Friday, February 18, 2005

The stand-up comedy of Douglas Feith

Douglas Feith, in a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, indicates that he intends to become a stand-up comedian after he leaves the Bush Administration:

"In the war on terrorism, one of the key strategic challenges is this: How can we fight a global war against enemies who are present in so many countries with whom we are not at war? Indeed, many of these countries are friends of ours.

To contemplate that question is to come to understand why the United States cannot possibly win the war on terrorism by military means alone – or by itself alone. The United States can win the war – it can defeat terrorist extremism as a threat to our way of life as a free and open society – only through cooperation with allies and partners around the world.

Now, this may strike you as a shockingly non-unilateralist pronouncement. Perhaps you will conclude that it represents the new diplomatic tone of the new term of this Bush presidency. In fact, recognition that allies and partners are indispensable to the war effort has animated U.S. strategy since 9/11. Top U.S. officials have said so for years, though statements to this effect tended to be ignored or underplayed by folks wedded to the thesis, as common as it is false, that the administration is run by fools committed to go-it-alone-ism in national security affairs. But I digress."