Paul Wolfowitz also invokes the admonition to “do no harm” when it comes to democracy promotion. But he denies that a pragmatic, evolutionary approach amounts to realism, even in the Middle East, where compelling strategic interests compete with promoting democracy as a policy imperative:
The goal should not be revolution, but rather evolutionary change. That’s the best chance for true long-term stability. Most of all, when opportunities for genuine reform open up, as is happening now not only in Iraq and Lebanon but also in Morocco and elsewhere, the United States should give reformers all the support that it can. Of course, the United States will depend on some Arab autocrats to help promote a peaceful settlement of Arab-Israeli issues….. But the role those leaders play in any peace process will turn on hard calculations of their own self-interest, not the stance the United States takes toward reform.