What is "democratic globalism"?

Democratic globalism sees the main ends and means of foreign policy as the global spread of democracy. I think there ought to be some limits on it.

Instead, you propose "democratic realism." What is that?

The democratic globalists have the right idea about the efficacy of democracy in enhancing our own national security by pacifying large areas of the globe. But because we are not omnipotent, we need to restrict those efforts to a very few places where the growth of democracy would have a critical effect on the Arab/Islamic world.

Some critics say Muslim-led states can't embrace democratic ideals.

People said exactly the same thing about Japan in 1946, about Taiwan, and about South Korea. They have been proven wrong in every single case. It is a kind of Western arrogance to believe that we are the only ones who can develop a democracy.

The conflict in the Middle East is colored by religion. How do you address that issue?

We have to recognize that there is a strain of Islam that is radical, bloodthirsty, nihilistic, and barbaric. Anybody who thinks [9/11] was provoked by the West or by Israel has to explain how it is that weeks before 9/11 happened the Taliban went into the desert in Afghanistan and used artillery to destroy two magnificent, 1,500-year-old Buddhist statues. They hate the Other, with a capital O, whether it is Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist. I hope [adherents of] the moderate, humane, and magnificent element in Islam will prevail. But they need to be involved in the fight, because otherwise it will become a clash of civilizations. They cannot stand on the sidelines.

Related Elsewhere:

Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for The Washington Post and TownHall.com.

His columns for Time magazine include one on the politics of stem cells.

He is also a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.

Krauthammer's book, Democratic Realism: An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World, is available from Amazon.com and other book retailers.

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