Peaceful Bush

Citing recent diplomatic advances in Libya and North Korea, the Guardian gloats:

The White House has retreated from its doctrine of regime change and pre-emptive military action and is returning to traditional diplomacy in an effort to repackage George Bush as a president for peace.

This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of Bush’s policy. The Bush doctrine wasn’t “let’s go in with guns blazing and shoot everyone”. It must be understood that military force was a last resort —- a last resort whose absence made diplomacy meaningless.

The terrorists and juntas had thus far been emboldened by a string of half-measures, weak will and outright appeasement. The West was seen as soft, held hostage to its own civilized notions of conduct --- which the terrorists did not share.

One has to be blind to reality to suggest that non-violent capitulations by Libya and North Korea did not have anything to do with Bush's hardline policy. We will talk --- but not if you stall us forever. We are willing to be reasonable -- up to a point. The Bush doctrine is important precisely because finally it has drawn a line in the sand that terrorists and dictators dare not cross under peril of extreme pain.

Posted by Vivek at January 3, 2004 1:28 AM