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Showing posts from July 12, 2006

Perhaps it's too late for Bush to become a non-cowboy

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Time magazine's cover story The end of cowboy diplomacy has been mentioned, talked about, recycled, etc. in the print and broadcast media in recent days. You can guess what the article says even without reading it... Here are the last paragrphs. But in the span of four years, the administration has been forced to rethink the doctrine by which it hoped to remake the world. Bush's response to the North Korean missile test was revealing: Under the old Bush Doctrine, defiance by a dictator like Kim Jong Il would have merited threats of punitive U.S. action. Instead, the administration has mainly been talking up multilateralism and downplaying Pyongyang's provocation.

The Bush Doctrine foundered in the principal place the U.S. tried to apply it. Though no one in the White House openly questions Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, some aides now acknowledge that it has come at a steep cost in military resources, public support and credibility abroad.

The administration is p…

Interesting historical analogies: Eshkol/1967 and Olmert/2006

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Aluf Benn had a very interesting piece, In Eshkol's Shoes in Haaretz over the weekend. Eshkol was the Prime Minister that led Israel during the 1967/Six-Day-War. A new book on the war, written by a well-regarded Israeli military historian and former government official (and based on newly published documents) portrays Eshkol as a weak political figure with no military background who was pressed by an activist IDF to attack Egypt. Benn seems to be concerned that PM Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, who like Eshkol were not part of the military/security establishment are being pressured by the Israeli military to act tough in Gaza. Benn also raises some interesting parallels between the U.S. role then (LBJ stuck in Vietnam gives Israel a "yellow light" to attack Egypt) and now (GWB stuck in Iraq (and North Korea, and Iran, and... gives Israel a "yellow light" to attack Gaza?) Worth reading. It's pasted here:Here is a piece of advice for Prime Mini…