In today's LA Times, Madeleine Albright wrote an op-ed column with the best evisceration of Bush's foreign policy I have ever seen. Anywhere.
It is sometimes convenient, for purposes of rhetorical effect, for national leaders to talk of a globe neatly divided into good and bad. It is quite another, however, to base the policies of the world's most powerful nation upon that fiction. The administration's penchant for painting its perceived adversaries with the same sweeping brush has led to a series of unintended consequences.
In essence, Madeleine Albright destroys Bush's entire presumption of an Axis of Evil.
The administration is now divided between those who understand this complexity and those who do not.
And the wrong people are winning.
On one side, there are ideologues, such as the vice president, who apparently see Iraq as a useful precedent for Iran. Meanwhile, officials on the front lines in Iraq know they cannot succeed in assembling a workable government in that country without the tacit blessing of Iran; hence, last week's long-overdue announcement of plans for a U.S.-Iranian dialogue on Iraq -- a dialogue that if properly executed might also lead to progress on other issues.
She makes clear in no uncertain terms that all of our anti-Iranian rhetoric not only destroys our chances of creating real regime change in Iraq, but also destroys our hope of "winning" (whatever that would mean) in Iraq.
Second, the Bush administration should disavow any plan for regime change in Iran -- not because the regime should not be changed but because U.S. endorsement of that goal only makes it less likely. In today's warped political environment, nothing strengthens a radical government more than Washington's overt antagonism.
Once again--Mr. Bush, the world hates your United States so much that it will essentially do the opposite of whatever you say.
Third, the administration must stop playing solitaire while Middle East and Persian Gulf leaders play poker.
The best line of the entire piece. This simple-minded, stupid, PNAC influenced administration has conducted a foreign policy right in line with the IQ of its chief executive. What's worse is that they aren't even competent solitaire players--they seem to be playing solitaire with a deck of 51, while its opponents play Texas hold 'em.
Her last statement is actually extraordinary, in highlighting some forces I had not considered before:
Bush's "march of freedom" is not the big story in the Muslim world, where Shiite Muslims suddenly have more power than they have had in 1,000 years; it is not the big story in Lebanon, where Iran is filling the vacuum left by Syria; it is not the story among Palestinians, who voted -- in Western eyes -- freely, and wrongly; it is not even the big story in Iraq, where the top three factions in the recent elections were all supported by decidedly undemocratic militias.
SO MUCH GOOD STUFF IN HERE. Read the whole thing. Email it to your friends.
Because the time has finally come to call Bush's ENTIRE FOREIGN POLICY WORLDVIEW into question. And to eliminate the "Islamofascist Axis of Evil" myth into oblivion once and for all.