The Middle East: Critical Choices for the United States

By Eugene V. Rostow | Go to book overview

1
Can the Tide Be Turned?

EUGENE V. ROSTOW


I

We are here to exercise one of our basic rights as free citizens of a free society. In the crisp eighteenth century language of the Constitution, it is defined as the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Our assembly represents more than the exercise of a right and a privilege. It is an act of civic duty as well. Democracy is dialogue--active, continuous, informed and responsible dialogue. For a democracy to develop and carry out effective policies--and especially an effective foreign policy--requires candor and discipline in that dialogue, on the part of both the government and of the people.

But candor, discipline and responsibility are qualities that have been in short supply among us during the last few years.

____________________
Dr. Rostow is Sterling Professor of Law and Public Affairs at Yale University, former undersecretary of state for political affairs ( 1966-69), and now chairman of the Foreign Policy Task Force of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority and president of the Atlantic Treaty Association.

-3-

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