BUSH II TAKES A FEW SHOTS AT THE BUSH I " STABILITARIAN-REALIST" CROWD EVEN AS HE PRAISES EUROPEMarc Shulman
of The American Future has posted President Bush's address at National Defense University in its entirety
. I encourage you to go read it for yourself. It was an important foreign policy speech
given at a venue Bush has previously used
to indicate significant changes in American policy. This speech was crafted to allow President Bush to send a variety of signals, including one sharp elbow to his father's closest associates:"The advance of hope in the Middle East also requires new thinking in the capitals of great democracies, including Washington, D.C.
By now it should be clear that decades of excusing and accommodating tyranny in the pursuit of stability have only led to injustice and instability and tragedy.
It should be clear that the advance of democracy leads to peace because governments that respect the rights of their people also respect the rights of their neighbors.
It should be clear that the best antidote to radicalism and terror is the tolerance and hope kindled in free societies.
And our duty is now clear: For the sake of our long-term security, all free nations must stand with the forces of democracy and justice that have begun to transform the Middle East. "[ Emphasis mine]
A more complete repudiation of the GOP-Realist school of foreign policy by a Republican White House would be hard to imagine, short of burning Henry Kissinger in effigy in the Rose Garden.
Bush and his top aides have grown increasingly exasperated with the public criticism emanating from Brent Scowcroft
and Lawrence Eagleburger
, formerly National Security Adviser and Secretary of State in the administration of Bush I. General Scowcroft in particular, must have struck a nerve with his comments prior to the Iraqi elections.
George W. Bush is not the type to forgive such things which is why Scowcroft is out as Chairman of the PFIAB and out of the loop these days.
Scowcroft's bias for not breaking the china was well-suited to the slow-motion collapse of the USSR where he and Bush senior and James Baker helped prevent a momentous event from becoming a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. On the Middle-East, Iraq and democracy, however, the Realist's prescriptions for living with the status quo have been flatly wrong - though the incompetence of the Bremer CPA/Occupation did go a long way to justifying their predictions of disaster. The Bush administration was very, very, fortunate, after having wasted a year with self-inflicted wounds, to make a fragile but promising recovery to the point of retaking the initiative. Statesmen seldom get second chances and George W. Bush did.
The key to that reversal of fortune was following through on their democratic message with deeds. Having learned that lesson, Bush would seem to be moving to institutionalize it to balance out the Bush Doctrine of preemption with a revived Wilsonianism in the expectation that Hope will play out better than Fear.