Thursday, September 11, 2003

Neo-Cons Have Hijacked US Foreign Policy: "America's lonely quagmire in Iraq was entirely gratuitous. But it's still a well-kept secret that the vast foreign policy mainstream -- Republican and Democratic ex-public officials, former ambassadors, military and intelligence people, academic experts -- consider Bush's whole approach a disaster... A determined band of neo-conservatives far outside the foreign policy mainstream persuaded the president that invading Iraq would demonstrate American power to tens of millions shocked and awed Arabs. Instead, it has demonstrated the limits of American power (but limitless arrogance), and stimulated a new round of fundamentalism, nationalism, and terrorism."

"US Representative David Obey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, recently sent the president a letter which is worth quoting. "First," Obey wrote, in eloquent understatement, "I recommend that you allow the secretary and deputy secretary of defense to return to the private sector. Second, I recommend that the responsibilities for developing and implementing foreign policy that have traditionally resided in the Department of State be fully restored to that department."

"Obey goes on to recommend that the military be restored to its proper role of military planning and that government-wide coordination of intelligence be resumed. All of this is by way of pointing out that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, with little knowledge of the region, arrogated to themselves diplomatic, intelligence, and operational functions, and made a mess of them all. Now Bush is trying to reverse course without admitting it. Nothing would make that prudent reversal clearer than firing this duo, who have ill served their president and country. As the Foreign Affairs issue makes clear, there's a large, competent, and mainstream body of foreign policy experts ready to step in. Then, the American people can decide whether to fire Bush."

No comments: