Sunday, January 29, 2006

Good Morning, Current Architects of American Foreign Policy

1: Bob Woodruff and his cameraman were victims of a makeshift bomb; as I write, they're in surgery. To do something active: Committee to Protect Journalists.

2: I was watching the McLaughlin Group this morning and I'm not sure if it's my slightly hungover state or the crew was just more passionate than usual, but the debate on the recent political ascendance of Hamas in the Palestinian terrorities was eyebrow-raising. I found myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan, who said something suggesting that the inherent problem in the Bush "democratization" foreign policy is that in a democracy, the people elect who the people want, and those victors may not necessarily be ones that would best fit American interests. You can't praise democratic elections and then announce you just won't deal with the victor of the elections. Well, I guess you can, but only if you want to miss the point.

The whole exchange reminded me of my rantings on this blog about two years ago, and I remembered I had said something about democratic elections not necessarily being what we need. It was in the context of Iraq:

"if we do withdraw and actually allow democratic elections, the iraqis will elect an ayatollah, which is clearly not exactly in line with our national security needs, unless said ayatollah is from some reformist line of political islam (doubtful, obviously,). the violence won't stop, either, and the accusations that will come from generations and generations of the world about neglecting the mess that we created will start.

if we stay, the violence will continue and we will give more credence to the radical islamists simply by staying there. we also won't be able to allow democratic elections in this case either, unless they're rigged. the world will still view us as complete morons for starting the whole thing with no clear way to get out. the word quagmire is more than appropriate."

Curious as to who is resolving this whole democratization is okay no matter what question. Some logic is required somewhere. There must be a memo, probably similiar to John Yoo's insane torture memos. (About halfway through the article you'll get some idea of what we're working with here.)

In general, though, I hate to say it, but it makes me think about an article I read many moons ago, I think from the New York Review of Books, on Bush's religious beliefs and how he believes God has chosen him to lead etc etc. Which is fine. Except that this entire foreign policy appears to be geared towards a legacy as opposed to protecting and advocating for the United States, which I'm pretty sure is what W's primary responsibility should be. I hope he starts talking to some different people on foreign policy soon, because this election of Hamas is a wake-up call if I've ever seen one.


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