Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rice's Speech at the RNC

I'm just really not liking her speech at all. Reminding me of everything that was wrong with the Bush administration's foreign policy. Also reminding me of how I felt that she reoriented State to support the military too much rather than being a separate track.

Whatever happened to Colin Powell? He was a real Secretary of State that really understood diplomacy's role. Rice always bought into the militarism too much, and it is really coming out in this speech.

Update: I felt the need to add that I liked the speech much more once she moved off foreign affairs. However, I feel that the Bush administration's emphasis on unconstrained, unilateral action was one of the biggest disasters for US policy, not just foreign policy, of the post-war period and seriously undermined our former advantage in using multilateral institutions to leverage our interests without high expenditure.

I also feel that the attitude expressed towards China was juvenile, at best (not that I feel the Democratic positions is any better). The trade bit really galled me, we are one of the most open of the large trading nations, China one of the most closed. It's rather easy for China to engage in trade treaties that improve on its current, very poor, trade openness. It is much more difficult for us to do the same, what remains to be ironed out for us are very difficult international areas, like intellectual property law, or are narrow trade barriers involving very powerful sectors either here in the US or in our potential treaty partner.

Of course, like most convention speeches the trade bit was really meaningless posturing, what really grated on me was that it came after a long section of the speech that reeked strongly of unilateralist thinking.


  1. Colin Powell endorsed Obama in 2008 and is now considered persona non grata.

  2. True, but Colin Powell was always my idea of what a Republican should be. I'd still be supporting the party if it was dominated by individuals with his views. I also greatly respect his work as Secretary of State and how effectively he used the foreign service. His role as one of the public faces of the Iraq War drive is a blemish, but I feel his behind the scenes support for diplomacy and a more moderate approach more than balances this out.