Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - October 2, 2005 - Who Killed the Bush Doctrine?
Posted on 10/02/2005 2:31:48 PM PDT by freedom44
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On January 20, 2005, George W. Bush outlined the goal of his second term. "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," he said. "All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."
Less than a year later, the Bush doctrine is dead, the victim not of outside circumstances, but rather lack of will and ineptness. While Bush may be sincere, across the Middle East, his administration's willingness to sacrifice those seeking freedom has become legendary.
Take Libya: On March 12, 2004, Bush declared, "We stand with courageous reformers ... Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi el-Jahmi. He's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy. It's an encouraging step toward reform in Libya. You probably have heard, Libya is beginning to change her attitude about a lot of things.
Actually, Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi had not changed. Two weeks later, Libyan security rearrested Jahmi. Across the Middle East, analysts saw Qadhafi's actions as a challenge to Bush. The President responded not by tying rapprochement to El-Jahmi's freedom, but with impotence. As El-Jahmi rots in prison, denied medical care for his diabetes, the U.S. Treasury Department grants waivers to allow billions of dollars of U.S. investment in Libya. According to the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will endorse Qadhafi's reign with a November visit to Tripoli.
The liberation of Iraq demonstrated that after years of effete diplomacy, the White House meant what it said. Bush reversed that victory.
It should be no surprise that Qadhafi has since gone on a rampage. In May 2005, he imprisoned dissident writer Abdul Razzaq al-Mansouri. In June 2005, regime elements tortured to death dissident journalist Daif al-Ghazal. Hundreds of political prisoners remain in Libyan jails.
The Bush administration also fumbled Lebanon. On March 8, 2005, Bush spoke at the National Defense University. "Today I have a message for the people of Lebanon," he said. "Lebanon's future will be in your hands. The American people are on your side." Perhaps many Americans were, but not the State Department.
When Condoleezza Rice visited Lebanon on July 22, she met not only with the new Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, but also with pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, the man whose quest for an extra-constitutional third term began the cascade that led to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and sparked the Cedar Revolution. Syrian television, Hezbollah's Al-Manar channel, and the Arabic-language satellite station Al-Jazeera all broadcast her handshake with the symbol of tyranny.
The Lebanese were not alone in their betrayal. Egyptians were aghast when, on September 11, new U.S. Ambassador Frank Ricciardone appeared on Egyptian television and declared, "Let me just reiterate the congratulations of the United States of America to Egypt for this great accomplishment. As you know, President Bush has telephoned President Mubarak ... to congratulate him and Egypt on the accomplishments of this past election."
Four days earlier, Mubarak had declared victory in elections marred by harassment of opponents, fraud, and the state's refusal to allow international monitors access. The Egyptian people, in protest, boycotted the polls. Voter turnout was only 20 percent. Rather than support the Egyptian people, the President's representative fawned on a dictator. Sometimes, silence can be the best response.
Embrace of autocracy has become the rule rather than the exception in U.S. foreign policy. At the request of the Palestinian Authority, the State Department banned Issam Abu Issa, a Palestinian anti-corruption activist slated to testify in the House of Representatives.
Bush declared during his 2005 State of the Union Address, "To the Iranian people, I say tonight, as you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." But Rice appointed an ExxonMobil advisor who advised against aiding dissidents to cover the State Department's Iran policy planning portfolio.
Against the backdrop of Bush's indifference, Turkish democracy has taken a step backward. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has both ignored rulings of the Turkish Supreme Court and retaliated against plaintiffs. After Turkish businessman Mustafa Suzer won five lawsuits against the Turkish government for its illegal seizure of Kent Bank, Erdogan not only refused to abide by the court verdict, but he also ordered a travel ban on Suzer and, without any court order, sent bulldozers to demolish a restaurant on his property.
Emboldened by Washington's silence and frustrated at the constraints of an independent judiciary, the Turkish leader has used his parliamentary majority to lower the retirement age of judges so that he can replace nearly half of Turkey's 9,000 judges before the next election.
As they do with Bush, the chattering classes of Europe, Israel, and the American elite once criticized Reagan for his talk of the "Evil Empire" and his willingness to endanger detente for the sake of a few dissidents. Reagan was right, though, and more than two hundred million Soviets had a chance at freedom because of it.
Bush might have been equally successful. Images of Iraqis, Afghans, and Lebanese voting are more powerful than any terrorist car bomb or Al-Qaida video. Armchair experts may say Iraq's liberation emboldened terrorists. But the pages of Arabic newspapers like Al-Sharq al-Awsat and Al-Hayat now carry an unprecedented debate about democracy, which experts said could not happen. Liberals may be a minority in the Arab world, but they have begun to find their voice.
Rice may echo the President, but by embracing dictators, she has undercut the spirit of his message. Dissidents should not be treated as ornaments, to be displayed when convenient but kept at arm's length. They are the foundation of freedom. While Bush might once have been remembered for bringing freedom to 30 million Afghans and 25 million Iraqis, his legacy is fast becoming one of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
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Referring to the president as merely inept is to pay him a compliment.
Guess the concept of Operational Overreach was discovered after you retired hmmm?
