What Josh Marshall says:
The sad truth is that the [Bush] Administration's foreign policy has run aground on the shoals of its own incompetence. As Kevin Drum noted last week, "the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore."Yep.
Afghanistan is reverting to the Taliban. Iraq is beyond the point of no return. North Korea is acting with impunity. Iran controls its own destiny.
Worse, for an Administration that has instinctively favored military action over diplomacy, the nation's military resources are depleted, bogged down, and largely unavailable for any further foreign adventures.
Yet we have [news] stories emerging that suggest the current foreign policy dilemma is a deliberate course of action chosen by Bush. Time, in a mishmash of its news and style sections, calls it a "strategic makeover" led by Condi Rice.
The fact is Bush has boxed himself in, frittering away lives and treasure, and leaving himself with few options. He deserves no more credit for a policy shift than the man serving a life sentence who declares that he will henceforth be law-abiding.
For the most part, the Bush imprint on the world has been set. Little new is going to emerge in the next 2.5 years. The President himself has told us that it’s up to the next administration to figure out what to do about Iraq. He’s done his best, such as it is, and has no idea what to do from here. Until someone comes up with an exit strategy, Americans will continue to die there and billions of dollars will be flushed down the toilet (good thing we’ve already cured cancer).
Meanwhile the rest of the world hates us and no other nation is all that anxious to cooperate with us or be seen as advancing any American agenda. So yes, we are adrift; standing on the world stage, having forgotten our lines, while the world audience sits uncomfortably waiting for the scene to end.