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Patrick Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
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Is Bush Becoming Irrelevant?

Comment

After losing both houses of Congress in the 1994 election, Bill Clinton expostulated: The president of the United States is not irrelevant!

On learning his trusted aide from Texas Scott McClellan has denounced as an "unnecessary war" the same Iraq war McClellan defended from the White House podium, George Bush must feel as Clinton did.

The synchronized savagery of the attacks on McClellan as turncoat suggests he drew blood. For what he has done is offer confirmation to the president's war critics, from within the White House inner circle, that Bush's motive in going to war was not a clear and present danger of attack by Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, but to advance a Bush crusade to impose democracy on the Middle East.

Neoconservative ideology, not U.S. national interests, McClellan is saying, motivated Bush to launch one of the longest and most divisive wars in U.S. history.

When loyalists defect and seek to profit from that defection, it is usually a sign of a failing presidency. And, indeed, events suggest that history is passing Bush by.

Despite the administration's designation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, and of Syria and Iran as state sponsors of terror with whom we do not negotiate, America's clients are ignoring America.

Israel has ignored Bush's demand that it stop building and expanding settlements on a West Bank that is to be the heartland of a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been secretly negotiating with Syria for the return of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace.

When America refused to play honest broker between Jerusalem and Damascus, Turkey, at Israel's request, stepped into the role.

The pro-American Lebanese government of Prime Minister Siniora has negotiated a truce and power-sharing arrangement with Hezbollah, giving that militant Shiite movement and party veto power in the Beirut government. Egypt is negotiating with Hamas for a truce in the Israeli-Gaza war and to effect the exchange of a captured Israeli solider held by Hamas for Hamas fighters held in Israel.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, designated a terrorist organization by the Senate, helped to arrange the ceasefire between government forces and the Mahdi Army in Basra and Sadr City. While the United States has used the roughest of language to denounce Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president has been received as an honored guest by the Iraqi government we support and by the Ayatollah Sistani, who has yet to meet a high-ranking American.

When Bush went to the Middle East to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel as the Zionist he has become, he was criticized by a Palestinian leader who survives on U.S.

aid. When he went to Riyadh to plead for an increase in the flow of oil, he got a token concession from the king.

In Pakistan, the new government has been negotiating a truce with the radicalized frontier provinces, which would leave the Taliban with a privileged sanctuary from which to prepare their annual offensives to overthrow the government in Kabul and expel the Americans, as their fathers expelled the Russians.

As Russia and China move closer together to oppose U.S. missile defenses and the U.S. presence, military and economic, in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Latin America seems to be going its own leftward way. The halcyon days of the Alliance for Progress are long gone.

The world seems to be waiting for Bush to depart and for the next American president. For the foreign policy differences between John McCain and Barack Obama are as real and stark as they have been since the Reagan-Carter election of 1980, or the Nixon-McGovern election of 1972.

Looking back on the years since 9-11, it is hard to give the Bush foreign policy passing grades. We pushed NATO eastward and alienated Russia. We have 140,000 Army and Marine Corps troops tied down in Iraq in a war now in its sixth year, from which our NATO allies have all extricated themselves. We have another war going in Afghanistan, where the situation is as grave as it has been since we went in.

The Bush democracy crusade was put on the shelf after producing election triumphs for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And the Bush Doctrine of preventive war, after Iraq, appears to be headed there, as well.

America remains the first economic and military power on earth. But after seven years of Bush, we no longer inspire the awe or hopes we once did. We are no longer the world hegemonic power of the neocons' depiction. And the reason is that Bush embraced their utopian ideology of democratic empire and listened to their siren's call to be the Churchill of his age.

Of Bush, it may be said he was a far better politician and candidate than his father, but as a statesman and world leader, he could not carry the old man's loafers.

To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
You are a remarkable man, intelligent and author of a really great book. How sad only now do you see/say what so many of us saw. Interesting that in these end days you now speak what "we" have been saying about this presidency from day one. The bible states we should support our leaders, I suppose that is why "our leaders" haven't been impeached. This civilization too, shall pass.
Comment: #1
Posted by: liz
Fri May 30, 2008 6:22 AM
Sir;
George Bush has his residence at the corner of lame duck and lame brain for the duration, and there is only one reason Americans put up with it: They have no choice. Once enough people have put an idiot in the White house there is no recall. Congress will not impeach him no matter how much he deserves it because no one of them wants to rock the political boat. So they put their hands in their pockets, and say America can endure more fruitless stupid wars better than the government can stand a shake up. They screw up in D.C., and we are the victims, so why should they deliberate? Better than anyone on the planet our government illustrates the difference between the government we have, and the democracy we say we have. No democracy would ever fight a war so far from home with so much at risk and so little to gain. Democracies are friendly to others because they are defensive. They make good neighbors because they cannot afford bad neighbors. When they do fight it is because the fight cannot be avoided, threatens every home and every freedom. The war Bush made this country fight was never debated. If it had been debated, it would never have been fought by a democracy because the essential part of any war effort was missing; and that quality is consensus. In this country the government has very often, and too often done as it pleased over the heads of the people. Such behavior is more common for a monarchy on the ropes. You know, and everybody knows, that for a war to succeed, the government should be dragged kicking and screaming into war by all the people. Wars are not half way affairs. Wars are not predictable. No one should start a fight because they can start a fight because no one should start a fight, but only fight when they must. 911 was a moral victory for the U.S. Why would anyone in their right mind throw away a perfectly good victory to buy a miserable, costly, interminable failure like Iraq? Why would any people tolerate such behavior if they were not deprived of choice?
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri May 30, 2008 8:34 AM
Pat, this is not about Liz I tried to send you an email from your web site but was unable to navigate it. I recently read your book about our downward spiral in the world and as a disenchanted republican could not agree with you more. I have followed you for a long time particularly on chris matthews, and when you tell the public you got rid of that gas guzzelin g navigator I will believe your sincerity, maybe you have been in washington too long.
Bob
Comment: #3
Posted by: robert tindall
Sat May 31, 2008 10:38 AM
I shall assume you get paid by the word? There's noting like stating the obvious and saying nothing of consequence, save "This too shall pass."
Mr. Bush numbers have for long now, spoken for themselves and while I have come to respect for your comments in recent days, like me I guess you're going your best to get into Jesuit Heaven. Not to worry. I'll probably get there ahead of you: I'll probably be the one who died laughing at your ability to say so little with so many teious words.
Aloha Nui Loa (Much Love)
Aloha Ke Akua (God Bless)
Mahalo Nui Loa; (Thanks alot)
Comment: #4
Posted by: Micheal J Breitha
Sun Jun 1, 2008 4:27 PM
It renews my spirit to find someone speaking the truth!! Thank you, Pat.
Comment: #5
Posted by: KENTAKE
Sat Jun 7, 2008 9:18 PM
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