Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Foreign Policy Ideas in the George W. Bush Administratioton: Conversation with David Frum, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; 1/20/04 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is David Frum, who is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. A journalist and speechwriter for President George W. Bush, he is the author of The Right Man: An Inside Account of the Bush White House and An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, written with Richard Perle.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... becoming the president's speechwriter
  2. Impact of 9/11 ... a malaise ... the attacks ... being ordered to run ... a city at war
  3. The Transformation of George W. Bush and of U.S. Foreign Policy ... Bush's strengths and weaknesses ... comparison to Clinton ... Bush's midlife transformation ... first speech after 9/11 targets nation hosts ... prior mistakes in responding to terrorism ... speechwriters tap into presidential power of being heard ... the practicality of American politics ... "day of infamy" and comparison to FDR ... genesis of "axis of evil" ... rejection of realism and other academic categories ... militant Islam is threatened by U.S. freedoms and dynamism ... intellectual and cultural support for extremism and terrorism
  4. Mission Statement for the War on Terror ... An End to Evil ... second-guessing the consequences of war in Iraq ... sinister influence of Saudi Arabia ... demonstration of U.S. power against dictators ... playing hardball in Arab states ... softer approach for Pakistan ... reorganizing foreign policy bureaucracy ... the Patriot Act
  5. Conclusion ... ideas matter ... advice to students ... legacy of the Bush administration
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