March 23, 2005

I'm too polite to say "I told you so"

But I said this would happen....

LA Times...The new cooperation between Bush and Chirac and the almost daily contact that U.S. and French officials have maintained during the crisis contrasted with the bitter rift that emerged between the two countries over Iraq two years ago.

In crafting a policy on Lebanon, the Bush administration has adopted a more measured approach, departing from the more rigid style that characterized its diplomacy during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

As a result, the U.S. has enlisted more allies in its campaign to free Lebanon of Damascus' grip. It has also shown greater flexibility as it grapples with the task of how best to strengthen Lebanon's democratic process once Syrian forces are gone.

Foreign diplomats and many U.S. critics of Bush's handling of foreign affairs have praised his actions during the crisis in Lebanon that followed the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri...

Of course they spin it as "a chastened US has learned it's lesson and now goes back to diplomacy." But it is precisely because we were willing to fight in Iraq that we now have the luxury of settling problems peacefully (with a bit of luck) by diplomacy. For how many decades has diplomacy failed utterly to change things in Lebanon? Now suddenly it seems to be working....

Colin Powell had the chance to be the greatest diplomat since Metternich. But he blew it, and now Condalezza Rice will win the prizes. Which is only fair, since she gave whole-hearted support to the President when the going was tough, and the appeasers and weaklings were demanding retreat.

Posted by John Weidner at March 23, 2005 8:13 AM
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