What would the Dems do differently? Surprisingly little.

Madeleine Albright’s new book The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs is out today and you can read an excerpt here and key quotes here. I recommend giving the whole thing a read. (And I’m not just saying that because I learned today that Albright could leg press three of your humble correspondent.) Albright ...

608686_albright_book_05.jpg
608686_albright_book_05.jpg

Madeleine Albright’s new book The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs is out today and you can read an excerpt here and key quotes here. I recommend giving the whole thing a read. (And I’m not just saying that because I learned today that Albright could leg press three of your humble correspondent.)

Albright is the wise woman of the Democratic Party on national security. Her prestigious Georgetown salon operates as a crash course in international relations for Dems with presidential ambitions. So, her work on the role of religion in foreign policy is required reading for anyone who wants to understand what a Democratic administration would do differently. After finishing it, the conclusion I came to was: surprisingly little. Yes, Albright bashes the Bush administration for Iraq, Guantanamo, and its religiously tinged language. But when she starts talking about the future rather than the past, she sounds none too different from her father’s most famous -- and favorite -- pupil, Condoleezza Rice. Albright’s call to “blend realism with idealism,” by promoting democracy at a gradual pace, wouldn’t sound out of place in any of Rice’s speeches about the administration’s goals in the Middle East. All of which suggests that, the democratizing baby won’t be thrown out with the Bush bath water and supports Jai's argument that Middle Eastern tyrants hoping to wait out Bush are wasting their time.

The book also contains some interesting policy proposals. One that struck me as particularly smart is that the State Department should institute a cadre of religion experts to offer specialist advice in the way that the nonproliferation and human rights specialists do. If you buy the book make sure to read the footnotes. They are stuffed full of political jabs and witty anecdotes. For those who can’t get enough of Albright, there will be another book along soon: An illustrated guide to her collection of decorative pins.

Madeleine Albright’s new book The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs is out today and you can read an excerpt here and key quotes here. I recommend giving the whole thing a read. (And I’m not just saying that because I learned today that Albright could leg press three of your humble correspondent.)

Albright is the wise woman of the Democratic Party on national security. Her prestigious Georgetown salon operates as a crash course in international relations for Dems with presidential ambitions. So, her work on the role of religion in foreign policy is required reading for anyone who wants to understand what a Democratic administration would do differently. After finishing it, the conclusion I came to was: surprisingly little. Yes, Albright bashes the Bush administration for Iraq, Guantanamo, and its religiously tinged language. But when she starts talking about the future rather than the past, she sounds none too different from her father’s most famous — and favorite — pupil, Condoleezza Rice. Albright’s call to “blend realism with idealism,” by promoting democracy at a gradual pace, wouldn’t sound out of place in any of Rice’s speeches about the administration’s goals in the Middle East. All of which suggests that, the democratizing baby won’t be thrown out with the Bush bath water and supports Jai’s argument that Middle Eastern tyrants hoping to wait out Bush are wasting their time.

The book also contains some interesting policy proposals. One that struck me as particularly smart is that the State Department should institute a cadre of religion experts to offer specialist advice in the way that the nonproliferation and human rights specialists do. If you buy the book make sure to read the footnotes. They are stuffed full of political jabs and witty anecdotes. For those who can’t get enough of Albright, there will be another book along soon: An illustrated guide to her collection of decorative pins.

James Forsyth is assistant editor at Foreign Policy.

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