As it stands now republicans are being paired with the President’s nation building strategy, along with his cookie-cutter agenda of spreading American style democracy around the world. As his policies come under scrutiny, so will an underlying split in the GOP. If blind loyalty is not a problem for GOP lawmakers, then they must at least have the political will to refine Bush’s Foreign policy to a sensible strategy for rebuilding and maintaining our prestige on the world stage. Currently, the GOP is tied to a president who can only react defensively to terrorist actions, with little thought given to strategic action.
James Fallows Points out in his Sept 06 Atlantic Monthly article: “ Declaring Victory” by quoting Sir Richard Dearlove, former director of the British Intelligence Agency Explaining Bin Laden’s strategy of using America’s bulk against itself “There is one thing above all that Bin Ladin can feel relieved about, Its’ that we [the US] have never stopped to reassess our situation, we have been so busy reacting that we have not yet said “We’ve made some mistakes, we’ve done some serious damage to ourselves, so lets think about our position and strategies. Fallows states that many military strategists in Iraq are of the opinion that “The terrorists greatest strength lies in what they can provoke the United States to do. He continues by saying that “we can never control what these groups do, but we can control how we respond to what they do. That we have this power, should come as good news, because it switches the strategic advantage to our side.”
Any strategic advantage of this nature, however, has been and will be squandered as long as we allow the Bush administration to run it’s adolescent, tough-guy, private foreign policy around the world. In an early 2004 interview with a Saudi exile, Fallows quotes him as saying “The American mentality is a cowboy mentality- if you confront them…they will react in an extreme manner. In other words, America, with all its’ resources and establishments will shrink into cowboy when irritated successfully. They will then elevate you, and this will satisfy the muslin longing for a leader who can successfully challenge the west.
This pared with a president who, in the midst of the current international crises in Lebanon, can only say that “ we are still in a war with terrorists”, renders a national crises which has little to do with who gets elected or whether we “win” a war. During this crises, we had leaders around the world working together trying to avoid a possibly protracted war, then we had President Bush assuring his base that he will “stay the course”
This statement, in my mind made Bush seem like an isolated character too preoccupied with his own ego problems to even begin to deal with international crises. As a consequence, we have the international community working to avoid a war (however impermanent the current cease fire may be), and then we have George Bush playing cowboy. His inflammatory musings only proves that George Bush as a leader in world affairs is not a major player, but rather a major embarrassment.
Democrats may see this precarious position that Bush has led his party to as an opportunity to win some races this fall, but as long as they have no unifying strategies of their own, they are in a similar identity crises as the Republicans, only with a different set of flaws.