Friday, March 24, 2006

A Government-Type Speaking the Truth about Bush Administration? Well, an Ex-Government Type

So have you read Madeline Albright’s Op-ed Piece in the LA Times, Called “Good Versus Evil Isn’t a Strategy?" Let me say, if you only have 2 minutes to read tonight, skip my piece and read Madeline’s….good stuff. I was frankly surprised to see something so good from a government-type, but I guess since she’s officially a retired government-type, she doesn’t care what the Republican spin machine says about her. And you know she’ll get ripped for this one, but good! She begins like this:

THE BUSH administration's newly unveiled National Security Strategy might well be subtitled "The Irony of Iran." Three years after the invasion of Iraq and the invention of the phrase "axis of evil," the administration now highlights the threat posed by Iran — whose radical government has been vastly strengthened by the invasion of Iraq. This is more tragedy than strategy, and it reflects the Manichean approach this administration has taken to the world.

It is sometimes convenient, for purposes of rhetorical effect, for national leaders to talk of a globe neatly divided into good and bad. It is quite another, however, to base the policies of the world's most powerful nation upon that fiction. The administration's penchant for painting its perceived adversaries with the same sweeping brush has led to a series of unintended consequences.

Wow, right to the heart of the problem. Albright is 100% right, the “axis of evil” is a myth, and our adherence to the myth has only served to weaken the position of the US, and the West as a whole, in the world. First off, I do not believe that these countries are evil. Yes, there are some leaders in the region who may be evil, and some leaders who just plain are evil, but I don’t see Muslims as inherently evil, and categorizing the Muslim people as part of an “Axis of Evil” only feeds into tensions between the two cultures.

And Albright also points out that Iran has only become so strong because the United States has eliminated their biggest opponent, the neighboring power that has always kept Iran in check, Iraq. By kicking Iraq while it was already hurting, the United States has done less to improve the conditions in Iraq, and almost nothing to truly promote Democracy in the country, while it has served to leave them vulnerable to a region full of predators, all of which have gotten a little stronger for not having to defend against a powerful Iraq.

But Albright now brings up the crucial point, a point I have been declaring ad nauseum to def ears for months now: that the participants in the “Axis of Evil” had no connection to each other, in fact in many ways couldn’t stand to be anywhere near each other let alone work together, until the US pushed lumped them together in the “Axis of Evil”, and forced them to collaborate.

For years, the president has acted as if Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein's followers and Iran's mullahs were parts of the same problem. Yet, in the 1980s, Hussein's Iraq and Iran fought a brutal war. In the 1990s, Al Qaeda's allies murdered a group of Iranian diplomats. For years, Osama bin Laden ridiculed Hussein, who persecuted Sunni and Shiite religious leaders alike. When Al Qaeda struck the U.S. on 9/11, Iran condemned the attacks and later participated constructively in talks on Afghanistan. The top leaders in the new Iraq — chosen in elections that George W. Bush called "a magic moment in the history of liberty" — are friends of Iran. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, Bush may have thought he was striking a blow for good over evil, but the forces unleashed were considerably more complex.

Albright goes on to make some suggestions to the Bush Administration, and I must admit I’m not convinced by these proposals. But I am impressed that someone of Albright’s stature would come out and say the truth in the face of this overbearing Bush administration. Much applause to the former Secretary of State Madeline Albright for saying what needs to be said.

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Posted by Scottage at 9:30 PM / | |