Just As I Thought

At least he now knows the names of world leaders

I’m slightly sort of happy that others are beginning to come around to reality, that they are starting to realize what a failure George Bush and his “doctrine” are. (“Doctrine” — sounds almost religious, doesn’t it?) My main question now is, what took them all so long? I, among many other, realized that his policies were bad from the outset. Today’s Washington Post has a long article analyzing the failures of the “Bush Doctrine” and how it has led to the weakening of neo-conservative influence. Finally.

When the war began 15 months ago, the president’s Iraq policy rested on four broad principles: The United States should act preemptively to prevent strikes on U.S. targets. Washington should be willing to act unilaterally, alone or with a select coalition, when the United Nations or allies balk. Iraq was the next cornerstone in the global war on terrorism. And Baghdad’s transformation into a new democracy would spark regionwide change.

But these central planks of Bush doctrine have been tainted by spiraling violence, limited reconstruction, failure to find weapons of mass destruction or prove Iraq’s ties to al Qaeda, and mounting Arab disillusionment with U.S. leadership.

“Of the four principles, three have failed, and the fourth — democracy promotion — is hanging by a sliver,” said Geoffrey Kemp, a National Security Council staff member in the Reagan administration and now director of regional strategic programs at the Nixon Center.

… Some analysts, including Republicans, suggest that another casualty of Iraq is the neoconservative approach that inspired a zealous agenda to tackle security threats in the Middle East and transform the region politically.

“Neoconservatism has been replaced by neorealism, even within the Bush White House,” Kemp said. “The best evidence is the administration’s extraordinary recent reliance on [U.N. Secretary General] Kofi Annan and [U.N. envoy] Lakhdar Brahimi. The neoconservatives are clearly much less credible than they were a year ago.”

The administration would not make a senior official or spokesman available for quotation by name to support its policy. But top administration officials insist the Iraq experience has not invalidated Bush doctrine, and they contend its basic principles will endure beyond the Bush presidency.

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