Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Bush on Nation-Building

From Bush-Gore Debate I, October 12, 2000. Sorry for the overlong quote. No comment needed:
Yes, I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, "This is the way it's got to be. We can help." And maybe it's just our difference in government, the way we view government. I mean, I want to empower people, I don't -- you know, I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do.

I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country, say, "We do it this way, so should you." Now, I think we can help, and I know we got to encourage democracy and the marketplaces.

But take Russia, for example. We went into Russia, we said, "Here's some IMF money," and it ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin's pocket and others. And yet we played like there was reform.

The only people that are going to reform Russia are Russia. They're going to have to make the decision themselves. Mr. Putin is going to have to make the decision as to whether or not he wants to adhere to rule of law and normal accounting practices so that if countries and or entities invest capital, there's a reasonable rate of return, a way to get the money out of the economy.

But Russia has to make the decision. We can work with them on security matters for example, but it's there call to make.

So I'm not exactly sure where the vice president is coming from. But I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, "We do it this way, so should you."

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