The journey from there to here
Published on May 12, 2005 By Gideon MacLeish In Politics

OK, these are subjective opinions, but this is how I see Bush's foreign policy grades so far:

Afghanistan: B+ (that little snafu in Tora Bora kept this from being an "A"

Iraq: C (this one might go up, if democracy holds

North Korea: D

Saudi Arabia: A- (the handholding picture with Prince Abdullah was a nonissue and libs should be ashamed. Bush has handled this country reasonably well).

Syria: A

Israel: D (Sharon is as bad as Arafat

Russia: C

The EU: A+++ (The one area where Bush has been consistently correct; we do not govern our country to international opinion).

Overall, I put George W. Bush at about a B-. He certainly could do better, but he's done better than some.

Again, just my opinion.


Comments
on May 12, 2005

The EU: A+++ (The one area where Bush has been consistently correct; we do not govern our country to international opinion).

That gets a seconded from me!

But the Israel one should not be so low.  Whether Sharon is as bad as Arafat is irrelevant as we cannot dictate to the Israelis who they elect.  I would give him a C.

 

on May 12, 2005
A+ for the former Soviet Republics and the democracies started there

B+ for lowering the tensions between Pakistan and India
on May 12, 2005
You have to tell me which president has done worse than Bush and why. This grading thing is kind of a good idea. Let's see what I can come up with. Afghanistan. I have to obviously give him an 'F' and here's why. The opium production. Like them or not, the Taliban had succeeded in curtailing opium production to the tune of nearly 100%. And there was even obvious signs of that when you see how much less heroin was able to flood the international drug markets, driving the prices up. The reports I've seen show the opium crop this year is going to be a bumper crop, and a flood of heroin will soon, and actually already are, flooding Europe primarily Britain and North America primarily the United States. The 'F' really stems from the US's refusal to morally match the Taliban and stop production in the land they claim to control. Because we all know that the US is powerful and resourceful enough and has one of the best intelligence networks in the world to stop whatever it is they want to stop, should they truly decide and desire to stop it. That's just the drugs. There's also the plight of the women in Afghanistan. Contrary to media belief, they have not advanced themselves out of their oppression and women are abused as always just like it has always been. People seem to think if it's done in a brand new school the US built then it's okay to let it pass.
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=40&ItemID=4770
http://womensissues.about.com/b/a/2004_05_02.htm
http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/12/herat1217.htm
Then the other reality.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,140822,00.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,1284,1245236,00.html
The the ridiculous take on what democracy means in Afghanistan.
http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2004/602/602p14.htm
"“As a matter of fact, it doesn't bother me. If Afghans have two registration cards and if they would like to vote twice, well, welcome. This is an exercise in democracy. Let them exercise it twice.”"<----insane!!
Iraq. "F" of course. Why? Because he lied about the WMD reason. He lied about the Iraq drones ready to hit the eastern US coast all the way from Iraq. He told the British intelligence chief that the "facts were going to be fixed around" the imminent invasion of Iraq under the guise of illegal WMD programs. Fixed. Fixed. Fixed. What does that word mean to you? The jail torture ongoing reality. Murder of "unknowns walking the street", wounded anarmed men murdered ON VIDEO. Where does it end? US invaded Iraq to get rid of Hussein who kills and tortures Iraqis. So does the US now. In the same fricking jails too!
And what democracy? If the political situation were the same in the US would you really say it's a democracy? Army-controlled election counts? Candidates not being posted until voting day? That's democracy?
North Korea, "D". It realy deserves and "F" since Pyongyang has threatened the US with nuclear holocaust if the US tries any funny stuff. They have nukes. We know that because Rumsfeld's company sold them the 200million+ equipment to do so. Bush says it's a diplomatic issue, yet Iraq, with nothing, is a terminal threat. The North Korea factor is worth a thread I hope to create in the future to shed some light on certain events going on there. Gotta go for lunch will continue after.

on May 12, 2005
I would switch North Korea and Saudia Arabia.

The problems we have with NK were solidified under Clinton, and Bush has balanced the need to keep them contained with the need to urge change there. We won't get anywhere provoking them OR pacifying them.

