Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post: "Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush's Foreign Policy"
"It is Topic A of every single conversation," said Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank that has had strong influence in staffing the administration and shaping its ideas. "I don't have a friend in the administration, on Capitol Hill or any part of the conservative foreign policy establishment who is not beside themselves with fury at the administration."
"It" meaning the recognition that five years of unfettered application of "conservative" foreign policy has resulted in one colossal disaster after the next, fractured our military manpower and matériel, blackened the international reputation of the United States, and assured that we will, in fact, be less secure than formerly and for at least the next several generations? That "It"?
Conservatives complain that the United States is hunkered down in Iraq without enough troops or a strategy to crush the insurgency. They see autocrats in Egypt and Russia cracking down on dissenters with scant comment from Washington, North Korea firing missiles without consequence, and Iran playing for time to develop nuclear weapons while the Bush administration engages in fruitless diplomacy with European allies. They believe that a perception that the administration is weak and without options is emboldening Syria and Iran and the Hezbollah radicals they help sponsor in Lebanon.
So...the "conservative" critique is now that the results of a particular course of action is what determines its "conservatism", so that a foreign policy urged on the country by, oh, I dunno, 100% of so-called conservatives, supported by 100%, and still supported as it turned increasingly, obviously, undeniably to shit by 99.98...
as its failure made it clear that we did not have enough troops or a strategy to crush an insurgency in its last throes, or a "Conservative" Congress which would do anything but rubber stamp it and agree to hide the costs until after the elections, and as the expenditure in both dollars and manpower made it plain we could not confront the other Axes of Evil that policy had conveniently regarded as lesser threats, nor that, having been humiliated in a tenth-rate military power and barely able to maintain what we can assert as "control" of one of the poorest nations on earth...
somehow no longer belongs to a group of people whose index fingers still bear faint traces of purple ink.
Hey, the last rats to leave the ship get to taste rat ass and swallow copious amounts of salt water. It was plain from the start that we did not have enough troops to occupy Iraq. It was plain from the start that by doing so we reduced our ability to respond or threaten elsewhere, notably in North Korea, where we all we have available now is roughly 10% of the manpower Army protocol says would be needed to respond to an invasion. We know that. North Korea knows that. And they know that we know that they know.
It was clear at the time that unless things went according to the rosiest of rosy scenarios we would find ourselves in precisely this predicament, with no choice but to try to employ diplomacy having seriously weakened ourselves first. The international situation is not the result of a good plan hopelessly snagged by unforeseeable circumstances. It's the result of reckless and amateurish adventurism by a group which knows it's right, doubly so when everything is says turns out to be wrong.