Kristof is a career journalist, and certainly not a man without biases, but both today's column and the recent one excoriating Bush's foreign-policy idealism hit the mark rather directly: the current Administration is showing dangerous signs of tunnel vision, if not incompetency.
I'm not on the side of The Nation on this one -- if you can't convince me to embark on a war of imperial expansion, you're not trying at all -- but I'm forced to agree with former Army General and NATO Commander Wesley Clark: it's the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time
The simple truth is that American foreign policy is writing checks that our allies must ultimately cash (to mix an already muddled metaphor). After all, North Korea's policy now, as it was at the time of the first Korean War, is to combine a surprise attack on South Korea with saturation bombing of American logistical points -- primarily, our bases in Japan, which not only serve the immediate region, but also act as a vital logistical nexus for actions in the Gulf theatre. It is our forces, but Japan's civilians, who will bear the brunt of any failure in diplomacy -- and that, so far, has not been acknowledged by the Administration.