Well, longer, anyway. Condi Rice in Foreign Affairs:
At the same time, ironically, our uniquely American realism also makes us deeply patient. We understand how long and trying the course of democracy is. We acknowledge our birth defect, a constitution founded on a compromise that reduced my ancestors each to three-fifths of a man. Yet we are healing old wounds and living as one American people, and this shapes our engagement with the world. We support democracy not because we think ourselves perfect but because we know ourselves to be deeply imperfect. This gives us reason to be humble in our own endeavors and patient with the endeavors of others. We know that today's headlines are rarely the same as history's judgments.
A cynic might note that she sure needs them to be different. But second term Bush has not been as cockamamie as first term Bush; and the tactical progress in Iraq under Petraeus will be regarded by history as a major gain - if (and it's a big if) the national politics follows through. My sense right now is that the Shiite forces are vying for power and for Iran's support over the Bush administration's hopes for a long-term military presence in the country. Who emerges from this struggle, and how they then deal with the Sunnis, will determine the future.
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