Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bush Foreign Policy Under Seige

For six years, the Bush administration has remained committed to playing hardball with the communist government of North Korea, one of the nations in the President’s axis of evil. However, after announcing the main points of the accord reached Tuesday between the United States and North Korea regarding the latter’s nuclear program, conservatives inside and outside of the administration have been quick to label the deal a huge mistake.

“It is rewarding bad behavior of the North Koreans by promising fuel oil,” said John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “It’s a bad signal to North Korea and it’s a bad signal to Iran. It will say to countries like Iran and other would-be proliferators, if you just have enough patience, if you just have enough persistence, you’ll wear the United States down. They’ll give up on point after point after point.”

To say that the criticism leveled by Bolton and other conservatives regarding the deal with North Korea is a troubling sign for President Bush would be an understatement, but it is further evidence that there is growing angst within the GOP towards the President’s overall foreign policy efforts. The White House is certain to suffer a public rebuke Friday when the House of Representatives passes a resolution opposing the military surge in Iraq, and there will be close to thirty Republicans voting in favor of the resolution. The growing rift with Iran is also making many in the GOP uneasy as observers see an administration starting to make a case for war, similar to the one made prior to the invasion of Iraq.

“There are weapons (IED’S) in Iraq that are harming U.S. troops because of the (Iranian) Quds force,” Bush said at his press conference yesterday. “And as you know, I hope, that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. Whether Ahmadinejad ordered the Quds force to do this, I don't think we know. But we do know that they're there, and I intend to do something about it. And I've asked our commanders to do something about it. And we're going to protect our troops.”

Yet, on Tuesday, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, was not as confident that the upper levels of Iranian leadership were behind the influx of weapons. “That does not translate that the Iranian government per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this,” Pace said.

Since his State of the Union address in 2002 when he first used the term “axis of evil,” Bush has remained aggressive in his rhetoric towards Iran, Iraq and North Korea and their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and support of global terrorism. Now, unfortunately, Bush finds himself bogged down militarily in Iraq, giving North Korea the same deal he criticized the Clinton administration of proffering in 1994, and publicly flailing in his attempt to find the right course of action against Iran.

After defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bush’s foreign policy and military decisions have been bungled. Adding insult to injury, the Taliban is preparing for a huge spring offensive and many military observers are predicting that the troop levels currently in Afghanistan may be insufficient in preventing the Taliban from regaining the military upper hand in many areas thought to be secure. The idea of opening up a third theatre of military operations in Iran, even if only the United States were to bomb strategic targets, would be folly.

“Presidents have to weigh different options all the time,” Bush said yesterday. “Look, I fully understand there are some who are -- don't agree with every decision I make. I hope the American people understand I make those decisions because I believe it's going to yield the peace that we all want.”

It becomes more evident every day that this President’s decision to invade Iraq will not yield peace. It’s now up to Congress to make sure that decision isn’t compounded while also making certain that Iran doesn’t become another Bush blunder. It’s time to get “Little King George” out of the sandbox that is the Middle East.


Blogger Al S. E. said...

President Ahmadinejad's views are summarized on this website:

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