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Friday, January 21, 2005

Conversing with the world

Earlier this week, in her confirmation hearings, Condi Rice said something that is being widely reported around the world. This is from The Guardian on Wednesday the 19th:
Speaking at her confirmation hearings in the Senate, Ms Rice, who has been President Bush's national security adviser for the past four years, said: "The time for diplomacy is now.

"America's relations with the world's global powers will be critical," Ms Rice said in her opening remarks. "Our interaction with the rest of the world must be a conversation, not a monologue."
This has received a great deal of positive press in Europe, as a google search reveals.

Before anyone gets too excited about this, keep in mind that Rice has used this line before.

For example, she used it during a speech at the US Institute of Peace back in August 2004. And at the Jesse Helms Center in September. Indeed, she was using a very similar line as early as July 2001.

At USIP and the Helms Center, Rice used this line in reference to US interaction with the Muslim world, so it is interesting to think that it's now being applied to Europe.
Americans also need to hear the stories of the people of the Muslim world. We need to understand their challenges and their cultures and their hopes. Our interaction has to be a conversation, not a monologue. We must reach out to explain, but also to listen.
I wonder if all this is related to today's revelation (Reuters) that the US has stopped listing the "coalition of the willing"?

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