The Bush democracy campaign brought stunning electoral gains for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq. Our ally Hamid Kharzai is today little more than mayor of Kabul, as the Taliban roam the southeast and coalition casualties reach the highest levels since liberation, five years ago.
North Korea and Iran remain defiant on their nuclear programs. Vladimir Putin is befriending every regime at odds with Bush, from Tehran to Damascus to Caracas. Neocon meddling in The Bear’s backyard has gotten us bit.
Unless we grade foreign policy on the nobility of the intent, which is how the liberals used to defend disasters like Yalta, it is not credible to call Bush’s foreign policy a success. The Lebanon debacle, once U.S. complicity is exposed, is unlikely to win anyone a Nobel.
Bush’s trade policy has left us with annual deficits of $800 billion with the world and $200 billion with Beijing. Once the greatest creditor nation in history, we are now the greatest debtor. U.S. manufacturing has been hollowed out with thousands of plants closed and 3 million industrial jobs vanishing since Bush took office.
As for Bush immigration policy, the nation is in virtual rebellion. Six million aliens have been caught at the Mexican border since he took office. One in 12 had a criminal record. In April-May, millions of Hispanics marched through U.S. cities demanding amnesty and all rights of citizenship for aliens who are breaking the law by even being here. Bush and the Senate are in paralysis, appeasing the lawbreakers by offering amnesties and by opposing House demands that the president seal the border before the invasion brings an end to the America we once knew.
pat buchanan (real clear politics)
it is troubling what has happened in afghanistan with karzai, but that is a result of not completely finishing what we started there, and not as a result of having elections. democracy doesn’t always produce the desired results. it doesn’t automatically make citizens more free simply because they can now cast a vote for the leaders of their choice. there are cultural and societal changes that have to take place before democracy and freedom work in concert with each other. look at the united states for an example. where does our freedom come from? it certainly doesn’t come from the ability to vote, or from our government. freedom is individual. it’s personal. the same theory applies to other countries as well.
worry about iran first. then we can deal with north korea. i wish the president would wake up to the fact that putin is not our friend, and that we need to pay closer attention to what he’s doing.
i’m not going to address buchanan’s comments about trade policy, because i don’t know enough to dispute him on that point. he is dead-on about immigration, and i hope president bush gets the message that we are trying to send. however, i share buchanan’s pessimism about this.
pat buchanan knows where all the problems are. what he doesn’t seem to have is a solution to deal with all of these problems.