Condi’s Transformational Diplomacy
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that she has plans to restructure the American foreign service in a meeting with students and faculty at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service last week.
The dimensions of these changes are interpreted at different levels from different perspectives. But here I care here about the Middle Eastern perspective. What will be the impact of the “transformational diplomacy” on Egypt and Middle East? The answer, it will have a great impact if it came into being. The TD is meant to partner with the peoples of the world, helping them building their lives and transforming their lives. These words actually ring a bell for me as we (Egyptians) do not see a way out in bringing a new future other than what we have currently. So basically, the US once again is reiterating the promise to help the peoples not governments.
The restructuring impact will affect Egypt if the Secretary managed to bring her plans into being. The plan includes the foreign assistance. Rice created a new position, director for foreign assistance. The new director who has been hired by President Bush will serve as the administrator of the US Agency for Development, known as USAID. The new promise of Rice will be reflected on the money of the US aid received by the Egyptian government on an annual basis. Rice attention will be given to pro-democracy-related programs. Democracy is a word that is not very much favored by the Middle East governments. Part of the new director portfolio is review the foreign assistance. The Washington Post believes that there is a big challenge because of the US officials “sometimes-supine attitude to autocratic governments” that hinders routing aid through pro-democracy groups in countries such as Egypt or Russia as the Agency for International Development has often accepted such countries' insistence that money flow only through the government and its allies. This might change with the new restructuring.
Also according to the post Condi promised "to create a new unit of Arabic speakers to defend U.S. policies in Middle Eastern media."
Rice has repeatedly mentioned in her different statements the era after the cold war with praise. There is no doubt that she believes in change. A change that she believes must bring something like free Europe.
Oh and by the way, I would love Madame Secretary to run for the President office in 2008. I am not a US citizen, to vote for her but the annoucement of her nomination is capable of bringing several heart attacks to many of the Middle East tyrants. I really like her. There is no doubt that I am one of her fans and I listen to all that she says carefully.
Photo:U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on foreign assistance, in Washington January 19, 2006. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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