Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster'
August 1, 2004 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster' A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.
posted by Postroad (26 comments total)
Democratic Senator Zell Miller's campaign to re-elect Bush is still in full effect: here.

Just trying to be "fair and balanced".
posted by BlueTrain at 7:18 PM on August 1, 2004

Metafilter: We report, you decide!
posted by bob sarabia at 7:48 PM on August 1, 2004

login, is that you?
posted by quonsar at 8:31 PM on August 1, 2004

You mean Zell Miller, the guy who said the 9/11 comission is helping the terrorists?

Anyone keeping company with Jerry Falwell deserves what they get.
posted by owillis at 8:33 PM on August 1, 2004

posted by clavdivs at 8:36 PM on August 1, 2004

First, I feel that Miller's appearance on Meet The Press was hilarious, if only because every point he made is a talking point that has been beaten into the ground. His interview was a complete sham because either 1) He has completely bought into the rhetoric; or 2) He was screwed by the DNC and is now fire-bombing.

And his comment suggesting that the creation of the commission gave our enemies confidence is true. Whether or not it "aided the terrorists" is up for debate. But creating a commission that probes into a government response to terrorism can look like a sign of weakness. Mind you, I personally agree with the formation of the commission.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:46 PM on August 1, 2004

Do we need a retired general to tell us the obvious about Bush?
posted by lee at 8:55 PM on August 1, 2004


What troubles me about this is, I immediately understood the reference.
posted by SPrintF at 9:02 PM on August 1, 2004

Postroad, I think you need a new axe, this one's beyond dull.
posted by xmutex at 9:05 PM on August 1, 2004

"The report of the 9/11 commission makes this clear: Fighting terrorists alone just doesn't work," he said. "If our enemy hatches a terror plot in Rome, we will need help from the Italians. If German intelligence knows the whereabouts of a senior al Qaeda member, America must have that information."

Instead, he said, Bush has "alienated our friends, damaged our credibility around the world, reduced our influence to an all-time low in my lifetime, given hope to our enemies."
posted by troutfishing at 9:57 PM on August 1, 2004

Just wondering about all those generals (retired and otherwise) who must be supporting the president - they seem kind of, well, quiet - don't ya think?
posted by bashos_frog at 10:13 PM on August 1, 2004

Questioningly tolls the bellweather of silence.
posted by troutfishing at 10:35 PM on August 1, 2004

Questioningly trolls the bellweather of silence.
posted by matteo at 12:01 AM on August 2, 2004

Screw Bush - Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey? No. let me just say Iraq was not involved with 9-11 and every speech Bush enacts stirs me even more. The man is a deluded freak. I want to feel that this is my damned country again.
posted by RubberHen at 12:08 AM on August 2, 2004

Does Zell Miller bear more than a passing resemblance to the dimwitted governor from the TV show Benson?
posted by psmealey at 5:12 AM on August 2, 2004

Thanks for pointing this article out! Criticism of the administration is hard to come by - I would have never seen it on that little known

Metafilter: Saving you a trip to CNN
posted by soulhuntre at 5:24 AM on August 2, 2004

Following the shadow thread... As it never is by a party desparate to give counterexamples to such high-profile defectors as Clark, to deny the fact that their incessant moralist Christian drumbeating and their batshit foreign policy really is removing them from the moderate mainstream, it should be noted that Miller was pretty much the last sentinel watching the crumbling borders of the empire that was the Southern Democratic Party. Long after the Party of Lincoln lurched to the white redneck right, long after so many Southern politicians decided the NASA carrot didn't offset the Voting Rights stick and stopped riding the donkey, as it were, Miller was a conservative Democrat.

The loss of Miller lieutenant Roy Barnes to chicken magnate Sonny Purdue didn't so much reflect a 9-11 fueled lurch to the right in Georgia as it did a promise by Purdue to the "Southern Heritage" (ahem) crowd that they could get their Confederate battlefield ensign back on their state flag nice and big like it always was (or at least as it was since the 50's, when it was bolted on to the state flag as a protest against those "activist liberal judges" who gave us the Brown v. Board of Ed. of Topeka, Kan. decision).

