George W. Bush’s Secretary of State wants President Trump and his administration to connect its foreign policy with the global promotion of democracy and human rights, which would be the opposite of what Trump and his Secretary of State have been saying.
“Words do matter,” Condolezza Rice told Politico’s The Global Politico. “I hope we will say even more that the world is a dark place when the United States of America is not involved. It’s a dark place when we don’t stand up for those who just want to have the same basic human values we have.”
While Rice is too diplomatic to directly link her comments to Trump, she clearly does not agree with his cozying up to brutal dictators from countries like Egypt, the Philippines, Turkey and the Russian Federation.
Her comments are also in stark contrast to the “America First” doctrine put forward by Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in early March, which called for separating American policy decisions from American values like human rights, democracy, freedom of the press and the treatment of minorities.
Tillerson said that American policy will look at each country and not condition our actions based on “how they treat people,” but rather on our economic and national security interests.
That is a policy that is the opposite of what Rice is preaching in her new book, “Democracy: Stories From the Long Road to Freedom,” which the Washington Post said in its review is “a repudiation of Trump’s America First worldview.”
While a staunch Republican, Rice has not been a Trump fan. During his campaign, after the notorious Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasts about sexual assault became public, she urged Trump to drop out of the race.
Rice, now a professor at Stanford University, was recently promoted by conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News as a great choice to be the next FBI director. She has made it clear that she was not interested in the job.
Rice is a friend of Tillerson and recommended him to Trump as Secretary of State, so she will not attack him directly, but her message and book are clearly in opposition to the position he has taken on behalf of the Trump administration.
“We just need to remember the history here,” she told Politico. “We need to remember that we took a risk that a democratic Germany was never going to invade its neighbors again and it didn’t. We took a risk that a democratic Japan was going to be a peaceful part of Asia, and it is. And so remembering that in the long run, we are always better served by countries that share our values is extremely important, even if one day you’re having to sit across from Muammar Qadafi, as I had to do as secretary of state.”
“We are safest,” said Rice, “most secure and most prosperous when our values and our interests are inextricably linked.”
When even a respected Republican expert on Russia who is a former head of the National Security Council and former Secretary of State is confounded by Trump’s foreign policy, it is a clear message that his decision to cozy up to dictators and abandon the defense of human rights – a key element of America’s message for generations – is a huge mistake.