Monday, May 01, 2006

The Father of the Bush Doctrine?

George Shultz was Ronald Reagan's Secretary of State during the majority of his time in office. He continues to have a distinguished career, and at 85 his views remain relevant. Witness this statement, made in a speech in 1984 following the attacks on the Marine barracks in Beirut:

We must reach a consensus in this country that our responses [to terrorism] should go beyond passive defense to consider means of active prevention, pre-emption and retaliation.

Wow- in 1984, revolutionary. His interview with the WSJ's Daniel Henninger also provides further insights:
  • I'm in favor of vision. Ronald Reagan had vision. But gardening is something you have to do if you're going to be effective in foreign affairs . . . come around reasonably frequently and get rid of the weeds before they get too big. You show me a union that will never strike, and I'll show you a union that isn't going to get anywhere. You show me a management that will never take a strike, and I'll show you a management that's going to get pushed around.
  • Our basic problem is that the Iranians are convinced that they can do anything and there are no consequences."
  • The law-enforcement mentality is not going to do the job for us. You have to have a war mentality. You have to have an offense and defense; you have to be active about it.

And on the recent criticism of Donald Rumsfeld by some career officers:

I always had a good experience dealing with the career people in government, but I have to say it's almost as if there is an insurrection taking place. Particularly what is going on in the military is astonishing and fundamentally intolerable. There has to be a sense of discipline. This is something new, and for everybody's good it has to be dealt with.


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