So, the Rove Party's attempt to paint Miller as a loyal mainstream Democrat who saw the light and decided to come over to the Supply Side of the Force is somewhat disingenuous, which is not to say it is surprising. :)
posted by Vetinari at 6:31 AM on August 2, 2004

What is new, and uniquely challenging, about the war on terrorism is that hatred of America well beyond the bounds of its alliance now imperils national security. Fervent anti-Americanism among Muslims is the wellspring of terrorism, regardless of whether they live in countries whose governments cooperate with us. Yet this is a part of world opinion Mr. Kerry didn't talk about.

His reticence is understandable. Fretting about Muslim opinion sounds a little like worrying that your enemy may not like you (even though, of course, the Muslims you're worrying about are the ones who haven't signed on with the enemy but may be leaning that way). So when Democrats talk about Muslim hatred, they're just begging to be called wimps by all those right-wing bloggers who have Machiavelli's dictum - better to be feared than loved - tattooed across their chests.

But, however steep the rhetorical challenge posed by the fact that real men don't need love, the Democrats have already gone a ways toward meeting it, and they've done so on the strength of a single word: respect. As anyone who tuned into the convention for more than a few minutes is probably aware, the Democrats want an America that is "respected in the world." And even if Mr. Kerry's concrete elaborations on this theme were about the importance of allies, respect is the perfect entrée to the issue of Muslim hatred - a way to confront Machiavelli's dichotomy without winding up on the girlie-man side of it.

We don't need to be loved in the Muslim world, but we need to be respected. And even real men want respect. After all, strength can command respect. In fact, instilling fear can help instill respect. It's just that fear isn't enough. (This could be the epitaph of Mr. Bush's foreign policy: Apparently fear wasn't enough.)

For a nation to be thoroughly respected, the perception of its strength needs to be matched by a perception of its goodness. It helps to be thought of as just, generous, conscientious, mindful of the opinion of others, even a little humble. In lots of little ways, Mr. Bush has given the world the impression that we're not these things.

What Would Machiavelli Do?
posted by y2karl at 6:51 AM on August 2, 2004

Thanks Homunculus for:
1. the link.
2. not making it a fpp.

You a rawkstah.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:51 AM on August 2, 2004

What Vetinari said. Miller is loony tunes and is an embarassment to the Democratic Party (and yes, we have had many embarassments over the years). BushCo's attempts to paint him as a moderate Dem who "saw the light". Miller's voting record in the senate over the past 8 years puts in practically dead center in the Republican majority, but Miller is too popular in Georgia for the Dems to have run a primary challenger there. The good news is that Miller is not running for re-election at the end of his term. Good riddance!

Obligiatory snark based on my Yankee prejudices: isn't the "Southern Conservative Democrat", just a euphemism for a Klansman that didn't walk across the aisle after the passage Civil Rights Act of 1964?
posted by psmealey at 7:53 AM on August 2, 2004

posted by trondant at 9:41 AM on August 2, 2004

In an unprecedented display of support from the military establishment, twelve retired generals and admirals endorsed John Kerry for president of the United States on Wednesday.

And you pretty much nail it, psmealey. If "Democrats" still include a few dumb yellow slimeballs from the south, who still long for racist, confederate symbols on state flags that supposedly represent all citizens; who still laugh at racial epithets while denying racism exists; and who, if you press them, will balk and shrink and protest that they are really "moderates"....I say at least have the courage of your goddamn foul convictions and take up refuge in the party that still winks at racism.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:36 AM on August 2, 2004

But creating a commission that probes into a government response to terrorism can look like a sign of weakness.

I mean, yeah, in the sense that if you think any admission of failure is a sign of weakness, this is true.

Seems a little John Wayne to me, though. Seems to me it takes much more courage and strength to admit failings and try to learn from them than to ignore them and pretend you did nothing wrong.
posted by nath at 12:53 PM on August 2, 2004

September 25, 2000

GWEN IFILL: General McPeak, you have endorsed Governor Bush. Can you tell us why?

GENERAL MERRILL McPEAK: Well, I support him in general. I think he's right on the issues.

July 28, 2004

GENERAL MERRILL McPEAK: "I'm a registered independent, but I like and admire John Kerry. He simply has a great record of brave and skillful service to the country. He is sure to be a fine Commander-in-Chief, one we can all be proud of, and proud to follow."

What more is there to say? Even respected military officer's who've endorsed Bush are unhappy with the job he has done.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:42 PM on August 2, 2004

Thanks Homunculus for:
1. the link.
2. not making it a fpp.
You a rawkstah.

Ditto. Excellent article, worth reading.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:53 AM on August 3, 2004

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