Until Sept. 11, except for staring deep into Vlad Putin's ice-blue eyes and concluding the old KGB shark had soul, Bush evinced little interest in foreign affairs.
And since then?
Unfortunately, reality uncharitably refused to conform to the Bush administration's demands -- in fact, reality kept blowing up in our faces. In Afghanistan and particularly in Iraq, reality turned out to be downright ugly about not obliging our blithe president.
So far, it looks as though Bush does better on foreign policy when he's being an isolationist. Maybe he should just stay home and cut taxes for the rich some more, or go expose some CIA agent for political payback against her husband, or just spy on a lot of American pacifists.
When I heard him deploring xenophobia (that's fear of foreigners) on the Dubai Ports deal, I did a double- take. Michael Chertoff of Homeland Security again has said the trouble with homeland security is that it threatens trade -- all important, all sacred trade, profits above all. For the umpteenth time, it is not only possible, but smart to insist on adjusting free trade for labor standards, for environmental standards and even so your ports don't get blown up.
Well, maybe, if we ever get a real president.