A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Brent Budowsky
Lets get this straight: Bill Clinton had a policy towards Korea that worked for eight years that included a strong military, and included diplomacy, and resulted in North Korea holding back from nuclear tests that have taken place on George W. Bush's watch.
Lets get this straight, America's position has deteriorated towards every nation that George W. Bush targeted in his axis of evil. Iraq has turned into chaos and instability and the big winners of Bush's Iraq policy were the terrorists and Iranians. Iran has gone from a very bad government to a much worse government and has strengthened its strategic position in the Middle East under George Bush. And North Korea has exploited weaknesses caused by the failed Bush policies, and done nuclear testing on Bush's watch that were never done on Clinton's watch.
Of course, the derailed Straight Talk Express, which has gone from condemnation of religious intolerance to bear hugs with the Rev. Falwell, which has gone from condemnation of torture to legalized loopholes that will result in more torture, now tries to re-write history, for the same tawdry partisan reasons, about Korea.
Truth may be in short supply in Republican Washington, but the truth is, the policies of President Clinton kept Korea's nuclear tests from happening while the policies of President Bush opened the door, invited them in, and and the tests occurred and the dangers rose because of the multiple failures of the Bush policies.
Bill Clinton was right, Jim Baker is right, and George Bush is wrong. We don't only negotiate with our friends, we negotiate with our enemies. We don't misuse our troops to invade countries in pre-emptive wars, we use military strength in support of diplomacy to prevent wars, and to prevent nuclear tests, when we can.
Clinton prevented Korean nuclear testing.
Bush invited it.
It is amazing that a President in office for six years blames his predecessor, who had a policy that worked, for his own failures.
It is amazing that Republican leaders in the Congress are reduced to looking back to 1983, in a pathetic effort to blame others for their failures and coverups when they should have been protecting young pages, from their senior members and leader of the caucus supposed to protect children.
It is amazing that a Republican Party that once claimed to be a party of family values, has so disrespected family values. Amazing that a party that once claimed to be a party of personal responsibility, now shamefully avoids personal responsibility. Amazing that a party that once claimed to be a party of fiscal responsibility, now shamefully makes excuses for huge and immoral deficits and national debt.
Now it's Korea.
After six years of the Bush policies:
Korea is in a stronger position and has done the nuclear test that Clinton prevented.
Iran has an even worse government and a far stronger strategic position.
Iraq has degenerated into chaos handing an advantage to terrorists and Iranians.
Our military force structures are destabilized around the world creating enormous dangers such as the advantage taken by Korea.
Our military equipment is so overused and broken down that it will cost enormous money, and take significant time, prolonging dangers, to dig out of the hole created during the Bush years.
Public support for American policy is at an all time low throughout the world under the Bush policies.
World-wide credibility for American prestige is at an all time low throughout the world under the Bush policies.
The entire American intelligence service now believes the Bush Iraq policy creates more terrorists, while the Bush Administration tries to cover up the new intelligence estimate for Iraq, until after the election, while the Senate Intelligence Committee tries to cover up the final part of their report, until after the election, that will prove major misstatements about Iraq WMD from senior Administration officials.
In the Congress, when it comes to protecting pages from abuse, Congressman Reynolds takes campaign money from Congressman Foley, then thinks he told Speaker Hastert, who cant remember for sure, but holds a press conference in front of a cemetery, positioning himself to blame his staff, while Congressman Boehner claims he told the Speaker, who cant remember that either, so Mr. Boehner stands behind him too.....
Regarding Iraq, while former Secretary of State Baker prepares an alternative policy, and says we should negotiate with enemies as well as friends. Senator Warner moves for a new policy. But the President Bush refuses to change the policy even if the First Lady and his dog are the only ones who agree with him, while he refuses to negotiate with anyone, and plans to change the policy once he decides whether it is better to change before the election, or to attack Democrats for proposing change, then make the change after the vote.
Now with Korea, the very policies that have created this weaknesses, and led to this result, are blamed on his predecessor, who avoided this result.
To repeat the point I have made here before: There has been a long time strategic doctrine that has been fundamentally accepted by every American President from Franklin Roosevelt to the end of the 21st Century. It was accepted by Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan and all the others including Clinton.
All of these Presidents prior to Bush respected commanders, believed in diplomacy, competed in the battle of ideas, employed enlightened self-interest through economic initiatives on the international stage, respected security alliances, and supported international action and agreements including nuclear proliferation.
George Bush believed they were all wrong.
In truth they were all right.
We have seen the deadly and destabilizing result of the Bush Doctrine, which I would prefer to call the Bush Deviation, from the common sense and common wisdom of a long line of Presidents in both parties.
President Bush once said, you are for him, or against him. And right now virtually the entire world, the entire NATO Alliance, the entire community of democratic nations, the united opinion of our intelligence services, he overwhelming majority of commanders, a strong majority of his own Administration, his former Secretary of State, his former White House Chief of Staff, leading Republican Senators and his own father the former President strongly hope and pray for major policy changes.
In one corner is the President, Vice-President, Secretary of Defense and a handful of neocon theorists.
In the other corner, is virtually everyone else, everywhere in the world.
It is time to take responsibility.
It is time for accountability.
It is time for major change, before more damage is done.