This summary of George W. Bush’s Republican Jewish Coalition remarks captures the former president’s incoherence and incompetence on foreign policy:
Former President George W. Bush said the United States must show that it can follow through on its promises [bold mine-DL], and argued against the lifting of sanctions against Iran [bold mine-DL] during rare remarks about foreign policy in a meeting with hundreds of Jewish donors here Saturday night.
So Bush believes that the U.S. needs to keep its promises, but he is also quite sure that it should violate the promises it has made in the last two years by reneging on promised sanctions relief. Like a typical hawk, Bush wants the U.S. to follow through on its pledges only when those involve threatening and killing people. Honoring promises made as part of a negotiated settlement doesn’t interest him. As Bush sees it, those promises should be cast aside. In the absence of that sanctions relief, Iran has no incentive to keep its end of the bargain. If Obama followed Bush’s preferred course of action, it would unsurprisingly result in the failure of the negotiations and then the collapse of international support for pressuring Iran.
Bush also had the gall to refer to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq a “strategic blunder.” Bush was responsible for committing the greatest strategic blunder of the last generation by ordering the original invasion. That alone should discredit anything he has to say. The idea that someone as short-sighted and reckless as Bush could fault anyone else for failing to consider long-term consequences would be funny if it weren’t so appalling. In contrast to his vice president, Bush has mostly avoided commenting on contemporary issues, and that has been both appropriate and wise. As long as Bush refrained from making comments, he couldn’t remind us of just how disastrous and costly U.S. foreign policy was throughout his presidency and how horrible his judgment on these matters was. Bush’s RJC remarks remind us of both.