Suddenly with Iran, the Democratic front-runner claims that allowing Europe a significant role in negotiations amounts to "outsourcing" America's responsibilities, and they scream that George Bush hasn't been unilateral enough.
Interesting point, Ed. There's no sense in screaming about the fact that President Bush is very lucky to have Jack Straw "representing". (along with other diplomats from Germany and France).
Yet, EJ Dionne is right in his column - what is so hot about Bush's post-9/11 strategy to begin with? Why are Democrats not talking about the aftermath of this so-called successful strategy? Is there life after all the post-9/11 misleadings, failures and power grabs?
Because of the Bush administration's post-9/11 strategy, with unilateralism and arrogance as its unfortunate hallmark, our President has all but eliminated America's chance of being seen as a respected nation with an offering of trustworthy international diplomacy that works. And now we are faced with the determination of Iran's leadership to resume nuclear research.
In the aftermath of the Bush preventive war doctrine (and whether or not it's been said 'on the record'), many world leaders see him as a naked aggressor with neocon wonks behind his every act of so-called "diplomacy". They believe he has ulterior motives, including a quick resort to brutal military intervention. Why shouldn't they? The very nature of his new doctrine would inform them that he would invade any nation he suspected of any (unproven - think Iraq) belief about their possession of WMD.
World leaders still give Great Britain the benefit of the doubt, and I'm glad that they do. The Bush administration understands this. The outsourcing of diplomacy must happen because we are no longer trusted. We should be very grateful that Tony Blair has stepped in to offer up Jack Straw do our diplomatic bidding. Blair is looking more like the leader of the free world these days, which is quite embarrassing for our once-respected nation.
Jack Straw has commented about his part in the diplomatic negotiations:
"British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw ruled out imminent military action against Iran, but has left the door wide open Tuesday to referring Teheran to the United Nations. Speaking in Parliament in London, Straw reiterated “profound concern” at Iran’s resumption of nuclear research, adding, “Military action is not on our agenda, and I don’t believe it’s on anyone else’s agenda”, he said, pre-empting speculation that Israel or the United States might attempt a military strike.
Two differing views...one from our former (and very much respected) Secretary of State - the other from a sabre-rattling neocon wonk who'd likely love to see (our gravely overstretched) American might utilized to quell the Iranian crisis.
..the irony that Iran is a greater threat than Iraq but after the political deception and military stalemate there is no appetite for aggro this time? [Gen Powell:] “Even if there hadn’t been Iraq I do not believe there would have been an immediate leap from anyone for military action. I’m fascinated everyone here wants to talk about military options: just slow down. Iran is some years off a nuclear weapon. One of the papers said ‘if they had the material they could (make bombs in a couple of months’; well, they don’t. If I had the material, so could I.”
"...military options — particularly those aimed at destroying as many of Iran's nuclear facilities as possible — must remain on the table.
"To say under no circumstances would we exercise a military option," McCain noted, "that would be crazy." He added: "There is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option — that is a nuclear-armed Iran."
I'm with Powell on this one. Sen McCain has had incredibly unimaginative and impractical ideas for Iraq - and I can't imagine a scenario where I'd trust him on Iran.
Bottom line, the Bush admin knows it's better for them to stay out of diplomatic negotiations with Iran, and they're hoping that they will be able to exercise stringent options by Great Britain acting as our defacto State representative. (see Geoffrey Adams - a new name on the Brtits' horizon on Iran. Mr. Adams was the consul-general for the UK in Jerusalem who led the negotiations with Arafat that helped to end the Bethlehem seige in 2002.)
Going back to EJ Dionne's WaPo column, I believe that we are at this weakened point in the international community because of our post-9/11 strategy - and Democrats will drive that point home if they're smart. You can support our nation and be critical in the face of the recognition that we have lost something very crucial to our nation's security when we lost the international community's trust in our integrity as leaders. I always hope we will work our way back to being the strong AND respected nation we have always been - until Iraq. I honestly believe it will take an entirely new U.S. Executive administration (and a distinct turn away from the influence of the neocon set) to convince the world community that we are honest brokers of diplomacy.
Colonel Jerry, USMC (a retired Marine fighter pilot) gives real-life options on Iran at Chicago Boyz, responding to a post by Michael Hiteshew and a lively discussion following.
Iran is mountainous, full of hardened underground sites. Surgical anything is out. Conventional would be bad/really bad. Nuclear would be really really bad. Doing nothing would also be really really bad.
Take your pick...................
War or nothing - isn't that a false choice? Didn't we see those extremely limited options placed before us as we plunged headlong into Iraq without a winning strategy? Is this a serious problem? Of course. Does it mean believing that war is the only option? Dear God, no. Lets open up the discussion and lay every option out on the table instead of employing fear to move us closer to any unnecessary violence. I'm not a total pacifist - my family has a rich history of military fighters. But a soldier who's been there knows that you only go there when it's a last resort.
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm."
- President Bush said in a Sept. 1 interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."
It's Official: Bush Admin Had Advance Warning on Katrina
Adding insult to injury, the Washington Post reveals that the White House Got Early Warning on Katrina. President Bush, in a televised interview three days after Katrina hit, suggested that the scale of the flooding in New Orleans was unexpected. We know now that this is so very far from the truth that it is hard not to feel slapped in the face by this misleading President.
The White House declined to comment yesterday on the specifics of the reports but noted that the president has repeatedly acknowledged his displeasure with preparations for Katrina.
Mr. Dionne shows how Karl Rove takes his Joe Lieberman "I'm Tough" doll and holds it up as a weapon against any Democrat who disagrees with Bush's failure to reduce the threat of terror. In reality, with each civilian killed in Iraq, we've likely created five more terrorists to take their place. Hello? These people are froth-at-the-mouth failures.
Don't be shy, Democrats. We can do much better with National Security. Let's communicate that to Americans.
On a lighter note, blogger Anonymoses wants to talk with us about Post-Post 9/11: