This point was pounded home in the movie "Bajrangi Bhaijaan," which I wish could be required viewing for everyone working on American foreign policy. There is so much humor in the script and the lead actors are so engaging that the lessons don't sting but they sharp indeed. With God fiddling with every traffic light on the road the protagonists were able to complete their mission, and yet they were mentally prepared to embark on what would seem an impossible quest.
Americans with remarkably good character have always been involved in one aspect or another of U.S. foreign policy, but sustained success demands a concerted effort by many people across years. The tragedy is that higher the ideals informing a policy, the higher the price of failure.
Just as a person with weak arms and legs shouldn't attempt to climb a mountain, large numbers of people -- not only in U.S. but everywhere else -- aren't prepared to carry off the ideas on which liberal democracy is based as a matter of foreign policy. The USA is the worst in this regard simply because our nation and its government are huge.
What's the solution? Americans would do well to develop a society with an educational system that strongly emphasizes the importance of good character. Until then, scale back on the democracy initiatives, which today are a riot of conflicting interpretations of democracy overseen by people who don't have the character to match their intellects let alone their vaunted ideals.
Horrors such as the U.S. military and state department aiding Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria in the attempt to remove the country's president on the argument that he's a tyrant. Talk about killing the patient in the effort to save his life. But in one sentence that's how American foreign policy has often worked out since the end of World War II.
Horror stories are also the theme in Russia historian Stephen F. Cohen's tales on Tuesday night for John Batchelor's audience.
Enough lecturing for the day. Let's go to YouTube and sing along with a great qawwali from the movie . If you say you're not Muslim -- oh for crying out loud make up your own improvisation on the lyrics