The long road to democracy

Numerous books are appearing on the neoconservative project to export democracy to the rest of the world. A recent arrival is one by G W Bush’s Secretary of State.

[Condoleezza] Rice insists that the 2003 US-led invasion of the country had nothing to do with exporting democracy. It was solely about preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein’s fiefdom. This is true but it is not the whole truth. That was not how she, or her colleagues, sold it at the time. In 2005, when Iraq had long since descended into civil war, Rice uttered her famous phrase: “For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region — and we achieved neither,” she said. “Now we are taking a different course.”

Edward Luce, “The democracy deficit: is the US model still viable?“, Financial Times, 2 August 2017 (gated paywall).

Mr Luce is reviewing Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom, by Condoleezza Rice (Twelve, 2017) in addition to Richard Reeves’ Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It (Brookings Institution, 2017) and The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, by Mark Lilla (Harper, 2017).

Edward Luce is author of The Retreat of Western Liberalism (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017).


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