Monday, January 24, 2005

Bush the Dip. Lomat

From The Washington Post: Bush Doctrine Is Expected to Get Chilly Reception, a few choice excerpts:

When President Bush flew to Canada in his first international trip following his reelection, the White House portrayed it as the beginning of a fence-mending tour to bring allies back into the fold after a tense first term. But after Bush left, the Canadians were more furious than before.

They were stunned when Bush leaned across a table in a private meeting and lectured Prime Minister Paul Martin about opposing the U.S. missile defense system. And they were later taken aback by a speech filled with what they considered the same "old Bush" foreign policy pronouncements that opened the divide with the allies in the first place.

"If he's going to take that speech to Europe," said a top Canadian official who attended the meeting between Bush and Martin, "he's not going to get a good reception."


Yet many Democrats, as well as Republicans from the traditional school of U.S. foreign policy, see Bush heading down a treacherous road that will further unravel a half-century of international relationships. The rupture over Iraq, they fear, may presage a widening divide with the rest of the world over the next four years.


But Bush did confront Martin and used the sort of language that sets Canadians on edge. "He leaned across the table and said, 'I'm not taking this position, but some future president is going to say, 'Why are we paying to defend Canada?' " said the senior Canadian official who was in the room and noted that he had been assured by Rice and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell personally that Bush would avoid the subject.

"Most of our side was trying to explain the politics, how it was difficult to do," the official said. But Bush "waved his hands and said, 'I don't understand this. Are you saying that if you got up and said this is necessary for the defense of Canada it wouldn't be accepted?' "

The next day Bush gave a speech in Halifax that to the Canadians sounded as tough and uncompromising as ever. "We were all looking at each other and saying this is a speech for somebody else. It certainly wasn't for Canadians."

It's apparent, not only from this story but from practically every aspect of the Bush administration, that he has an odd view of the word "dialogue." His view appears to be closer to what most would consider monologue: naked assertion of his thoughts is his prime mode of discourse. He usually doesn't try to persuade so much as indicate that it's his way or the highway.

Of course, that's not going to convince many people who aren't already on board. And, as we've seen, most of the world is not on board with Bush.

And he even gins up this repugnant bullshit when Condi and Powell have promised that Bush would steer clear of the precise axe he's grinding. It's going to be a long four years of Bush monologue.

1 comment:

gaw3 said...

Did you see Friedman today (26 Jan) in the NYT? He's basically begging Bush to listen to complaints before he starts talking.

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