Thursday, July 13, 2006

That Pesky Reality Thing

The Empire strikes out. McClatchy (fka Knight-Ridder) (07.12.06):
"Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush's foreign policy has been driven by blunt talk, a willingness to threaten or use military force, and a belief that American power can reorder the world. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality,' a White House aide famously told journalist-author Ron Suskind in 2002. Reality has bitten back." Bush has little leverage to deal with abundant global crises
And bitten back hard. "'North Korea is firing missiles. Iran is going nuclear. Somalia is controlled by radical Islamists. Iraq isn't getting better, and Afghanistan is getting worse,' said William Kristol [last week], editor of the Weekly Standard and a leading conservative commentator." The home team is somewhat nonplussed by the turn of events. In Chicago last Friday, George had this to say: "'You know, the problem with diplomacy, it takes a while to get something done. If you're acting alone, you can move quickly.' Underscoring the idea again, he said, 'It's painful in a way for some to watch because it takes a while to get people on the same page.'" Do you get the sense he's having trouble understanding that not everyone sees things his way? And there's growing consternation in the ranks. "Bush's gradual ditching of tough talk and moral clarity in his foreign policy has left his conservative supporters angry and frustrated." And rather confused. "'I don't know what's happened. ... Is it Iraq? Is it the mid-term elections? Is it weariness? Is it (the influence of Secretary of State Condoleezza) Rice?' said Danielle Pletka, a vice president of the conservative American Enterprise Institute." Or is it just that the Administration is a bit clueless about it all? But no matter, our plucky lads are "'going to keep on keeping on," said [a senior State Department official], speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid retribution. 'It's not the hand they were dealt. To some extent, it's the hand they dealt themselves.'" Yep. Good old reality. Quite a pain in the ass sometimes, eh?


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