WASHINGTON, March 12 – The president who made pre-emption and going it alone the watchwords of his first term is quietly turning in a new direction, warning at every opportunity of the dangers of turning the nation inward and isolationist, and making the case for international engagement on issues from national security to global economics.
President Bush’s cautions on the dangers of pulling back behind American borders – in trade and investment, in immigration and in his effort to make the spread of democracy the signature of his second term – first cropped up in his State of the Union address six weeks ago.
But it accelerated even before the Dubai ports deal was derailed by members of his own party, and before an unexpected uprising began among some neo-conservatives, who are now arguing that Iraq, while a noble effort, has turned into a failed mission that must be abandoned.
In interviews over the past week, Mr. Bush’s aides, insisting on anonymity, they say, because they do not want to worsen the fissures, say they fear that the new mood threatens to undermine the international agenda for the rest of Mr. Bush’s presidency.
“We’re seeing it in everything,” said one of Mr. Bush’s closest aides last week. “Iraq. The ferocity of an irrational argument over the ports. Guest workers. China and India.”
So starting on Monday, just a few days shy of the third anniversary of Mr. Bush’s order to topple Saddam Hussein, the president will begin an effort to explain his Iraq strategy anew in the changed environment of increased sectarian killings.
He acknowledged on Saturday that “many of our fellow citizens” are “now wondering if the entire mission is worth it.”
But rather than simply delve into the familiar talk about the need to root out terrorists abroad so they cannot strike Americans here, the White House plans to have Mr. Bush expand his discussion of the need for the United States to embrace a new role in the world, even if that means explaining the benefits of globalization to a nation that does not appear to be in a mood to hear that message.
Its seems that since the first time around Bush pushed his agenda based on outright lies, partial truths, distortions and exaggerations, now Bush wants to which to another agenda buildt on what? The credibility he buildt up over the course of pushing his first agenda. Its beyond ironic that Bush or his aides would label those that don’t think our foreign policy should be based on a litany of untruths and messianic fantasies are isolationists. There is a difference between realism and isolationism. This administration’s record is one that has never really put any faith or effort into building on the apparatus of international institutions to solve problems. His supporters on right-wing blogs, radio, and TV remind us daily that only military and corporate entities are the legitimate forces to deal with the world. That world view actually leaves the conservative man/woman on the street out of the loop without any voice in America’s conduct in foreign affairs, but this is the first issue on which the right lacks rhyme or reason.
ABC’s write up of Sen. Russ Feingold’s call for Bush’s censure (Raw Story transcript). Frist doesn’t skip a beat resorting to the to criticize Bush is to help our enemies gambit.
Censure, essentially a public disapproval by the Senate as a whole, has only been applied to one president, Andrew Jackson, in a politically-charged move the Senate historian’s office describes as “unprecedented and never-repeated tactic.”
Frist called the censure attempt “political” and a “terrible, terrible signal” to enemies of the U.S. abroad. He assured Stephanopoulos that the resolution would never gain traction in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Frist is being more then hypocritical since he claimed to base his vote to impeach President Big Dog on “principle”, Sen. Frist’s closed-door impeachment statement
I sought throughout President Clinton’s trial to be true to my oath to do ‘impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’ When I raised my right hand and swore that oath on January 7, I accepted a solemn responsibility. I did not approach this trial with some preordained outcome in mind; I carefully listened during the five weeks of this trial to the evidence and the arguments, and sought to do justice.
If Frist cared about principle I could understand voting to censure president Clinton, an appropriate measure especially considering that the series of events that lead to his President Clinton’s impeachment. Though Clinton’s transgressions were the result of a personal nature, he was nowhere near trampling over the constitution. Feingold voted to hold President Clinton accountable for lying. No one should lie to a grand jury. Though Feingold ultimately voted to acquit on the articles of impeachment (Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis, “President Clinton has disgraced himself.” ) for the Senator from Wisconsin it was all about principles then, just maybe its all about principles now. If conservatives defense of Bush is going to center around the argument that he is above the law just because he’s president, then not only is the nation not going to have an honest debate about Bush’s wrong doing, but some conservative politicians better start finding a way to hide the public record of their hypocrisy during the nineties. They didn’t think that taking any opportunity to be critical of the president would weaken the nation then. – From Wikipedia, a history of Censure in the United States. Its not like if Bush is censured he has to put on a dunce cap and sit in the corner or even be stripped naked and sexually humiliated. Censure is just a formal slap on the wrists. Does it have a meaning beyond symbolic gesture. Yes, it sends a clear measure for one, the people’s representative have found the president’s conduct has been grossly unethical or likely unlawful. In the days following the censure the president’s every act will be seen in light of a national acknowledgment of his course of conduct; which thus far has been a disservice to our laws and ideals. That lesson in mind the president should be more humble and caustious in his exercise of power. “He is the president, not the king.” – Senator Russ Feingold
Days of DeWine and Ruses? Reporters May Be Exempt from Eavesdropping Bill or how does the Bush administration shield themselves from having its wrong doing exposed to the American public. Ezra Klein notes, Moderate Schmoderate
DeWine’s office insists the bill “in no way applies to reporters — in any way, shape or form,” but barring a significant revamping of the language of the bill, it’s difficult to see how that could possibly be true. (Bloggers would also clearly be a target.) If the intent is not to silence reporters, but specifically to prevent security-cleared officials from providing information about possibly illegal activities, then it’s an end-run around whistleblower protections. No matter how you slice it, this legislation stinks.
Cube and cubicle etiquette. Some people enjoy over hearing the melodramatic twists and turns of others lives, its like a reality soap opera. I never have. I find that even in minding my own business more personal secrets and gossip have found their way to me then I really wanted to know.
A Golden Age for a Pinup. growing old can be difficult and lonely for the average person, probably more so for those that were idolized when young.
Note: wordpress seems to be growing though some growing pains. This post as put up yesterday was a rough drift and I just couldn’t get back in to edit.
The parakeets are inexorably expanding their empire. To date, they have taken over every civilized country — the more advanced a nation’s technology, the stronger their hold. Wherever there is electric light, the parakeets reign supreme.
On this point, a world atlas accompanying the article shows how few countries are still free of the Empire of the Parakeets. However, we believe that the inclusion of this map is a fallacy: this is not a political empire. Parakeets rule only over minds. When these have been ‘parakeetised’ — to use the neologism coined by Boitus — they go on to parakeetise the bodies, which consequently begin to perform essentially parakeetic actions. As Dr. Boitus concludes: “At this point, only primitive communities and the poorest countries remain almost free of parakeets, countries untouched by the development of mass media.”
from the short story The Empire Of The Parakeets by Fernando Sorrentino
Translated by Gustavo Artiles and Alex Patterson