Saturday, April 29, 2006

Going soft on old Persia

Bill Kristol doesn't sense too much enthusiasm for the Bush Doctrine inside the halls of the US government these days. He writes that government officials say privately that their talk of a diplomatic solution to prevent a nuclear Iran does not mean the administration is shying away from a military option. Kristol isn't buying it. He goes on to contend that this stand has left Bush weakened:

...And it's true the Europeans don't fear the Bush administration any more. Nor, unfortunately, do others. One might also note that, despite all the goodwill built up by our outreach to the capitals of Europe, President Bush seems much weaker today than he was in the bad old days of unilateralism and bellicosity, and so does the United States. But the State Department is popular, and at least we don't look like Neanderthals in the drawing rooms of Europe and Georgetown.

Bush has lost much of his boldness. His refusal to actively take on critics has left him in a weaker position. The US military is more than capable enough of doing the job in Iran, but there is good reason at the moment to question the resolve of the nation's political leadership. I guess they're too busy doing something about rising gas prices.

4 Comments:

Blogger Roch101 said...

Has Bush refused to take on his critics? I think he has tried but been incapable.

As for the American military being more than capable of doing "the job" in Iran, I guess that depends on what you define as the job. If it involves a few hundred thousand troops, I think that may be unlikely without a draft or withdrawal from Iraq.

4/29/2006  
Anonymous bubba said...

".....but there is good reason at the moment to question the resolve of the nation's political leadership. I guess they're too busy doing something about rising gas prices."

No doubt about that, from BOTH sides of the political fence.

Rove has not been very effective these last two years, and it shows.

4/29/2006  
Blogger Glenn said...

Roch
I'm not sure of Bush's capabilities to answer critics. The approach has been to go on a speaking tour. He does a good job, but drops the topic after the last speech.It seems the best approach would be to address critics all along. He has an above the fray mentality that does not always serve a wartime leader well.

On military options in Iran, I think we have flexibility. However, you're right about the troop level question. That part of military transformation has not been settled.

4/30/2006  
Blogger Glenn said...

Bubba
Good observation about Rove. You can't doubt his genius at getting the base to the polls, but I think much of his advice to Bush seems focused on pulling Bush to the center which often saps the enthusiasm of his base.

4/30/2006  

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