Sunday, March 11, 2007

Zakaria points out how badly US has been flanked in Central America under Bush

In a terse but scathing piece, Fareed Zakaria outlines the broad details of what we might come to think of has Bush's little noticed foreign policy failure in Latin America. If I thought these problems were simple miscalculations, rather than ideologically driven screw-ups (a point on which I agree with Fareed), I'd be more charitable.

Anyway, the whole story unfolds:

Bush's new look at the region will not do much good. It's too little, too late.
Until Bush's election in 2000, American foreign policy toward Latin America had been on the right track for two decades. ...

The tragedy here is a familiar one. When Bush had enormous room to maneuver in 2001, when loaded with political capital in 2002 and 2003, he embarked on a series of ideological exercises that severely diminished American influence and prestige. Now, battered by failure, he has moved toward more-sensible policies—not just in Latin America, but in North Korea and even the Middle East.

But the president is now walking alone, with few supporters at home or abroad, and little capital that he can draw on to execute any of his new approaches. In region after region, on issue after issue, that might well be the recurring theme of George W. Bush's foreign policy in his final 22 months.

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