March 07, 2006

The bull in the china shop

Good God! Like the proverbial bull in the china shop, our President (I still choke on the absurdity of that statement) seems to only spread catastrophe wherever he goes. According to an editorial in today's New York Times:
There is a lot of good a president can do on a visit to another country: negotiate treaties that enhance American security, shore up a shaky alliance, generate good will in important parts of the world. Unfortunately, President Bush didn't do any of those good things on his just-completed visit to Pakistan and India and may have done some real harm.

The spectacularly misconceived trip may have inflicted serious damage to American goals in two vital areas, namely, mobilizing international diplomacy against the spread of nuclear weapons and encouraging Pakistan to take more effective action against the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters operating from its territory.
Given the times in which we live, with the stakes as terribly high as they are for the U.S. and the world, and with access to information and policy experts so readily available to those actually interested in looking and listening, Bush's consistent stumbling goes beyond "inept," takes a right turn at "willful ignorance," and goes all the way to "imperial madness." He is now dismissing international treaties and regulations with the same arbitrary subjectivity and hypocrisy he's displayed toward domestic law and Constitutional protections. The Times continues:
The nuclear deal that Mr. Bush concluded with India threatens to blast a bomb-size loophole through the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It would have been bad enough on its own, and disastrously ill timed, because it undercuts some of the most powerful arguments Washington can make to try to galvanize international opposition to Iran's nuclear adventurism.

But the most immediate damage was done on Mr. Bush's next stop, Pakistan. Washington is trying to persuade Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani military dictator, to defy nationalist and Islamic objections and move more aggressively against Pakistani-based terrorists. This is no small issue because both Osama bin Laden and the Taliban's leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, are now believed to operate from Pakistani soil.

But sticking Mr. Musharraf with the unwelcome task of explaining to Pakistanis why his friend and ally, Mr. Bush, had granted favorable nuclear terms to Pakistan's archrival, India, while withholding them from Pakistan left him less likely to do Washington any special, and politically unpopular, favors on the terrorism front.
It's jaw-droppingly unbelievable to consider the gravity of the globally threatening events Bush and Company have set, and continue to set, in motion. And it begs the question: If the President and his followers have brought us to this point in the three years since our "noble assault" against "the proliferation of WMDs," imagine how much more they can accomplish with three more years at the reins?

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