Invasion vs. Persuasion

December 20, 2005 | The New Yorker |

Senior Fellow George Packer explains what it really takes to promote democracy abroad — multilateralism and patience.

So when his critics, here and abroad, claim that his rhetoric merely provides cynical cover for an American power grab, they misjudge his sincerity and tend to sound like defenders of the status quo. And when the Administration tries to wring every last sweet drop of partisan gain from its foreign policy (sincerity is not the same thing as honesty), critics are driven to conclude that "democracy" is just another word for "neoconservatism."