For the sake of America's young men and women in the armed forces, let us hope that military plans for the war in Iraq are more competent than the Bush administration's diplomatic strategy. The strategy, if you can call it that, is a bust.
The Bush administration, characterized by extreme arrogance, has discovered � to its great shock � that the rest of the world isn't as easy to bully as it thought. Last week, it was scrambling to bribe enough countries for a face-saving vote at the United Nations Security Council.
The very idea that American diplomacy must depend on bribery and threats is itself a confession of failure and a confession of moral bankruptcy. If a country deserves aid, then it deserves aid whether it agrees or disagrees with the United States on one particular policy matter. The idea that if a country dares to disagree with the United States it is then an "enemy" is infantile. There is no obligation on the part of any sovereign country in the world to agree with the United States on any matter.
The adult definition of an alliance, formal or informal, is that when two countries' self-interests coincide, they work together; when their self-interests diverge, they go their own way. To demand obedience, as the Bush administration is doing, is indicative of a totalitarian mind-set.
So let's review the Bush administration's accomplishments:
1. It has alienated valuable allies. To believe that France and Germany, the continent's two great powers, would meekly accept insults from the likes of Donald Rumsfeld and other Bushies indicates a case of terminal hubris.
2. It has left its favorite lap dog, British Prime Minster Tony Blair, out on a limb, which the French are only too delighted to saw off. The next candidate to be a lap dog should pick a lap that belongs to somebody with more intelligence and experience than George Bush.
3. It has destroyed its own credibility. It lied about the aluminum tubes; it presented documents that have been proven to be crude forgeries to support its claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium; it presented British "intelligence" that turned out to be the plagiarism of a college student's thesis based on 10-year-old information; it continues to assert, without one speck of proof, that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons; it continues to claim that Iraq is not cooperating, when not one instance exists in which Iraq has interfered with the inspectors going anywhere they wish to go; and it continues to claim that war is not "inevitable," when everyone knows that Bush made the decision to go to war last fall, no matter what Iraq does or says or possesses or doesn't possess.
4. It completely underestimated world opinion, which has spawned an unprecedented, worldwide anti-war movement. Apparently, the president was under the delusion that if he merely spoke, the rest of the world would drop to its knees and say "Yas suh, boss man."
5. It consistently misled the American people by first claiming it was interested only in disarmament, then regime change, and finally the truth � that war with Iraq is part of a larger scheme hatched by American Likudniks (supporters of Israel's right-wing government) to remake the Middle East into a democratic region. The irony of this stupidity is that it is only the Arab dictators who support the United States; if true democracy came to the Arab countries, there is no doubt that the people would elect governments extremely hostile to the United States and Israel. You'd have to be so retarded you couldn't button your own shirt to devise a policy more stupid than this one.
If the laws governing individual retirement accounts allowed it, I'd buy gold and bullets and bury them in the back yard. I fear this president has screwed America's future beyond repair. It's no wonder a recent poll showed than any Democrat will beat Bush in 2004. Trouble is, the damage will be done by