Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 12:51 | SYDNEY
Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 12:51 | SYDNEY

Axis of shamelessness


Michael Fullilove


27 June 2008 11:07

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the motley crew responsible for the excesses of the Bush Administration’s first term. In the past couple of years, as President Bush clicked his foreign policy over to a centrist setting, most of them have been edged out of his Administration. Instead of walking the ramparts of power, they found themselves instead in international organizations, in think tanks or in court.

However these individuals should never be counted out, and in the last couple of weeks three of them have re-emerged. All three are now affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank which gave John Howard his gong earlier this year.

First, the mustachioed ultracon and former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton published an op-ed in the LA Times earlier this month called ‘Obama the Naïve’, in which he predicted that the Democratic nominee may follow Walter Mondale in suffering ‘one of the worst electoral defeats in American political history.’

Then on Wednesday this week, former Deputy Defense Secretary and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz wrote in The Wall Street Journal on the horrifying events in Zimbabwe. No doubt cognisant of the fact that observers like The Interpreter would read his comments through the prism of his advocacy for the invasion of Iraq, Wolfowitz was notably chastened in the Journal, shying away from suggestions of military intervention in favour of sanctions against the Mugabe regime and debt relief for its democratic successor.

Finally on Thursday, fellow neocon and so-called ‘Prince of Darkness’ Richard Perle appeared on The Washington Post’s opinion page urging a hard line against Iran’s nuclear weapons program and generally flaying Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s multilateralism. Sadly, though, his timing was not ideal: his op-ed was published on the very same day that we saw some of the fruits of the Bush Administration’s multilateral work on North Korea, namely the announcement that Pyongyang would submit for international review the oft-delayed declaration of its nuclear program.

It takes real self-confidence blithely to opine on world affairs when you have made a complete mess of them yourself. Kudos to the axis of shamelessness.