From The Gathering Storm Blog

First President Bush was lost in translation by turning a war against an ideology into a war against a military tactic. Now he’s lost in space rejecting his Bush Doctrine in favor of ‘real politik’.

As it stands now, American foreign policy in the Middle East has shifted from actively promoting democratic change to the previous policy of realpolitik — a policy based on the appeasement of dictators and despots that was discredited in the post 9/11 world primarily because it had failed to secure American interests and security even in its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The Bush Doctrine of actively promoting democratic change may have been problematic owing to the backward political culture of the Middle East and other reasons suggested by Silverberg such as Middle Eastern tribal cultures being too resistant to change; secular Middle East dictatorships as too well-entrenched, and Islamic extremists using the electoral process to acquire power and credibility in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, however an American foreign policy based on “based on cold, calculated political and material considerations rather than on moral, ethical or idealistic concerns” hasn’t worked in the past and it is highly unlikely to work in the future.

The Bush administration’s return to a policy of “realism” translates to both America and Israel being in for a rough time ahead. Simply put, it is unrealistic to think believe that the previously proven wrong policy of realism will do anything but invite another 9/11.

OK. A stinging criticism that has some merit. So what should Bush have done and what should he do now in the waning days of his Administration?

We all know that the label ‘war on terror’ is misnomer and opened the door to for the Left to define terrorism as a criminal justice problem not an ideological one. That’s the root of the confusion we have today. If Bush had said we declare war on an ideology, the ideology of political Islam, we would have seen our enemy in a clearer light.

But that would entail us dissolving our relationships with dictators who crush democratic ideals in their countries, no longer submitting to those dictators that hold our nation hostage to oil, and realizing the reality of a fifth column of Islamists in this country working under the guise of civil rights organizations.

The very best thing that Bush could do before leaving office is to push for US energy independence from foreign oil. This dependence is not just an economic problem but a national security issue and should be treated as one.

He should include this statement in his January ’08 State of the Union Address:

“Our dependence on foreign energy sources is a threat to national security and it must cease. I have ordered a 10-year plan that will open every and all possible sources for oil in the country to drilling and have ordered a fast track permit program for nuclear energy. Tax credits will be issued to any and all companies and individuals who develop or use alternative technologies to reduce the use of oil and natural gas products. I’ve ordered the temporary lifting of controls on the mining and use of coal in this country. We have more coal in this country than the entire middle-east has oil. We have a national crisis on our hands and we are going to use the coal – cleanly.”

Would he have the courage to make this his priority over the last months of his Administration? I wonder.

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