Counter Terrorism ops are much different then total war. There is an old saying something like "the Generals always plan to refight the last war". That is why so many old military people are trying to apply a conventional military solution to an unconventional operation. Counter Insurgency is a strange bastard style of war. It is not total war but it is also more then the Leftist" Police matter". Guess a lot of you don't know the US waged a successful Counter Insurgency in El Salvador during the 1980s and early 1990s huh? It's called the El Salvador option and it works. The other thing most old neo-Isolationists forget is the political aspect. Iraq was doable. We had the political consensus to do it. So since we needed a kill zone we could suck the terrorists into and we needed to get the American people to support the cost, there was no other choice BUT Iraq. Want to real blow the Leftists minds? Tell them this. Even if Al Gore won in 2000 and 9-11 happened, the USA would STILL be doing the same thing now in Iraq.
Why? Because Iraq was doable militarily and politically. There was no other strategic choice for the USA but Iraq. Once Afghanistan was liberated there was NO where else the USA could go but Iraq. For all those who try to say "oh we should of gone into Pakistan/Saudi Arabia/North Korea/Iran etc etc etc people, there was NO grounds, nor political consensus, to attack any of those countries. Even if there HAD been a way to attack them, the USA could not leave an Iraq we were "containing" unfought on our flank. The minute we had committed militarily someplace else, Saddam would of made trouble. The most immediate threat was Saddam so he had to be dealt with one way or another.
Here in a nutshell, is the military reason for Iraq. The War on Terrorism is different sort of war. In the war on Terrorism, we have a hidden foe, spread out across a geographically diverse area, with covert sources of supply. Since we cannot go everywhere they hide out, in fact often cannot even locate them until the engage us, we need to draw them out of hiding into a kill zone. Iraq is that kill zone. That is the true brilliance of the Iraq strategy. We draw the terrorists out of their world wide hiding places onto a battlefield they have to fight on for political reasons (The "Holy" soil of the Arabian peninsula) where they have to pit their weakest ability (Conventional Military combat power)against our greatest strength (ability to call down unbelievable amounts of firepower) where they will primarily have to fight other forces (the Iraqi Security forces) in a battlefield that is hostile to guerrilla warfare. (Iraqi-mostly open terrain as opposed to guerrilla friendly areas like the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of SE Asia). There are other reasons to do Iraq but that is the MILITARY reason we are in Iraq. We have taken, an maintain, the initiative from the Terrorists. They are playing OUR game on ground of OUR choosing. For the classic Military minded, we are on Sze Tse's Death Ground.
Problem is Counter Insurgency is SLOW and painful. Often a case of 3 steps forward, two steps back. I often worry that the American people have neither the patients, nor the intellect" to understand. It's so much easier to spew made for TV slogans like "No Blood for Oil" or "We support the Troops, bring them home" then to actually THINK. Problem is the Terrorists have NO desire to coexist with us. They see all this PC posturing by the Hysteric Left as a sign that we are weak. Since they want us dead, weakness encourages them. They think their "god" will bless them for killing Westerners. So we can covert to Islam, die or kill them. Iraq is about killing enough of them to make the rest realize we are serious.
See in the Arab world the USA is considered a big wimp. We have runaway so many times. Lebanon, the Kurds, the Iraqis in 1991, the Iranians, Somalia, Clinton all thru the 1990s etc etc etc. The Jihadists think we will run again. In fact they are counting on it. That way they can run around screaming "We beat the American just like the Russians, come join us in Jihad" and recruit the next round of "holy warriors". Iraq is also a show place where the USA refreshed in the World Nations minds the object lesson that there are lines they cannot cross. On 9-11 the "Muhajadeen" crossed that line and we can, and will, destroy them for it
Good one, and I agree.
The final battle for the war on terrorism is being fought in the news rooms in this country. They control the information, and therefore they influence the perceptions of the public. In military terms, victory is a foregone conclusion if only the American people are willing to stay the course. It is that "stay the course" sentimentality that is necessary to ensure victory, and the more broadly and loudly that is proclaimed and embraced the swifter the victory will come in places like Iraq.
Much of the terrorist violence is premised on the idea that they can win the battle to make Americans believe that we're losing, and thus have us defeat ourselves.
The President needs to sit down and have that all important conversation with the American people, but even more importantly, the Iraqi people need to proclaim loudly that they want what we have offered. Freedom.
And then we'll have to see how the press reports either event.
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I've seen this "Daddy,Are We There Yet?" crowd before.
They weren't helpful then and they aren't helpful now.
The American people, as a general whole, don't know who we are fighting in Iraq. If Bush would identify the enemy (Iran and Syria, principally, in this small region) for once, there wouldn't be any more idiotic calls for an exit strategy. No, wait, there is an exit strategy. It's called ensuring regime change in Iran and Syria, and then withdrawaling most of the troops. How long are we going to try playing defense and offense at the same time?!
It also didn't help with Bush lying about WMD's in Iraq - by saying that they weren't there. ALthough that was said only weeks before the election, so I'll sort of grant that...
