America needs to understand this.

Don't like my using "Jewish" instead of "Israeli"? I'm as justified--or unjustified--as is jmounadi in using "Arab" as opposed to ""Syrian" or "Palestinian" or some other purely nationalist designation, as opposed to the purely racial "Jewish."

No double standards, right? Racial attacks on Arabs are as unjustified as racial attacks on Jews, right?

daniel12 Author Profile Page:

Good piece Mr. Zakaria. I personally believe (and more clearly stated by Bertrand Russell) that if the more powerful nations do not create an alliance and police the world that at least one WMD event will occur and certainly the environment will become more and more polluted creating a humanitarian disaster which will lead to more war.

I agree with Russell when he observed that all the entities we know as tribes, ethnic groups, city states, nations could not have come together without force being applied whether by a dominant family, tribe, or working associations of other sorts. In other words, despite all our hopes in things such as the United Nations the world will most likely not come together in a future world government without first force applied--and obviously in our day this force cannot be applied with any coherance (read justice) without the more powerful nations allying and sending out troops.

This means the U.S., E.U., Russia, China, India, Japan and Brazil must get over their differences--and quickly. The more they hesitate the more weaponry spreads and the more the environment is stressed. And then the day will come when it will be too late--a disaster of truly disturbing proportions will occur. Sadly, probably such a disaster (let us hope of lesser disturbance) will have to occur to really create a push for a single and worldwide government resting on the force capable of being applied by the currently dominant powers.

Let us hope I am wrong.

jmounadi Author Profile Page:

All of you must remember that it is the force and military might that we displayed in dominating Iraq that has the Arab world willing to sit at the negotiating table. And not because Obama is president.

The Arab world is willing to listen to Obama, because it is a change of face for them. They witnessed the brutality with which we can bring using weapons they never even realized existed. The Arab world is a violent world, and our response after 9/11 is something they thought we didn't have the stomach to actually execute.

They were wrong. The Bush administration did not overreact. Only people who don't understand the necessary response for such aggression would sit there and accuse America of overreacting. This is nonsense, and this mentality is what allows criminals both overseas and abroad to succeed against people of good will. The same mentality that weakens us inside America (ban guns so that criminals can have them anyway, and we can be victims) is the same mentality Fareed uses as an example of how we should be responding to the Arab world.

Peace through strength. Obama can only thank Bush for the opportunity his administration has now in the fact that the Arab world is willing to now make certain agreements that they weren't willing to make 9 years ago.

Aprogressiveindependent Author Profile Page:

Some comments are really incredulous. The idea of a "benign" empire is a classic oxymoron. The person who said Americans would never shoot peaceful protestors may not know about the Kent State and Jackson State shootings in 1970. The My Lai massacre, atypical only in scale during the Vietnam war, was even far worse because the over one hundred civilians massacred were not even protesting, just trying to mind their own business in their village.

Most people, outside of Japan at least, would agree the most evil empires or countries between 1931 and 1945 were Japan and Germany. Some historian out there should write an essay or book
about which countries since 1945 have militarily intervened the most in other countries, through direct military attack or invasion, covert attempts at overthrow and attempted terrorist actions, with the total number of estimated civilians who died. Then perhaps we could begin to have a somewhat "objective" foundation as to discuss which nations in the post-war period have been the least benign in their foreign policies.

rolfjoachim Author Profile Page:

The coin of 'imperial American foreign policy has two sides. For instance, Europeans are so used to dancing to the American tune that they forgot to voice a foreign policy of their own. It always takes two for a tango.

clearthinking1 Author Profile Page:

Bush and Cheney were arrogant and incompetent.
BUT, they are gone. So, stop reflexively opposing everything they tried to stop just because those two were fools.

AND, the threats they so poorly addressed are still there and are real.
SO, just doing the opposite of Bush/Cheney is not the answer.

Bill Clinton did nothing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. 8 years later on 9/11/2001, they were gone and thousands of Americans were killed.

Fareed Zakaria writes that American foreign policy establishment "treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement." This is simply untrue and an exagerration, and Zakaria knows it.

Compromise and negotiations with Islamists will only lead to further terrorism.

clearthinking1 Author Profile Page:

Bush and Cheney were arrogant and incompetent.
BUT, they are gone. So, stop reflexively opposing everything they tried to stop just because those two were fools.

AND, the threats they so poorly addressed are still there and are real.
SO, just doing the opposite of Bush/Cheney is not the answer.

Bill Clinton did nothing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. 8 years later on 9/11/2001, they were gone and thousands of Americans were killed.

Fareed Zakaria writes that American foreign policy establishment "treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement." This is simply untrue and an exagerration, and Zakaria knows it.

Compromise and negotiations with Islamists will only lead to further terrorism.

clearthinking1 Author Profile Page:

Bush and Cheney were arrogant and incompetent.
BUT, they are gone. So, stop reflexively opposing everything they tried to stop just because those two were fools.

AND, the threats they so poorly addressed are still there and are real.
SO, just doing the opposite of Bush/Cheney is not the answer.

Bill Clinton did nothing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. 8 years later on 9/11/2001, they were gone and thousands of Americans were killed.

Fareed Zakaria writes that American foreign policy establishment "treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement." This is simply untrue and an exagerration, and Zakaria knows it.

Compromise and negotiations with Islamists will only lead to further terrorism.

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:
clearthinking1 Author Profile Page:

Bush and Cheney were arrogant and incompetent.
BUT, they are gone. So, stop reflexively opposing everything they tried to stop just because those two were fools.

AND, the threats they so poorly addressed are still there and are real.
SO, just doing the opposite of Bush/Cheney is not the answer.

Bill Clinton did nothing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. 8 years later on 9/11/2001, they were gone and thousands of Americans were killed.

Fareed Zakaria writes that American foreign policy establishment "treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement." This is simply untrue and an exagerration, and Zakaria knows it.

Compromise and negotiations with Islamists will only lead to further terrorism.

Roism007 Author Profile Page:

Charles Krauthammer lumped together a bunch of Russian
declarations and actions -- many of them long in the making -- and decided
that they were all "brazen ... provocations" that Obama had failed to
counter. Obama's "supine" diplomacy, Krauthammer thundered, was setting off
a chain of catastrophes across the globe. The Pakistani government, for
example, had obviously sensed weakness in Washington and "capitulated to
the Taliban" in the Swat Valley. Somehow Krauthammer missed the many deals
that Pakistan struck with the Taliban over the past three years -- during
Bush's reign -- deals that were more hastily put together, on worse terms,
with poorer results.


Thanks Mr GPS 360 for bring up Sourkraut....he like many of his buddies are acting like the French Royality during the revolution when people were rioting for bread. So now that his brainless leader Bush is hitting the bottle hard, he is trying to rally support for his mindless masses in Oklahoma, Utah, Texas and other Red States in America to prove to them that they still matter.

Unfortunately, he just got helped by the Childish News Network by giving a War Criminal a platform on this Sunday's Face the Nation. I couldnt belive that John King did not grill him. Whats going on with Childish News Network?

Do me a favor next time you are in studio at CNN, slap the silly John King from me. If not the best political team just lot its mojo and became nothing more than hogwash similar to Fox News

dmfarooq Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria I believe that U. S. did not not learn lessons from failures of the past and retreat from Vietnam . The 9/11 attacks provided necons a god given opportunity to reset the clock on their old agenda . This was largely based up on Corporate greed , and focused on to control major sources of energy supplies of the World . At the pretext of national security Iraq War also provided and opportunity for necons Corporate Sponsors . They capitalized on opportunity of this War to get rid of their large accumulated old inventory of defense equipments and supplies , replace and update them with new and unlimited defense contracts . Obama administration has rightly chosen to change the course and work on their plan for getting back on track of diplomacy and development .

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:

Goomygoomy wrote:

"ISLAM is a CANCER to the HUMAN RACE."

Well, that must be taken with a grain of salt. While it is true that most of the world's problems have been a friction between Islam and non-Islam, the basic issue is that Islam has not reformed in its core mission: Islamize the planet.
Islamic denominations have branched: the Salafist and Wahabis are extreme examples who consider Agha Khan Ismailis, Qadianis, Druze and other variants (including some Sufi and Shia sects) as heretics who have corrupted the Islamic doctrines.

Today Islam has become almost synonynous with intolerance and terrorism. Pan-Islamists justify this by weighing the "violent crimes" and "injustices" committed by Islam vs. non-Islam; they fail to realize that Islam being God's word, cannot be argued against. You can deny the basis for the rationale of Marxism and Communism, at least theoretically. They are all man-made doctrines. Not so with Islam. Islam is the infalliable word of God and not some mortal imagination, concoction. So, one cannot argue with blind Submission that Islam asks for. This the major difficulty in having any form of rational dialog with Islamic extremists (but not global terrorists) like Talibans.

A Muslim may drink, gamble etc., conusmate temporary marriages for sex, and still be forgiven, if that Muslim admits guilt in disobeying Islamic teachings and asks for repentance and forgiveness. However that Muslim cannot be forgiven even if he does not do any of the above but challenges the very basic doctrines of Islam. The latter poses threat to Islam's very doctrinal existence. Thus Quran[005:033] mandates that persons who oppose Islam must be punished corporally.

In today's times, when the world has come to know what Freedom of Speech is all about, accepting such primitive extreme doctrines being at par with secularist and personal human freedoms is truly unacceptable.

Fareed Zakaria suggests that is wise to sit down at the table with extremists such as Taliban (but not Al-Qaeda) to solve any outstanding problems. A man-made system (secularist democracy) has to argue, and probably compromise, with a fundamental and obscurantist theocracy (Islam). This very notion is unacceptable. That's why Fareed, despite his Harvard PhD under Samuel P. Huntington, is wrong when he makes such suggestions that would only embolden the radical Muslim ummah in waging terrorist acts.


jmounadi Author Profile Page:

All of you must remember that it is the force and military might that we displayed in dominating Iraq that has the Arab world willing to sit at the negotiating table. And not because Obama is president.

The Arab world is willing to listen to Obama, because it is a change of face for them. They witnessed the brutality with which we can bring using weapons they never even realized existed. The Arab world is a violent world, and our response after 9/11 is something they thought we didn't have the stomach to actually execute.

They were wrong. The Bush administration did not overreact. Only people who don't understand the necessary response for such aggression would sit there and accuse America of overreacting. This is nonsense, and this mentality is what allows criminals both overseas and abroad to succeed against people of good will. The same mentality that weakens us inside America (ban guns so that criminals can have them anyway, and we can be victims) is the same mentality Fareed uses as an example of how we should be responding to the Arab world.

Peace through strength. Obama can only thank Bush for the opportunity his administration has now in the fact that the Arab world is willing to now make certain agreements that they weren't willing to make 9 years ago.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

It is most important to pause, I believe, whenever we come across a prime example of the imperialist mentality. We have much to learn by noticing how the imperialist mind works.

Step 1. OUR imperialism exists for the benefit of others (it is in fact an unacknowledged form of pure altruism, of true humanism really);

Step 2. OTHERS, by contrast, indulge in imperialism only in their own interest;

Step 3. those who disagree re: 1 and 2 above are not worth listening to.

Now that prime example, in so many words.

raskolnik writes: 1. "the US is the most benignly run "empire" in history, and has enabled an unprecedented era of global prosperity post-WW II." 2. "other world actors seek advantages over the US for their own national gain." 3. "Zakaria ... he's not really worth reading. In fact, I can't recall Zakaria ever having written a column that I didn't find tiresome and irritating."

See? (I keep forgetting...) Imperialism is even a form of open-mindedness.

GRZEGONJ Author Profile Page:

Goomygommy goomygommy goomygommy goomygommy goomygommy...sounds like your pathetic ranting.

Cathy8 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria,

Thank you for your intelligent, insightful post.

There's an old saying, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer". It's much wiser to conduct foreign policy in a manner that allows for honest and in-depth dialogue. This is especially true with regard to world leaders who disagree with the U.S. A foreign policy based on simply ignoring them and resorting to name-calling solves nothing.

Meeting and talking with all foreign leaders, specifically those whom we've considered to be our enemies, affords the President or Secretary of State the opportunity to size them up and, at the very least, learning what they're thinking.

To conduct foreign policy in any other manner is counter-productive and pointless. Besides, neither President Obama nor Secretary of State Clinic is Lord Chamberlain.

GaryPeschell Author Profile Page:

Dar Mr. Zakaria,

You are essentially right, I believe, in labeling the Bush foreign policy as "imperial Policy", meaning (I take it)a diplomacy based largely on threats and intimidation, the most mind-boggling example being President Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech.
After providing behind-the-scenes assistance to America in the invasion of Afghanistan, instead of getting thanks (and perhaps suggestions of improved US/ Iranian relations ?) Iran was insulted and implicitly threatened with attack and invasion (which threats continued to the final days of the Bush administration).
No wonder Iran wants nuclear weapons!

to_robert Author Profile Page:

If we agree with this man then we are acting like the naive young country we are accused of being. Many of the countries that criticize us would not have that privilege without America's blood and treasure.

GoomyGommy Author Profile Page:

Here we go again. Our 'Imperial Foreign Policy'. As I understand the FACTS, Fareed, THEY attacked US. They've BEEN attacking us since the Carter Years. I'ld go through the LIST, but I think you know it. It's people like you, Fareed, that cause MILLIONS to die, every year. Where was your voice in DARFUR? Should Sudan be TALKED TO? Or are the FORCED RAPES, the Gov't. created STARVATION- (like Ukraine)-and the GENOCIDE, an 'INTERNAL MATTER'? What about the things that happened in RAWANDA? Or the situation in ZIMBABWE? Why was the WORLD up in arms, when it was SOUTH AFRICA? YOU'RE from these regions, aren't you Fareed? What YOU call 'Imperialism', I call LIBERATION. ISLAM is NOT a Religion of Peace. ISLAM is a CANCER to the HUMAN RACE. Can't you see that, Fareed? They DANCE IN THE STREETS, when one of THEIR CHILDREN straps a BOMB VEST on, and blows him or herself up, in a bus full of babies. They throw ACID in the faces of little girls, for the 'CRIME' of going to school. They STONE women to DEATH, because they TALKED to a man who was not her husband. They administer PUNISHMENT to rape VICTIMS. What should we do, Fareed? Should we sit and WAIT, like we did during the Clinton years? Like we WILL, with this IDIOT, that we have now? You wanna talk to them? You're ONE OF THEM. You know what they think of 'TALKING'. If you're TALKING, it's because you're afraid of 'FIGHTING', and you are a 'WEAK HORSE'. This WEAK President. This IN OVER HIS HEAD, MILITARY HATING STREET HUSTLER, who sits in the White House, invites ATTACK, every time he opens his mouth. So, yeah, you're gonna get your wish, Fareed. This Idiot is gonna do it YOUR WAY. And the world will BURN. And YOU, will never understand why. Because you're just a PUNK. Like him. President PUNK.

bostonbrahmin Author Profile Page:

I would like to respectfully disagree with the column and some of the responses.

