December 21, 2003


The 'Bush Doctrine' Experiences Shining Moments (Dana Milbank, December 21, 2003, Washington Post)

It has been a week of sweet vindication for those who promulgated what they call the Bush Doctrine. [...]

To foreign policy hard-liners inside and outside the administration, the gestures by Libya, Iran and Syria, and the softening by France and Germany, all have the same cause: a show of American might.

Those who developed the Bush Doctrine -- a policy of taking preemptive, unprovoked action against emerging threats -- predicted that an impressive U.S. victory in Iraq would intimidate allies and foes alike, making them yield to U.S. interests in other areas. Though that notion floundered with the occupation in Iraq, the capture of Hussein may have served as the decisive blow needed to make others respect U.S. wishes, they say.

"It's always been at the heart of the Bush Doctrine that a more robust policy would permit us to elicit greater cooperation from adversaries than we'd had in the past when we acquiesced," said Richard Perle, an influential adviser to the administration. "With the capture of Saddam, the sense that momentum may be with us is very important."

Which makes the following from Senator Kerry unintelligible, Kerry rips Bush policy (Rick Klein, 12/21/2003, Boston Globe):
While applauding Libya's announcement, the Massachusetts senator said in a statement that it "makes clear the shortcomings of George Bush's go-it-alone unilateralism." Kerry said the United Nations and NATO could be used to help end weapons programs in North Korea and Iran.

"An administration that scorns multilateralism and boasts about a rigid doctrine of military preemption has almost in spite of themselves demonstrated the enormous potential for advances in the war on terror through cooperation," Kerry said.


Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2003 11:44 AM

I never liked Kerry,but even I have pity for him these days.

Posted by: M. at December 21, 2003 11:58 AM

My husband thinks Kerry's a liar who knows what he's saying is false.

I'm not sure though. I think he may be that stupid.

Posted by: NKR at December 21, 2003 12:40 PM

I suggested to a left-leaning co-worker that based on what we've seen so far Kerry has the least substance of anyone in the Dem field, even Sharpton. She agreed. Kerry's brazen search for a resonating issue has pretty much disqualified him in her eyes. I suspect that most Democrats feel the same way about Kerry. As Gertrude Stein said, "There's no there, there." Hence the 4%-5% support numbers.

Posted by: Jeff at December 21, 2003 1:46 PM

Even I understand you've got to say something for a couple of weeks before it registers with the public. I get the sense that Kerry thinks he's disciplined if he says this afternoon what he said this morning.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 21, 2003 3:17 PM

I am not for Kerry and he did not express himself well, but he is right. Kadafi gave in, not because U.S. invaded Iraq and he is afraid he is next. He gave in because the UN economic embargo ruined his economy.

Kadafi started seeing the light when the Lockerbee incident isolated Libya. He agreed to make payments. Since then he has cooperated with the U.S. in the war on terrorism in order to gain our goodwill. Now he's getting rid of WMDs for the same reason.

The whole thing was initiated by Kadafi. We talked to him for a decade. This shows that we don't have to go to war to achieve valuable results.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at December 21, 2003 5:55 PM

Mr. Siegel:

That's great as long as you aren't one of the 500,000 children killed by sanctions in Iraq or one of the one million Iraqis he killed directly. And if, as an American, you think it's good policy to let the innocent suffer for the crimes of their dictators.

Posted by: oj at December 21, 2003 6:11 PM

We talked to him for a decade. This shows that we don't have to go to war to achieve valuable results.

Correct, and it also shows that going to war helps achieve valuable results. We talked to him for a decade. During that decade, he continued to develop a weapons program. Yet, he conceded more after the war. Even the New York Times saw as much.

Mr. Siegal apparently believes that negotiating from a position of strength is foolish. We don't have to go to war to achieve valuable results, but we have to be willing to go to war, and be seen to be willing by our enemies.

A threat must be plausible in order to work. Perhaps if we make an analogy to something that the Democrats actually find important then they will understand. Do they think that if a union pledged never to strike no matter what, saying that it was unacceptable, that the union would be able to negotiate as good a contract? Or is it merely that murderous dictators are much more trustworthy and friendly than mere capitalists?

Posted by: John Thacker at December 21, 2003 6:22 PM

Mr Siegel:

Lockerbee, smuchkerbee. I seem to recall many Qadafi watchers suggesting that the seminal event in his "awakekening to the smeel of coffee" was the bombing raid over Lybia, in which he was targeted, and which killed one of his daughters. (At the time (a) we did not talk to the terrorist and (b) we did not get French cooperation (did not give us flyover rights).

Posted by: MG at December 21, 2003 7:46 PM

Back to Kerry - he has really reduced his standing during this campaign. If he wasn't from such a safe Dem state as MA he would have to worry about being reelected.

Posted by: AWW at December 22, 2003 12:06 AM

The Belgravia Dispatch has some interesting things to about this article/issue.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 22, 2003 3:54 AM

So who else thinks Kerry has been replaced by an android look-alike?

Posted by: Chris at December 22, 2003 7:42 AM

At birth?

Posted by: David Cohen at December 22, 2003 10:39 AM

Hey Chris, what do you mean "replaced"? That assumes there was a human being to begin with.

Posted by: pchuck at December 22, 2003 11:38 AM

You guys don't understand - Kerry is running for President of France. He really thinks this way, and believes that it will get him there.

He may also have in the back of his mind UN Secy. General. I am sure Kofi could translate Kerry's sentence.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 22, 2003 8:50 PM