A very foreign policy

In 100 days of Bush II administration, our nation’s foreign policy has become as chilled as the champagne Bush and his corporate cronies used to celebrate his surprising domestic success. George W. Bush may have a few notches in his big, leather belt that bespeak of his tightly controlled, media-savvy, conservative agenda, but his ability (and Rice’s and Powell’s) to navigate some recent and some “ancient” troubled waters is looming as the real challenge of his administration.

It may be that Bush has handled his domestic agenda with such a winning formula that all the media is left to report is the toil and trouble that awaits outside our borders.

It may be that Clinton’s ability to leave the domestic scene burning with confrontation while simultaneously being lauded and loved as Father America the world over stands in such stark relief to Bush’s role reversal, that smoldering, ongoing global issues may have again asserted themselves regardless of whose administration occupies Washington.

Or it may be that Bush and Rice and Powell have done a dreadful job of communicating effectively with each other, with our “allies” and our “enemies,” and are explicitly marching ahead with the Reagan-era dreams of absolute, unilateral defensive power at the expense of the very complex web of stabilizing alliances that emerged in the last decade.

There is an undeniable sinking feeling associated with the Bush administration. Regardless of the election fiasco, his retreat from many of the most promising developments in global relations have left many other nations wondering where he, and his administration, derive their smugness for and ignorance of the global stage, while ignoring, or Bushwashing, the reports of not-so domestic bliss that dominate the foreign media.

His unwillingness to “be involved” leaves many wondering what precisely are his priorities and gives credence to the global voice that, at this point, just keeps laughing at our hypocrisy.

In other words, the administration Bushwashes the domestic concerns about free trade, executions and disparity in prison sentencing with non-sequitur propaganda about “human rights” and “the administration’s ongoing concern,” while the world body clearly sees the connection and voids our position on the United Nations Human Rights Commission (the very one Eleanor Roosevelt created).

The Bush administration and, in fairness, beginning in earnest in the Reagan administration, has exclusively defined, urged and threatened the war on drugs on the world. The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board decided that they had enough of America’s heavy hand and in secret ballot (real democracy in action?) decided to replace America.

These “embarrassments,” or “anti-American sentiments,” are more than a simple shift in relations, they signal a merging frustration among allies and antagonists in dealing with the Unites States’ winner-take-all mentality; an emerging realization that the only superpower must have its power placed within the same checks-and-balances system that it so lauds.

This is not a new concept or concern on the world stage, but the inconsistent messages, apparent disinterest for formerly critical goals and the alarming egocentrism of the Bush administration seems to have created the opportunity, necessity and justification for these actions.