17 Sep 2003 Drivel Watch
From a fawning interview of Madeleine Albright in the current (Sept. 22) issue of Time magazine comes this whopper:
Time interviewer J.F.O. McAllister: “Bush’s foreign policy started as ‘anything but Clinton’ in almost every area – the Middle East, North Korea, China. Now events have pushed it back much closer to your approach. Do you ever succumb to schadenfreude?”
Albright: “No, I’m much too kind and generous a person.”
1. Bush’s foreign policy was never defined by opposition to Clinton, but by Bush’s belief in certain foreign and defense policy principles. One need not be one of Bush’s supporters to realize that Bill Clinton is not the axis around which the world revolves. (100 years from now no one will be referring to a Clintonian foreign policy — unless it evolves as a term for deciding national security issues on the basis of domestic political considerations.) The much more accurate — and politically and psychologically interesting — story is the extent to which George W. Bush’s foreign policy differs from his father’s.
2. One wonders what the interviewer was smoking when he said Bush now is using a foreign policy approach closer to Clinton’s. In what way? Throwing money at North Korea to get North Korea to pretend it isn’t building nukes? Believing that Saddam Hussein has WMDs but not caring enough to insist even that UN inspectors be allowed to do their work? Worrying more about polls than about the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden?
A side question: if Bush’s foreign policy has evolved into one like Clinton’s, why were all the Democratic candidates for President so scathingly opposed to it in the debate the other night? Quick answer: Because it hasn’t.
Mercifully, the interview wastes but one page, leading to the Time letters-to-the-editor page. First subject up there: U.S. policy in Iraq. Seven letters against, three in favor.
I guess we should be grateful for the three.