The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Steven Den Beste has a touching if naive faith that the Bush administration's foreign policy decisions will exactly match his ratiocinations and, for that matter, his prejudices. Thus when told that the Turkish parliament had voted against cooperation with an American land attack against Iraq, Den Beste spent a few (for him) sentences bemoaning perfidious Anatolia, then snarled

One thing I do know: the Turkish government gets no big new aid package. They're not going to get a dime.

I don't object to Den Beste's opinion. I would be perfectly happy to see Turkey get the shaft in the form of no bribes and an independent Kurdistan. But the US State Department has a long history of trying to make people like us by sending them money with no strings attached, and of not having the slightest clue about who would constitute a loyal or useful ally. I expect that Ankara's slap in the face will not stop the flow of aid, nor will it result in self-government by Iraqi Kurds.

Foggy Bottom's predeliction for shooting American interests in the foot was interrupted briefly by Reagan's resolve. Perhaps Bush will do the same, but he will have to overcome two of his traits not possessed by the Gipper: His desire to reach out to everyone and make them like him, and his gut reaction to solve problems by throwing money at them.



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