Friday, July 15, 2011
Bush and Rummy alone in the Oval Office
The litany of King George the II's failures is colossal. However, as the brilliant policy analysts over at George Friedman's Stratfor point out, any list of the impacts of Bush II's disastrous blunders would be incomplete without mentioning how his pointless, self-indulgent, avenge my father's failures, war in Iraq led America to ignore developments in Russia.
During the reign of King George the II, as American blood and treasure were being thrown overboard directly into the Persian Gulf, when Saddam was being replaced with civil war and instability, and the price of oil (read: unleaded gasoline) was shooting into the stratosphere, Russia took a turn for the worse. Bush the II, clown prince that he was, rather than being focused on global political stability or the global economy, wanted an easy triumph, thus, an offensive war against what was perceived to be the most topple-able of his ludicrous axis of evil.1
What did that cost strategically in Russia and its sphere of influence?
Statfor says, "This gave Russia a window of opportunity with which to accelerate its crackdown inside (and later outside) Russia without fear of a Western response. During this time, the Kremlin ejected foreign firms, nationalized strategic economic assets, shut down nongovernmental organizations, purged anti-Kremlin journalists, banned many anti-Kremlin political parties and launched a second intense war in Chechnya."
This loss of focus on the big geostrategic picture cost reformers and potential democrats behind former Iron Curtain dearly. While King George the II was making Faustian bargains with the dictators of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, to support his was war of choice, Putin was able to claim he was doing the same with the vile dictator of Belarus and a range of puppets in the Ukraine, Georgia and Chechnya.2 The loss of United States credibility made it tremendously difficult for America to have any leverage to resist Putin's Machiavellian scheming.
Ahhhh, King George the II... Will America ever recover from your reign? Sadly, it is debatable.
1Grouping Iraq, Iran and North Korea demonstrated Bush II and his policymakers had the foreign policy vision of a five year-old on the playground. "We are the good guys. You are the bad guys. Now it's war..."
2The United States's resources and credibility to support political reformers in Ukraine and Georgia was badly hampered by war in Iraq. In Chechnya, Bush the II's lumping of all nominally Muslim freedom fighters under the label of terrorist, put America on the side of the dictator against the freedom of the people.