The United States is more an idea, than a country. The image of the United States in other countries is complex,and has to do more with what his country has traditionally stood for, rather than the current or the last 4 presidents.

It is known for being a place where personal freedoms are held supreme. It is a place where people from whatever backgrounds can aspire to reach the top. It might sound like a cliche, but if you are from tradition-bound post feudal societies, such freedom is worth dying for.

In almost every society, from former soviet block countries to Pakistan, there are two schools of thought, one conservative and traditional and the other modern and liberal. In almost all of these countries, the liberal wing, which may comprise a majority of people under 25, looks to the US to provide direction -- political and cultural. They dress the same, they want to read the same books, and watch the same movies.

They also expect the United States, the country, to follow the United States, the idea. Thus students in Tiananmen Square built a replica statue of liberty.

This cultural war is on, whether the US wants to actively participate or not. Dissidents facing state opression will be building replica statues of liberty and will be standing in front of tanks. The question is if the US finds its too inconvenient from its national interest point of view, to accept its own position.

People like this columnist will say that supporting the progressive-liberals everywhre, wherever they may be, is building an empire. I would say that helping them as much as we can is a duty to our national philosophy. Sometimes the support can only be verbal, sometimes it can be financial and only seldom can it be more substantial than that. But the support needs to be there.

The studnt in front of the tanks should know, that the US will be provide support for people like him. It will not fall back, like it has over the last decade, from supporting cause of freedom and justice because of our appetite for cheap gas and cheap toys.

bostonbrahmin Author Profile Page:

I would like to respectfully disagree with the column and some of the responses.

The United States is more an idea, than a country. The image of the United States in other countries is complex,and has to do more with what his country has traditionally stood for, rather than the current or the last 4 presidents.

It is known for being a place where personal freedoms are held supreme. It is a place where people from whatever backgrounds can aspire to reach the top. It might sound like a cliche, but if you are from tradition-bound post feudal societies, such freedom is worth dying for.

In almost every society, from former soviet block countries to Pakistan, there are two schools of thought, one conservative and traditional and the other modern and liberal. In almost all of these countries, the liberal wing, which may comprise a majority of people under 25, looks to the US to provide direction -- political and cultural. They dress the same, they want to read the same books, and watch the same movies.

They also expect the United States, the country, to follow the United States, the idea. Thus students in Tiananmen Square built a replica statue of liberty.

This cultural war is on, whether the US wants to actively participate or not. Dissidents facing state opression will be building replica statues of liberty and will be standing in front of tanks. The question is if the US finds its too inconvenient from its national interest point of view, to accept its own position.

People like this columnist will say that supporting the progressive-liberals everywhre, wherever they may be, is building an empire. I would say that helping them as much as we can is a duty to our national philosophy. Sometimes the support can only be verbal, sometimes it can be financial and only seldom can it be more substantial than that. But the support needs to be there.

The studnt in front of the tanks should know, that the US will be provide support for people like him. It will not fall back, like it has over the last decade, from supporting cause of freedom and justice because of our appetite for cheap gas and cheap toys.

walldizo Author Profile Page:

Fareed could have gone further explaining why the US has failed in almost all frontiers including Europe. Its not arrogance nor ability to negotiate that prevent the US forging their own foreign policy, its the lobbies that have corrupted both executive and legislative powers rendering them incapable of producing a sound foreign policy.Europeans too were not happy with the Americans appeasing Israel on all acounts, let alone Muslims who suffered most from such policies.For the US to have a truely American foreign policy, a line must be drawned between the US and Israel interests.

JS11 Author Profile Page:

I agree with some of the replies here that this article should be considered as a comment on US foreign policy, and not about any individual president, or party. For example, Carter is considered a pacifist, (or wimp, depending on your point of view), but the doctrine that bears his name says the US will use force if necessary to defend our access to Persian Gulf oil. So really the dynamic is that of a large powerful country, not the person / party in power.

So the real question is, are we acting in an "imperial" manner, and is that a bad thing. In spite of all the loaded baggage that the word carries, so long as we have our familiar nation-state system, there will always be discrepancies in power between states. Large countries like the US or large civilizational states like China will always have disproportionate resources, and have always been regional hegemons. The role of global hegemon is a rotating one between these large entities. This is just the nature of the beast.

As the current hegemon, the US is more benign than most.

The various cases that the author has called out: for example Russia. As I understand the author, accepting that Russia has "legitimate interests" means we should not interfere in its attempt to intimidate its neighbors, in its "near abroad". In other words, we should let Russia behave like a regional hegemon, but not ourselves behave like a global hegemon. This is absurd.

The various former Soviet republics are struggling little entities, and "supporting democracy" means holding our nose and supporting the least noxious little tinpot dictator who pretends to have elections. The only consideration in our actions should be pragmatic: in other words, at any given moment, can we afford to tweak the bear, or should we lie low. Similarly, during good times, such as our economy is doing well, and a credible local strongman appears, like Saakashvili, we grab some ground, like a color revolution, so in times like now, if we need Russia to help us influence Iran, we can have some cards to trade. All standard operating procedure, nothing to see here.

abrahamsadegh Author Profile Page:

We make things complicated. If we adopt the simple Golden Rule of not doing to others what we would not want done to us and if we stop acting is if our “national security” alone is of importance in the world and no one else’s, we will be then able to concentrate on building a society in line with our highest ideals and become a model for the other nation’s to emulate.

We need to shed our mask as a nation of war mongers by wasting everything that is precious in order to sustain the monstrous military-industrial complex that needlessly instills fear and hatred in the hearts of other and instead ensure our legitimate national security by developing the most efficient defensive force in the history of humanity and strive to become truly children of God by being peacemakers. By doing so we will in all probability totally undermine those who take innocent lives for whatever reason

We need to elevate ourselves from the realm of the "survival of the fittest" applicable to the rest of the animal kingdom to the realm of the “survival of the wisest" inherent in the Golden Rule.

timscanlon Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria,

I think you're on to an issue that will be more likely be resolved by Obama than it could have been by Bush. I also agree this is a situation that is due to technique and philosophy.

However what I don't think is easy for any of to understand, or cope with, is that the USA is an empire within it's own borders. It matters what we want of it, but it doesn't matter if we do or do not want to be an empire, because we have no choice but to be what we are. I don't consider this to be some matter of destiny, but of simple fact.

I also believe that the US is a very reluctant empire, both inside and outside of it's borders. Unlike present day imperialist China, we in the US do not rush to crush every sign of dissent, both inside and outside of our borders.

Even in states where our intervention is greatest, like Iraq, we don't use violence against peaceful protesters. In fact, when our "Emperor" was attacked with a shoe, he acted like a regular citizen would, and asked for leniency for his attacker. He did not view it as an attack with the intent of harmful violence, but one of civil disobedience. He did not take on the mantle of empire, and claim insult to the state.

By contrast, the Chinese would probably have just shot that man, and thrown insane demands at their opponents and allies alike, while pointedly becoming apoplectic over the insult that was given to the state. That even if the assailant didn't live through the encounter.

It would be useful when debating some of the finer points of diplomacy, that examples of real imperialism in the present world be used. Many of these make the USA look like a country governed quite wisely, even by the worst of our leaders.

abrahamsadegh Author Profile Page:

We make things complicated. If we adopt the simple Golden Rule of not doing to others what we would not want done to us and if we stop acting is if our “national security” alone is of importance in the world and no one else’s, we will be then able to concentrate on building a society in line with our highest ideals and become a model for the other nation’s to emulate.

We need to shed our mask as a nation of war mongers by wasting everything that is precious in order to sustain the monstrous military-industrial complex that needlessly instills fear and hatred in the hearts of other and instead ensure our legitimate national security by developing the most efficient defensive force in the history of humanity and strive to become truly children of God by being peacemakers. By doing so we will in all probability totally undermine those who take innocent lives for whatever reason

We need to elevate ourselves from the realm of the "survival of the fittest" applicable to the rest of the animal kingdom to the realm of the “survival of the wisest" inherent in the Golden Rule.

TomKK Author Profile Page:

A right step would be to stop funding the Apartheid state of Israel, and cut the influence of the jewish lobby on our foreign policy.

stopbeingsosensitive Author Profile Page:

08HAYABUSA:
_____________________________________________-
asizk Author Profile Page:

Muslims are a tiny minority in America and are loyal and don't spy on nor milk it to death.
The only strategic and existential threat to
America comes from the jews who will allow "isreal" to drag it to a nuclear holocaust in the ME as it draged W to invade Iraq.

====================================================

And as far as this crap. I and a growing number of Americans are becoming aware that Muslims are the biggest threat to America.
You are correct when you say you are a tiny minority now and not a threat at the moment. But we both know that your goal is to become a majority and to try to bring America down and get rid of our Constitution and incorporate Sharia Law.
And as far as your loyalty goes, I saw absolutely no loyalty demonstrating in the streets of our cities, fighting with our police, screaming for the downfall of both Israel and America, over Israel defending itself in Gaza. So go tell it to someone else. I'm not one of the Liberal politically correct crowd. I'm one of those who will be coming for you, when you start blowing things up here, like your Muslim friends in France, the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, and Denmark have been doing.

________________________

You are pathetic plain and simple. This ridiculous theory you have that Muslims in the US want to topple the US government and install sharia law is testament to you ignorance and it is people like you who are intolerant and not muslims.

Take a look at Zionist thought and you will find that it is zionists that engage in imperialist expansion and dominance not Muslims.

You and like-minded individuals should read a bit more, no matter how hard it is for your intellectually insignificant mind to handle and then post something credible and worthwhile. Disgusting

stopbeingsosensitive Author Profile Page:

asizk Author Profile Page:

Muslims are a tiny minority in America and are loyal and don't spy on nor milk it to death.
The only strategic and existential threat to
America comes from the jews who will allow "isreal" to drag it to a nuclear holocaust in the ME as it draged W to invade Iraq.

====================================================

And as far as this crap. I and a growing number of Americans are becoming aware that Muslims are the biggest threat to America.
You are correct when you say you are a tiny minority now and not a threat at the moment. But we both know that your goal is to become a majority and to try to bring America down and get rid of our Constitution and incorporate Sharia Law.
And as far as your loyalty goes, I saw absolutely no loyalty demonstrating in the streets of our cities, fighting with our police, screaming for the downfall of both Israel and America, over Israel defending itself in Gaza. So go tell it to someone else. I'm not one of the Liberal politically correct crowd. I'm one of those who will be coming for you, when you start blowing things up here, like your Muslim friends in France, the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, and Denmark have been doing.

________________________

You are pathetic plain and simple. This ridiculous theory you have that Muslims in the US want to topple the US government and install sharia law is testament to you ignorance and it is people like you who are intolerant and not muslims.

Take a look at Zionist thought and you will find that it is zionists that engage in imperialist expansion and dominance not Muslims.

You and like-minded individuals should read a bit more, no matter how hard it is for your intellectually insignificant mind to handle and then post something credible and worthwhile. Disgusting

Aprogressiveindependent Author Profile Page:

Fareed Zakaria's column is unusually insightful, especially the following:

" The problem with American foreign policy goes beyond George Bush. It includes a Washington establishment that has gotten comfortable with the
exercise of American hegemony . . . Other countries can have no legitimate interests of their own. The only way to deal with them is by issuing a series of maximalist demands. This is not foreign policy; it's imperial
policy."

William Fulbright's book, I believe entitled, "The Arrogance of Power" about arrogant United States foreign policies during the Vietnam war is as timely in its message today as it was during the 1960's.

As Zakaria wrote, no nation is allowed to have its own national interests unless those are accepted by American policymakers. The idea the Bush-Cheney regime wanted to install missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic to protect them from Iranian missiles is completely ridiculous, more worthy of a play in the theater of the absurd than serious policy discussion. Obviously the missile defense systems are or were intended to humiliate, isolate Russia, to force the country to abandon any independent foreign policies to become subservient to neo-con led global hegemony.

The question is whether the Obama administration will continue the mostly neo-con agenda of global domination, based upon arrogance and intimidation, similar to the Pax Romana imposed by imperial Rome upon much of ancient Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East.

JamesChristian Author Profile Page:

Theos:
FAREED ZAKARIA FOR SECRETARY OF STATE!

p.s. - Let me also say that I am extremely bothered by the prejudice and outright racism folks have made in the comments section. In debating public policy, I fail to see what relevance an individual's race, religion, gender or smile has to the discussion. To those who would introduce those subjects into the discussion, please think on this: you betray yourself and your ideas as morally and intellectually bankrupt once you stray from the substance of an issue. I.E. - you begin talking about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I can't say it any other way - if you are still talking about that...well, my friend, then you would be forever an intellectual 24 year-old intern, and anyone sitting next to you the President of the United States."

You call it racism all you want Theos. Be bothered all you want. The truth hurts, though, doesn't it? It was Islam that crashed into WTC. It was Islam that held our hostages in Iran in 1979-1981. In between, it was Islam that attacked the Cole, Kobar, the Marine barracks in Lebanon, it was Islam that attacked Britain on 7/11. It was Islam that has destroyed any hope of Israel and the Palestinians living in peace. Islam destroyed a hotel in Whackistani, Pakistan and killed hundreds of other Islamics just to make a weird point. Islam tried to destry Iraq with the murders via bomb, of hundreds of thousands of Muslims.. It is Islam that whips its rape victims, beheads it's homosexuals, and destroys anything that tells the truth in that miserable, fetid world and culture.

All over the world, Islam is THE symbol and actual instrument of pain, evil, fear and destruction. Worldwide, Islam IS the very epitome of evil. This is not racism, this is fact. It's the same now as it was in the 6th century when Islam was pushed back to the sands where Islam belongs, clearing the way for western civilization.

Islam is a stain, a filthy and violent culture dominated by a radical and violent and virulent strain of evil that murders the few moderate elements of the Muslim faith that would rather assimilate with peaceful cultures and join the rest of the world. Islam as defined by the Koran and commanded by the Wahhabi sects is simply evil and must be destroyed. To consider this strain otherwise is to court disaster. These are NOT racist tenets, these are facts and accurate and recent history. Theos, you're clearly a cheerleader for this evil stain on the face of the Earth. You cannot deny the history, all of it recent. Anyone that stands to defend it, validates it. The rest of us are not confused, but many are afraid, for whatever reason, to confront this culture of cowards and bullies.

I for one, obviously, prefer to confront it.

sambam Author Profile Page:

Mr.Zakaria, thank you for that thoughtful and insightful commentary. I always find your take on foreign relations to be fresh and enlightening, and am glad there are commentators like you who can provide an alternative view to the hide-bound, ossified inside-the-beltway establishment that permeates news and commentary.

