16 November 2007

America forever

From last night's Democratic debate in Las Vegas:

MR. BLITZER: So what's more important, human rights or national security?

SEN. DODD: Well, obviously national security, keeping the country safe. When you take the oath of office on January 20th you promise to do two things, and that is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and protect our country against enemies both foreign and domestic. The security of the country is number one, obviously, yes, all right?

MR. BLITZER: All right. Okay, thank you.

SEN. DODD: Now secondly, this doesn't mean -- elections are only one note, as they say, in the tune of democracy here. Be careful what you wish for. If they were totally free elections in many of these countries we're talking about today, the Islamic jihad or the Islamic Brotherhood would win 85 percent of the vote. That's not a great outcome for us at this point here.

MR. BLITZER: All right.


MR. BLITZER: You say national security is more important than human rights.

Senator Clinton, what do you say?

SEN. CLINTON: I agree with that completely. I mean the first obligation of the president of the United States is to protect and defend the United States of America. That doesn't mean that it is to the exclusion of other interests.

And there's absolutely a connection between a democratic regime and heightened security for the United States. That's what's so tragic about this situation. After 9/11, President Bush had a chance to chart a different course, both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, and could have been very clear about what our expectations were. We are now in a bind, and it is partly -- not completely, but partly -- a result of the failed policies of the Bush administration.

What we say goes.