Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Incompetence knows no bounds

The Left Coaster demonstrates that the Bush foreign policy has been as incompetent, if not more so, than its domestic policy.

In short, there has not been one success by this Administration in following the PNAC script. And there will be no support from any of our allies for any new wars we want to start anywhere in the globe, due to our allies’ lack of trust in us and their doubts about our competence.

Looks like the "New American Century" had a shelf-life of about 6 months.

Time flies eh?

Several bloggers are tackling this subject this morning: Billmon, Thinking it Through, Matthew and Atrios.

Billmon makes an especially important observation: by shooting its wad and apparently failing, the Bush administration has effectively burst the illusion of American invincibility:

Power, a good friend recently remarked, is an odd thing -- it's most impressive when it isn't being used. A wise hegemon goes to great lengths to conceal the true extent of its power. It always leaves something in the tool kit, so to speak, so that enemies and allies alike can never be sure exactly what's in there.

But the Bush Administration has let the cat out of the bag. It has exposed to the world the limits of U.S. military power -- both ithe size of the forces (divisions, troops) and the relative ineffectiveness of those forces on a complex social and political battlefield like the one America faces in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

Even more to the point, Bush has signaled that the financial and political burdens of unilateralism are simply too great for any U.S. administration to carry for long. Forced to choose between greater mobilization at home (more troops, less tax cuts) and compromise abroad, Bush appears to have opted for the latter.

These events no doubt will be noted, and closely studied, by friend and foe alike.

Of course, Billmon and others might be a tad optimistic about the surrender of the PNAC agenda. Its advocates will remain as arrogant as ever and are not likely to admit any form of back-tracking on their agenda. They still hold the reigns of power in this administration and will do so for as long as they can fool enough people into thinking they know what they are doning.

Which brings us to this morning's press release from Howard Dean:

BURLINGTON--Howard Dean issued the following statement this morning regarding the Bush administration's labeling of several European countries as "chocolate makers": "The role of America in the world today is at a crossroads. As we hear disturbing reports that more American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, the Taliban has teamed up again with al-Qaeda, and North Korea is threatening to test nuclear weapons, one can only witness this Administration's conduct of foreign policy with increasing dismay.

"Rather than reaching out to our long-standing allies in NATO--the force best situated to help us stabilize Iraq--this Administration continues to practice a foreign policy based on petulance, this time referring derisively to Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg as 'chocolate makers.'

"This President needs to understand that the reason the world followed the United States in the past is because we exerted strong, moral leadership that was a beacon to nations throughout the world. We did not achieve that position by berating and brow-beating our own allies--we achieved that by working respectfully and cooperatively with them. When I am President, I will restore the honor, dignity and respect that we once enjoyed but that this President has so recklessly discarded."

As long as these people have their hands on the controls this country will continue to spiral out of control. They may have been forced by the situation into asking for help from the UN, but they will probably fuck that up as well.


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