It is unfortunate that so many of the people who have commented on your post have resorted to insults, ad hominem attacks and mindless flag-waving. It is also apparent that racism lurks just below the surface, particularly among the right wing yahoos and dittoheads who so dominate and debase reasoned debate in this country.

Please keep up the good work!

theodrosg Author Profile Page:

Clearthinking, JamesChristian, and other Oxymorons:

I think that Mr. Zakaria has been very nuanced in his overall body of work regarding the need for balance between addressing the threat that various countries and actors pose, and the need to re-calibrate tactics and strategy with regards to a foreign policy that is failing.

The outdated ideology of a world neatly divided between good and evil is not just counterproductive; it is wholly inaccurate and pre-supposes our own innocence and purity as a society, which was lost before we even became something resembling a country.

The truth of our world today, which has existed for quite some time, is that we must talk to our enemies; we must effect change over the long-term through modeled actions, dialogue and an authentic pursuit of international interests; and that there is nothing resembling victory but the gradual permeation of our ideals and principles into the hearts and minds of those vulnerable to the preaching of fundamentalists (be they Islamic, Christian, or whatever Oxymoron and Jameschristian actually are).

FAREED ZAKARIA FOR SECRETARY OF STATE!

p.s. - Let me also say that I am extremely bothered by the prejudice and outright racism folks have made in the comments section. In debating public policy, I fail to see what relevance an individual's race, religion, gender or smile has to the discussion. To those who would introduce those subjects into the discussion, please think on this: you betray yourself and your ideas as morally and intellectually bankrupt once you stray from the substance of an issue. I.E. - you begin talking about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. I can't say it any other way - if you are still talking about that...well, my friend, then you would be forever an intellectual 24 year-old intern, and anyone sitting next to you the President of the United States.

kyprios9281 Author Profile Page:

Clearthinking, you are not really thinking clearly when you do not mention America's foreign ploicy vis Israel, or shall I say Israel's dictation of American foreign policy?

JamesChristian Author Profile Page:

Fareed Zakaria: Islam first, America second. Your every word broadcasts your wishes, fella. You folks have been praying to Allah since 9/11 for American capitulation to her enemies (when you weren't celebrating 9/11, that is). Hassle Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rice all you want, the hard fact is, WE haven't been hit again since 9/11, and all the rest of the world has. Why is that? Because the mongrel Islamics and their sycophants like Fareed Zakaria didn't know what the hell Bush was capable of next. So they sat out the War on Terror for better days, like when Democrats are in power. Islam will take Obama and Clinton on though, because they know that there will be no response other than talk, appeasement, and surrender. The proof of all this is in the Democrats' protest over the Surge in Iraq, and going back further, the endless attacks throughout the 90's when Bill Clinton was busy playing Hide the Cigar, culminating in 9/11, which was 3 years in the making. That Democrats spent 4 years rooting against the surge and praying it would fail is no one's surprise. Democrats were desperate for power, after all.

Folks, Islam knows and respects only violence and force. If ours is greater than theirs, cowards that they are, they'll run and hide. The record is clear. When they sense Obama's and Clinton's and Pelosi's cowardice and reluctance to respond (mostly because these Democrats HATE the military and intend to cut it back to irrelevance), Islamic creepies will attack us once again. It's academic. Diplomacy 101.

johnboorman Author Profile Page:

Yeah, Fareed, we should definitely end our imperialist policy. We should shut down all our military bases overseas and bring the troops home. Then, the next time some wacko dictator tries to take over the world, you can all fend for yourselves.

BTW, our population is now at 305 million and growing. We should also end immigration and shut down our borders while we're at it. Good luck.

clearthinking1 Author Profile Page:

Imperial foreign policy?
IMPERIAL?
Foreign Policy 101 - Please compare and contrast the "imperial" foreign policy of the British and French with the United States.

Mr. Zacharia seems to have capitulated to the basic Islamic philosophy:
Muslims can be intolerant, but you can't be intolerant of our intolerance.
Muslims can be supremacists and claim to have the better prophet, god, book, faith etc., but you cannot criticize.
We can have a have terrorists training camps in our nations, but you cannot attack them.

He writes melodramatically, "Other countries can have no legitimate interests of their own."
LEGITIMATE?
Terrorists in Pakistan with support of the ISI.
Illegal proliferation of nuclear technology by Pakistan.
Development of nuclear weapons by Iran in violation of commitments to the NPT.
Saudi funding of madrassas which train future terrorists and suicide bombers.
Taliban hospitality to Al-Queda.
Lack of basic rights for women in Islamic nations.
Russian military, energy, and political threats to neighboring free nations.
China's lack of democracy, violation of human rights, and support of dictators.

Mr. Zakaria, are these legitimate interests, or should the U.S. have something to say.


MikeEverest Author Profile Page:

The last paragraph is a powerful statement that need to be said. I commend Mr. Zakaria for his courage to speak out on this. Ever since 9/11, no one in the Washington establishment has had the courage to honestly discuss this simple question:

Why is the U.S. hated so much in the Muslim world?

No, they don't hate us because of our freedom, wealth, or way of life. They hate us because of our insane middle east policy.

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:

All:

Why is Fareed Zakaria smiling ? Because he is well-paid by the Washington Post under these trying times. Fareed knows that he can cleverly disguise his pan-Islamism and create confusion.... And, Fareed smiles slyly ... He will still be well-paid.....

What will happen to the UN envoy John Solecki, a US citizen ?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pakistan-kidnappers-set-new-US-hostage-deadline-Report-/articleshow/4274077.cms

Can Fareed's appeasement policy with Taliban help reduce such ghastly killings ? Does Fareed have a count on the severed heads of the foreign nationals in Afghanistan and Pakistan ? Of course, Fareed shall keep on smiling ....

sydellr Author Profile Page:

A QUICK RESPONSE TO H S N K H W J
HOW DO YOU KNOW" ONE STRING" IS A HONORABLE JEW?
The Jewish Community is a diverse group and One String is entitled to his opinion.
I would suggest however that" One String" familiarize himself with the facts and the History of the State of Israel- particularly Jeruslem.His information is so incorrect.Does he know how the jordanians desecrated the religious institutions when Jeruslem was partitioned?
Dore Gold former Israel envoy just participated in a conference and there is an informational PAPER available whih I would suggest HSNKHWJ and One String read to know the true facts of Israel and the lives,politics and cultures of the people who live there.the Palestinians and the Arabs-the Jews ,the Christians.
Perhaps if Darfur and Bosnia had an AIPAC there would not have been genocide.

ebundagen1 Author Profile Page:

Of course Mr Zakaria is absolutely correct in his core criticism pithily stated in the last two sentences of the article. But one instinctively feels a need to advice caution as such brazen truth telling, on this particular subject, is fraught with danger in Washington at any time, but it is the truth and it has to be said. So more power to you Mr Zakaria.

zero1 Author Profile Page:

VJG3,

you appear to debate your ghost. Post says nothing about Muslims.

What is the matter with you?

zero1 Author Profile Page:


New Order: Madoff is in jail.

I am perplexed: who is next?

vjg3 Author Profile Page:

The U.S. Govt just gave $900 M to Palestinians for starting the recent war (and numerous ceasefire violations)- Hegemony or stupidity or charity on part of the U.S.?

Bosnia war saving Muslims from certain annihilation (and creating another intolerant Islamic nation)- no oil there- hegemony or not?

U.S. saved Kuwait and most of Mid-East from certain holocaust at the hands of fellow Muslims courtesy Saddam- and again no free-oil for U.S. - hegemony, imperialism or stupidity or part of U.S.?

US- the most charitable nation on earth. Re-built Europe and Japan after the second World War.

Now Mr. Zakaria what the Muslim nations have done to non-Muslims and for the cause of humanity overall? You are a "moderate" Muslim; perhaps you can write a column criticizing the Muslim hegemony and intolerance.

cairo1 Author Profile Page:

Dear Fareed -- I am sorry to say that despite your fixed pleasant smile , I consider you a wolf in sheep's clothing and you are always happier if you interview a person who runs down the USA and supports the enemies of the USA such as Islamic Militants and Terrorists .

I am British 72 years old and speak very fluent Arabic with no English accent and also fluent in French and Italian . I have definitely " been around " and you do not fool me and I hope some others know that you have some kind of agenda .

I am truly surprised that there are so many people in the USA who do not realise what you are up to . You rarely say what you want others to say and I must congratulate you on your cleverness and acting ability .

georgegarrett Author Profile Page:

So let us end the America First Foreign Policy and substitute the Fareed Crybaby Foreign policy. We can always cry and plead with the U.N. to do something. Fareed has no plicy at all, except appeasement. We know how that works. Well it works for the terrorists.

BettyM47 Author Profile Page:

Oh, gag me. We're imperalists, but no one else is a terrorist. Let us remember that the last several war efforts were to save Muslims. Maybe we shouldn't have bothered. I mean maybe we should have just let Saddam Hussein kill all those people. Maybe we should have just let ethnic cleansing happen and let hundreds of thousands of Muslims die. Why should we imperalists save them anyway?

hsnkhwj Author Profile Page:

SYDELLR:

Since you brought up the issue of Mr Charles Freeman. Here is an abbreviated post of an honorable Jew published in WP:

"onestring wrote:
I am Jewish.

I HATE AIPAC and EVERY red-blooded Amnerican should, too.

The former ambassador's statement is extremely accurate:

"The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views." One result of this, he said, is "the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics."

...And his 2005 speech was predictive of exactly what has transpired:

"Israel's "high-handed and self-defeating policies stemming from the occupation and settlement of Arab lands," which he called "inherently violent."

WE in America are innocent targets of terrorism because we one-sidedly support Israel WHO IS OCCUPYING AN ENTIRE RACE ...and we support Israel BLINDLY.
Step 1: Eliminate 100% of all settlements and remove 1005 of all settlers from the West Bank.

Step 2: Cut off 100% of financing via US tax dollars until step 1 is achieved.

Step 3. Make East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine...."

3/12/2009 1:14:36 PM

My question to SYDELLR IS: IS THE WRITER OF THE COMMENT ABOVE ALSO ANTI-SEMITIC or JEW HATER?

AgentOrange1 Author Profile Page:

I would be pleased to reach out to moderate Taliban who beat their women only HALF to death or moderate al Qaeda who only HALF behead nonbeliever infidels.

I would reach out with MOABs and if that does not work I would reach out with the above ground testing of our dirtiest Nukes in the Pakistani tribal areas.

I asked Daniel Pearl for his definition of a moderate Taliban or al Qaeda Islamofacist and his response is below.

" "

I think he says it all.

Death to al Qaeda and ANYONE who supports them.


AgentOrange1 Author Profile Page:

I would be pleased to reach out to moderate Taliban who beat their women only HALF to death or moderate al Qaeda who only HALF behead nonbeliever infidels.

I would reach out with MOABs and if that does not work I would reach out with the above ground testing of our dirtiest Nukes in the Pakistani tribal areas.

I asked Daniel Pearl for his definition of a moderate Taliban or al Qaeda Islamofacist and his response is below.

" "

I think he says it all.

Death to al Qaeda and ANYONE who supports them.


hsnkhwj Author Profile Page:

SYDELLR:

Since you brought up the issue of Mr Charles Freeman. Here is a post of an honorable Jew published in WP:

"onestring wrote:
I am Jewish.

I HATE AIPAC and EVERY red-blooded Amnerican should, too.

The former ambassador's statement is extremely accurate:

"The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views." One result of this, he said, is "the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics."

...And his 2005 speech was predictive of exactly what has transpired:

"Israel's "high-handed and self-defeating policies stemming from the occupation and settlement of Arab lands," which he called "inherently violent."

WE in America are innocent targets of terrorism because we one-sidedly support Israel WHO IS OCCUPYING AN ENTIRE RACE ...and we support Israel BLINDLY.
Step 1: Eliminate 100% of all settlements and remove 1005 of all settlers from the West Bank.

Step 2: Cut off 100% of financing via US tax dollars until step 1 is achieved.

Step 3. Make East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.

Step 4. Mercilessly carpet bomb into extinction all millitants who remain combative after the hand-off, for any reason. Hamas, and Islamic Jihaad are the first two organizations to vaporize.

Step 5: Plan the same way to eliminate Pakistan's millitants and retired intelligence service generals who are protecting Osama Bin Laden, and Mullah Omar.

As long as Israel is practicing occupation, segregation, land theft, illegal land appropriation, and genocide on Palestinians to prevent a Palestinians State - we're in the terrorist's sights.

It is THAT simple. It is THAT obvious. And anyone who says otherwise listens to Rush Limbaugh and doesn't use their own brain.
3/12/2009 1:14:36 PM

My question to SYDELLR IS: IS THE WRITER OF THE COMMENT ABOVE ALSO ANTI-SEMITIC or JEW HATER?

joe_average Author Profile Page:

I hope Obama maintains a heavy hand in the northern region of Pakistan.

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:

SYDELLR:

I agree with you. I have however a rhetorical question, that neither Fareed nor any other pan-Arab, pan-Islamist can answer clearly. It is this:

Hamas and Islamic Jihad (thanks to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)want the state of Israel to just be eliminated and Jews killed. The Iranian thugman also questions the holocaust.

Well, let's say theoretically that Jews should leave Israel and return the land back to the Palestinians and create a military base for Al-Qaeda and Iran there.

Well, by all sense of reciprocity and equity, the argument holds that ancient lands where it is recorded that Jews once lived and were forcibly expelled should be given back to them and Jews should be reheabilitated. Assuming this sense of equity, why doesn't Saudi Arabia give back Makkah and Madinah to Jews ? After who doesn't know the Battle of Badr as described in the Quran ? The entire Quranic history is full of incidents that Jews were expelled from Makkah and Madinah (Banu Qurayish) by Prophet Muhammad.

Why doesn't any sensible and secular Muslim argue in favor of giving back lands to the Jews in Makkah and Madinah ?

Will Fareed argue on this on behalf of the Jewish population ? And, to USA many important scientific, educational, financial and entertainment contributions come from the Jewish people. Are the Jewish people a bit too self-focussed ? Perhaps. But given the 4,000 history of the Jewish people and the diaspora, I would assume any self-respecting ethnic group would do so. Doesn't the Muslims do the same ? Isn't Fareed Zakaria indirectly extending his support for the proposed compromise with Taliban, and then trying to drive a wedge between distinguishing the Taliban and Al-Qaeda ?

hsnkhwj Author Profile Page:

DebChatterji wrote:

"Fareed you are probably angry at Pete because he deflates your appeasement policy on Taliban. "

************************************************************************

By this logic, Nixon went to China as if he was appeasing the Chinese. The U.S., continued to talk with the Soviets during the Cold War. Was that an appeasement policy?

Talking with your adversary is not appeasement. It is a smart way of dealing with your adversary.

The Muslim hater will do or say anything to denigrate a rational author like Zakaria.

