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Friday, August 22, 2003

Go WaPo!
"WaPo" being blogger shorthand for "The Washington Post." WaPo has a nice long article today about how "national security" may not be a selling point for Bush in 2004, and he may have to fall back on campaigning on huge deficits, high unemployment, and environmental destruction.

Both Republican and Democratic strategists have begun adjusting their plans for what they once viewed as unthinkable: that Bush's handling of national security in general, and the war in Iraq in particular, could become a vulnerability rather than an asset in his reelection race.

Even the Democrat with probably the pinkest of tutus (BartCop calls wimpy Dems "pink tutu Democrats") is starting to get it:

In one of the new Democratic charges, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), ranking minority member on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the images from Iraq are making it ever plainer to the public that Bush's plan for a more peaceful world "has clearly not occurred." On the contrary, he said, "the world is more apprehensive about our leadership."

Of course, the only thing to fear is fear itself--the thing that gave Bush the high approval ratings in the first place. Some Republicans recognize this:

"We should not try to convince people that things are getting better," said former Reagan official Kenneth Adelman, who is close to several Bush officials. "Rather, we should convince people that ours is the age of terrorism."

The Prince of Darkness chimes in:

Foreign policy expert Richard N. Perle, who has close ties to the administration, recommended that Bush caution Americans about the lengthy commitment. "It may be a very long time before we've so substantially eliminated the source of terror that we can pronounce that we are safe," he said.

Unfortunately, the Post nearly undoes the whole article with this whopper:

Of course, a failed foreign policy would undo Bush as surely as it did President Jimmy Carter during the Iranian hostage crisis, one adviser said. But Bush is a long way from that -- and his allies still believe that Democrats challenge his foreign policy performance at their peril.

Bush is a long way PAST Carter in the failed foreign policy department. Without looking it up, I think the Iranian hostage crisis cost about ten American lives: one or two killed when the embassy was taken over and eight soldiers who died in the botched rescue effort. Other than that, all of the hostages eventually returned home safely. (They might have returned sooner if not for some alleged intervention by the Reagan-Bush Sr. campaign to keep the hostages in Iran until after the election.) Carter also brought peace between Israel and Egypt. Double-digit inflation and interest rates combined with his own excessive obsession with the hostages were what brought Carter down.

W, on the other hand, has started two wars which have killed over 300 Americans and thousands of others. He has backed out of numerous important treaties, and has made the US despised and distrusted throughout the world. THAT's what a "failed foreign policy" really looks like.