Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bush doctrine under friendly fire
The neo-conservatives in the Republican Party have long held the upper hand in developing policy, but the traditional conservatives, or the "realists", are biting back on Bush's foreign policy doctrines.

The neo-conservative doctrine of placing the expansive pursuit of democracy at the heart of aggressive foreign policy has not found a great deal of success. Iraq is officially a quagmire, Hamas gained victory in the Palestinian elections, and Islamists have scored major gains in elections in Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon. Realists argue that this policy has actually left America more unsafe, as it has ignored other American interests, especially in trade and homeland security. According to the NY Times, they also talk of "strained American relations with Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China, making it harder to enlist them in fighting terrorism, stabilizing the Middle East and curbing nuclear weapons."

This poses a huge problem for Bush, and threatens to consign his second term to the traditional 'lame duck' presidency as party Republicans vie for places in the runup to the next presidential election.