Sure, there were some downsides to the Bush administration foreign policy in 2007 such as [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE EXAMPLE HERE]. But what about the good news?

  • No New Wars: Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t quite reached the “pace of success” (Bush’s phrase) that the president would like to see. But give him some credit: he didn’t start any new wars in 2007.
  • No “Nucular” attacks: since Dubya can’t pronounce the word “nuclear” and can’t locate most countries on a map, it’s hard for him to push the button: he doesn’t know where to aim.
  • No War With Iran: That damned National Intelligence Estimate! What do those punks in the intelligence community think they’re up to? If the president wanted to know what they actually think about Iran, Dick Cheney would have told them. How can the administration attack a nuclear weapons program that doesn’t exist? Don’t mention Iraq. That’s totally different (it ends in a “q,” not an “n” – even Bush knows that). Meanwhile, the State Department is trying to teach Bush to pronounce “Ahmadinejad,” which bodes well for the future of negotiations.
  • First Full Year Without Donald Rumsfeld to Kick Around: Can I be honest for a moment? I miss Donald Rumsfeld. Was he arrogant? Yes. Was he wrong most of the time? You betcha. Did he have an irritating habit of answering his own questions? Absolutely. But what other secretary of defense was so loopy that excerpts from his press conferences could be turned into a book of existential poetry? Short existential poetry. Top entries included “what the president said was right, whatever it may have been”; “you’ve got your known knowns, your unknown knowns, and your unknown unknowns” (therefore, you can do whatever the hell you want to); and, my personal favorite, “absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence” (a mantra for folks who want to bomb weapons programs that don’t exist).
  • John Bolton is Outside the Tent Peeing In, Not Inside the Tent Peeing Out: A small but important improvement. Sure the press quotes him as if he’s the second coming of Winston Churchill, but at least he’s not speaking for the U.S. government when he insults every world leader we should be negotiating with.
  • Two Out of Ten Republican Presidential Candidates Oppose Torture: Need we say more? Let’s just hope McCain or Huckabee don’t drop out of the race, or it will ruin their stats.
  • Talking to North Korea: Someone finally told Bush it was okay to use a translator (supplied by Blackwater, of course).
  • The Fall (and Fall) of Paul Wolfowitz: Wolfie gets bounced from the World Bank for hooking up his girl friend with a job that pays more than what the secretary of state earns. Comedian Andy Borowitz suggests that the real news is that someone was willing to go out with Paul Wolfowitz in the first place.
  • Bush Knows Who the Leader of Pakistan Is: When he was running for president the first time around, a reporter asked George W. Bush who the leader of Pakistan was, and he said “General. I can’t name the General. General.” He also said that “this guy is going to bring stability to the country.” Now Bush knows that “this guy” is named Musharraf – but he’s still working on the nuances (like pronouncing “Pervez”).
  • The Bush Foreign Policy Is Set to Expire in 382 Days: The down side is that it may be replaced by the “Huckabee foreign policy” – formulated by a guy who makes Bush look like an elder statesman.
William Hartung is director of the Arms and Security Initiativeat the New America Foundation and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus (

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