tified one.”rnEven when AID talks about the salubriousrneffects of its programs, whichrnaddress everything from Third Worldrno’erpopulation to AIDS, an Americanrnbeneficiary lurks in the shadows to pickrnup the bootv. Along with the directoryrnlisting American companies that benefitrnfrom AID contracts, AID released a reportrndocumenting the global harm thatrnwould follow a cut in its budget. “A 30rnpercent budget cut would result in an estimatedrn600,000 more unintended pregnanciesrn. . . 420,000 additional births,rn180,000 more unsafe abortions, andrn4,000 maternal deaths,” AID fretted, asrnwell as “180 million fewer condoms distributedrnby USAID, and thus more thanrntyvo million new HIV infections.”rnThe condoms are supplied by a manufacturerrnin Dothan, Alabama, that wasrnreceiving 80 percent of its revenue fromrnits $5×3 million contract with AID.rnR. Cort Kirkwood writes from Arlington,rnVirginia.rnDemocracyrnand Declarationsrnof Warrnby Gregory D. FosterrnThe winter Balkan lull has letrnCongress off the hook for rollingrnover and playing dead in response tornPresident Clinton’s dispatch of troops tornBosnia. It is cruel irony that the fewer casualtiesrnAmerican troops sustain, thernmore likel}’ we are to continue permittingrnfurther such devaluations of democrac’.rnThat will accentuate the eternalrnverity Congress has reaffirmed; Thosernwho can, do; those who can’t do, teach;rnthose who can’t do or teach, preach.rnPreaching is what the United Statesrndoes best. We sermonize, evangelize,rnproselytize, and moralize, incessantlyrnenjoining the rest of the world to do asrnwe say, not as we do. But it is this veryrnhypocrisy—the failure to practice atrnhome what we preach abroad—thatrnthreatens to become America’s strategicrnundoing. The ultimate culprits forrnthis looming strategic castration—thernpreachiest of us all—are the members ofrnthis country’s self-ordained ruling class,rnwhose obsession with the tactics ofrnlow politics has so sullied the conduct ofrnstatesmanship and statecraft.rnStrategy has always been about therneffective exercise of power. In this postmodernrnera, strategy is no less about therneffective management of perceptions—rnthe creation and projection of images,rnthe manipulation of symbols, the constructionrn(and deconstruetion) of reality.rnThe case with which we are able to wieldrnpower depends, in the main, on the credibilityrnwe have established—on the correspondencernbetween our actions andrnour words, on the quality of our performancernwhen we do act, on how consistentlyrnwe adhere to the principles andrnvalues we espouse.rnBy advocating peace but spending lavishrnsums to maintain a massive militaryrnestablishment armed with the world’srnmost lethal weaponry, by endorsing armsrncontrol but engaging in the promiscuousrndevelopment and sale of the most sophisticatedrnarmaments, by unabashedlyrnproclaiming ourselves the world’s onlyrnsuperpower but refusing to accept responsibilityrnfor providing visionary globalrnleadership, by extolling principle butrnrepeatedly bowing to expediency, wernundermine our credibility and therebyrnproduce our own progressive strategicrndebilitation.rnOur most flagrant hypocrisy, though,rnis reflected in our facile preachments onrndemocracy; holding ourselves up asrnparagons of democratic virtue and pressingrnothers to emulate us in the interest ofrndemocratic “enlargement,” even as ourrndomestic politics betray a penchant forrnautocratic methods.rnThe importance of such tendenciesrnlies in the fact that in all matters strategic,rnthe effective exercise of power dependsrnon something more than just thernwherewithal at our disposal—more, thatrnis, than on superior wealth or force,rndiplomatic acumen, technological advantage,rnor cultural appeal. Especiallyrnwhere the stakes or threats are ambiguous,rnit depends on the eollectivc will ofrnthe populace to act—a function of socialrncohesion and the broad-based consensusrnthat only public trust and confidence inrngovernment can produce. Such trustrnand confidence are so vital to this countryrnprecisely because we do not practicerntrue democracy. Rhetoric to the contrary,rnwe never have.rnAmerica’s Founding Fathers, inrnseeking to counter the tyranny theyrnconsidered the inevitable outgrowth ofrnconcentrated power, predicated our governmentrnon the rule of law, the supremacyrnof the Constitution, the checks andrnbalances of divided power and, mostrnimportantly, popular sovereignty. “Thernpeople who own the country,” said JohnrnJay, “ought to govern it.” Bowing,rnhowever, to the dictates of order and efficiency,rnthe Founders ensured that thern”turbulent and changing” masses werernonly nominally in charge. The people,rnHamilton opined, “seldom judge or determinernright. Give therefore to the [richrnand well-born] a distinct, permanentrnshare in government [to] check the unsteadinessrnof the [masses].” And so ourrnlesser forebears—the little people fromrnwhom most of us are descended—relinquishedrntheir fate and ours to a purportedlyrnrepresentative governing “elite,”rnwhose exercise of circumscribed andrnAccidentsrnby Harold McCurdyrnFor accidents of every sort I’m glad;rnAs, for example, that John Donne wasrnsadrnWhen his Ann died, thus mingling inrnthe lifernOf my own Ann—a daughter, not a wifernAs his was. And I draw a most absurdrnComfort from knowing (as has beenrninferred)rnThat Dante shared the thirtieth of MayrnWith later and lesser me as his birthday;rnFor on that date the Convent of St.rnClarernObserved the feastday of St. Lucy therernJust outside Florence, and it’s Lucy whornFrom hell to heaven steadily kept in viewrnHis welfare, as behts a patron saint.rnBesides, she’s Light; and maybe what IrnmeantrnAt sixteen, on Black Mountain, prayingrnfor lightrnWas that St. Lucy, as for Dante, mightrnAccept an ignorant boy’s unconsciousrnpraisernAnd glimmer through the Dark Woodrnon my days.rnMAY 1996/39rnrnrn