Sunday, February 18, 2007

Harry Reid Slams Bush's Foreign Policy

A growing number of foreign policy experts (Brzezinski comes to mind) call Bush's war in Iraq the greatest strategic blunder in American history; one of the reasons for the assessment is the enormous credibility that the United States has lost in the last four years, particularly when it comes to our word, thus making it difficult for us to accomplish things in other areas of our foreign policy.

Now Democrats in the leadership are finally speaking up and stating the obvious in more explicit terms. CNN, unwilling as usual to recognize the obvious, nevertheless covers what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has to say:
After months of heated rhetoric slamming President Bush's Iraq policy, the Senate's top Democrat moved into new terrain by declaring the Iraq war a worse blunder than Vietnam.

"This war is a serious situation. It involves the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country," Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

"So we should take everything seriously. We find ourselves in a very deep hole and we need to find a way to dig out of it."

Asked whether he considers it a worse blunder than Vietnam, Reid responded, "Yes."

Most Americans are only now beginning to understand that, in Iraq, Bush led us into a war we did not need. Unfortunately, perhaps because of the mainstream media's sluggishness in covering critical issues of the day, most Americans still do not fully understand that Bush's incompetence and recklessness could lead us into yet another war we do not need, this one with Iran.

In fact, most Americans still do not understand that Bush passed up at least two opportunities for negotiations with Iran; also, the diplomatic effort launched by Condi Rice last year isn't much of a diplomatic effort and pales when compared with real diplomatic efforts of the past. And more Americans need to know that the same right wingers urging war with Iran are very often the same right wingers who years ago sneered at diplomacy with our enemies and sought major war with the Soviet Union. We won the Cold War without a nuclear exchange or an all-out conventional war because we had a chain of reasonably able people in Washington, sometimes conservative, sometimes liberal, who didn't pay much attention to the right wing fringe; our foreign policy wasn't perfect, but these able people engaged in serious and effective diplomacy and often ran a reasonably smart foreign policy far superior to anything we have seen from the neoconservatives in the last six years. This is the only time the right wingers have truly been in charge of our foreign policy, and they are a proven disaster. Bush and Cheney have failed so badly that they are working overtime to blame others for their incompetence. It's a dangerous situation.

Another war is not a certainty but if Americans make it clear that we do not need another fiasco on our hands, we can make war less likely. Keeping in mind that the war in Afghanistan is now more than five years old and needs to be finished—and should have been done a long time ago—try to imagine Bush and Cheney running three wars when they obviously can't run two.

Things are changing in Washington; slowly perhaps, but they are changing. A few Republicans in Congress appear to be disassociating themselves from Bush's foreign policy. More Republicans may follow. The end of the line is in sight but Americans must continue to speak up.

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