Did We Break it, Should We Buy It ? w/ poll
Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 11:35:26 AM PST
Like a bull in a china shop...Like allowing a lunatic to run the asylum...very much like giving madmen the keys to the kingdom, The Bush administration has,and continues, to sow political instability on a global scale. Britain's Labour Party, probably the closest ideological ally of Democrats in the U.K. until the rise of the Liberal Democrats in 1988, has suffered greatly under the leadership of Tony Blair. However, Blair's allegiance to President Bush's neocon agenda has been his undoing. Now the fractious government of Italy finds itself leaderless . Some might argue that this was to be expected given the near constant instability of the Italian government, but it comes as no surprise to me that the meltdown was brought on by disagreement over Italy's support of the United States in the war of terror.
In 2004, the ruling conservative Popular Party in Spain was ousted by socialist leader Jose-Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and the Socialist Workers Party. Their victory came on the heels of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, and was a clear indication of the Spanish people's opposition to,and fear of, the war in Iraq. You can read about it here and here. While I would like to ideologically applaud this shift to the left, I can't help but think that the reactionary electorate of one of our allies acting in response to our policies, is less than a good thing.
Just last night in Australia citizens clashed with police as they protested the arrival of Vice President Cheney. At the same time the Australian Government is engaged in its' own partisan struggle over the war. Much like the United States, Austalians have sacrificed core civil liberties in the name of security. The ASIO, Austalia's intelligenge agency, was given wide authority to combat terrorism in 2003, and again in 2004, that was deemed unnecessary and potentially dangerous by the Law Council of Australia. While these laws may not be as egregious as The Patriot Act or The Military Commissions Act, they are still an example of sacrificing freedom for security.
The resignation of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi comes on the heels of a froeign policy clash over Italian involvement in Afghanistan, and the enlargement of The U.S. military base in Vicenza. Consider this from TIME.com :
The substantive fallout on the foreign policy front remains to be seen. D'Alema, a former Prime Minister, was emerging as a leading center-left voice in European diplomatic circles. After Berlusconi had been a loyal Bush Administration ally, his center-left successors rapidly brought all remaining Italian troops back from Iraq. But last summer, D'Alema and Prodi played a central role in brokering the cease-fire to end the war between Israel and Hizballah, and Italy now heads the U.N.-led peacekeeping force in Lebanon.Instability. Our relations with Germany have been strained since the invasion of Iraq. Our relationship with France, our oldest ally, is in tatters. We may or may not be contemplating military action against Tehran, which could have disastarous implications concerning our already strained diplomatic relationships with China. The ruling party in Britain is weak, and the Prime Minister is no different than what we would call a lame duck. The Italian government has no leader, and is essentially in crisis... even as they are responsible for keeping the peace in Lebanon. The entire middle east is more volatile than it has ever been at any point in modern history. For what? The arrogance, incompetence, and utter hubris of a madman? Please tell me that there is a better, more reasonable, explanation. Is it just me, am I paranoid, or does the world stage really appear to be so bleak? If we repair the damage that has been done here, in our country, will the rest of the world follow suit? What is our responsibility to Europe? The Middle East? Asia? Did we break it? Should we buy it?
Our foreign policy, predicated on a foundation of lies, has already claimed lives and governments. What else has to happen before people understand the stakes?