Sunday, July 09, 2006

Time: grasping at straws

The author or authors of this article either totally don't understand the Bush administration, or badly needed material for a cover article. You decide. What follows is a long quote and then my destruction of their argument.

"In the span of four years, the administration has been forced to rethink the doctrine by which it hoped to remake the world. Bush's response to the North Korean missile test was revealing: Under the old Bush Doctrine, defiance by a dictator like Kim Jong Il would have merited threats of punitive U.S. action. Instead, the administration has mainly been talking up multilateralism and downplaying Pyongyang's provocation.
The Bush Doctrine foundered in the principal place the U.S. tried to apply it."

This implies that behind closed doors, Team Bush is sitting down and having a heart to heart. Rummy leans over to Cheney and says, "Gosh, Dick, that whole unilateral War on Terror thing just didn't pan out. We're going to have to take a different approach."

I don't think so.

This "new" approach to North Korea doesn't represent a policy shift. The war in Iraq was a unique event precipitated by another unique event (9/11), and a long history (a father's invasion.) Whether or not Team Bush is taking a different approach to North Korea than the Middle East is irrelevant to it being a policy shift. Had North Korea gone forward with its missile tests before, during or after 9/11, there would never have been an invasion like the one into Iraq. (Had they shot Japan or Alaska in the face with a missile, sure, there might have been action taken. But firing a missile that failed two minutes after launch into the ocean is a different matter.)

In sum: there's no rethinking; there aren't any heart to hearts; there's no policy shift. The War on Terror was the War on Terror, and North Korea is North Korea.


At 11:19 AM, Blogger Barnabas18 said...

I agree... and let me add something. The Bush Doctrine was to preemptively act to prevent attacks on the United States. We went to Iraq before Iraq could hit us (or Israel, or any of our other allies I guess) with WMD's. That's the Bush doctrine (whether you agree or not, or whether it was implemented effectively isn't hte question). North Korea, already possessing WMD's, does not fit into the Bush doctrine, and that's why we're using old foreign policy doctrines on them (isolating them from the rest of the world, economically and diplomatically). Whether or not you agree with these measures, they clearly are not Bush doctrines.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger RedHurt said...

Yeah, it's a bad article. They're trying to sell their product acting like they've got this great insight into the administration, and it's really a bunch of gas. Sort of like Hillary Clinton campaigning in Colorado for her "senatoral" election. As if we care, and as if that's a common thing, like Rick Santorum is going to encourage Coloradans to help him get elected in PA. Come on!

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous dadman said...

I also agree. And it's funny how even though the piece says Bush is in "a world of hurt," it still tries to find ways to give the administration credit--for "rethinking."

I love the big hat with tiny legs, though.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Jackscolon said...

I watched the security council interview after NK launched the missile, and John Bolton used it to pump up support for Bush for getting America out of the missile defence treaty.

I totally agreed.

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous cranky old liberal said...

Saying the administration is "rethinking" anything is like saying someone whose car has crashed into a brick wall is rethinking speeding.

Reality smacking you upside the head is not a thought process, per se.


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