blogenlust
8.07.2004

Failure of Diplomacy


When it comes to foreign policy, I've often heard the snide remark that since Kerry doesn't plan to withdraw troops from Iraq, he offers no differences with Bush when it comes to the war and the broader struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world (formerly known as the War on Terror). I think these people are missing a key point: The rest of the world despises Bush and won't go out of their way to help him. I would be willing to bet that a Kerry Administration will garner more cooperation with our close allies in Europe and Asia. A Kerry Administration would never have let our relationships with these nations devolve into this situation:
KENNEBUNKPORT, Me., Aug. 7 - American intelligence officials and outside nuclear experts have concluded that the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts with European and Asian allies have barely slowed the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea over the past year, and that both have made significant progress. In a tacit acknowledgment that the diplomatic initiatives with European and Asian allies have failed to curtail the programs, senior administration and intelligence officials say they are seeking ways to step up unspecified covert actions intended, in the words of one official, "to disrupt or delay as long as we can" Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.
It has been come dangerously clear in the months after the invasion of Iraq that both North Korea and Iran pose a much more serious threat with WMDs than Iraq ever did and could ever do within the next 10 years. We don't have a lot of military capital to use at the moment, so the only thing we can do is use diplomatic channels. If we fail at that, then we're in trouble. The major difference, in my mind, between a Kerry and a Bush Administration, is that Kerry will re-open essential diplomatic channels that have been closed since 9/11. This is not only because Kerry isn't Bush, but also because Kerry's background (father was in Foreign Service) has indebted him with the importance of diplomacy.