But Bush is far less committed to democratizing the world than he is given credit for. Take the example of spending. We're are engaged in a long-term war (albeit a new type of war, but a war nevertheless), yet he spends domestically like a socialist liberal. It looks like liberal Democrats is the party for limited government!
But the best example is the most dangerous and foreboding one - China.
The destruction of the U.S. is the stated goal of the Chinese government (and acknowledged by the U.S., too), yet China has long been a great enemy of the U.S., only getting greater every day. So what do we have from MFN China? China floods the U.S. with its products, with Bush's blessing. Ignorant Americans buy up these products, thinking they are a great bargin. Of course they are! You are keeping laborers condemned to near-slavery. The conditions they work under would be far beyond illegal in America. More like human rights abuses and torture. But since they are "over there," I guess we shouldn't care? And a lot of this money is being funnelled into China's expanding military power. In 2005, China is still an emerging power. By 2020, we may be on a collision course. We could bring about regime change very easily, without a shot being fired. True, it would cripple the U.S. economy at the same time, but that's what you get for decades of flawed decisions. You got us in this mess. Are you going to do something about it, or just let it get worse and worse, and just hope it goes away?
One last thing. If Bush followed his own doctrine, and only in the Middle East, Gaza today would not be infested with terrorists.
Some of those photos look Khayshar's. (sp)
I have been trying to make sense of certain foreign policy shifts of late. I agree with MNJohnnie's assessment and am very aware of what the commies (some say democrats) are doing to derail President Bush. In my heart I believe he will come through for our Iranian friends. He still has 3.3 years and he is an ambitious guy!
If I may suggest. A book I've been pushing.
Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground. Robert D. Kaplan
Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground (Must Read Book)
Fresh Fiction ^
Posted on 09/21/2005 11:09:56 AM CDT by Valin
Imperial Grunts Robert Kaplan
Imperial Grunts is vintage Robert Kaplan, combining a deep appreciation of history and wonderfully vivid writing with an infectious wanderlust.
Military on the Ground Random House September 2005 448 pages ISBN: 1400061326 Hardcover $27.95
In this landmark book, Robert D. Kaplan, veteran correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and author of Balkan Ghosts, shows how American imperialism and the Global War on Terrorism are implemented on the ground, mission by mission, in the most exotic landscapes around the world.
Given unprecedented access, Kaplan takes us from the jungles of the southern Philippines to the glacial dust bowls of Mongolia, from the forts of Afghanistan to the forests of South Americanot to mention Iraqto show us Army Special Forces, Marines, and other uniformed Americans carrying out the many facets of U.S. foreign policy: negotiating with tribal factions, storming terrorist redoubts, performing humanitarian missions and training foreign soldiers.
In Imperial Grunts, Kaplan provides an unforgettable insiders account not only of our current involvement in world affairs, but also of where America, including the culture of its officers and enlisted men, is headed. This is the rare book that has the potential to change the way readers view the men and women of the military, war, and the global reach of American imperialism today.
As Kaplan writes, the only way to understand Americas military is on foot, or in a Humvee, with the troops themselves, for even as elites in New York and Washington debated imperialism in grand, historical terms, individual marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailorsall the cultural repositories of Americas unique experience with freedom were interpreting policy on their own, on the ground, in dozens upon dozens of countries every week, oblivious to such faraway discussions. . . . It was their stories I wanted to tell: from the ground up, at the point of contact.
Never before has Americas overarching military strategy been parsed so incisively and evocatively. Kaplan introduces us to lone American servicemen whose presence in obscure countries is largely unknown, and concludes with a heart-stopping portrait of marines in the first battle in Fallujah. Extraordinary in its scope, beautifully written, Imperial Grunts, the first of two volumes, combines first- rate reporting with the sensitivity and insights of an acclaimed writer steeped in history, literature, and philosophy, to deliver a masterly account of Americas global role in the twenty-first century.
Imperial Grunts paints a vivid picture of how defense policy is implemented at the grassroots level.
Kaplan travels throughout the world where U.S. forces are located. This is not just a book about Iraq or Afghanistan.
Rather than debate imperialism, Kaplan relies on a keen understanding of history, philosophy, and in-the-field reporting to show how it actually works on the ground.
Imperial Grunts escapes Washington and shows us what its like to live with the grunts day to day.
If the cavalry hasn't shown up yet it is probably because the wagon train is still sitting on it's butt waiting for someone to come to the rescue.
It.s the "stand up for" part that you should be thinking about first and foremost.
Whatever comes to pass in Lebanon will be due to the actions of Lebanese...no matter who steps in to help them once the Lebanese 'stood up' for liberty.
Funny thing about that (liberty), it does not work work a darn if someone tries to hand it to you.
It's very sad and frustrating to see the steep decline of the Bush administration from its high point just after the election, when President Bush announced that he was going to spend some of his political capital.
Since then, this once-great administration is so adrift that it can be compared to the Jimnmy Carter administration. The only difference is that President Bush thus far has not blamed American malaise on the citizenry.
Wake up, President Bush. Many of your once-proud loyal voters are increasingly disgusted and disappointed in your failure to adhere to the Bush Doctrine.