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spindrifter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-17-06 10:30 PM
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A pantomime president
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Sidney Blumenthal
Tuesday July 18, 2006
The Guardian

President Bush was against diplomacy before he was for it. But with the collapse of US foreign policy from the Middle East to North Korea he has claimed to have become a born-again realist. "And it's, kind of ... painful ... for some to watch, because it takes a while to get people on the same page," he said at his July 7 press conference, adding, in an astonished tone, "Not everybody thinks the exact same way we think. Different words mean different things to different people."

Two years ago at the Republican convention he boasted of his "swagger, which in Texas is called walking". But in the face of the consequences of his failures, he has swaggered into a corner.

In a befuddled response to Israel's reoccupation of Gaza and bombing of Lebanon, the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, asked for restraint while the president offered support. Bush has regressed to embracing no policy, just as he did when he first entered office. His failure to give the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, any tangible gains to show his electorate helped Hamas win. Now the US's abandonment of any peace process is yielding a downward spiral of mutual recrimination in the region.

Similarly, on Iraq, Bush has returned to mouthing inane platitudes about "victory". He promises to "defeat" the enemy while ignoring his generals' admonition that a political solution is critical as Iraq descends into civil war.

(more, more, more)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,182290...
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