Most of India's overseas Hindus are sympathizers of India's fascist parties like BJP, Shiva Sena, Bajrang Dal (the monkey brigade), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP--World Hindu Council).

These fascist parties of India want to take India back to the Dark Ages.

sydellr Author Profile Page:

My original thought was to simply ignore fareed
Zakaria as he chose to ignore my previous comments
regarding the firing Of former Saudi Arabia ambassador Freeman.In my opinion and another Washington Post columnist,it was good riddance to Mr Freeman who in comparison to the other appointees for foreign affairs did not have the qualifications or the impartiality to handle this particular assignmnent.He is so openly pro Arab and anti israel that his appointment was not only a surprise ,a disappointment but a contradiction of what the president had promised throuout his campaign to the only Democratic ally in the region.I might also add an ally who has made so many concessions for peace only to be told they have no right to exist ito their land.
Obama had already appointed Hillary Clinton, Dennis Ross and George Mitchell to try and bring peace to the Middle east These are moderates with a good track record
Why were they not acceptable enough to satisfy Mr Fareed and his readers who used his column to launch tirades - the most vicious and inaccurate statements about Israel and the Jewish Organizations in this country who support Israel.
Mr fareed , I do not understand your obsession with Mr freeman- You interviewed him on your CNN show-you are running a poll asking your listeners if they think it was the Israel lobby who forced Mr Freeman to withdraw.Why this emphasis on this one man -is it because he is pro Arab and unlike the other appointees does not believe Israel has the right to exist?
One more fact. Perhaps if the world and in particular the Jews had paid closer attention there never would have been a Hitler and a Holocast I am not saying Mr Freeman is a Hitler but if you are saying MR Freeman did not get the job because of Jewish influence,it means
israel has a right to exist-its citizens to live without fear

mbudnick1 Author Profile Page:

Well said. As a world traveler Middle East, Far East, Africa it is amazing how little American's especially in the State Department know about the rest of the world.

08hayabusa Author Profile Page:

KennyBoy Author Profile Page:

Azisk said: "The jews are the only "group" that invaded,colonized and ethnically cleansed a whole pepole, millions of them-the PAlestinians."
It seems you don't know much about American history- ever heard of native-americans? Trail of tears? Reservations?
====================================================
I like the part where the Jews invaded and colonized.
What a joke. Do some research instead of just listening to your Priest or whatever you call them.
In 1948, the Jews who had been living in Palestine, were given ownership of the land which they turned into the country we now know as Israel. And they had been living there for 3500 years, or haven't you heard of the Israel in the bible. They did not colonize Palestine.
And by the way, there never was a state of Palestine ever in history.
The UK took what was left of the Ottoman Empire and turned it into Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. And the reason the Palestinians left was not because of the Jews, but because Jordan declared war on Israel and told the Palestinians they had better leave or die with the Jews because they were going to blow Israel off the face of the earth.
Now maybe America's history with the Native-Americans isn't something to write home about, but all those people are dead so why bring it up?
How do we treat Native-Americans today? I can go back in any nation's history and find bloodshed and behavior they would rather not hear about but that would be beating a dead horse as it were.
But seeing as were talking about people, In many lands in the middle east today, don't apostates get their heads cut off?, don't thief's get their hands and feet amputated?, don't the women get beaten because they're somebody's property? So don't bother me with America's history. We had enough sense to see the error of our ways and make the necessary changes. Where the hell is your common sense?

EJHill Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria comes from a long line of those that preach "realpolitik." This is the same school that said that Soviet domination of Eastern Europe was a permanent fixture of the world landscape and that we just had to learn to deal with it.

Mr. Reagan, Mrs. Thatcher and John Paul II with their allies in Solidarity proved them wrong. Unlike Mr. Zakaria, there are those with vision and integrity and the belief in human freedom that know that their fatalistic acceptance of "facts" isn't what makes for a better world.

vjg3 Author Profile Page:

Not sure how you can call U.S. policy hegemonic and imperialistic. You are a Muslim migrant here and have a very successful career followed by millions of Americans

Can you give some examples of Americans or non-Christians enjoying so much success and people's support in 57 intolerant Islamic nations? If a migrant or a non-Muslim even criticzed (let alone call it hegemonic or intolerant)a Muslim country's government his head might be chopped off.

RNELSON4 Author Profile Page:

First Cuba, then Venezuela, Bolivia, The United States, and now, El Salvador, Onward and Leftward. The Media prevails

hdc77494 Author Profile Page:

The article states: Consider the gambit with Russia. The Washington establishment is united
in the view that Iran's nuclear program poses the greatest challenge for the new administration. The only outside power that has any significant
leverage over Tehran is Russia, which is building its nuclear reactor and supplying it with uranium. Exploring whether Moscow might press the
Iranians would be useful, right?
You want us to open a dialog with the country making billions by building a reactor and supplying Iran with fuel that they should stop because it destabilizes the west, their global enemy?? What are you smoking? I'm with Israel, blow it up, and tell Iran we'll talk to them when they learn to play nice. Walk away from our Eastern European allies and our defensive missle bases as a bribe to "talk" to Iran? It soulds kinda like Albright's brilliant plan to build a nuclear plant in North Korea on the promise they would use it for "peaceful" purposes. Only dems are so deluded as to think a nucluer opponant will just roll over because we ask.

alance Author Profile Page:

All powerful countries have been imperialistic to some degree. There is the Golden Rule of Nations: The one with the most gold rules.

To a large extent America has resisted imperialism. We let Cuba become independent after the Spanish American War. We gave the Philippines freedom after WWII. We gave up the Panama Canal Zone. We stopped the British and French from seizing the Suez Canal in 1956. We fed Europe and Japan for five years after WWII without imperialistic ambitions. I don't know what your problem is, Mr. Fareed Zakaria.

08hayabusa Author Profile Page:

rick22407 Author Profile Page:

Asizk says @ 3/16 10:34 am:

“If "Israel" can have a nuclear arsenal then Iran should have one too. Or otherwise declare the entire ME free of nuclear weapons. American and European double standards are disgusting.

The Arab/Muslim world should expect no change in US foreign policy towards it: Arabs/Muslims should unite and rely on their huge numbers, huge resources and expansive geography-Obama is not coming to their aid
.
Obama does not have the courage to confront the Jewish lobby.”
__________________________
Right on the money Asizk…well done.

==================================================

That's like saying Hitler ought to have a nuclear bomb.
What a couple of idiots.
If you don't think they will not use it, then you are a damn fool.
That idiot will not only blow up Israel, who by the way has never initiated an attack on it's neighbors for no reason, then he will give it to someone to blow up New York or Los Angeles.

08hayabusa Author Profile Page:

asizk Author Profile Page:

Muslims are a tiny minority in America and are loyal and don't spy on nor milk it to death.
The only strategic and existential threat to
America comes from the jews who will allow "isreal" to drag it to a nuclear holocaust in the ME as it draged W to invade Iraq.

====================================================

And as far as this crap. I and a growing number of Americans are becoming aware that Muslims are the biggest threat to America.
You are correct when you say you are a tiny minority now and not a threat at the moment. But we both know that your goal is to become a majority and to try to bring America down and get rid of our Constitution and incorporate Sharia Law.
And as far as your loyalty goes, I saw absolutely no loyalty demonstrating in the streets of our cities, fighting with our police, screaming for the downfall of both Israel and America, over Israel defending itself in Gaza. So go tell it to someone else. I'm not one of the Liberal politically correct crowd. I'm one of those who will be coming for you, when you start blowing things up here, like your Muslim friends in France, the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, and Denmark have been doing.

Hobbes4 Author Profile Page:

Many of the foregoing comments here have had one theme: The main problem with the foreign policy attitudes of the Washington establishment is the overwhelming influence of the Israel lobby. I fully concur with this view. Some of the strongest evidence of such influence appears regularly on the op-ed page of the Washington Post, evidently a stronghold of neoconservative, Zionist thought.

Those of us who feel that this particular bias in American foreign policy is extremely dangerous and contrary to American national interests must do more to combat the control the Israel lobby, through the Washington and media establishments, has over the U.S. government.

Only by becoming more politically active can the many ordinary Americans who are appalled by the Lobby's influence have any effect in wresting control of our nation's policies from this foreign country and its representatives.

eternalvigilance Author Profile Page:

Zakaria fotgets or ignores two vital factors in International Conduct. The price of LIBERTY is eternal vigilance in both economic and military concerns. The other is that DARWINISM is always at play in the ways and means that America must support to survice. As one writer wrote , no one should think that other nations spend much time in their day thinking about actions they can take to help America. We may have allies but there are few countries that are really friends. The United Kingdom is the rare exception. Zakaria's comments that Obama will behave so as to enhance the respect and friendship other nations have for us is bile. Neither friendship nor respect will matter if America does not remain a Military and Economic Powerhouse. Zakaria is an apologist for Islamic nations who would takeover America if they could. Without power America is a farce and we must generate our own strength. This means that our foreign and domestic decisions must act in concert so that we will not be subject to economic or miltary black mail. Staying Numero UNO
requires awareness of the world in a realistic manner. Unfortunately Obama has some fans who are entranced by his doctorate and glibness. Some of the ignorant vote and probably believe that they should encourage our policy makers to put friendship with foreign nations ahead of America's interest and needs.

Ombudsman1 Author Profile Page:

I didn't intend on getting involved in the nature of God, but someone asks below:

"Is God greedy? Does G-d kill? "

1) When a being demands you submit to his will utterly, that strikes me as greedy.

2) Does God Kill? Oh, all the time. He can be merciful as well. The Greeks understood this duality of the Gods when they talked about how the Gods could be as petty as men but as generous as a parent.

Draw your own conclusions here.

Ombudsman1 Author Profile Page:

I wish Fareed Zakaria would tell us more about himself so we would understand his biases.

While I agree a more measured approach is called for, I think it is a successful strategy to let other countries know that you'll pummel the cr*p out of them if they try anything "funny".

To summarize... deal fairly with those who deal fairly with you. Crush people who are intent on harming you.

That seems like a fair foreign policy to me.

KennyBoy Author Profile Page:

Azisk said: "The jews are the only "group" that invaded,colonized and ethnically cleansed a whole pepole, millions of them-the PAlestinians."
It seems you don't know much about American history- ever heard of native-americans? Trail of tears? Reservations?

lfrye Author Profile Page:

I agree with Zakaria. We do need a new approach of not bullying, of not killing, of not being greedy, of LISTENING to other human beings and negotiating for mutual benefit of all. On God's side someone says above. Hogwash. Is God greedy? Does G-d kill? What happened to the 10 commandments and other beliefs of respecting all and not killing even an ant. We need to advance to the next level of intelligence, peace, and spirit.

GaryEMasters Author Profile Page:

Surrender is not the best world policy - especially not when we are winning.

raskolnik Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria doesn't seem to have any place to insert ethics or principles in his foreign policy. He also lacks an appreciation for historical imperialism. If he were less tendentious, he would acknowledge that the US is the most benignly run "empire" in history, and has enabled an unprecedented era of global prosperity post-WW II. He further fails to acknowledge that other world actors seek advantages over the US for their own national gain. This is most obvious in Russia's use of Iran to destabilize the Middle East and raise the price of oil. Zakaria seems to prefer to think that the world would be Eden if only the US would demobilize its military and take a seat at the UN. That is truly an unrealistic and ideological point of view. For that reason, he's not really worth reading. In fact, I can't recall Zakaria ever having written a column that I didn't find tiresome and irritating.

Ladyrantsalot Author Profile Page:

Wasn't Fareed Zakaria a major supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq? How does he now get away with critiquing "hegemomic" or "imperial" policies? Is this satire?

bpai_99 Author Profile Page:

This author presents an interesting viewpoint, one that might make sense if applied to another country.

However, this is America - we are on God's side and any country that doesn't share our views is not; we Americans know God's will while other nations do not; and we have a divine mandate to use our understanding of God's Kingdom to make other countries conduct their affairs as we communicate God's will to them. End of debate.

DebChatterjee Author Profile Page:

Actually, while many jibes can be poked at Fareed's holey and hollow piece, one must take his anger and outburst at Peter Bergen's CNN column somewhat seriously. (I wonder how much Washington Post is paying Fareed for such misleading and pan-Islamic columns on Foreign Policy ?)

Peter Bergen's factually sound and well-reasoned CNN column is

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/09/bergen.taliban/index.html

Fareed you are probably angry at Pete because he deflates your appeasement policy on Taliban. While a skeptic like me agrees that Prez. Obama is doing a better-than-average job w.r.t respect to the economy, energy, science, education and energy, his plans based on General David Patreaus advice to have talks with Taliban would fail. Iraq and Afghanistan are NOT the same. Iraq was NOT a Islamic fundamentalist regime before Bush's failed and flawed policies forced an invasion of this country. Afghanistan was ruled by Pakistan backed and created Taliban who have been good at ruining the country by their imposition of Shariah. Even you don't support their rulership, yet you call for appeasement with Taliban. It's pathetic, Fareed.

asizk Author Profile Page:

davidmatthews Author Profile Page:
why do you advertise your ignorance? Just distract from "israel" savagery and barbarity on the Palestinian People.

The jews are the only "group" that invaded,colonized and ethnically cleansed a whole pepole, millions of them-the PAlestinians.

Muslims are a tiny minority in America and are loyal and don't spy on nor milk it to death.
The only strategic and existential threat to
America comes from the jews who will allow "isreal" to drag it to a nuclear holocaust in the ME as it draged W to invade Iraq.

Your "in 200 years the Muslims will outnumber etc...is really laughable:in 1947 the Palestinians were 95% of the population of Arab PAlestine.Now the invading hordes of alien jews are the majority.

So who is the threat?

grants1922 Author Profile Page:

We very much need the columns by Fareed to complement the ingrown thinking of most of our columnists. Many of them eagerly falsified Iraq and are eagerly promoting war with Iran. Such a war would probably put an end to our hopes for world peace and prosperity.

B2O2 Author Profile Page:

Thank you, Mr. Zakaria, for that enlightened column.

beagun27 Author Profile Page:

The Obama administrations pragmatic approaches to relations with other powers seems very logical and rational.

On Israel, the US must finally put its foot down and stop its colonizing the west bank, which is against its own, unenforced laws. Make Israel's compliance with its laws and the UN resolutions conditioned on further aid. Forget lobbying by AIPAC - they do not speak for all or even most persons of Jewish belief or extraction!!

At the same time, maintain a strong push on Hamas and Fatha to do their part to abide by previous agreements, recognize Israel's right to exist and require them to make rational approaches to effect a peace.

Peace in the Mid-East can only come about when Israel and the Palestinians have peace. It is in the US vital interests to make that happen.

uplandgreen Author Profile Page:

Fareed Zakaria missed the most obvious recent example of how the WaPo serves to keep the failed Foreign Policy of the Bush years alive and well.

