Monday, December 22, 2003

Do they really not get it?

Lawrence F. Kaplan at the WSJ Opinion Journal - Liberal Warfare: The Democratic foreign-policy establishment has nothing to offer but clichés
Their most recent effort, on display Monday in a much-touted Dean foreign-policy speech, is an attempt to transform the candidate from an angry leftist with bad ideas into an angry centrist with no ideas. Mr. Dean's foreign-policy tutor, Ivo Daalder of Brookings, reports that President Bush has set in motion a "revolution" by relying on "the unilateral exercise of American power rather than on international law and institutions," the premise being that America consistently has done otherwise in recent history. Likewise, former Clinton secretary of state Warren Christopher scores the Bush team for slighting the U.N. and presuming that the U.S. does not require "consensus to work its will in the world." There speaks the man who, unable to secure such a consensus for action in Bosnia, dismissed the slaughter there as "a humanitarian crisis a long way from home, in the middle of another continent."

Along with his own experience, what Mr. Christopher seems to have forgotten is that in sidestepping the U.N. on the eve of military action, the Bush team did exactly what its predecessor--and its predecessor and its predecessor--did repeatedly before it. Yet the robotic admonitions to heed the will of the "international community" persist as if nothing has been learned and nothing remembered, even from the past few months. Asked recently what America should do "if international forces don't show up" in Iraq, presidential aspirant John Edwards replied, "Well, I don't accept that premise."
It's hard to tell if they don't have a clue or are just lying crapsacks. Actually, it's probably both.