AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Working for Peace and Freedom
Secretary Shultz's address before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on May 17, 1987.(1)
I hate to start on such a sober note, but perhaps it is the right note, because I am deeply honored to be here. You said the first to be invited back twice, or maybe you said the first to be invited and accepted to come back twice. That's a difference. But I accepted, because we've gotten to know each other over the past 5 years, and I feel one of the warmest and best things that's happened to me in this job is the expansion of my already, at the time, wide list of Jewish friends.
And so I've come here--and I have a few notes--but I'm not going to read something to you. I've come here to talk to you as friends, informally but very seriously, about two related problems. One involves the world we have ahead of us and America's role in it. The other involves our role in the Middle East, especially in the light of recent developments. Both these problems are important to us as Americans, and they are both important to Israel. So let me spell them out for you, and I hope that you can help me with both of them.
U.S. Role in the World
First, the world ahead of us and the U.S. role in it: I think we are at a moment of tidal change in world affairs. There are plenty of problems out there, and some of them have to do with the fact that we have a determined and strong adversary in the U.S.S.R., an adversary with global scope. But basically, the situation is most promising for our system of values and for our pattern of interest.
So we should be engaged as never before in a sophisticated, energetic, and knowledgeable way, because there are problems, because we have adversaries, and because there are great opportunities. But just at this opportune moment, we are, I fear, in the process of drawing away--of drifting, stumbling, perhaps unconsciously--out of phase, I believe, with the outward-looking citizens of our country and their wide-ranging interests.
We have a winning hand, but we are not positioning ourselves to be able to play it. So that's problem one, and let me spell it out to you, and, as I say, this winning hand is held by us; it's held by Israel; it's held by the countries that believe in freedom, that believe in openness.
It's a changing world. We're moving into a new age, and it can be our age if we're willing to engage in it, because it's an age based on openness and freedom, on knowledge, on information that's widely shared and moves around, a genuine information age, knowledge age. So here are some of the things that I think we have learned that are going to characterize the world ahead of us if we play our cards right.
We have learned once again that freedom is the most revolutionary force in the world. We have learned how much people value democracy and the rule of law if only they have access to it, and we have seen how people all over the world are ready to resist totalitarianism. We have learned that freedom and economic progress are related. We see how well the market can work if we'll let it. People all around the world see that if you build your economy on incentives, on the market, on enterprise, you're going to be much better off.
The countries of East Asia have been a glowing example, but the message has been spreading to Africa. It's interesting to see the Chinese and the Soviets beginning to struggle with this problem because they see that a highly centralized, highly …