Condoleezza Rice is in Russia; it is hard to imagine a better representative for our country. Figaro reports that Russians call her the Black Panther, and it is easy to imagine the impression she makes. Watching America has a translation of a question and answer session she did with listeners on a Moscow radio station. Her answers were uniformly crisp and informative; I especially liked her response to a question about how America’s “exporting of democracy” is different from Russia’s former efforts to export socialist revolution:
What is better, the export of democracy, or the export of socialist revolutions? You probably know that at the beginning of the last century there was a concept of exporting revolutions from the USSR. Now is the United States exporting democracy?
No, there are very serious differences, historical differences, and from the practical point of view there is no necessity to export democracy. The people themselves feel that they want to have those freedoms that you get from democratic development. If you ask people whether they want to be able to say what they want to say, whether they want to practice whatever religion they chose, whether they want the freedom to educate their children, girls and boys, whether they want to be free from that knock on the door from the secret police, the people will say, yes, of course we want this. And that is why there is no need to export democracy or to implement democracy from above. People must be given the opportunity to freely express their wishes. And they will choose democracy, and so here I think the old terminology about exporting democracy has gotten old.
Secretary Rice answered some questions diplomatically, but there was only one question that she sidestepped entirely:
And one last question. We