President Bush’s July 2007 announcement of the regional peace conference that convened in Annapolis the following November provided that attendance was to to be limited to representatives of nations that support a two-state solution, reject violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and commit to all previous agreements between the parties. Adhering to this limitation, however, would have resulted in a small party. The limitation was therefore abandoned in a big way. The Bush administration even made room for a state sponsor of terror (Syria) at the conference.
Syria continues to demonstrate the incoherence of Bush administration foreign policy. Stephen Hayes reports that two days after President Bush criticized Syria as a state sponsor of terror in his speech at the United Nations, Secretary Rice met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem in New York. The meeting was first reported in the Syrian state press which noted that it took place at Rice’s request. Mouallen told Al Hayat that the meeting represented a softening of the US position on Syria.
Hayes harks back to the days of Bush’s “with us or against us” approach to terrorism and formulates what he terms the new Bush doctrine: “You are either with us or against us. Or both. Whatever.” Hayes comments:
That, at least, seems to be the version of the Bush Doctrine preferred by Condoleezza Rice, who has pushed for warmer relations with Axis of Evil nations North Korea and Iran, and Iranian satellite Syria. By most accounts, President Bush still believes in the original Bush Doctrine and continues to articulate his views forcefully in meetings with members of Congress, in off-the-record sessions with journalists and sessions with foreign dignitaries.
With less than four months left in his term, the question of this: Is the president in charge of his foreign policy or has he completely handed it off to his Secretary of Stae?
Whether or not President Bush has delegated foreign policy to Secreatary Rice, the decomposition of the administration’s foreign policy is a work that has been in progress for some time.