For the sake of intellectual honesty, I'm giving points to President Bush on foreign policy news items I've read of late.
Iraq: I'm still on the fence about supporting the Iraq war if I knew what I know now about the incompetance with which the administration would initially execute it. I'm presently leaning no, but I'm hoping my position will be reversed. Anyways of late there's been two steps forward and one step back for the war.
- The Iraqi government finally picked a cabinet. About bloody time. The main reason it took so long was that we put lots of safeties in the constitution in an attempt to forestall civil war. This got us a more broadly based government at the cost of momentum. Regardless there soon will be a constitutional Iraqi government ruling elected by reasonably democratic means given the ongoing insurgency. I don't know how well they'll do, but the fact that they finally got a government togther is good news.
- The last Syrian troops have left Lebanon. Did the war in Iraq cause this? No, not directly. Did it contribute to this? I'd say yeah. One of the most compelling arguments for the war, if not one initially emphasized by the administration, was a democratizing domino effect. Could be this is a coincidence and they just got lucky, but I'll take lucky if it furthers the cause of democratization.
- The bad news is that the insurgency is at pre-elections levels again. So the impetus is on this new Iraqi government to regain the momentum.
I'll also give props to Bush on Darfur. He hasn't stopped it, not by a long shot. However, I've recently read that the US has backed off our opposition to using the International Criminal Court to try Darfur war criminals. The sad thing is that the genocide is still on-going despite the fact that Bush has done far better in every way the Clinton did on Rwanda. By comparison the international community has been far less willing to honestly call it a genocide or to work together to do something about it. Again, none of this is enough to make a real difference, but it is progress and is far more than I expected based off Bush's debating stance in '00.