Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Danger of Bush's Woes

The danger of Bush's mounting woes is that they are becoming America's woes. Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly explains:
...the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore. They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything. With the neocons on the outs, Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, and Dick Cheney continuing to drift into an alternate universe at the OVP, the Bush administration seems completely at sea. There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

As near as I can tell, George Bush has learned that "There's evil in the world and we're going to stand up to it" isn't really adequate as a foreign policy for a superpower but is unable to figure out anything better to replace it with. So he spins his wheels, waiting for 2009. Unfortunately, the rest of us are left spinning with him.

Michael Abramowitz and Robin Wright of The Washington Post offer a summary on the current state of our foreign policy that, if anything, is a bit strained because National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley's overly optimistic comments blithely ignore a growing consensus on Bush's failing foreign policy:
From deteriorating security in Afghanistan and Somalia to mayhem in the Middle East, confrontation with Iran and eroding relations with Russia, the White House suddenly sees crisis in every direction.

North Korea's long-range missile test Tuesday, although unsuccessful, was another reminder of the bleak foreign policy landscape that faces President Bush even outside of Iraq.

(snip)

"I am hard-pressed to think of any other moment in modern times where there have been so many challenges facing this country simultaneously," said Richard N. Haass, a former senior Bush administration official who heads the Council on Foreign Relations. "The danger is that Mr. Bush will hand over a White House to a successor that will face a far messier world, with far fewer resources left to cope with it."

(snip)

... the events on the Korean Peninsula underscored how the administration has lost the initiative it once possessed on foreign policy in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, leaving at risk the central Bush aspiration of democracy-building around the world.

They also showed how the huge commitment of resources and time on Iraq -- and the attendant falloff in international support for the United States -- has limited the administration's flexibility in handling new world crises....

(snip)

Concern about such developments is cutting across the normal fault lines in American politics, with critiques being expressed by conservative realists such as Haass and liberal internationalists such as former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright. Albright said yesterday that the United States now faces the "perfect storm" in foreign policy. "The U.S. is not as unilateral as it is uni-dimensional," she said in an interview. "We have not been paying attention to a lot of these issues. . . . Afghanistan is out of control because not enough attention was paid to it."

Abramowitz and Wright's article includes the administration's view, along with Hadley's inane comments. I find it useless to include the White House spin which the major papers are obliged to offer for the sake of balance; in this case, however, the spin only highlights that Bush and his staff are increasingly living in a delusional bubble of their own making.

Our nation cannot afford another 30 months of foreign policy drift and incompetence. The sooner Bush brings in a new foreign policy team, the sooner the United States can restore at least some of its credibility. In the aftermath of the Iran/Contra fiasco, Reagan was forced to bring in new people to deal with the situation. Today, we face a situation far more serious. The advantage of a new team is that they can spend a great deal more time repairing the damage instead of making endless excuses for their blunders. A new team, of course, is useless unless Cheney leaves or is cut down to size and Rumsfeld is replaced with someone who isn't lost in a 19th century time warp where gatling guns were once used to 'shock and awe' the natives.

2 Comments:

Anonymous kmilyun said...

I hope our country survives this administration and that there is enough left to clean up.

I never thought I would consider our country's executive branch to perhaps be part of the .."evil in the world .."

I am in overload - I made it a few days without reading or listening to any news.

I am down to reading only a few blogs everyday - just my little revolt - most of them just repeat each other - I stick with the small personal and insightful ones now.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are, as a country paying for our lack of attention to serious issues.
This is what occurs when we seek "someone we'd rather have a beer with"
rather than an intelligent person.
America has become too dumb,reactionary and unwilling to expect more from their leaders.So the cycle continues.The center cannot hold ,Things fall apart.

10:35 AM  

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