We had every excuse after 9-11 to finally seriously screw with Saudi Arabia, and we didn't take the chance. Once we started pulling troops out, we could have taken a much harder line with them. They aren't much better than Hussein and it is hypocritical that we treat them as allies when they hate us.

I differ on Isreal as well. I can't equate Sharon's behavior with a man who called Nazi collaborators "heroes of the Palestinian people", and sent teenagers to blow themselves up at Israeli weddings.

I pretty much agree on everything else.
on May 12, 2005

The problems we have with NK were solidified under Clinton, and Bush has balanced the need to keep them contained with the need to urge change there. We won't get anywhere provoking them OR pacifying them.

While I think the ranking is kind of harsh, and agree with you on the source, the truth is Bush has not done anything with NK.  That is pretty much why I did not contest the rating.  Maybe a c-, but not much better.

on May 12, 2005
If buying them off isn't going to help, and provoking them to war isn't going to help... what would you suggest? Sometimes waiting for an opportunity to do something constructive is a reasonable course of action.
on May 12, 2005

If buying them off isn't going to help, and provoking them to war isn't going to help... what would you suggest? Sometimes waiting for an opportunity to do something constructive is a reasonable course of action.

If I had that answer, I would not be posting it on a Blog, but enacting it in the state department.

on May 12, 2005
But you just assume there has to be an immediate action that would help? Do you think there is ever a time when it is better not to act? Sometimes if you give someone, or a nation, enough rope...

Sometimes I think we just assume that every problem has an obvious solution, and even if we can't think of it, elected officials should be able to.
on May 12, 2005

But you just assume there has to be an immediate action that would help? Do you think there is ever a time when it is better not to act? Sometimes if you give someone, or a nation, enough rope...

No, and hence the C grade.  C is non-committal.  As in the results are not in yet.

on May 12, 2005
" C is non-committal."


Wish you had been around to tell my parents that...
on May 12, 2005

Wish you had been around to tell my parents that...

Qualifier: Except on a Child's Report card!

