Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Do as I say, not as I do, Part III

October 2000

BUSH: Yes, I’m not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, “This is the way it’s got to be. We can help.” And maybe it’s just our difference in government, the way we view government. I mean, I want to empower people, I don’t — you know, I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do.

I just don’t think it’s the role of the United States to walk into a country, say, “We do it this way, so should you.” Now, I think we can help, and I know we got to encourage democracy and the marketplaces.

But take Russia, for example. We went into Russia, we said, “Here’s some IMF money,” and it ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s pocket and others. And yet we played like there was reform.

The only people that are going to reform Russia are Russia. They’re going to have to make the decision themselves….

So I’m not exactly sure where the vice president is coming from. But I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, “We do it this way, so should you.” …

But maybe I misunderstand where you’re coming from, Mr. Vice President, but I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.

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