While the editorial pages of the WaPo were used in a feeding frenzy to destroy the reputation of Chas Freeman, and led to his withdrawl for nomination to head the National Intelligence Council, the reporting of its Walter Pinchus directly refuted a central argument of one of the hit opinion pieces.

A WaPo pundit virtually labeled Chas Freeman an "anti-semite" for charging that AIPAC had a major role in his downfall. Fred Hyiatt ran this piece which exonerated AIPAC. The problem? Walter Pinchus, in the news section, reported that AIPAC indeed was deeply involved in the anti-Freeman spin jihad. Hyiatt failed to inform readers of the opinion page of this development, leaving Freeman's reputation unfairly blackened and readers of the opinion page ill=informed.

This remains a problem with the WaPo under Hyiatt's control. All during the Bush years, especially in regard to Iraq reporting, the editorial page was often at odds with what the news pages reported on the same day.

Does Fred Hyiatt reserve the opinion pages for fact-free punditry?

faithfulservant3 Author Profile Page:

Obama has made some good first steps, but hasn't shown any flexibility on the lynchpin in the Middle East; our relationship with Israel.

An op-ed in the New York Times a few days ago underscored the folly of Bush's missile shield in Europe even more clearly than critiqued here by describing a workable, cheape,r effective deterrant:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/opinion/12postol.html

Unfortunately the Washington "establishment" and the unrestrained military-industrial complex never saw an over-budget, ineffective weapons system that they didn't like or they'd be jumping all over Theodore Postol's no brainer solution.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

pgr88: "And where exactly is US Policy "Imperialist?"

All over the world, the question asked is: where exactly is US Policy NOT "Imperialist"?

lartfromabove Author Profile Page:

The US is weakest when it turns its back on its own values of democracy and the sovereign independence of states. When we fail to respect the rights and decisions of other societies, we oblige them to become our adversaries and competitors. The historic triumphs of American power in the world have all been accomplishments of values-based multilateralism. Bush's imperialism has led directly to today's economic collapse.

Bush and his party have earned the same contempt of historians and future generations of voters that Herbert Hoover's party enjoyed for a couple of decades.

frankmm34 Author Profile Page:

Pursuing a legitmate national security interest when, after consultation and negotiation, allies and adversaries do not agree is not an "imperial" foreign policy; is not belligerence.

pgr88 Author Profile Page:

And where exactly is US Policy "Imperialist?" It is a word loaded with 50 years of brainless left wing ideology, he ought to be careful when using it. We ought to expect as much from the milque-toast, psuedo-intellectual spam that comes from Newsweek.

The US was correct to oppose Communism, correct to have supported our friends who also opposed Communism, and is now correct to oppose the retrograde ideology of Islamic extremism.

gillotte43 Author Profile Page:

Isreal continues to do whatever it wants to stoke trouble with its neighbors, Syria and Iran, in order to force US policy to its side. Israel does nothing for its $3.5 billion foreign aid except increase its weaponry and military threats, all of which do nothing to aid US goals in the middle east. There shouldnt even be US goals in the middle east. Why should the US interfere and try to foist its objectives on an area that has been in turmoil for the past 2 thousand years. Yes, they deserve to live in peace, but with ISrael stoking problems, it makes it nearly impossible for the US to be of assistance, which is exactly what Israel wants. Israel wants US foreign policy off guard and always trying to make peaceful efforts with Syria and Iran while Israel keeps undermining these efforts without any repercussions. What a thrillingly dubious and hypocritical game they are willing to play at the US expense. What a bunch of losers they show themselves to be.

And electing Netanyaho only makes things worse. He will first adopt the posture of being willing to cooperate with the US and then in a few weeks he will concoct some fiction that allows him to threaten Syria and Iran. Silly the way the Jews are not smart about their own survival. Why doesnt the populace see throught these traditional games and demand something more from their so called governments. I guess that wont happen until their US supporters and Airpac etal stop making Israel their first country of allegiance.


Tony Gillotte
Vacaville, CA

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page:

"Compromise is not treason. Negotiation is not appeasement."

I believe it is no exaggeration to assert that more particularly on this tribune, the above statement has been long overdue. The same needs be said of the view that the time has now come to challenge "that Washington establishment that has gotten so comfortable with the exercise of American hegemony".

I thought that last Sunday, on GPS, Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles Freeman had much to say on some important sources of the current malaise in US foreign policy. One can only hope that transparency in government, something Paul O'Neil considers essential if we are to be successful "moving forward", supersedes that traditional duplicity endorsed wholeheartedly by the likes of Leslie Gelb.

Sutter Author Profile Page:

Republicans have short memories or just don't like to talk about Ronald Reagan, who negotiated with terrorists to gain the release of American and Israeli hostages, and whose administration actually sold guns to Iran, thinking it would woo some moderate mullahs (and just talking with Taliban is more dangerous?), but then excused it by saying the profits went to a good cause (the Contras). Reagan also pulled out the Marines after a suicide bomber leveled the barracks. The fact is that the war on terror requires worldwide cooperation like no other war has, but the policies the U.S. has followed over the past years have alienated our allies and given great propaganda fodder (and recruits) to our enemies.

rick22407 Author Profile Page:

Asizk says @ 3/16 10:34 am:

“If "Israel" can have a nuclear arsenal then Iran should have one too. Or otherwise declare the entire ME free of nuclear weapons. American and European double standards are disgusting.

The Arab/Muslim world should expect no change in US foreign policy towards it: Arabs/Muslims should unite and rely on their huge numbers, huge resources and expansive geography-Obama is not coming to their aid
.
Obama does not have the courage to confront the Jewish lobby.”
__________________________
Right on the money Asizk…well done.

hsnkhwj Author Profile Page:

davidmatthews Author Profile Page:

I think that we are frequently diverted by journalists such as Zakaria from fully understanding the danger that Islamic fundamentalism poses to the world. I believe that in about 200 years, when Muslims will outnumber the original inhabitants of many countries, there will be major struggles as Islamic fundamentalists gain a hold of most institutions. Minorities, such as Jews, Hindus, and Christians will face severe discrimination and oppression. The US must maintain a strong foreign policy to counteract this threat."

******************************************************************************
Your rant is simple fear mongering. THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING, THE MUSLIMS ARE COMING, just like once: "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming."

Demonizing Muslims goes on and on : one case of beheading--generalizing: (1.3 billion) Muslims are beheading their women. "Muslims are going to impose sharia law on us".

The time for fear mongering is over.

myopinion3 Author Profile Page:

Obama is a two term state senator from Ill. Never reelected as a US Senator nor did he finish one term.

He is a puppet.
Thank goodness for Clinton at the helm. One with experience in Foreign Policy and everything else. We are doing things differently- we have to.
Certainly some mistakes will be made along the way but we can only improve upon the disaster of our current standing courtesy of Bush and NeoCon, INC.

Obama on the economy- No Juice against Pelosi and Reid. Billions in earmarks signed into budget after "read my lips: no new earmarks." Pathetic. Will spend us into oblivion unchecked.

An Independent.

willyboy Author Profile Page:

Zakaria's apologist commentary and "America-on-the-decline" brand of politics makes me want to puke.

kevrobb Author Profile Page:

I notice that everyone is commenting on Obama's foreign policy, but Fareed Zakaria isn't writing about that. He isn't writing about Bush's policy either.

He's writing about "a Washington establishment that has gotten comfortable with the exercise of American hegemony and treats compromise as treason and negotiations as appeasement."

He goes on: "Other countries can have no legitimate interests of their own. The only way to deal with them is by issuing a series of maximalist demands. This is not foreign policy; it's imperial policy. And it isn't likely to work in today's world."

I'm gald to hear Fareed Zakaria state it so plainly, and I agree with him 100%.

Washington conventional wisdom today reminds me of what Eisenhower said of the Soviet Union in 1960:
"In the world of its design, security was to be found, not in mutual trust and mutual aid but in force: huge armies, subversion, rule of neighbor nations. The goal was power superiority at all costs. Security was to be sought by denying it to all others."

allknowingguy Author Profile Page:

American foreign policy is far from perfect, but sometimes people like Zakaria seem to forget what we're up against, i.e., the foreign policies of every other country on this planet. All countries are basically out for themselves. That's just how the game is played. I mean really, what does Mr. Zakaria think goes on in the foreign ministries of other countries? A bunch of meetings on how to be more fair and generous? Come on! I would bet that not one single poster on this board, or Mr Zakaria for that matter, can name the top three foreign policy concerns of ANY country other than the US. You have to understand the game you're playing before you can tell if you're strategy is valid. Also, Mr. Zakaria should be careful about the use of terms like "American hegemony" and "imperialism". Those are loaded code words that are routinely used by our enemies to cast us in as unfavorable a light as possible, usually for their own aggrandizement.

davidmatthews Author Profile Page:

I think that we are frequently diverted by journalists such as Zakaria from fully understanding the danger that Islamic fundamentalism poses to the world. I believe that in about 200 years, when Muslims will outnumber the original inhabitants of many countries, there will be major struggles as Islamic fundamentalists gain a hold of most institutions. Minorities, such as Jews, Hindus, and Christians will face severe discrimination and oppression. The US must maintain a strong foreign policy to counteract this threat.

hsnkhwj Author Profile Page:

pihto999:

You may be right from the Israeli point of view but most Americans are beginning to think as to why should America be the enemy of the Muslim world as well as others for the sake of Israel?

What has Israel done for us lately?

JFredMugs Author Profile Page:

zero1 wrote:
The position taken in this paper appears to have one purpose: prepare the public for the US landing into a second rate power.
--------------------------------------------------
So far as I can tell, the position taken in this paper appears to have one purpose
the promotion of whatever the right wing parties of ISRAEL want.

chrisdunning1 Author Profile Page:

ero1:

The position taken in this paper appears to have one purpose: prepare the public for the US landing into a second rate power.

Well, what else do you expect from a Bilderberg mouthpiece? Gotta prep the people for the glorious New World Order

hsnkhwj Author Profile Page:

tughillb Author Profile Page:

Deals with the Taliban--how can that be good? Half of us, myself included, are the objects of their hatred and contempt. Apparently we're only good for making more suicide bombers. How would it have looked if we had let Hitler keep on swallowing Europe (up to the point of Poland, anyway) on the grounds that it's really their affair, and after all the victims are only Jews. Oh, I forget, I guess we did.
********************************************************************
You failed to mention that we supported the Taliban during the occupation of Afghanistan by the imperialist Russia. When that occupation was over we packed and left.

We never thought of changing the mindset of the people of Afghanistan by investing in their education and helping their infrastructure to help employment situation. "An idle man is the devil's work shop" is true.

Fareed Zakaria is suggesting change in our foreign policy. Most, including President Obama, agree that mlitary victory in Afghanistan is costly in terms of American lives and materials. An effort to rebuild Afghanistan is much more constructive and can help change the mindsets of the people of that part of the world. Mindsets donot change in a year or two. It takes generations to change them.

I salute Fareed Zakaria for suggesting a very rational approach.

zero1 Author Profile Page:


The position taken in this paper appears to have one purpose: prepare the public for the US landing into a second rate power.

pihto999 Author Profile Page:

***OBAMA should have simply traded Israel's fromidable nuclear arsenal for the presently no more than Iranian intentions to acquire a nuclear weapon-which is another disturbing sign that he would not dare to even talk about the jewish nuclear arsenal.***

Classic! Those who whine most about America being a bully usually want America to bully Israel to disarm in front of the Muslims who are bent on wiping them off the map. yeah, Israel will be very smart to hinge own existence on the word of the Mullahs. LOL

***If "Israel" can have a nuclear arsenal then Iran should have one too.***

Absolutely not. Israel nukes is the factor deterring Muslim aggression. Iranian nukes will be the factor of aggression. Don't forget Monkey boy words about wiping Israel off the map. Don;'t forget quite a few attempts of Muslim states to deliver on those words. Failed miserably, Soviet support notwithstanding, but the intention to finish what NAZIs didn't was there. Conversely, Israel never said or attempted to do anything of the kind towards them. Comparing Israel and Iranian nukes is like comparing British and NAZI tanks in 1939.

tpwatson1 Author Profile Page:

to ZEEM;

Do you think because the Federal Reserve acted as a magical printing press that it gave the United States the so called means to pass what you refer to as "needed bailouts". That's laughable since the U.S. also pandered to China for more of their savings to do what you speak of.

Besides, your ramblings don't even address the topic at hand, regarding foreign policy, but as usual many can't open their minds enough to do so. Although, I am surprised by many posters, like myself who agree with Mr. Zakaria, although he isn't the first to bring this to attention.

jpsharma06 Author Profile Page:

During his presidential campaign and since assuming the office, the US foreign policy objectives articulated by Obama do really suggest a changed trajectory and a desire for projecting soft and benign power of the US, as against the arrogant, militaristic and hostile posture adopted by his predecessor. The changed policy stances such as: the winding up of Guantanamo and similar such torture prison camps; discarding the idea of "An Axis of Evil" nations and asking the Islamic nations to "unclench fist" and showing in return an extended hand of US's friendship; a preparedness to mend ties with Russia, Iran, Syria and China and similar such welcome initiatives, if do go beyond rhetoric and somehow come to constitute the core of US foreign policy, it would really be a major contribution by Obama towards evolving a peaceful multilateral world order and a benign climate for international relations.

tughillb Author Profile Page:

Deals with the Taliban--how can that be good? Half of us, myself included, are the objects of their hatred and contempt. Apparently we're only good for making more suicide bombers. How would it have looked if we had let Hitler keep on swallowing Europe (up to the point of Poland, anyway) on the grounds that it's really their affair, and after all the victims are only Jews. Oh, I forget, I guess we did.

juliaplotkina Author Profile Page:

Thank you Fareed - a voice of reason =)

inkypen Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria:

You once again prove yourself to be a thoughtful and far more nuanced thinker and commentator than most of the folks in this arena.

We are no longer fighting a Cold War, and even when we were we made so many missteps based on ideological fervor and poor to non-existent intelligence, especially that within the Soviet Union, that we often poured heaps of trouble upon ourselves. (Our problems in Iran, for instance, are a direct result of U.S. Cold War CIA intriguing rooted more in feeling than information and thought.)

We must approach the world in smart, intelligent and pragmatic ways, not ideological ones. While always working for the interests of our own country we must not do so to the complete exclusion or thoughtfulness of the rest of the nations of the world. Even if one doesn't accept the immorality of such selfishness, it only hurts us in the end.

September 11, 2001, revealed one thing; September 12, 2001, another — that we have many, many friends in this world. Compared to the last president, our new president is more popular in some countries than he is even in the U.S. -- and that is with something like 75-80% favorable domestic ratings. (Not that he should care a wit for the polls.) We can either influence and win friends or make and harden enemies.

