Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Foreign Policy Reflections

Jump to Viking Pundit and read his discussion on the latest from the Economist. Here is a quote he provides from the article:
Many people – including many Americans – look despairingly on the global disorder and conclude that this is the world Bush built. They say that he inherited an international system that was working well, but in a show of arrogance after September 11th went on to destroy it by pursuing a pointless vendetta against Iraq’s dictator. It is a view that has the virtue of simplicity. But blaming too much on Mr. Bush has a logical flaw. Well before the Iraq war, indeed before he was even elected, Sudan was at war, Palestine was in flames, and North Korea and Iran were flouting their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

What might be truer is that Mr. Bush believed that America stood a better chance of solving some of these neglected problems by acting on its own than by letting itself be tied down by allies who cared only for a quiet life. If so, he should by now have learnt that this approach can be expensive, even if it has merits. The countries that opposed the Iraq war, led by France, were too weak to stop America. But they have shown that they have the power to damage its foreign policy simply by means of denunciation and abstention. The worry is that by continuing to denounce and abstain even after a chastened Mr. Bush has complied with their wishes in Iraq, they will achieve the opposite of what they desire, by reinforcing the belief of many Americans that apart from a loyal few, such as the plucky Brits, most European allies are worthless.

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