Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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 Fallows

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U.S. Foreign Policy and the Bush Administration: Conversation with James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly, March 28, 2005, 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 Jim Fallows, who is the national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly.

  1. Aftermath of 9/11 ... striking the right tone with Muslims ... Afghanistan ... premature shift of resources to Iraq attack ... reasons for preoccupation with Iraq
  2. The Bush Administration's Blinders ... big gestures ... inattention to detail ... dark worldview of Cheny ... Rice's dismissal of differing opinions ... firing governmental experts ... optimistic public face ... scorn for lessons of nineties ... genuine internal optimism ... Republican triumphalism ... failure of Democrats to dissent ... little choice but to believe WMD threats
  3. The Press since 9/11 ... hawkish turn in New York and Washington media establishment ... longer trend of media as business ... spectacle ... high costs of foreign coverage ... the new media
  4. Technology ... sudden shift in national dialogue about military technology ... vulnerability to a low-tech enemy ... terrorists choose not to engage high-tech forces ... Rumsfeld's modernization theory ... overextension of the military ... learning in the Bush administration
  5. American Idealism and Foreign Policy ... balancing idealism with pragmatism ... Bush's absolutist rhetoric ... sobering realities of war ... long-term strategy ... rationalizing homeland security ... presenting the right model ... freedom versus justice
  6. Conclusion ... a sobering "separate facts" universe ... some optimism for mideast democracy ... public opposition to the war

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