Conservatives would do well to remind themselves of John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Charles Francis Adams, diplomats each for whom the first and foremost goal was the avoidance of war in order to preserve and protect our country and its prosperity.

Do not think for a moment that this administration would not bear any burden, oppose any foe, but it is reassuring to know that we have a president and secretary of state who wish to pursue foreign policy thoughtfully. If diplomacy is a possibility it must always be attempted for we have no sons or daughters to spare for ideological dogmatism and dunderheaded nationalism.

I will add how convenient it was for the last administration to warn us for the past seven years that an attack "could come at any time" to immunize themselves should one happen on their watch, while simultaneously suggesting that any attack after their tenure will be the result of weakness of those to whom they lost power.

Thank you, Mr. Zakaria. As usual, whenever I see something you have written I find it enlightening to read.

grants1922 Author Profile Page:

Fareed's writings are most refreshing and important in a foreign policy setting where we are still served too much by the mindset and calibrations of those who took us to war with Iraq. The same people are making every effort to take us to war with Iran; they seem to have no shame.

JFredMugs Author Profile Page:

JUNGLEJIM123 said:
Many Americans are finally waking up and seeing Obama for what he is - a total Pied Piper with illusions of grandeur for the Muslim world. He has surrounded himself with Pro-Palestinian people that are anti -Israel his whole life.
------------------------------------------------
Who are you referring to? I can't think of anybody!

garrafa10 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria:

Neither the US nor many non-muslims around the world will lay down their arms before the Salafists. No amount of sophism or musilm sniveling on your part will stop it. Why is it that the followers of the religion of peace are currently at war with everyone, be they Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Animists, atheists, and even those who don't care?

holdranoray Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria
My greatest concern for global stability is not economic calamity currently facing the world. I am deeply distressed by the ever accelerating militarism in the Mideast by Israel. The recent elections of a right wing militaristic coalition government, intent on registration of those of Arabic background is disconcerting to say the least. This Israeli attitude of middle eastern dominance and seperatism is not just "disconcerting" but dangerous in the age of nuclear weapons in possession of this "truly" rogue nation.
To have such a expansionist government, in the middle east, constantly pushing Palestine closer to a status of prison camp, is an abhorence which only the United States and her allies by convenience in the European Union, seem to see as reasonable action, a form of self defense claimed by the Israelis'. This destabilizing status of Zionist oppression over peoples and nations in the Middle East, with the full support of the United States is both disheartening and extremely dangerous. The Jewish lobby in the United States and within the halls of Congress, strong enough to even quickly defeat the appointment of an assistant DIA administrative employee, is simply a showing of the lack of clarity and perspective of truly honest insight into the issues confronting the middle east.
With such a strong prejudice against the beliefs and mores' of Islam and such a predominance of Judaic culture, both ideological and financial, within the United States, a dangerous situation is constantly steaming just below the surface, making an already bad situation, worse. My first and greatest hope for the Obama administration is an ability to disenfranchise itself from the entrapment the United States has allowed itself to become embroiled in over the last half century, where Israel actually runs United States foreign policy rather than the opposite!

holdranoray Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria
My greatest concern for global stability is not economic calamity currently facing the world. I am deeply distressed by the ever accelerating militarism in the Mideast by Israel. The recent elections of a right wing militaristic coalition government, intent on registration of those of Arabic background is disconcerting to say the least. This Israeli attitude of middle eastern dominance and seperatism is not just "disconcerting" but dangerous in the age of nuclear weapons in possession of this "truly" rogue nation.
To have such a expansionist government, in the middle east, constantly pushing Palestine closer to a status of prison camp, is an abhorence which only the United States and her allies by convenience in the European Union, seem to see as reasonable action, a form of self defense claimed by the Israelis'. This destabilizing status of Zionist oppression over peoples and nations in the Middle East, with the full support of the United States is both disheartening and extremely dangerous. The Jewish lobby in the United States and within the halls of Congress, strong enough to even quickly defeat the appointment of an assistant DIA administrative employee, is simply a showing of the lack of clarity and perspective of truly honest insight into the issues confronting the middle east.
With such a strong prejudice against the beliefs and mores' of Islam and such a predominance of Judaic culture, both ideological and financial, within the United States, a dangerous situation is constantly steaming just below the surface, making an already bad situation, worse. My first and greatest hope for the Obama administration is an ability to disenfranchise itself from the entrapment the United States has allowed itself to become embroiled in over the last half century, where Israel actually runs United States foreign policy rather than the opposite!

optimist3 Author Profile Page:

Thanks Fareed for continuing to urge America toward a benevolent future, and away from a belligerent, dangerous past.

More than anything, Al Quaeda demonstrated that in a modern world with modern technology, the need for massive standing armies with massive military might could be overcome by an innovative, technologically savvy, tightly wound organization bent upon causing massive destruction to a small but symbolic target. That organization bled the United States as it said it would.

Let American policy makers be successful in sounding out the new course--away from massive intervention and seeking out monsters abroad, and a return to real power politics built upon diplomacy, coalitions, and negotiated contracts. Hopefully the bent and easily cowed American public might overcome their staggeringly insufficient education to see the benefit of winding down from belligerence.

colinnicholas Author Profile Page:

Zippyspeed

As a Brit I disagree with you.
Some British newspapers felt it was a slight to Gordon Brown that his meeting with Obama was cut short. Others were indifferent or realized that Britain just isn't a world power anymore.
Brits - by and large - really like Obama,and hate George W Bush! Check the polls.

mike_lakewood Author Profile Page:

Hotdad14,

You wrote, "George W tightened our policy for one very good reason. 9/11 forced this nation to protect ourselves above all else in a temporary sense, and it was wise and successful policy at the time of uncertainty."

Before giving everyone a history lesson, you may want to read some history first.

Al Queada does not and nor has it ever possessed the ability to threaten US sovereignty. To do so would require a well-trained, well armed, centrally controlled and coordinated standing army – a war college or other tactical entity wouldn't hurt either; plus a world-class air force (capable of air superiority) and navy (again, capable of superiority at sea). In order to achieve such conditions, Al Quaeda would not only require natural resources well beyond what the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan can provide, but a superior military-industrial complex. Seriously, Al Queada was not then and is not now capable of doing what the NAZI Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe and the Imperial Japanese Navy were not. Remember that the very creation of our republic put us in the direct line of fire of the British Empire – the world's pre-eminent super power of that time; more than capable of crushing the fledgling United States. And yet, after the Treaty of Paris, our founding fathers sought not to limit freedoms, but to expand them. As well, the president takes no oath or makes any promise in regards to defending the republic, but to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

I don't think there is much argument as to how abysmal a job he did in that regard. Is there?

We should remind ourselves that we are a republic. A powerful one, but a republic all the same; not an empire or other unitary power. Our age of empire is over.

rahard Author Profile Page:

It would appear that there are still many neo-cons inside the beltway. It would appear that if we blot out the comments from inside the belway this country would be better off.
We have pedaled this idea that the USA is the 'most powerful' nation in the world too long. We have outdistanced ourselves from the rest of the human race.
I was born in 1939 and since that time i have only witnesses a few years when my country has not been at war with someone. Can you believe that! We are a warring nation. We have catered to those whose financial profits have been war related.
Our USAID assistance program and the Peace Corps have become victims of this attitude of US hegemony in Bolivia. We cannot even be trusted when we offer development assistance and human assistance to countries any longer. Our voracious appetite to feed the military-industrial complex is crippling us.
President Obama sees this very clearly and ought not be swayed by the 'inside the beltway' or wherever pundits who would rather prmote hatred than peace.
Mr. Obama is neither an appeaser nor is he blind. We must give him a chance to promote peace in a manner which perhaps too many Americans feel lacks "demonstable power'.
His power is his word. His power is his pen.

JoeSixPack2 Author Profile Page:

I cannot believe the hate-filled comments regarding this article. Mr. Zakaria is absolutely right, our "imperial policy" must end. Why do most people think that criticizing American foreign policy is a signal that one hates America. A parent chastens the child they love, why is it different for a country? As Arundhati Roy puts it "The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America. " And believe me, ther eis one. We need to reach out and not just be the bully on the playground. Will we never learn? Oh, pardon me, perhaps I should not have quoted someone who is not an American, so let me quote from a great American " I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land." - Mark Twain

outlawtorn103 Author Profile Page:

Thank you, Fareed.

Once again, you prove yourself to be a voice of reason in this ideologically-inbred foreign policy system.

Is it the least bit possible in this day and age to replace this Washington establishment with foreign policy realists?

dargregmag Author Profile Page:

Why not allow Obama's foreign policy to succeed instead of this shoot from the hip criticism i've been reading on this post,our imperialist attitude is the reason we are so hated around the world and just so you know there are more of them(nutjobs) out there than us so why stir s#*t up,Pres.Obama needs time jeez people he just got the job, one crisis at a time.

MPatalinjug Author Profile Page:

Yonkers, New York
16 March 2009

There is worldwide consensus that George W. Bush's foreign policy--one of hubris, arrogance, recklessness, preemption and unilateralism--has only brought the United States a lot of grief, global resentment and hatred, and frayed the nerves of former friends and allies.

Geeoge W. acted pretty much the Texas cowboy that he was, as if he were himself riding an ornery bull in a Texas rodeo.

He of course had the help of such hawks as Dick "Rasputin" Cheney, Donald ("stuff happens") Rumsfeld, a slew of "neocons" led by Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, and others in the Republican establishment.

Now it is left for President Barack Obama to clean up the terrible mess George W. left behind him in the geopolitial arena--including:

Iraq (where Bush's folly has dragged on for six years now and which has proved very costly in terms of both U.S. and Iraqi lives, as well as U.S. treasure);

Afghanistan (where Bush's "war against terror" is in a perilous "downward spiral" according to the official National Inteligence Estimate);

Israel-Palestine (where the long-festering conflict shows no signs of resolution);

Pakistan (into which the U.S. has poured billions in military assistance, but which is now probably in a state of anarchy and chaos and which is itself a breeding ground for "terrorists);

North Korea (which even now continues to make nuclear weapons and even has the gall to announce that it will soon test its long-range missiles);

and Iran (which shows no sign of yielding to heavy pressure from the U.S., Europe, China and Russia to get it to stop its program to make nuclear weapons).

President Obama has been in office for only around 40 days and here comes conservative Republican pundit Charles Krauthammer, et al--joined by the likes of Leslie Gelb--hitting him for not giving sufficient attention to foreign policy and, inferentially, for hesitating to wield the U.S.'s hegemonic power in foreign affairs.

Obviously, CK and those who think like him need to be reminded that the U.S.'s big stick (once wielded so effectively by Teodore Roosevelt) no longer works. We live in a multipolar world now where the United States needs to work cooperatively and cooperatively with other nations to maintain global peace and security.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

JUNGLEJIM123 Author Profile Page:

You do not speak for the vast majority of American citizens who know darn well that Obama plans to appease our enemies and make us weaker through his manipulation of our foreign policy. Giving 900 million to Gaza is a guaranteed suicide plan since Hamas will grab every cent and use it against us and Israel, just as they grabbed all the aid that was meant for those people during the recent bombings there . Giving scholarships to Palestinian students while denying American students money is also another stupid idea promoted by Obama and Hillary. Educate them here so they can fuel their hatred of us when they get back home. Wake up My Zacaria - you are a closet Muslim sympathizer and your ideas will destroy our nation. Many Americans are finally waking up and seeing Obama for what he is - a total Pied Piper with illusions of grandeur for the Muslim world. He has surrounded himself with Pro-Palestinian people that are anti -Israel his whole life. His loyalty lies with them, not us.

FredGranata2 Author Profile Page:

Zippyspeed (who is afraid to display his real name) and other supporters of George W. Bush love to say that President Bush "managed to prevent ANY major terrorist attacks in the United States following 9/11". Aside from the logical impossibility of proving a negative, why don't Zippy and his colleagues begin with 9/10. If they did, they would derive a much different conclusion.

joecairo Author Profile Page:

ambreen_ko represents a lot of what is wrong with us as a nation.

It makes some so very uncomfortable to hear anyone suggest that our imperfections might be getting in our own way.

"...you clearly have a choice to return to your country(Pakistan) and to your people(muslims) who you are sticking up for all the time. This country gave you the opportunity to be whoever you are today, and what do you have to give in return, YOUR HATE.
I AM SURE YOU ARE NOT BORN HERE, THEREFORE YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE PROBLEM RETURNING TO YOUR COUNTRY".

This person, assumes that only native born have the right to speak freely.

It's obvious that he/she has a fear and hatred of "non-christians". How retro K.K.K.

I would suggest that ambreen's ancestors also "weren't from here" but had to travel a tortuous path to a nation who probably didn't welcome them with arms wide open.

I quickly we forget our own roots when we use our minds so sparingly.

newageblues Author Profile Page:

Speaking of imperial foreign policy, I wonder if Bush knows about how Eisenhower and the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953? He certainly seemed to be completely unaware of this pivotal event in the history of Iran and the region. Ditto for Ike sending the Marines to Lebanon a few years later.
Ding, dong the witch is [politically] dead. Which old witch? The wicked witch! And America comes back down to earth.

hotdad14 Author Profile Page:

It is not the Presidency or the politicians that foment this imperial conversation. Underlying the transparency of politics and Presidential diplomacy, is the everyday Union driven socialist mentality of life time government employees in the state department and others. This nanny state mentality is driven undercover not only in promoting the nanny state in this country, but treating the rest of the world's nations that way too. The entrenched life time left in Congress also rings these bells daily for years. The John Kerry's, Joe Biden's of the Senate, and Charles Rangel's of the house, promote the same rhetoric that drove them to politics in the sixties.

George W tightened our policy for one very good reason. 9/11 forced this nation to protect ourselves above all else in a temporary sense, and it was wise and successful policy at the time of uncertainty.

As we draw back from offensive tactics in our successful policy, it is essential that we do not move to quickly. We relaxed in Pakistan, because of the drum beat from the left. It was Kerry and Biden promoting the ousting of Musharraf, along with the fierce media attack, that led to Bush relaxing his support for Musharraf, and today the confusion in Pakistan may be our worst threat at this time.

gerrypooh Author Profile Page:

What will wake up Americans is a nuclear attack aimed at Isreal from Iran...an Isreali respose that wipes out Iran and make the oil fields of the middle east radioactive...and Americans can't get gas for our cars. Obama will demand more green energy...the world will blame Isreal and the USA...and Americans will finally tell the world where to stick it...

ambreen_ko Author Profile Page:

Fareed - How can you talk negative about usa all the time, when you clearly have a choice to return to your country(Pakistan) and to your people(muslims) who you are sticking up for all the time. This country gave you the opportunity to be whoever you are today, and what do you have to give in return, YOUR HATE.
I AM SURE YOU ARE NOT BORN HERE, THEREFORE YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE PROBLEM RETURNING TO YOUR COUNTRY.

romeror2k Author Profile Page:

How about an end to the radical Muslims killing of people for the sake of Allah. Obama as usual blames the US for all worlds problems. Any chance the radical mulsims might have a little something to do with this. I'm sick and tire of pointing fingers at the US. It seems that Muslims are perfect and beyond critique. And idiots like Zakaria, keep spinning words to make the US as the bad guy, lumping all Muslims in the same category. We don't have the Muslims, we hate the violence created bu those radical Muslims. And until an Arab country stands up for human rights, the the US will continue to be the policeman of the world

tifoso1 Author Profile Page:

Americans always compromise. That's a given. Our legislative process goes through compromise everyday to get things done. No problem there.

