Monday, June 19, 2006

# Posted 10:54 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

AEI SCHOLAR ATTACKS BUSH FROM THE RIGHT: I haven't seen Michael Rubin in quite a while, but he was a columnist for the Yale Daily News at the same time that I was, so what more do you need to know?

In the previous issue of the Weekly Standard, Michael has some very unkind things to say about the President:
His administration charts the path of least resistance and paper compromise so dominant during the Clinton years...The Central Intelligence Agency now estimates North Korea has a couple of bombs; the Stalinist state claims to have more. The idea that Clinton's deal [in 1994] was a success is revisionist nonsense. It is a model only for the triumph of appearance over substance. Kim Jong Il played Clinton; Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is playing Bush.
So what should the President do, with American forces already overcommitted in Iraq and Iranian facilities only partially vulnerable to US airstrikes? Michael doesn't say. Although one might criticize the administration for expecting too much from multilateral diplomacy, it seems thoroughly premature to denounce Bush the younger for going wobby.

With regard to North Korea, we are also relatively short on options. Which means that Clinton may simply have been doing the best he could in a bad situation, rather than expressing his pathological liberalism by cutting a deal with the Kims.

From where I stand, the real value-added of Michael's article is its treatment of Somalia. Although I certainly hadn't paid much attention until now, Michael marshals some very persuasive evidence to the effect that Somalia is becoming the next pre-9/11 Afghanistand and that the US isn't doing much about it. I hope that isn't the case for long.
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

David-- I was never a columnist for the YDN (I was news editor for the Herald). As to what to do, I've addressed this elsewhere, most recently in The Prospect (UK). There is no reason why to capitulate completely. The devil is in the details. We achieved no committment from European allies, Russia, or China for any substance should Iran fail to comply. Nor is there a timeline for Iran to comply. And, for all intensive purposes, the State Department has filibustered the $75 million it was to spend on democracy promotion.
Points taken. And my apolgies for confusing the YDN and the Herald. By any chance did you contribute a few columns to the YDN?
Just visited the YDN website. No columns by Dr. Rubin during my time at Yale, just some letters to the editor.

But I strongly recommend his appraisal of Juan Cole's fitness for tenure at Yale, published in the YDN this past April:http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=32755.
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