Monday, April 07, 2003

This article suggests, by negative implication, that we should crown Donald Rumsfeld "Emperor for Life."

Conversations last week with a dozen of Mr. [George H. W.] Bush's friends and close advisers turned up nothing to dispel the view of him as an internationalist worried about the influence of the go-it-alone hawks in his son's administration. He is most concerned, they said, about the need to jump-start the Middle East peace process after the conflict and about how the United States and the United Nations will sort out their conflicting roles in administering a postwar Iraq.
With due respect to a man who served his country nobly and ably for decades: You were a one-termer, and something of a squish. You are one of three Presidents in the 20th Century to lose your re-election bid, joining those two other greats, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter. I happen to think you were better than either; but before we go acclaiming your foreign policy insight, and follow your suggestions, let's review the fruit of your decisions:

End Gulf War I Before Driving Saddam Hussein Out of Power: Twelve years of crushing sanctions; Gulf War II.

Force the Israelis to the Peace Table: Give Yassir Arafat a national redoubt, equipped and financed by the E.U. and the U.S., from which to slaughter Israeli civillians; make the Israelis more intractable than ever; give Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, Jihad, and too many other groups to count breathing room to slaughter the innocent.

Invade Panama: No real effect. Failure to re-take Panama Canal that Carter gave away. Failure to get more Latin American players for MLB teams.

Try to Hold Soviet Union Together While It Was Tearing Itself Apart: Increase the cost and recovery time of rebound from decades of communism; help legitimize a regime that slaughtered and terrorized hundreds of millions; help Boris Yeltsin seem like a heroic genius.

I'm leaving to the side "inertia" policy, i.e., doing what others had done before, like treating Mobutu Sese Seko as anything other than the tinpot loony he was, and sending a rep to the United Nations. I don't blame you for those, or at least, I don't blame you for those more than I blame your predecessors.

Sorry, kid. A batting average like that would send you out of the minors, for the love of Pete. It is -- and, blessedly/sadly, was -- enough to keep you out of a second term in the majors. (Of course, the call-up in your place was even worse...)

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