However, we don't negotiate with terrorists.

kimkimminni1 Author Profile Page:

I thought the story was excellent. Your not going to win with Iran after all the mistakes of the passed. They are going to acquire nuclear weapons for defense and they deserve them as much as anyone else. An olive branch as an offering by our new administration would be the smartest move. Withdraw from Afghanistan, another unwinnable war and bring our armies home where they belong. Any other foreign conflict should be agreed upon by the U.N. with equal support. And quite acting like we're policing the world when it's all about the interest of special interest that these conflicts are taking place.

bitterpill8 Author Profile Page:

I watched Mr Gelb on your show yesterday, He represent much that is wrong about our "centrist" foreign policy community. He wants to wave the big stick and smile while doing so. One comes away from many US tv discussions on our FP with the impression that the concerns of other major Asian and East Asian powers take second place to the primacy of US policy.The view of the world from Beijing or New Delhi or Teheran is different. And ,as our economic power declines the FP community will only have less credibility. They will not be able to roam the globe and lecture others about the importance of US leadership.

sasha2008 Author Profile Page:

Lou Dobbs thinks that 1 out of 4 Americans with a passport is ok.

I would bet that all of the negative comments are from the 3 Americans without a passport!

How could they possibly understand the worldly mind of Fareed? I say Thanks Fareed!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

JFredMugs Author Profile Page:

oldhat wrote:
to compare a defensive missle system in poland to an offensive one in cuba shows great lack of insight --- it is amazing how many writers are rooting for wipeout of Isreal
---------------------------------------------------
What does the so-called missile shield in Poland have to do with Israel?

sasha2008 Author Profile Page:

The Washington establishment is proud of that traffic gridlock in DC area-DAILY!

For those of us Americans that have travelled outside this country have nothing but shame for our nation's capital's transportation.

I can go on but why? All we get is NO!



zippyspeed Author Profile Page:

Glad to see the veil, already worn thin, is finally off of Mr. Zakaria.

Any faith in Obama is misplaced. He has already enraged the British diplomatic corps by his tone-deaf incompetence in handling a state visit by Prime Minister Brown. To repeat: Obama -- elected because of what HE CLAIMED to be amazing diplomatic skillz -- has already managed to enrage the British, a country with a national character so understated you can back a truck over their children and they'll only go "Bad show, old man." Obama instantly brought them to a boil with his incompetence.

Recently, politico.com ran an article about what many of us who actually paid attention during the election already knew: Obama uses a teleprompter for everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Even routine hiring announcements. So basically your brilliant Orator could be torpedoed in his diplomacy if his teleprompter isn't shipped in time. It's pathetic.

How do you expect him to deal with our enemies? He won't stand up to them, and it's amateur hour when it comes to his diplomacy. Just roll over and surrender? Then we have nothing left to talk about, because there are still some of us that love this country and think - nay, know - that America is a force for good and democracy in the world. I don't apologize for the disgust I hold for most of the backward 7th century morons running the Islamic world, and I don't expect America to either. Obama's blatant pandering and suggestion that we should "respect" Islamic repression was just a signal that he is a spineless weasel, rather than any demonstration that he has any ability to bring about hope or change in the Middle East. I don't respect cultures that behead women or make them wear sacks based on the poorly translated sayings of a bunch of nomadic tribesmen from centuries ago. I don't respect a culture (*cough*Iran*cough*) that actually stones people to death -- and buries women deeper and tied up in a bag so that they, unlike men, can't escape and go free. Look it up.

Stop blaming Bush for everything. It's sad. Don't look now, but the man managed to prevent ANY major terrorist attacks in the United States following 9/11 (despite numerous attempts), killed Saddam Hussein and replaced him with a growing democracy - in the Middle East! - and, whoops, Obama has sheepishly admitted that most of his policies from Gitmo to FISA actually were fine. Huh. Instead, why don't we take a firm line and demand that repressive Islamic regimes stop brutalizing their women, religious minorities, gays, and everyone else, or blaming the evil Jews for everything. How hard is that?

IyerK Author Profile Page:

China is one of the key supplier of defense and nuclear technology to Pakistan. If Pakistan is the epicenter of the terrorist problems, Why is US not involving China in Afganistan.

oldhat Author Profile Page:

to compare a defensive missle system in poland to an offensive one in cuba shows great lack of insight --- it is amazing how many writers are rooting for wipeout of Isreal

silence309 Author Profile Page:


mikel4

why, exactly, do you think zakaria is an idiot?

hariknaidu Author Profile Page:

Look the decline and fall of America is or was already under way under GWB.

Gelb and other's are not innocent bystanders. They've vested interest in the establishment. And will not let the supremacy of US hegemonic power be diluted in Hindu Kush, Middle East or South Asia....

However the crux of the reality is that American power inside NATO is being questioned by staunch allies like Netherlands. There is even talk of ending NATO and replacing it with an EU structure.

May be that's why France is joining NATO. To eventually establish an EU military coordinating institution to takeover from NATO.

The WP Editorial and Discussion which followed AIPAC/Israel political attack on Freeman's appointment to become Director of the unified Intelligence Council speaks tons about what ails US foreign policy.

Israeli beltway lobby seems to control foreign policy in Middle East - while Gaza and West Bank are expropriated by settlers from Israel. Liberman and Schumer went public against Freeman.

And, now, Nethanjahu is proposing to form a coalition government with rightist (Russian emigres bloc) and offered its boss Liberman the post of Foreign Minister!

How about that for peaceful resolution of two-state solution with Palestine!

newtonpk2002 Author Profile Page:

Amen to the comments on the power of the Israel Lobby, and Mr. Zakaria's failure to include it as an embedded, and negative influence on U.S. foreign policy.

But referring to it as the "Jewish" lobby, is both unfortunate and incorrect. The Israel Lobby does not advocate for all "Jewish" issues -only blind support support of right wing Israeli policies such as evicting Arabs from their homes without cause. Nor is it made up entirely of Jews. Nor do majority of Jews support Israeli aggression and persecution of Arabs.

tropicalfolk Author Profile Page:

Despite his obvious shortcomings, Bush was straightforward about his foreign policy goals: fight terrorists abroad, spread democracy. He failed on most accounts, but that's history.

Now, what are Obama's foreign policy goals? Nobody knows.

We could guess he is trying to:
a) contain the Taliban;
b) convince China to keep lending money to the US;
c) avoid confronting Israel;
d) fool Putin;
e) get good reviews by Arab newspapers.

Obama has not explained his decision to send 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. What is the mission? Why 17,000? Why are those troops being removed from Iraq? How does that move fit into his broader foreign policy?

Is there any such thing as "Obama foreign policy"?

That's what Fareed shoud writ about.

fghawi Author Profile Page:

Make aid to and support for Israel conditional on its recognition of a Palestinian state. This will undoubtedly force our "closest ally in the middle east" to comply and change the politics of the entire region. This will in turn fix America's image and allow it to gain 57 new allies in a world where going at it alone no longer works.

nacllcan Author Profile Page:

First of all, the Bush administration isn't yet three months behind us; if it is too early for understanding the contours of Obama's foreign policy, a verdict on Bush's results is equally premature.

Iran, Iraq, Korea, the Pal/Israel conflict, the war on terror, Russia, those comprise our main foreign policy bouquet.

The thorniest of these problems is Iran's acquisition of a nuclear arsenal, because that is rapidly approaching a climax and once it peaks, the dynamics of the region will have changed forever.

It is doubtful that Bush, engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, and demonized politically, had the means to tackle Iran. Obama will have to handle this thorny issue. That will be his main foreign policy challenge; most everything else is running on satisfactory tracks.


Both Iraq and Korea are moving in the right direction. Obama will be smart to support the course of both, and resist Pyongyang's scare tactics. Kim Jung Il is going nowhere. China is not going to allow Kim his posturing and spark the nuclear rearmament of Japan.

Bush recognized the Pal/Israel conflict is a cyst not ready for lancing. This sausage has been spitting and sputtering for 60 years. Clinton and Barak, even with their power play could not turn the Palestinian leadership. Peace will not depend on any party or peace plan, but on the energy problem being licked and the Arabs losing their political and financial muscle.

The war on terror too will sputter out along side the Pal/Israel conflict,until the Arabs lose their money.

Russia either turn into a chauvinistic police state, which is its current direction, or into a real democracy and European superpower. That will not depend on us, but on Russia's own ability to become a rechtstaat and expose its colossal natural and human resources to free enterprise. Until then Obama will have to continue the policies of the two Bushes: supporting Eastern Europe against the hegemonic ambitions of the bear.

That means sticking to the anti missile shield. It need only be 25% effective to defend us. Gideon Rachman has no idea how his Blackberry works, he certainly is not an authority on what US electronics and rocketry can and can't do. With all the money we are spending, the last thing we cannot afford is protection against octogenarian 12 Imam mullahs who believe they are destined to battle the Great Satan.

MikeL4 Author Profile Page:

Now we see why Fareed is a writer and not a real foreign policy guy. He's an idiot.

jbritt3 Author Profile Page:

Actually, the problem with American foreign policy does not go beyond George Bush. It is instead that much of official Washington has not gone beyond George Bush.

Bush's foreign policy was frequently complained about but never effectively challenged. The foreign policy community in the United States, such as it is, was stunned by the sequence of events that began with 9/11; having started with a view of American interests in the world only marginally less indistinct than it had been immediately after the Soviet collapse, foreign policy experts reacted to the Bush administration's adventures with impotent confusion. Meanwhile, a Congress entirely preoccupied with the mechanics of the permanent campaign was either inclined to cheer everything Bush did (the Republicans) or seek credit for airing gripes about Bush without seeking to actually do anything to moderate his foreign policy (the Democrats). Congress did not intend for us to pursue a foreign policy that might be described as imperial; its problems was that most of its members didn't want to deal much with foreign policy at all.

We face now a new situation, for which the recent past has ill prepared us. The economy of the United States is very much weaker than most had understood as recently as a year ago, and the economy is the foundation of our world role. Extravagant commitments to genuinely imperial tasks -- maintaining order and seeking to establish government among backward peoples -- have combined with economic troubles to leave us with limited resources to address other international problems. And other international problems are beginning to multiply, not merely because the Bush administration neglected so much while it was preoccupied with Iraq but also because the deteriorating economy is beginning to have an impact far beyond our own shores.

These facts must be faced squarely, without illusion. American foreign policy needs something other than an attitude adjustment, a reaction to everything the Bush administration is perceived to have gotten wrong. It needs a foreign policy that recognizes the very real and very substantial deterioration in America's global position over the last decade, one that recognizes the crucial difference between the things we must do and the things we might merely like to do -- a foreign policy, in other words, that adapts to a new international environment, one in which American power is still a necessary condition for world order but must now be husbanded, and deployed much more carefully than has been the case in the recent past.

JAMadison4 Author Profile Page:

.
The biggest problem facing President Obama is breaking free of the control of the "Jewish Lobby".

Only an independent and well informed President can regain world leadership and trust.

As long as this Administration is a Puppet of Tel Aviv the United States will be a 2nd-rate power.

Our troubles began 20 years ago when it became evident that U.S. interests were manipulated by powerful individuals (pro Israel) both within our government, as well as, controlling the Media, Wall Street, Acadamia, and the Military-Industrial Combinations.

The "Jewish Lobby" effectively and anonymously elects the official of our government, and our corporate world.

President must cut free of this Israeli domination and restore our democracy......NOW

.

pomeroyt Author Profile Page:

Good article! Glad we have a president who is smart and flexible in international affairs, not afraid of those that threaten us, but also not making matters worse and unifying their populations against us by unnecessarily threatening them (e.g. rockets in Poland). Iran's political system will crumble eventually from internal pressure if we keep a reasonable posture and don't make "we will bury you" type statements or actions. If Nixon and Reagan could seek peace with our enemies and succeed, no reason that Obama can't do so as well. If Obama finds out that his campaign statements on Iraq and Afghanistan are not the perfect solution as events evolve, he is apparently not afraid to adjust a bit for the good of the US, (as opposed to holding on blindly to ideological positions). It is extremely sensible to talk with our rivals and try not to threaten them excessively. Also, hopefully the US will be firm against the war mongers now heading the Israeli government - and try to get (probably via a future coalition in Israel after this one falls) to withdraw those settlements dotted all over the West Bank (except those surrounding Jerusalem), end the apartheid system in the West Bank and negotiate a peace. That will be hard, but the outlines of the peace settlement are fairly clear and don't involve agreeing with positions of Hamas or Hizbullah. When we finally get peace in Palestine (coupled of course with our continued guarantees for Israel's security), it will ease tensions all over the world and reduce terrorist threats to the US. Most of the Arab world is sick of the extremists will accept Israel's long term existence and would respond positively if we pushed for peace. The extreme right wing Israeli lobbies in the West Bank and in the US will try to push us into a war with Iran to justify and hide their outrageous and untenable land grab for these little settlements dotted all over the West Bank Apartheid zone. Hopefully, Obama and Clinton will be able to create a little spine in our Congress to support these efforts, resist the extreme right war mongers, and support the many Israelis (such as the party that won the most seats in the Israel elections) who want peace and are willing to make proposals that will eventually make it work.

newageblues Author Profile Page:

Speaking of imperial foreign policy, I wonder if Bush knows about how Eisenhower and the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953? He certainly seemed to be completely unaware of this pivotal event in the history of Iran and the region. Ditto for Ike sending the Marines to Lebanon a few years later.
Ding, dong the witch is [politically] dead. Which old witch? The wicked witch! And America comes back down to earth.

pduncan2000 Author Profile Page:

Thank goodness we have a President that uses his head for a change. America has usually overreacted to many events involving any problems. It is usually a knee jerk kind of reaction that gets us nowhere. President Obama has the mental capacity to think things through before such mistakes are made.
He has a lot of very important matters on his plate and faces a large sinister group of Special Interest that will use several hundred million dollars of resources to counter his efforts on every issue. His adversaries are mainly big industries, who make a comfortable living off of lax or non existing government regulations. Notice how Wall Street Bankers have deflected much of the attention they have been getting by blaming the risky consumers they lent money to, instead of the high risk lending practices and programs there are responsible for creating and selling to foreign countries and industries. It is like the Heroin dealer blaming the addict customer for our problems.
Poverty is the catalyst behind most of the world's troubles. The world has to end poverty so these Islamic terrorist have no grounds for supporting there goals. We have to create a political solution which involves creation of free enterprise. Not Free Markets like the debacle we have lived with for 28 years.

ahmadmali Author Profile Page:

Caliphacy Note... fa ana aita... ... ... fa ana qul ka ana iqra fa ana aita fa ana qul... this is the funniest foreign policy story i am to read, mashallah very good... ... ... oh, antum la aita?... well than let me explain, do you see the names of the writers and speakers that say "you should hide the truth from the public on foreign issues and affairs" ra aita... "laughing out very VERY! loud" you get the joke.

vk5u Author Profile Page:

Mr. Zakaria,

I think you should read your comments this time around because they speak volumes. We can talk about Russia and Georgia, Chinese transgressions against the Tibetans, or whatever else, but little matters other than the unconditional support we give to Israel. It's interesting how you almost side-step this monumental failure of our foreign policy that has been going on for years.
Maybe I don't understand. Israel, is, at least in my opinion another country with it's own sovereign interests. Shouldn't the question read: When is Obama going to start taking our own interests above those of his special interest friends?

