Looks like Bush is going to be busy eating his words:
Two months ago yesterday, George W. Bush addressed the Israeli Knesset, and suggested that those who support negotiations with Iran are guilty of “appeasement,” equivalent to those who were reluctant to confront Hitler in 1939. The remarks were quickly embraced and
amplified by John McCain, who insisted that Barack Obama’s willingness to talk to our enemies is evidence of his alleged naivete.
For an experienced and naive rube, Obama seems to have inspired Republican leaders. Yesterday, McCain adopted Obama’s Afghanistan policy as his own, and today, the Bush administration will join high-level talks with Iran for the first time, just as Obama has been talking about for a long while.The decision by the Bush administration to send a senior American official to participate in international talks with Iran this weekend reflects a double policy shift in the struggle to resolve the impasse over the country’s nuclear program..
First, the Bush administration has decided to abandon its longstanding position that it will only meet face-to-face with Iran after it first suspends uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council.
Second, it infuses the negotiating track between Iran on the one side and the six global powers - France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the United States — on the other with new importance, even though their official stance is that no substantive talks can begin until the uranium enrichment stops.
The Europeans and Russians have been urging the Bush administration to join the discussions, but the White House resisted. Now, fortunately, the administration is sending William Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, to participate in the meeting.
I guess we’re all appeasers now.
It would appear so. But you know that nothing's that simple with the Bush White House - they never back down, they just move the goal posts and redefine the terms so they can pretend they weren't forced to back down from a bloody stupid policy:
Though White House press secretary Dana Perino declined to address Obama’s comments specifically, she told reporters repeatedly that there has been no change in policy and there will be no negotiations with Iran unless the country suspends its enrichment of uranium and that is verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"Our principle remains the same, and the strategy and the goal remain the same, that they must halt the enrichment of uranium in order for there to be negotiations," Perino said.
Perino insisted that Burns will be in Geneva as part of the international community because he will be joined by representatives of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the U.S., China, Russia, France and Britain — and Germany.
If you think that makes no fucking sense whatsoever, you're absolutely right. Obama was right, Bush blinked. End of story.
Maybe that's why he's so het-up over birth control. With his will thwarted in one area, he's got to attack on a different front, and redefining "abortion" to mean "contraception" just gives him a nice warm vindictive glow:
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, “This proposed rule will put women’s access to birth control and the information they need to make health
care decisions at risk. The proposed rule will radically redefine abortion to include some of the most common and effective methods of birth control. As a result, women’s ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology.”
Quite right. According to the HHS draft, “abortion” takes on a very broad meaning: “The Department proposes to define abortion as ‘any of the various procedures — including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between
conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.’”
That necessarily means that common birth-control methods — including the birth control pill and IUDs — would be designated as “abortion.”
This brings us one step closer as a country to outlawing contraception entirely. I don't know how long it will take to undo this damage.
And he's on a fast-track to ensuring he leaves the biggest mess behind he possibly can:
The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is the federal agency responsible for all U.S. government international broadcasting, including Voice of America and U.S. broadcasts into countries like Iran and Cuba.
Oddly, as Ari’s Freedom Switch points out, President Bush last week named Cliff May, President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, to the BBG. From the announcement:The President has nominated Clifford D. May, of Maryland, to be a Member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, for the remainder of a three-year term expiring 08/13/09.
The scandal-plagued BBG has often been a dumping ground for Bush’s staunch conservative allies, including former chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. In 2006, a State Department Inspector General’s report showed that Tomlinson had abused his position and defrauded taxpayers by using BBG resources to support his personal horse racing operation. He also “requested and received compensation that exceeded the maximum allowed by law.”
May is an ardent Bush administration cheerleader and has a history of controversial remarks that make it unlikely he will be a diplomatic steward of U.S. broadcasting.
I wonder how many more ultra-conservative fuckwits he'll try to salt the earth with before he hands it over to the next President? We may have to fire the entire government and start from scratch.