Along the Tracks

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Remember what I’m saying. Now forget it.

Leon Fuerth, foreign policy advisor to Al Gore, has a column in today’s Washington Post blasting the Bush administration for so much as considering use of a military government to provide interim rule in a post-Saddam Iraq.

If you’re thinking that grumpy Gore, advised by Fuerth, was just recently demanding the White House provide some details of its plans for a post-Saddam Iraq, you’re right, of course. But you are not supposed to remember such inconvenient facts. To understand what Gore “really” thinks, you should wholeheartedly accept what he is saying right now - and only right now. Gore is committed to living by short-term memory; you are expected to do likewise.

In his piece, Fuerth admits Bush is only doing what others have declared he must:
“Granted, many have appealed to the administration to present its thoughts about follow-on after a war. [You can almost hear Gore interrupting, “I have not made the appeal - but many have.”] And so in a way, this plan may be considered a step in the right direction.” So even if it’s just a consideration, it’s terrible.

Fuerth gets the anti-global left really frothing by accusing Bush of planning “an empire.” He states the Iraq occupation would be based on America’s post-WW II military government in Japan - but fails to note Japan has not been a part of any American “empire” since about 1955. That’s a decade of transitional control followed by half a century of democracy, free markets and overall prosperity for the Japanese people (despite that country’s poor economic showing of recent years) - not to mention regional stability.

If that’s what the administration is considering for Iraq, how on earth can these critics of Bush’s supposed aversion to “nation-building” possibly complain?

Oh, I’m sorry - we’re not to hold critics responsible for anything they may have said more than 10 minutes ago. I’ll try to remember, er, forget.

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