Weighty International Issues, Part III:
Is no one interested in my 'Frank Salemme, murderous slimeball done good'
item? I'm hurt. Still, have gotten lots of emails on my weighty international and geopolitical items (see directly below to 'Weighty International Issues, Part II and Part I,' and the links that link to links). First, Brighton Reader
, and then my response, followed by other responses and links in other items etc. From Brighton Reader:
"So far as I know, neither you nor William Safire has any foreign policy experience. Mr. Safire was a speechwriter in the Nixon White House (I believe he coined ‘nattering nabobs of negativism,’), not a foreign policy apparatchik. Gotta defend Hub Blog from unfair criticism!
"Overall , I agree with your comments.
"Right now the most cogent voice on the threat of terrorism and Iraq is Tony Blair. His arguments are compelling, thoughtful and realistic. I lean to the need for a regime change in Iraq, by war if neccessary, althought am still not persuaded on the timing. I wish it was Bush who had been making this case to the UN and allies, and from the beginning, rather than at the end. It was disturbing that the administration seemed to initially ignore the most successful alliance in history, one that had given us -- and still does -- a huge amount of security. Anti-Americanism has existed since 1776. Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior, along with other post-war U.S. presidents, set out their objectives and found ways to win support and overcome it. I think George W. could have done the same. We may not need allied assistance in a war against Iraq but we absolutely need it in the war on terror."
Hub Blog's response
: Nation building? Remember that? Rejecting international help on overseeing/guarding Afghanistan after our triumph? Bush’s response a year ago: Nation building? Help? You’ll just get in our way! We can do it! A year later: Wish we had more help. ... A year ago: Asking the UN for permission to take on Iraq? Forget it! We can do it! A year later: Ask the UN’s permission and whine afterward that France (France! As if we didn’t know) is betraying our secret UN agreement! ... The blustering, blundering, bombastic Bush policy (Speak toughly/Put away big stick after it doesn’t work/Grab big stick again) approach to foreign policy is leading toward historic disaster: Isolationism. Unilateralism. Empire. Bunker America. Fighting to promote democracy. Pax America. Whatever you want to call it. ... Not making excuses for the French. God, they’re such vile, immoral, ammoral, selfish, undependable pricks. (Join NATO, quit NATO, rejoin NATO, threaten NATO. ... The French had the nerve to call us ‘arrogant’ today? The French!) But do we literally have to lower ourselves to the French level? We can rhetorically and gently swat them away like flies. ... Apparently the Bush folks can’t talk around it. Think around it. Rationalize around it. No, they have to bluster around it. Ugh. ... Suppose I’ll be accused of anti-Americanism. ... In his State of the Union address, Bush needs to make one thing clear: all steam ahead with Pax America, or all steam ahead with cooperating with the rest of the democratic world. (The latter, preferably, with snide and digging remarks at the two twits of Europe, France and Germany -- with oblique Vichy France and Nazi Germany references, while he’s at it.) But, please, no more straddling the fense. Make up your mind, George. Powell or Rumsfeld, to put it simply. Or at least put a stop to adminstration leaks about policy coherency/incoherency, if that’s how you view it in a PR way. Do something! ... Hoodwinked by the French. That’s how bad these guys are.
Update - 01-24-03, 8:45 a.m.
-- Without making any comments, reader BK sent these links in response to my tirade directly above. I get his message. Here are the links: Charles Krauthhammer’s
‘No going back’ piece from this morning; the second on how the French have taught us
a painful diplomatic lesson and how we can’t back down now; and another from NRO on ‘The Tyranny of ‘Buts.’
Hub Blog’s response
: A.) If the NATO alliance indeed collapses because of the Iraq crisis, the president owes it to the country to fully explain why it was worth it, how we’re going to get by without NATO after Iraq, his vision of a post-Iraq world with potential enemies (such as China) taking advantage of divisions within the West, and his long-term vision in general of world alliances, the UN and the security council, etc. B.) Yes, there probably is ‘no going back,’ for the die is indeed cast. That’s obvious from the second link above. But a lot of us are wondering how we got to the point of no going back; whether the possible break up of NATO was envisioned when we set off on this course and whether we just bumbled into it by walking into a French trap; C.) I don’t like the overuse of the word ‘but’ either, ‘but’ nuanced qualifiers are often necessary when arguing with people you sort of agree with ‘but’ disagree with on certain details because you don't accept their no-gray-area, no-buts views. ... Thanks to BK for all the input.