Friday, March 28, 2008

That Cowboy diplomacy myth

The Bush Derangement Syndrome people have as one of their favorite sayings regarding President Bush as using "Cowboy Diplomacy" in his foreign affairs dealings. It's used in a derogatory fashion and it implies that Bush prefers to go it alone and doesn't bother to consult with allies before acting. You've all heard it before and you've also heard how that's damaged our credibility around the world. All three leading candidates for President are using this as something they will change if you would just elect them. Interestingly though, the facts don't support the claim. From the Wall Street Journal is Bush the Multilateralist.
  • John McCain gave a major foreign policy address in Los Angeles Wednesday, and if his intention was to convey a subtle message about what distinguishes him from the current White House occupant, he seems to have succeeded -- at least with the press.

    The presumptive Republican nominee spoke of the need for a "new global compact" based on "mutual respect and trust," of adding "luster to America's image in the world," and of "paying a 'decent respect to the opinions of mankind.'" The media played it all up as an attempt to distance himself from the "unilateral" President Bush, although the Arizona Republican never used that word.

    We fully understand why Mr. McCain feels the need to show that his Administration would not simply be a third Bush term. But with Mr. Bush's days in office nearing an end, it's worth blowing apart the myth of the "go it alone" Presidency. The truth is that, with a couple of exceptions, he's been the model of a modern multilateralist.