on May 12, 2005
"We had every excuse after 9-11 to finally seriously screw with Saudi Arabia, and we didn't take the chance. Once we started pulling troops out, we could have taken a much harder line with them. They aren't much better than Hussein and it is hypocritical that we treat them as allies when they hate us."
The clinching term you used there, though unintended, is when you said you 'didn't take the chance'. It's for good reason the US never went after Saudi Arabia, and in fact covered up much of their involvement with groups the US likes to call terrorist groups. Since we're talking about powerful lawmakers I won't point out that their actions of covering up evidence and denying that evidence exists is criminal behavior easily proven if in a court of law. Saudi Arabia has a relationship of convenience with the US. That's undeniable. A large part of Saudi politics involves those who sympathize with the supposed "Al-Queda" mindset and an even larger part who despise the US and their policies towards Muslims. As with everything else with Washington's politics it's all about the oil. The US would be shut down within one month of being cut off from Saudi oil, and that day may be closer than you think. I doubt you all know this but Saudi Arabia is ruled by a monarchy, meaning one family's running the show. There's dismal prospects for equal rights and in fact the people have no say in the policies of their country. It's an oppressive society, which we know breeds rage. And how can your country take a harder line with Saudi Arabia after they withdraw their troops i.e. only way to have any real control of events on the ground? Hard line implies force which implies troops. But do you really not understand that Saudi Arabia isn't an ally of the US but rather has an arranged convenient relationship which guarantees things coming to a head some time in the future? Oil oil oil. The US needs it. They control it. And they will do so with force as we all have seen. The Iraqi Oil Ministry was spared any damage, even during the lawless looting the Americans allowed to run free. The US took control of the major oilfields first and CNN and FOX even reported that. There will be some sort of turn around in relations with Saudi Arabia when a nationalist party overthrows the monarchy and rules over Saudi politics, acting for a self-sufficient Saudi Arabia and a free Saudi Arabia. You all may scoff as much as you like but this is going to be a reality some time in the future. There is no doubt that if a hostile regime takes over in Saudi Arabia, and remember, the US is convincingly dependent on Saudi oil for it to even function, there is a good probability the supply of oil to the US would be drastically reduced. Any US planner already knows this, and they already have a plan in place I'm sure. The choices will generally be twofold. First, the US could (as they have before) deal with the new 'terrorist regime' and do some sort of political manoevering where they can maintain the levels of oil currently being supplied to the US. This is unlikely because: setting up and maintaining contacts and diplomatic channels with 'terror organizations' or 'terror regimes' can only be done on a maintainable and manageable scale, meaning small scale easy to place in the back pages of the New York Times (waaayyyyy further back from the articles Judith Miller was chugging out of her propadanda offices. Propaganda is a fair term when you consider that not one outlandish claim of hers were true. Not a one). For the US to have diplomatic ties with an openly 'hostile terror regime' is not feasible when it's a nation that accounts for 60% (!) of the world's oil consumption. And the American public's angry reaction to such an outrage will definitely lead the US to the second part of the twofold choice. Outright US invasion and takeover i.e. occupation (for the Saudi people's benefit of course) of Saudi Arabia. To free it from an 'evil regime'. Think about it people. Think rationally. This would be a mouth-watering orgasm for the American planners and their Israeli counterparts. Saudi Arabia with the world's largest known oil reserves under US control. Iraq and the world's second largest known oil reserves under US control. And this will all be done under the guise of freeing the Saudi people from whatever 'evil regime' has taken over control of Saudi Arabia. The only pure speculation coming from me here is the source of the 'evil regime'. I have to wonder if the UAE, along with all their oil reserves, will somehow be brought into the so-called war on terror and the next new fear in the terror fantasyland. The media has been pretty silent about that little spot on the Middle East map. There's a reason for it.
Overall the US is in a position where it is able to take over all of the world's major oil deposits. Those pesky oil deposits which is the source of so much heartache and so many deaths. This is old news though. I know no one here will know it and the rest will never be able to understand or believe it, but the American oil industry was a backing force behind the eventual US intervention and actual invasion against South Vietnam. Anyone know why they should bother to get involved in world politics? For access to Indochinese oil deposits. You could have known about this fact except the CIA saw it fit to get the book banned and it was never ever published. The link shall be at the end of my text.
Before you run to the head of the "indochina's got shite for oil deposits" line let's take a look at something that happened in Vietnam that is of great interest to all but the US media and therefore you as well. After more than half a century of decimation first by the French and then by the US, Vietnam needed to get some industries going to provide itself with some or any tiny developments which could help it recover from the pillaged status to something which would help them recover their self-respect. The US Big Oil multi-national companies told them their lands were barren of oil deposits. That there was no chance for them to recover their country by means of oil wealth. "Cutting edge" technology, western technology, said there was no oil to be had. Let's look at the truth behind that while remembering why US would have a great interest in keeping Vietnam at one of the lowest peasant status' in the world thereby nullifying any of their reasonable shots at vengeance against the US. Here starts the Soviet's slap in the US's face. Russia told the Vietnamese they had been conned. So Russia, after supplying arms to American-killing Vietnamese troops for over a decade, sent their oil experts to set up a no-risk joint venture, where the Russians would supply the technologists and equipment to Vietnam, and if oil was found Russia would get a meagre percentage of whatever they can pump out of the ground. The end product was the White Tiger oil field which is "currently producing high quality crude oil from basalt rock more than 17,000 feet below the surface of the earth, at 6,000 barrels per day per well". You all will likely think it another mere coincidence that US relations with Vietnam reopened not long after Vietnam joined the coveted list of oil producing nations. Ultra-deep oil wells are something that passed by the US's nose for some reason. More in a bit.
on May 12, 2005
No offense, R.H., I know you quoted me at the beginning, but I'm not reading tangled mess on principle. If you don't care about the reader, they aren't gonna care about what you have to say. Sorry.
on May 12, 2005
No offense, R.H., I know you quoted me at the beginning, but I'm not reading tangled mess on principle. If you don't care about the reader, they aren't gonna care about what you have to say. Sorry.


Paragraphs R us! It would help. Until then, what did he say?
on May 13, 2005
People and their wacko oil conspiracies.
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