Monday, April 13, 2009


One area that exhibits right wing incapacities quite ferociously is the ability to negotiate and cooperate with other nations. There was no feeling of participation in the world of nations in the previous maladministration. A particular onus was put on the non-Christian world, perhaps most cogently expressed by its threats that had no effect on nuclear developments in Iran and N.Korea.

Today a post on the former Veep Cheney in NYT (h/t to Dan Froomkin) recalled his leaden feet on the very important accelerator that he just couldn't operate. The impression remaining of those fumbles showed up in remarks by the UN's atomic energy supervisor on wrongheadedness that left the U.S. helpless to influence Iran in its development of nuclear power.

For Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 'a combination of ignorance and arrogance' under the Bush administration squandered countless diplomatic opportunities with Iran and so allowed it to forge ahead with its nuclear program. Referring twice to Dick Cheney as 'Darth Vader,' ElBaradei told me in an interview that 'U.S. policy consisted of two mantras — Iran should not have the knowledge and should not spin one single centrifuge. They kept saying, wait, Iran is not North Korea, it will buckle. That was absolutely a mistake.

The intractable ignorance displayed by the former oilmen who gained control of the White House for eight years is quickly being remedied by President Obama. He has shown the kind of attitude that could have led to positive relationships - relationships whose loss has occasioned the direct outcome of blind aggression, rabid counter aggression. The resounding success in ending the weekend's piracy episode has been a heartening betokening of newfound ability to handle, rather than exploit, crises.

Problematic situations throughout the world have received only snarling offensiveness for eight years. Beginnings are overdue in developing a diplomatic environment that can foster our own interests for a change.

Countless opportunities have been smashed by the antagonism of the war criminal approach by our thankfully ex-executive branch. Now its time to pick up the pieces. With controlled competence the new standard, we are much more secure.

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