The Washington Post measures the results of the Bush assministration’s efforts against those three famous words in Chimpy’s 2002 State of the Union Address and finds nothing but failure.
President Bush’s campaign against what he once termed the “axis of evil” has suffered reverses on all three fronts in recent days that underscore the profound challenges confronting him 3 1/2 years after he vowed to take action.
First, multilateral talks orchestrated by the United States to pressure North Korea to give up nuclear weapons adjourned last week after 13 days without agreement. Then Iran restarted its program to convert uranium, in defiance of the United States and Europe. Finally, negotiators in Iraq failed to draft a new constitution by Monday’s deadline amid an unrelenting guerrilla war against U.S. forces.
None of these developments may be fatal to Bush’s policy goals, but the quick succession of setbacks has left his national security team privately discouraged and searching for answers.
The unexpected difficulties endured in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 have colored the broader efforts against the “axis of evil” states. Tehran and Pyongyang have felt freer to flout American pressure, secure in the knowledge that the U.S. military is tied down in Iraq, analysts said.
“The situation in Iraq is sufficiently sober [that] I think this has given the Iranians a boost of confidence that they didn’t have two years ago,” said Geoffrey Kemp, a Reagan administration national security official who is now a scholar at the Nixon Center. “They’re not scared of us as they once were.”
One U.S. official who specializes in nuclear issues laughed when asked to score the administration’s success in handling the three countries. “I’m tempted to say we’re 1-2,” he said, “but I think that wouldn’t be honest.”
Now compare the WaPo’s photo of Chimpy delivering his State of the Union Address in 2002…
…to this Reuters photo taken on July 4, 2005.
Either the Chimpster stopped using Grecian Formula or all the blood on his hands has aged him.