Friday, April 28, 2006

History Lesson

Courtesy of Atrios, this E&P story comes this news (to me) from Peter Beinart's forthcoming NYTimes article (which is in turn excerpted from Beinart's forthcoming book):
Their [Presumably Democrats, though the sentence implies "liberals"] most recent presidents: Jimmy Carter, considered a "failure" in the international field, and Bill Clinton, who allegedly didn't have to do much because foreign policy was "peripheral" when he was in charge.

That's Jimmy Carter, whose foreign policy "failure" was noticed by the Nobel Peace Prize committee. That's Jimmy Carter, who hosted these two men at Camp David. That failure.

And then there's the failure of Bill Clinton, leader of the longest peacetime economic expansion in U.S. history. Guess he didn't do anything on the foreign policy front, such as, say, work on the 1994 cease-fire and the subsequent Good Friday agreement or put any effort in the Middle East, which led to the Gaza-Jericho Peace Agreement, the 1994 Nobel Prize, and follow-on negotiations that led to his own multiple nominations for the prize.

Beinart calls those failures. I guess they compare poorly to the Bush administration having arranged the IAEA's 2005 prize through proving its report:
Where did Iraq's nuclear-weapons programme stand when inspections stopped in 1998?

The IAEA had removed all known weapon-grade nuclear material, i.e. highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Additionally, it had taken custody of all known remaining uranium compounds; destroyed all known dedicated facilities and associated equipment; and monitored all known "dual-use" equipment that could be associated with nuclear-weapons development.

or as the American Enterprise Institute noted:
It's now increasingly clear that the multilateral inspection and verification organizations--the IAEA Iraq Action Team, UNSCOM and UNMOVIC--hampered Saddam's WMD pursuits. And, they provided the clearest insights into the nature of those programs. David Kay likened the Intelligence Community's reliance on inspectors to being addicted to crack cocaine--the point being the IC had grown dependent on the quality "ground truth" information the inspectors provided.

In reading the UNMOVIC report, I was shocked to learn that even now, they have no access to the Iraq Study Group's work or what the ISG is finding. Nor has the ISG requested any information from UNMOVIC, which has a decade's worth of databases--30 million pages--on Iraq's WMD programs.

Meanwhile, as has been reported in the press, we continue to work with Ahmed Chalabi's network, whose information on WMD before the war appears to have been wrong.

Subtle that. As E&P notes parenthetically:
Beinart does not mention that Clinton at least ignored pleas to invade and occupy Iraq.

Apparently, in the world of Beinart, attempting to reach peace (as Carter and Clinton did) is a failure, while ignoring peace efforts is a "script," which he treats as A Good Thing.

There are days I am glad to be aligned with the Democrats by lack of alternatives, instead of by birth, training, or temperament. This is truly one of those days.

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