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Saturday, August 13, 2005 

Bush administration backing down on war on terror

Despite what may seem contrary, the Bush administration is retreating on the war on terror abroad, as Caroline Glick points out in the Jerusalem Post:
"The final bit of irony is that while in the wake of the London bombings the West is finally beginning to take the threat of suicide terrorism in its towns seriously, this newfound sobriety at home is occurring at the same time that the Bush administration is striking out on a policy of curtailing its war on terror abroad. This policy of curtailing US offensive actions against terrorism internationally is evident both in its handling of Iraq's rapid deterioration into a Shi'ite-ruled Islamist state along the lines of Iran and even more dangerously in the US's feckless handling of the rising Iranian nuclear threat."
And let's not forget even their apparent ignorance of Iraq's would-be constitution, which says that Jews cannot live in the country, which the AP Wire predictably doesn't mention. That too is one of the biggest defeats in the aftermath of the invasion.

That the president would just simply warn Iran to stop their nuclear program is not enough. Iran, let us be clear here, is a dictatorial nation which has made efforts to cleverly mask that fact over the years, and still if anything teaches bigotry in their indoctrination system. And of course, they also harbor and support terrorism against foreign countries, one more reason why, like Iraq, they too are a country to be disapproved of.

Update: Sarah Baxter of the UK Times also gives a good report on how Dubya's losing it:
Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative and former Pentagon adviser, said that Bush was too reluctant to criticise Islamic fundamentalism. The president often refers to terrorists but rarely to the religious ideology inspiring them.

"I was very impressed by what Blair said straight out and I wish Bush would do the same," said Perle. "We have been unduly sensitive to the idea that criticising Muslim extremism is politically incorrect."

(snip)

Indeed, many neoconservatives who back Bush are not convinced about the rest of his administration. In the current issue of The Weekly Standard, a neoconservative magazine, Bill Kristol, the editor, states pointedly: “The president seems determined to complete the job. Is his defence secretary?” One right-wing expert on the Middle East accused Rumsfeld of behaving like “the crazy aunt you couldn’t shut up”. “The problem is not the president or at least not his views,” the expert said. “It’s his mismanagement of the cabinet.”

For Andrew McCarthy, a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank, Bush has simply “lost his way”. “After Bush won the election on national security grounds, he went six months without talking about Iraq while his opponents were kicking us for what we were doing out there,” he said.

Bush was also at fault for offering conflicting signals about the war on terror, in particular by negotiating with insurgents in Iraq and soft-pedalling on relations with Syria, McCarthy said. “The best thing about the Bush doctrine was its moral clarity. You can’t say, ‘You’re either with the terrorists or with us’ and then go out and say, ‘Let’s have a powwow with the insurgents’.”

Critics say the nature of the terrorist threat in America is equally unfocused, with the New York police bogged down randomly searching the bags of mothers with children and old ladies on the subway.
Polls now do seem to show that Mr. Dubya is dropping in ratings due to his inability to take any meat-and-potatoes positions, and that's understandable.

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