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December 13, 2003
Underwhelming Irony

Walter Mondale and Zbigniew Brezinski, Vice President and national security advisor during the Carter administration, appeared in the Twin Cities yesterday to speak at Macalaster College, along with William Perry, Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. With this line-up, you wouldn't expect a Bush love-in, and you'd be correct:

Former Vice President Walter Mondale accused President Bush on Friday of forcing democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan "at bayonet point" — an approach creating more enemies for the United States than friends and doing little to prevent terrorism.

The administration's policies are at odds with six decades of foreign policy through Democratic and Republican administrations aimed at forming international coalitions to address national security problems, Mondale said. ... "I cannot understand why the current administration believes that throwing all this out the window — to be replaced by what I see to be their radical, unilateral, go-it-alone, in-your-face approach — can strengthen America. I don't see how it can,'' Mondale said. "Their announced doctrine of pre-emption and their policy of dominance frightens our friends and fuels animosity and rage upon which our true enemies rely."

The Carter administration, if anyone cares to remember, helped launch the Islamofascist movement by undermining the Shah of Iran, which allowed the Ayatollah Khomeini to stage a coup that put radical Islamists in charge of Teheran. Later in the same year, this group of "experts" sat around and did nothing but talk when the Iranians committed an act of war and sacked our embassy, holding 53 Americans hostage for 444 days. Until the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the Iranians were the largest sponsor of Islamic terrorism -- in fact, they still probably are. And thanks to the inaction by the Carter administration, it demonstrated the unwillingness of the US to take any kind of action against terrorists or their sponsors, a lesson which we reinforced for 22 years by listening to this kind of advice, until it finally resulted in 3,000 Americans being slaughtered on our own soil.

If it weren't for these men, in other words, our international credibility may not have suffered to the point where terrorists felt free to attack American interests.

I don't recall Mondale excoriating Bill Clinton or William Perry on military action in the Balkans, which Clinton never bothered to bring to the UNSC. In these actions, both Russia and China opposed action, and a UN resolution would have been impossible, but the point is that Clinton never bothered to try. Why wasn't that question addressed to the triumvirate of appeasement?

Furthermore, as I posted yesterday, Bush did work with a fairly broad coalition of nations in the Iraqi conflict, nations which included the UK, Spain, Australia, Italy, Poland, Japan, and over 50 others who lent diplomatic, military, and/or economic assistance. The use of the word "unilateral" is illiterate and ignorant. What they really mean is that we didn't have the permission of France, Germany, and Russia to pursue our national securty interests. Not one of them mentions that these same three countries propped up the Saddam regime and illegally armed him during the sanctions period. Nor do they acknowledge that the Axis of Weasels was never going to agree to remove him while he owed the three nations billions of dollars that now likely won't be repaid.

Mondale and Brezinski represent the failure of American foreign policy to effectively protect American interests around the world, and their approach of doing nothing until a magical and unanimous international consensus approves of action is dangerous and ultimately suicidal.

UPDATE: Big Trunk at Power Line shares my incredulity at this spectacle, discussing an article from our other major daily. Power Line wants his readers to provide ammunition for a response to this partisan attack on the first American foreign policy in 30 years that has effectively confronted terrorism. Be sure to read the entire post and if you blog, add your voice to the protest.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 13, 2003 10:34 AM

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