Loser's Guide to Life
Your morning smile at CNN.org: “But in the span of four years, the administration has been forced to rethink the doctrine by which it hoped to remake the world.” I know it's customary to talk about “The X Doctrine”, when you really mean “X's take on something”. Yosemite Sam has such a “doctrine”, and so do Elmer Fudd and Foghorn Leghorn. But this is almost funny. “A doctrine by which I hope to remake the world” sounds completely mad, doesn't it? I'm not sure it can be rethought, but thinking is always good.
Condoleezza Rice is said to be behind this new thinking:
By training and temperament, Rice is a foreign-policy realist, less inclined to the moralizing approach of the neoconservatives who dominated Bush's cabinet in the first term. Her push for pragmatism has rubbed off on hawks like Vice President Dick Cheney, the primary intellectual force behind Bush's post-9/11 policies.Temperament I don't know, but Ms Rice has no foreign policy training to speak of. She cowrote a study of Czech troops ages ago and then got a good job at Stanford and various appointments doing whatever people do as special fellows or department directors, but she doesn't seem to have written or said anything important about Russia, which is meant to be her field. Here's a bit of her exchange with a Russian radio host:
“One day you will run for president?” Rice was asked on Ekko Moskvy Radio. [i.e., Ekho Moskvy—D.]
“President, da, da,” Rice readily replied.
That, as nearly everyone knows, even if they are not fluent in Russian (search) as Rice is believed to be, means yes.
“Nyet, nyet, nyet, nyet,” Rice quickly added, taking herself out of the race as fast as she'd gotten into it.
So she has studied the language. We can say that much. But does she know anything? That's a big secret. She may do. But no one's getting the benefit of it, and current US relations with Russia don't reflect any deep thought by anyone.
However, even the intellectual force that is Dick Cheney has been affected:
“There's a move, even by Cheney, toward the Kissingerian approach of focusing entirely on vital interests,” says a presidential adviser. “It's a more focused foreign policy that is driven by realism and less by ideology.”
That's interesting. “Focus” “vital” “realism”, the new watchwords. It means they will now realistically address important matters, because, you know, what the hell, it might work.