Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bush Foreign Policy Settles Into Weird State Of Denial

by Claudia Rosett - April 7th, 2008 - Philadelphia Inquirer

It's an alarming sign for U.S. foreign policy when Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden says, as he did last month on NBC's Meet the Press, that, personally, he believes Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, but officially he stands by the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that maybe they aren't.

So America sails on, under the fiction that nothing dramatic need be done, despite Hayden's further warning that in Iran, "the development of fissile material, the development of delivery systems, continue apace."


In this final year of the Bush presidency, what was once a doctrine of preemption has given way to the weird presumption that threats that Washington does not officially acknowledge somehow won't hurt us. Nowhere is this approach more marked than at the State Department, whence Secretary Condoleezza Rice is betting her legacy - and the president's - on dreams of dialogue that have little to do with realities.

The irony of this report is that Democrats still assail Bush for policies that he has abandoned. Bush's approval ratings are at 30%, mostly because he is despised by both the extreme left and the extreme right.

Though he is winning the war now, after his administration made many mistakes, he is losing the people over the clear reality that his heart is not in the fight. He has already lost much of his base. He has mastered the technique of spitting in the eye of his supporters on the right, insulting them with comments such as his derogatory belief that defending our borders was vigilantism. In the process he has never won any support from the left as they continue to revile and denounce him.

His passage of the huge new entitlement program for drug benefits has forever labeled him as a socialist.

George W. Bush has no vision of a better future. He simply has opinions of the moment about specific issues. With such an adled view of the future, Bush has gained the contempt of those on both the right and the left. He sees this as balance. It has left him with few friends other than "moderates" who like Bush have no clear vision of what they stand for even if they are arrogant in their opinions.

This writer's view that Bush is leaving us in the same precarious position we were in when he took office is interesting. If accurate, it means Bush has governed for 8 years to no purpose at all.

There is some support for the concept. He came into office entering a recession caused by Clinton. He leaves office entering a recession he will be held responsible for. We have won some battles in the war but if Iran gets nuclear bombs it will have been for little purpose in the overall global war against Islamo-fascism. Bush considers himself an MBA President. Like many MBA managers, he handles the day to day adminstration well, but he really has not changed the dynamics of world events the way true leaders do.

My summation? Like Claudia Rosett I feel Bush has wasted 8 years to only marginal effect. He and many in his administration are in denial.


At 4:47 PM, Blogger Not-So-Impartial Observer said...

Not all moderates like Bush. I should know, I am one. I'm pretty moderate in my views, though I do tend to wax a bit conservative on certain issues... however like you it seems to me that Bush has effectively wasted his time in office. I liked the man when he was first elected, voted for him even. But over the last few years the rose-colored glasses have been lifted from my eyes. You are dead on when you say that Bush acts on his whims of the moment rather than looking to the future. Hopefully our next president, whoever that may be, will strive to make up for lost time.


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