Iolanthe Author Profile Page:

Fareed, you obviously hit some very raw and nasty nerves.
I, however, am delighted with your observations and applaud your ability to elucidate and engage whatever topic you wade into. The person who judged you as weak or some such nonsense is obviously unused to rational and informed discourse.
Your News program always provides food for thought and challenges along the way.It makes my weekend viewing list - always!
Keep up the good work!

asizk Author Profile Page:

edbyronadams :
The biggest challenge to US foreign policy is not your alleged "resurgent Islam" but the crippling and overwhelming control and influnce of the israeli lobby on the US government.Chrales Freeman is the last example.

Muslims have a fault line of accumulated grievances:Occupied Palestine,Occupied Kashmir,Genocide of Bosnian Muslims and Kosovans,Ethiopian occuaption of Somalia including the Somali Ogaden,Occupied Chechnya...and oppressive dicatatorships at home nurtred and protected by the "Democrcay Loving West."

Muslims are oppressed from within and from without. Such violent oppression naturally generates vilent reaction. The violent British oppression of America generated a violent American Revolution that evicted the Brits and secured a Free and Democratic America.

asizk Author Profile Page:

Fareed,

A couple of points:

1// So long as Obama is hostage to the monolithic Jewish lobby,there will be no change in US-Arab/Muslin realtions. The signs of "No Change" regarding his foreign policy towards the Palestine Question are telling:he kept absloutely mute when the "israleis" bombarded Concentration Camp Gaza 24/7 for 23 days under the disgusting excuse of "one president at a time."

2// Instaed of trading US missile shield in Europe for Iran's nuclear projetc,OBAMA should have simply traded Israel's fromidable nuclear arsenal for the presently no more than Iranian intentions to acquire a nuclear weapon-which is another disturbing sign that he would not dare to even talk about the jewish nuclear arsenal.

If "Israel" can have a nuclear arsenal then Iran should have one too. Or otherwise declare the entire ME free of nuclear weapons. American and European double standards are gisgusting.

The Arab/Muslim world should excpect no chamge in US foreign policy towards it:Arabs/Muslims should unite and rely on their huge numbers, huge resources and expansive geography-Obama is not coming to their aid.

Obama does not have the courgae to confront the jewish looby.

jimreid33 Author Profile Page:

Why are people so surprised at Russian reaction to a proposal to site missiles on its borders. When the Russians tried to do the same by siting missiles in Cuba we went to the brink of a nuclear holocaust to prevent it.Our foreign policy is too often set with no regard for the legitimate concerns of other countries and on the basis that we can do whatever we want because we are the only super power left standing. It is time that we learned to put ourselves in the shoes of others before we strike positions that get us into trouble. We need a process for formulating foreign policy where we engage our brains before opening our mouths,

edbyronadams Author Profile Page:

The biggest problem facing an accommodating foreign policy is a resurgent Islam. For them, we must surrender to have peace.

pihto999 Author Profile Page:

Fareed need to read some Russian papers. Maybe then he would have learned that Obama is considered as nothing more but a gullible idiot. And the push he we are getting from over the World - from China to Iran to Russia to even Israel - is exactly because of the weakness he project. Furthermore, if madam Clinton wanted to reset the relations with Russia, she needed to address her hubby mindless compulsive bombing policies. Russians got pissed by the criminal war in Yugoslavia and Eastward NATO push, not by the Bush defensive wars. If you want to talk about idiotic smug overreaching Foreign Policy look at the Clinton years. Don't blame Bush whose policy was shaped by 9/11 and stemmed from the US National Security interests. Bush did not jump with his mindless bombings all over the World from Mogadishu to Haiti to Bosnia to Iraq to Serbia.

***We need to stop focusing solely on securing American interests, and start working to satisfying the interests of all involved. Following our old path only breeds anger and resentment.****

I hope this day will never come. From a WP article by this very Zakaria of some years ago
-----------------------------
Iran: The Next Crisis
By Fareed Zakaria
Tuesday, August 10, 2004; Page A19
Last month the Brookings Institution conducted a scenario with mostly former American and European officials. In it, Iran actually acquires fissile material. Even facing the imminent production of a nuclear bomb, Europeans were unwilling to take any robust measures, such as the use of force or tough sanctions. James Steinberg, a senior Clinton administration official who organized this workshop, said that he was "deeply frustrated by European attitudes." Madeleine Albright, who regularly convenes a discussion group of former foreign ministers, said that on this topic, "Europeans say they understand the threat but then act as if the real problem is not Iran but the United States."
-----------------------------

Satisfying interests of all those involved would mean allowing Iran go nuclear and taking the blame for it. That's the hope Obama promised?

satch63 Author Profile Page:

It is always enjoyable to read an article by a thoughtful journalist. Although I have not always agreed with him he is right on now.

Even made it more enjoyable by his comment concerning Richard Perle ( a fat man who never stops singing) about all of Bush's mistakes. Since Perle pushed to accomplish so many of the mistake.
It is time for our Congress and our country to support the United States position in public however freely they want to debate it with all their influence in private.

ShafiKhaled Author Profile Page:

Ahem!

Better to be "timid and spineless" and present over "haughty, foreign and gone".

Remember the Cabal!

vikram3 Author Profile Page:

"Mr. Bush's
characteristic failing was to apply a black-and-white mind-set to too many
gray areas of national security and foreign affairs,..". How about the Muslim world? Can they ever accept as infidels- strong and powerful? I don't think so. Does not it go both ways?

Problem is the inherent nature of intolerance, supremacy and violence within Islam. Even if the USA tries to appease and talk, it will not do anything. Muslims already have 57 nations and they are hell-bent on killing and fighting for more; with no regard for civilian life. Bush only tried to stop them.

edwcorey Author Profile Page:

mandog wrote: "Naive. Perhaps the defensive missiles in Poland were installed to stop Iranian missiles, but Poland requested them -- and the U.S. troops that support them -- when Russia went after Georgia with nary a peep from the "international community."

This inanity about "setting the reset button" assumes there was some ideal steady-state relationship that existed between the U.S. and Russia pre-Bush. That is nonsense. And the sooner we realize that Russia will pursue its national interestes -- and will eat our lunch if we let them -- the better. We need a foreign policy that puts America first, and does not apologize for American exceptionalism."

What's the IQ of a dog? In a book I'm reading about the War of 1812, a section reads: "British officers were shocked by the eagerness with which Americans pursued their own interest at the expenses of the nation's. 'Self, the great ruling principle,' said one, 'is more powerful with Yankees than with any people I ever saw.'" This was because while fighting the British the merchants, who wanted war in the first place, were unwilling to give up profit and were more than willing to trade with the enemy. Mandog, the Star Wars system doesn't work, never worked, and won't work for decades. In that way, it's much like Reagan and the Bushes. These were inept fellows who have done more to harm this country than even McCarthy. The only exceptionalism about America is that is was founded, populated and mostly ruled by criminals, refugees, and deportees. It was based on slavery and genocide.

smthmort Author Profile Page:

American Foreign Policy - Does It Have God's Approval?

There has been little mention of it lately, but it was customary for former President Bush to end his speeches with phrases like "God, Our Savior will see us through these troubled times." Now, it seems that our God is being neglected.

If there is a problem with our foreign policy, it has always been our stance as the only nation having God's approval to kill.

I find that horrifying and I am surprised that Obama hasn't renounced that.

eroot Author Profile Page:

The term "villagers" is widely understood to mean out of touch Washington insiders who cling to power long after they ceased making useful contributions to policy discussions. Krauthammer for example, is almost always wrong and as predictably partisan in his criticism or praise as the rising of the sun. Presumably the Post keeps him around for a sense of balance and to keep its conservative advertisers happy. I am puzzled as to why anyone thinks we should take that sort of criticism of Obama's policies and Clinton's actions seriously.

mike-sey Author Profile Page:

It just occurred to me that the America hasn't had a foreign policy for a long time - just another domestic one imprinted on other countries.

This, plus a broken educational system, may account for the strength of the push-back against real change.

toytaiwous Author Profile Page:

Good article. Points well presented. However I am surprised that the author of this article who is known to me only through his programme GPS which airs on CNN on Sundays in South Africa where I am based usually appears timid and spineless during the presentation of his programme. I was pleasantly surprised at his rich CV.

TanyaD1 Author Profile Page:

I am so excited that we are leaving behind our role as the strongest bully in the playground. Can you imagine, we may actually make new friends and heal old rifts.

mike-sey Author Profile Page:

Here we go again with the "Who lost China" and "Domino Theory" and Chiang Kai Chek's Rubber-type army arguments. Krauthammer and the other pundits you mention are not stupid men (well, with the exception of Krauthammer) but they have been cheerleading from the sidelines for so long, they have a vested interest in the status quo.

You might have a chat with some of your colleagues at CNN as well. Some of them have been dining out with the Heritage Institute too often and swallowing the line and washing it down with their own bathwater for so long, that they instinctively choke at the sight of a new dish. A healthy dose of BBC or Al Jazeira from time to time might help.

timothy2me Author Profile Page:

Well said. Very well said.

tariqsardar21 Author Profile Page:

According to my point of view the new american govenment is not going to change the policies introduced by the bush admininstartion. We know that america frames such policies which are to be run for a long time period. Tha policy making process for america does not show a onw man show. there are think tanks who frame policies.

rsg1 Author Profile Page:

Zeem: Actually, China is the only major economy that is actually growing at all. It still has a large trade surplus and has almost a third of the world's total reserves of hard cash, so its currency is not going to devalue any time soon.

And no, the US is no longer in a unipolar position - it is a country thoroughly addicted to foreign credit. As countries like Brazil once learned the hard way, if you're addicted to credit, you don't call the shots. That's why the notion of the US pressuring China on human rights is laughable - you don't quarrel with your banker when you desperately need loans, especially not when your banker is starting to have second thoughts about your ability to repay and when there are plenty of higher-yield investments around.

mandog Author Profile Page:

Naive. Perhaps the defensive missiles in Poland were installed to stop Iranian missiles, but Poland requested them -- and the U.S. troops that support them -- when Russia went after Georgia with nary a peep from the "international community."

This inanity about "setting the reset button" assumes there was some ideal steady-state relationship that existed between the U.S. and Russia pre-Bush. That is nonsense. And the sooner we realize that Russia will pursue its national interestes -- and will eat our lunch if we let them -- the better. We need a foreign policy that puts America first, and does not apologize for American exceptionalism.

anders1 Author Profile Page:

It is too bad that the author of this article is not president. He seems to know what everyone else should do. He is so good at second guessing. Actually his stuff is wearisome.

Zeem Author Profile Page:

Oh really? Mid 2008's "post-American World" quickly went the way of Zakaria and friend's previous exercise in wishful thinking, "economic decoupling". Funny how that one worked out when put to the test, huh?

The Unipolar world we live in will be filled with peaks and troughs of American power. Peaks when, at times like the Iraq Invasion, the United States utilizes the great capabilities it has at its disposal, "shocking" everyone that we can actually invade, occupy and rebuild a country on the other side of the planet. Troughs when, at times like Katrina or the economic meltdown, when the failures of our system take a bow on stage.

It's cyclical. But it is also expected. The US, like every "empire" before it, has had bad decades. But it also has had good ones. The time is no different. Zakaria modified his thesis last year, restructuring his original idea of "America in decline" into a more-defensible "relative decline." The problem with that thesis is it failed its first stress test. Of the "rising" powers, only Brazil is economically afloat. China is desperately trying to keep its currency afloat amid massive falls in exports. Russia burned half of currency reserves in four months. The EU is effectively pretending nothing ever happened.

But what did happen? America commits trillions to a much needed bailout, when others did not. The dollar gained strength, as other currencies destabilize. The T-Bill became a safer investment within Eurozone, than the EU equivalent for crying out loud!

Now I'm sure, Zakaria will re-argue the post-American world hope of his sooner or later. But honestly, it really doesn't matter. Because when a true, global crisis hit, only one country was prepared to act on an overwhelming scale.

And that is why we live in a Unipolar world, and that is why we will continue to live in one for the forseeable future. The US had the means, the credibility, the money and the will, to act massively and decisively when no other country could. This is the essence of unipolarity - to bring resources to bear to do what one country or a collection of countries, on their own could not do.

In the past, US diplomats may have been wrong to associate negotiation with capitulation. But they aren't wrong to remind the other parties we are dealing with that this is an inherently unequal world, and the relationship between America and any other country is not one of equals.

When Europe can pass a bailout before the US passes three... Or when China's is looked to first by the world for economic relief (as opposed to the US, as happened). Or when the words coming from the Indian government as as tracked as the Federal Reserve Chairman or Treasury Secretary's... perhaps.

But not yet. And not even close.

Welcome back Fareed, to the most-American world.

Golam Author Profile Page:

Fareed: Your last paragraph is very interesting.If we the Republicans do not free ourselves from the "hard core right" who have "Money and Power" many will leave the Party. Future leadership of the Republican Party will be in the hands of "American Talibans". May God Bless America.

mdrutl Author Profile Page:

The last paragraph outlines the problem very clearly. The United States is used to getting its way, through threats, sanctions, or outright hostilities. It's an imperial paradigm that worked for the American government (at the expense of many others throughout the world) during an age when the US was one of two military superpowers and the only economic superpower. Times are changing. We need to stop focusing solely on securing American interests, and start working to satisfying the interests of all involved. Following our old path only breeds anger and resentment.

It is not surprising, however, the Washington establishment finds this new course difficult to accept. We cannot even come together to craft legislation to help ease the worst crisis since the Great Depression. It is more important to stand tall, defiant to the end, in defense of failed ideas, than to come together and endorse a new direction that may have a chance of success.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.