Monday, August 18, 2008

The Missing Link

There's been so much invention and re-invention in the occupied White House, a diagram really needs to be drawn of the various doctrines and how they have ended. I'm not sure how to fit how low those goals have gone onto any existing graph paper.

No nation building -> forgeddaboutdit. Stay the course -> gone. Bringing democracy to the Middle East -> down.

As we watch President Bush lurch about, trying to find the proper response to Russia's invasion of Georgia, it seems a good time to check in on the Bush Doctrine.

But good luck finding it.

Julian E. Barnes writes in the Los Angeles Times: "In the last week, two major pillars of President Bush's approach to foreign policy have crumbled, jeopardizing eight years of work and sending the administration scrambling for new strategies in the waning months of its term.

"From the earliest days of his presidency, Bush had said spreading democracy was a centerpiece of his foreign policy. At the same time, he sought to develop a more productive relationship with Russia, seeking Moscow's cooperation on issues such as terrorism, Iran's nuclear program and expansion of global energy supplies.

"And in pursuing both these major goals, Bush relied heavily on developing what he saw as strong personal relationships with foreign leaders. . . .

"Efforts to create multiethnic, democratic regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have run into repeated difficulties. And the American push for Palestinian elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ended in victory for the radical group Hamas, complicating an already formidable task of reaching a Middle East peace accord. . . .

"'What freedom strategy?' asked David L. Phillips, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of a report on Georgia. 'It is scorned worldwide. Afghanistan is backsliding. The bar has been set low in Iraq. Georgia is in ruins.'"

Jacob Weisberg wrote in January for Newsweek that five different Bush Doctrines have come and gone -- starting with "Unipolar Realism", switching to "With Us or Against Us" after 9/11, and eventually turning into "Freedom Everywhere" -- leaving us since late 2006 with the "absence of any functioning doctrine at all."

I believe the connection between what they say and what they do suggests that the warmongers just have no rational modus operandi. It's more like watching the annual jumping frog of Calaveras County race. There's a start and a beginning, but the race bears no relation to either.

The lack of any functioning precepts can mean either that what the actual goals are is unspeakable, or that the mentality at the helm has no grip at all on rationality.

Or maybe both.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real lasting bush doctrine: it's mine and my friends'. Give it to us or we'll take it.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

You left out the 'peon' part.

10:22 AM  

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