Wednesday, October 22, 2008

F is For Failure- The Tragic Comedy of the Bush Doctrine

Although Sarah Palin may not know what the Bush Doctrine is, the rest of us who have watched the growth of American Empire are well aware. While the current junta in the White House didn't originate this era of American exceptionalism, they have taken the US down a road of unchecked militarism that has threatened to cause even further global instability. Wrapped up in ideologies long voiced in such groups as the Project for a New American Century, the neoconservative underpinnings of the Bush Doctrine's notion of pre-emption have been as doomed as the costly adventure in Iraq.

Tom Engelhardt over at TomDispatch has written an illuminating piece called "F is for Failure," describing the follies of the Bush Doctrine--a strategic policy that has not only been ruinous, but that has ironically brought about precisely what it claimed it was attempting to prevent.

A brief bit of the article and a link are provided below.

You can also listen to it discussed by Tom here.

F Is for Failure: The Bush Doctrine in Ruins

Oct. 21, 2008

by Tom Engelhardt

On the brief occasions when the President now appears in the Rose Garden to "comfort" or "reassure" a shock-and-awed nation, you can almost hear those legions of ducks quacking lamely in the background. Once upon a time, George W. Bush, along with his top officials and advisors, hoped to preside over a global Pax Americana and a domestic Pax Republicana -- a legacy for the generations. More recently, their highest hope seems to have been to slip out of town in January before the you-know-what hits the fan. No such luck.

Of course, what they feared most was that the you-know-what would hit in Iraq, and so put their efforts into sweeping that disaster out of sight. Once again, however, as in September 2001 and August 2005, they were caught predictably flatfooted by a domestic disaster. In this case, they were ambushed by an insurgent stock market heading into chaos, killer squads of credit default swaps, and a hurricane of financial collapse.

At the moment, only 7% of Americans believe the country is "going in the right direction," Bush's job-approval ratings have dropped into the low 20s with no bottom in sight, and North Dakota is "in play" in the presidential election. Think of that as the equivalent of a report card on Bush's economic policies. In other words, the Yale legacy student with the C average has been branded for life with a resounding domestic "F" for failure. (His singular domestic triumph may prove to be paving the way for the first African American president.)

But there's another report card that's not in. Despite a media focus on Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the record of his Global War on Terror (and the Bush Doctrine that once went with it) has yet to be fully assessed. This is surprising, since administration actions in waging that war in what neoconservatives used to call "the arc of instability" -- a swath of territory running from North Africa to the Chinese border -- add up to a record of failure unprecedented in American history.

Read rest of article here.

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