The Macedonian Tendency: How Robert Gates Can Sleep at Night

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How Robert Gates Can Sleep at Night

By David Edenden

This has nothing to do specifically with Macedonian issues, but it gives us a clue as to why Macedonian in Greece cannot look to the US for support in their struggle for human rights.

The Education of Robert Gates
New York Times:
David Brooks

Robert Gates has been a godsend. After a bombastic defense secretary, we now have a candid one. After ego, we have self-effacement. After domination, we have a man who welcomes discussion.


He ran through the history of the never-ending debate between realists and idealists. He noted that this debate began just after the founding of the Republic. Thomas Jefferson saw the French Revolution as a triumph for liberty. John Adams saw it as reckless radicalism.

Throughout the messy years that followed, Gates explained, we have made deals with tyrants to defeat other tyrants. We’ve championed human rights while doing business with some of the worst violators of human rights.

“It is neither hypocrisy nor cynicism to believe fervently in freedom while adopting different approaches to advancing freedom at different times along the way,” Gates said.

Two themes ran through his speech. First, the tragic ironies of history — the need to compromise with evil in order to do good. And second, patience — the need to wait as democratic reforms slowly develop.

David Brooks’s column normally appears on Fridays.

No comments:

Post a Comment