“I don’t have a friend in the administration, on Capitol Hill or any part of the conservative foreign policy establishment who is not beside themselves with fury at the administration.” ~The Washington Post
Now, who do you suppose said this? As Dan McCarthy notes, the article title, “Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush’s Foreign Policy” would lead you to think that the quote above was from an antiwar or realist conservative grown sick at the sight of Mr. Bush’s dastardly running of foreign policy. But, no, this comes from none other than Danielle Pletka, AEI’s resident neocon Gauleiter, er, I mean vice president for foreign and defense policy studies. I’ve heard of some people who are just never satisfied, but these people take insatiability to an entirely new dimension! What has Mr. Bush done so horribly wrong, according to their standards? According to the Post:
Conservatives complain that the United States is hunkered down in Iraq without enough troops or a strategy to crush the insurgency. They see autocrats in Egypt and Russia cracking down on dissenters with scant comment from Washington, North Korea firing missiles without consequence, and Iran playing for time to develop nuclear weapons while the Bush administration engages in fruitless diplomacy with European allies. They believe that a perception that the administration is weak and without options is emboldening Syria and Iran and the Hezbollah radicals they help sponsor in Lebanon.
Most of the most scathing critiques of the administration from erstwhile supporters are being expressed within think tanks and in journals and op-ed pages followed by a foreign policy elite in Washington and New York.
I do know of a few conservatives who complain that we are “hunkered down in Iraq,” but sending more soldiers is not typically the solution I have heard. It is the solution for the Kristol-McCain-Ledeen gang and their chums, but one would hope that everyone would very soon stop confusing them with conservatives. Since that is apparently too much to ask, let us proceed. The “crackdown” on dissenters in Egypt and Russia can hardly be of much real concern to any of the neocons, except insofar as they would like to see internal dissent topple the current governments of those countries. No, the real “failures” have come from Mr. Bush recognising the limits of what the country is willing to tolerate and what he is actually willing to do in the cases of the North Korean and Iranian impasses. Having bought into the lunatic notions of hegemony and preemption, Mr. Bush led the neocons to believe that he would follow through on them, especially as it pertains to Iran. Happily, he (or someone in his administration) seems to be holding back as the full consequences of reckless interventionism are becoming clear. We can only hope that Mr. Bush continues to send Ms. Pletka and her ilk into spasms of fury for years to come.