The Corner

Michael D. Huckabee on Foreign Affairs

Today’s Huckabee headlines concern an article, “America’s Priorities in the War on Terror,” that Huckabee has written in Foreign Affairs.  Only guys named Mike Huckabee don’t write such articles, so in this case the author is “Michael D. Huckabee.”  (The “D” stands for Dale.)  The article begins with this rather dreadful paragraph:

The United States, as the world’s only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

Less vulnerable than what?  More vulnerable than what?  Would anyone deny that in many, many ways the U.S. government is extraordinarily generous in world affairs?  The Romney camp is already all over this graph, branding it “playground diplomacy.”  

Yet the article gets better.  While pledging to do all sorts of nice things in the Muslim world, Huckabee explicitly rejects George W. Bush’s second-inaugural-address democracy agenda:

As president, my goal in the Arab and Muslim worlds will be to calibrate a course between maintaining stability and promoting democracy. It is self-defeating to attempt too much too soon: doing so could mean holding elections that the extremists would win.

Huckabee then goes on to say that the U.S. must “first destroy existing terrorist groups and then attack the underlying conditions that breed them: the lack of basic sanitation, health care, education, jobs, a free press, fair courts — which all translates into a lack of opportunity and hope.”  That is vaguely reminiscent of what Romney proposed in his own Foreign Affairs article over the summer: a “Partnershp for Prosperity and Progress” which would “assemble resources from developed nations and use them to support public schools (not Wahhabi madrasahs), microcredit and banking, the rule of law, human rights, basic health care, and free-market policies in modernizing Islamic states.”

I’ll leave it to our foreign policy types to address the rest; it will be interesting to compare Huckabee’s article with those by Romney, McCain, and Giuliani, also in Foreign Affairs in recent months.

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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