With all the charm of Lady Macbeth at the castle banquet, Hillary has had her say (in which she lavished more praise on the late Bill Gwatney and Stephanie Tubbs Jones than she did on Barack Obama). Now the Denver convention moves on to foreign policy, and Joe Biden’s moment. Biden is in the interesting position that on almost every front except Iraq, President Bush’s foreign policy has been converging with what the Democrats say they want — diplomacy with dictators, talking with tyrants, haggling with WMD-addicted rogue regimes. Piloted by Condi Rice, the American ship of state has already become the love boat of global diplomacy.
It’s not working out very well. While the homefront promises for a remade world have been rolling out of Denver — 5 million greencollar jobs, quality universal healthcare, arugula in every pot (all to be paid for by…?) — these alarming news items keep stacking up out of Russia, Pakistan, North Korea, Syria, Iran…
Russia, in its despoiling of Georgia and push toward the Caspian pipeline has now cranked up the heat by officially recognizing Georgia’s secessionist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent. Syria’s President Bashar Assad, host of Hezbollah and recent collaborator with North Korea on that fried nuclear reactor, has been shopping in Russia for ballistic missiles. In nuclear-armed Al Qaeda-infested Pakistan, the government is in turmoil. North Korea — predictably — having extorted fresh rounds of fuel, aid, cash and diplomatic concessions from the U.S. and friends, has halted the disablement of its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and is threatening to rebuild it (while never having declared anything in the first place about its other nuclear ventures). Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reports that the Bushehr nuclear plant, built with Russian help, is expected to be fully tested by the end of this year and operational in early 2009. Iran’s Fars News Agency further reports that Iran is designing a second nuclear power plant in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn, and in order to fuel it “has to continue enriching uranium,” as part of the nuclear program meant to turn Iran’s Islamic Republic into “a world power and a role model for other third-world countries.”
You get the idea. All this has come to pass after the Bush administration got out of the business of regime change, tried to relieve the anxieties of assorted thug regimes, held up Libya as a role model and poured its efforts into multilateral happy talk. In the name of change, Obama favors four more years of even more of the same. But hey! Why worry? With a few more speeches, powered by hope, we can sort this all out. They’ll have nuclear bombs — so what? We’ll have universal healthcare. I just want to know — will that include a geiger counter for every family in America?