Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bush's Belated Change About "Change"

The man who set the theme for this year's election is off to the Middle East today on a quest to salvage something there, after conceding the US faces “economic challenges” at home, a euphemism for the threat of recession reflected in rising oil prices, the home mortgage crisis and a weakening job market.

After jawboning the Israelis and Palestinians to make nice, President Bush will be reunited with Tony Blair, who is there on a similar mission for the "Quartet"-- the US, UN, European Union and Russia--to reminisce about the glory days when they were going to topple Saddam Hussein and bring democracy to the region.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley still insists that the promotion of freedom as a "counterpoint" to terrorism remains "the essence" of the Bush strategy. "I don't think he's pulled back," Hadley says.

But most observers disagree. According to the Christian Science Monitor, "The trip will showcase a president shifting his focus from the big idea of a free and democratic Middle East to more traditional US foreign-policy goals: an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, the containment of a threatening state--in this case Iran--and the assurance of US energy security at a time of $100-a-barrel oil."

The belated dialing down of Neo-Con ambitions, if not the rhetoric, to remake an intractable part of the world is welcome and should inspire the next President to define change in more traditional American terms.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bush will “have to explain to a confused audience why the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) “…:”no way lessens the threat”
“(The Arab Gulf States) fear … a Shiite crescent”. Christian Science Monitor.

This explanation from the guy who attacked Iraq because of Saudian Arabian terrorists and who created the Shiite crescent as a result of that attack.
George needs to stay home and cut brush