Tuesday, October 16, 2007

He probably cannot even say "outmaneuvered"

Prezinut Dimwit, that is. You'll remember these remarks from Bush after his first meeting with Putin in 2001:

[Putin, responding to a question]  Can we trust Russia? I'm not going to answer that. I could ask the very same question.

PRESIDENT BUSH: I will answer the question. I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country. And I appreciated so very much the frank dialogue.

Sweet baby Jesus; Bush sounds like he's giving a testimonial about falling in love with somebody he met on eHarmony. Do you suppose Laura knows? This cretin is the leader of the (formerly) free world.

While Bush (and Cheney) have been busy throwing their weight around the world, they and the Project for a New American Century boys haven't noticed that the rest of the world was getting, well, annoyed. Or if they noticed, they really didn't care. It's been clear to Spot, and a lot of people brighter than Spot, that pushback was coming. Iraq is just one example of the phenomenon:

After the Cold War, the world found itself in a historically unusual situation in which one nation held a vastly disproportionate share of all the military power in earth. The United States spends more on military than the next many countries combined, and, in a real military confrontation (we’re not talking counterinsurgency) could defeat almost any imaginable coalition that might form against it.

The United States wants this to continue as long as possible. The Bush administration has, in fact, made it explicit national security strategy to prevent any peer or competitor to arise. But there’s more than enough non-U.S. wealth to finance more non-U.S. military might. In the long run, Roger says, the continuation of this one-superpower situation depends on the rest of the world accepting it and deciding it is safe to allow the U.S. to hold a virtual monopoly on military might.

The best way for the U.S. to be trusted with a virtual monopoly on military might is to signal that it accepts some limits on what it will do with the monopoly and that it attaches serious weight to the wants and needs of the less powerful.

The best way for the U.S. to send the signal that this one-superpower situation is unsafe, is to use its military power in ways that make other nations nervous, that raise, for example, the fear that one day the United States might decide to use its military power against the other nations or their interests.

In 2002-2003, the U.S. signaled clearly that it accepts no limitations on its freedom and willingness to use its military might to invade and occupy another nation and topple its government for reasons had to satisfy only one test: the current occupant of the White House felt such invasion/occupation/regime change was in the interests of the United States.

The mechanisms of the United Nations and international law in general were disregarded and insulted. Those mechanisms may be imperfect, but what others are there might restrain the hegemon from doing the same thing again, perhaps against your small nation or one its allies or in direct contradiction to your small nation’s interests?

This message of a superpower deaf to any voluntary restraints on the use of its power is exactly the message you would want to send if your goal was to get the other nations of the world to decide that they and their interests were not safe in a one superpower world, and to be tempted to spend more and collude with each other to create a counter weight that could be used to deter the superpower from future such actions.

We got a really good example of the development of a counterweight by the guy with the bedroom eyes today:

TEHRAN, Oct. 16 — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said at a summit meeting of five Caspian Sea nations in Iran on Tuesday that any use of military force in the region was unacceptable, and in a declaration the countries agreed that none of them would allow their territories to be used as a base for military strikes against any of the others.

Mikhail Klimentyev/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran in Tehran today.

“We should not even think of making use of force in this region,” Mr. Putin said.

Mr. Putin’s comments and the declaration come at a time when the United States has refused to rule out military action to halt Iran’s nuclear energy program, which it believes masks a desire to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its program, including the enrichment of uranium, is solely for peaceful purposes.

The sound you hear, boys and girls, is a gauntlet hitting the ground.

The drooling idiot that we call the Commander in Chief—may God have mercy on us all—has pissed away all of the goodwill and moral authority that the US has ever had. And now the cheese stands alone.

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