Benlog

crypto and public policy

Being Different Just Because

Filed under: General October 7, 2004 @ 9:59 am

In an interview following the first Presidential Debate last week, General Wesley Clark said that Bush followed multilateral negotiations with North Korea because “bilateral talks would have been too much like Clinton.” That got me thinking: what else is Bush doing just to make sure he’s different from Clinton?

The list is pretty long. As soon as Bush took office, the US completely disengaged from the Middle East peace process, a cornerstone of Clinton’s foreign policy in his last few years as President. If you believe the numerous reports and the Richard Clarke book, it’s also clear that Bush took the focus off terrorism when he took office. Of course, after 9/11, that changed, but between Jan. 20 and Sept. 11, 2001, Bush was focusing on missile defense and simply didn’t follow up on the Osama threat.

So in fact, if you’re wondering why the Bush administration is going to vociferously refuse the latest CIA report that Iraq hasn’t had WMDs since 1991, wonder no more. Accepting the report would mean accepting that Clinton’s containment policy in Iraq worked. Sure, Saddam made a few grandiose statements, but, in reality, the threat he posed was truly contained. Accepting the CIA report doesn’t simply mean that the Iraq War was unjustified, it means that Clinton was doing the right thing.

And for an administration that’s always wanted to be different from Clinton, just because they feel they need to be, that’s not an easy report to swallow.

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