The Neoconservatives behind Bush's foreign policy had it all planned out. Take over Iraq and throw out an evil dictator, find his weapons of mass destruction and the rest of the world would fall in line. Iran and North Korea would fear the power of the United States and obey, the Palestinians would get serious and talk to Israel and Pax Americana would begin-peace through strength.
Only it did not happen that way. As Time.com
columnist Tony Karon notes, the wonderful world that they envisioned
has not appeared and that is causing problems for Bush. Since September
11th, Bush has made the fight against terror his main thurst. But as
Karon states, he has done a poor job of protecting us from another
9/11-style attack. While we did drive the Taliban from power, the
weakness of the new government and the lack of attention from the US has
allowed the Taliban to regroup. We also see that Iraq is now the new
focus of the terrorists, exactly what Bush promised would end once we
All this goes to show how much the whole
Republicans-are-strong-on-terror is become another exaggeration.
Republicans have been strong on defense. However, this current
administration wants to fight and protect our nation on the cheap. We
don't have the troops necessary to maintain security in Iraq. We have
allowed Afghanistan to slide into an abyss again. We have angered long
standing allies and favor newer allies who are too weak to question us.
We have so favored Israel in the current row with the Palestinians, we
have lost the air of fairness in the any steps toward peace.
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were not soft on their enemies either.
However, they were willing to work within interantional frameworks to
get what they wanted. Bush's foreign policy talks tough, but in the
end, it is all show and a poor show at that.