This creepy, un-American document has a pedigree going back to Bush I, when -- surprise! -- Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz were at the Department of Defense and both such geniuses that they not only didn't see the collapse of the Soviet Union coming, they didn't believe it after they saw it.
In those days, this plan for permanent imperial adventurism was called "Defense Strategy for the 1990s" and was supposed to be a definitive response to the Soviet threat. Then the Soviet threat disappeared, and the same plan re-emerged as a response to the post-Soviet world.
It was roundly criticized at the time, its manifest weaknesses attacked by both right and left. Now it is back yet again as the answer to post-Sept. 11. Sort of like the selling of the Bush tax cut -- needed in surplus, needed in deficit, needed for rain and shine -- the plan exists apart from rationale. ` As Frances Fitzgerald points out in the Sept. 26 New York Review of Books, its most curious feature is the combination of triumphalism and almost unmitigated pessimism. Until last Friday, when the thing was re-released in its new incarnation, it contained no positive goals for American foreign policy, not one. Now the plan is tricked out with rhetoric like earrings on a pig about extending freedom, democracy and prosperity to the world. But as The New York Times said, "It sounds more like a pronouncement that the Roman Empire or Napoleon might have produced."
This reckless, hateful and ineffective approach to the rest of the world has glaring weaknesses. It announces that we intend to go in and take out everybody else's nukes (27 countries have them) whenever we feel like it. Meanwhile, we're doing virtually nothing to stop their spread.
Last month, Ted Turner's Nuclear Threat Initiative had to pony up $5 million to get poorly secured, weapons-grade uranium out of Belgrade. Privatizing disarmament, why didn't we think of that before?
The final absurdity is that the plan is supposed to Stop Change. Does no one in the administration read history?
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Preach on, Molly.
by Atrios at 08:20