Bush squanders America's victory

The greatest threat to U.S. dominance is not Islamic extremism, it's our arrogance, says a Times of London writer.

By Salon Staff
Published February 8, 2002 11:32PM (EST)

President Bush's State of the Union speech on Jan. 29 now seems clearly like a milestone in American foreign relations. Bush's bellicose rhetoric -- which promised to put the United States on a permanent war footing -- alienated even our staunchest allies. And the chasm between the U.S. and the rest of the world has only grown in recent days, as even administration moderate Colin Powell has hewed to the White House's hard line, vowing that if our allies did not support us in future military exploits such as an invasion of Iraq, the U.S. is prepared to go it alone. War is not a foreign policy, but the president is apparently convinced otherwise.

The international press has been filled lately with stunned and outraged reactions to the administration's arrogant unilateralism. Within a matter of days, the White House has come close to squandering nearly all of the global goodwill and cooperation that was built in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks and America's effective response in Afghanistan.

One of the most eloquent responses to the Bush administration's dangerous triumphalism came from Anatole Kaletsky, the principal economics commentator for the Times of London, the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper -- hardly a bastion of anti-American demagoguery. We link to it here for our readers' benefit.

-- The editors

Salon Staff

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