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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spin: state of the art, 2007

The Washington Post has a story today about George W. Bush's flip-flops on foreign policy, especially the negotiations with Iran, North Korea and Syria. The neocons are not happy. Ledeen:
"I have never seen an administration with such an enormous gulf between the president's public statements and its actions," said Michael A. Ledeen, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "Presidential statements should reflect policy. They don't seem to in this administration."
And Bolton:
John R. Bolton, Bush's former ambassador to the United Nations, said the Berlin meeting "was clearly a shift" that yielded a deal rewarding North Korea for bad behavior.

Bolton was further disturbed by reports last week about administration officials backing off assertions about North Korea's uranium enrichment. "There's a risk that the administration looks weak through the media spin," Bolton said
Former Representative Lee Hamilton welcomes the Bush administration to the "reality-based community":
"The realities of the situation are becoming more apparent to them. . . . Presidents begin to focus very much on their legacy, and he recognizes that insufficient progress has been made on some of these international issues."
Former Senator Warren Rudman is quoted saying almost the same thing:
"Any administration, including this one, has to face reality that changes over time."
As recently as December, the President himself explained at length the preconditions for American negotiations with Iran and Syria. After explaining how these states must first suspend uranium enrichment and stop supporting terror or insurgency, here's Bush's simple conclusion about engagement:
And the truth of the matter is, is that these countries have now got the choice to make. If they want to sit down at the table with the United States, it's easy -- just make some decisions that will lead to peace, not to conflict.
Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased that the Bush administration has reversed itself, but the fairly blatant flip-flop and neocon opposition should be noted.

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