Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Attack on Bush's Foreign Policy Without Merit

"Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change" (DMCC), a new organization comprised of former diplomatic and military officials, announced that they will release a statement tomorrow that is critical of George Bush's policies and presidency.

In an article published by CNN, Phyllis Oakley, assistant Secretary of State under Bill Clinton and deputy State Department spokesperson under Ronald Reagan, offered these insights about the to-be released statement:
  • "We are on the wrong track and we need a fundamental change"
  • The statement reflects a "growing concern, deeply held, about the future of the country's national security.
  • The statement calls for the defeat of President Bush, although it does not endorse any specific candidate.
  • DMCC members "have spent their lives working to erect the stature and posture of the U.S. as a leader in the world...and we simply see that edifice crumbling.

In what should be obvious to even the most casual reader, calling for the defeat of George Bush in a 2 horse race is endorsing a candidate. The claim otherwise greatly undermines any credibility this group may have, and calls into question any recommendations made by the DMCC.

In an effort to shed more light on this group and their personal biases, let's take a closer look at Phyllis Oakley, who seems to be the informal spokesperson of the group. Oakley has held various foreign services/diplomatic positions over the past 20 years. Before she resigned from the Foreign Service (over a disagreement with Madeleine Albright related to the bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant in 1998), Ms. Oakley provided testimoney to Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, of which John Kerrey was a member. Her presentation summarized the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research assessments of international threats to the United States. Here are some excerpts from her presentation:
  • "We cannot protect all Americans from all dangers, but we must remain vigilant and aggressive in our efforts to identify and ELIMINATE threats to our safety as well as our security."
  • The spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) was listed as the #1 security concern, and Iraq was listed #1 on the list of WMD threats to the US. The presentation stated "There should be no doubt that Saddam will try to rebuild his WMD programs at the earliest possible opportunity. There should be no doubt that Saddam will attempt to capitalize on perceived differences of opinion among our allies on this issue."
  • In order to halt the spread of WMD, "effective diplomatic intervention, informed by targeted and timely intelligence, is the key to limiting the transfer of critical technologies and equipment.

In summary, Oakley knew Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat, stating Iraq would rebuild WMD at the "earliest possible opportunity". She stated that the US must ELIMINATE threats to our safety and security. Putting 1 and 1 together, a rational person would expect Oakley to advocate the elimination of Saddam Hussein as a threat. Unfortunately, Oakley doesn't follow her own advice, but rather states that diplomacy and intelligence are sufficient to stop the spread of WMD. Frankly, I'll rely on diplomacy if we're talking about international trade or environmental issues, but if we're talking about WMD in the hands of a lunatic like Saddam Hussein, I'll rely on the United States military.

With this backdrop, it is clear that Ms. Oakley is quite adept at identifying threats but clueless as how to address those threats. She understands the threats of terrorism and WMD, but prefers a foreign policy that's long on bark but short on bite. Little wonder that she's disenchanted with President Bush.

Stay tuned to your favorite media outlets tomorrow so you too can read the collective wisdom of toothless, pacifist, Kerry supporters disguised as "Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change".

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