The two papers of record both claim it has been a good week for this administration. First, the WaPo:
It has been a week of sweet vindication for those who promulgated what they call the Bush Doctrine.
Beginning with the capture of Saddam Hussein a week ago and ending Friday with an agreement by Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi to surrender his unconventional weapons, one after another international problem has eased.
On Tuesday, the leaders of France and Germany set aside their long-standing opposition to the war in Iraq and agreed to forgive an unspecified amount of that country’s debt. On Thursday, Iran signed an agreement allowing surprise inspections of its nuclear facilities after European governments applied intense pressure on the U.S. foe. On Friday, Libya agreed to disarm under the watch of international inspectors, just as administration officials were learning that Syria had seized $23.5 million believed to be for al Qaeda.
To foreign policy hard-liners inside and outside the administration, the gestures by Libya, Iran and Syria, and the softening by France and Germany, all have the same cause: a show of American might.
Now the NY Times Op-Ed page:
James Baker III is quickly showing how old-fashioned diplomacy can advance Washington’s policy objectives. In his first trip as President Bush’s Iraqi debt negotiator, Mr. Baker met with five European leaders and emerged with declarations endorsing a substantial write-off of the $40 billion in old loans and accrued interest that Baghdad owes major developed countries. The five countries Mr. Baker visited, together with the United States, account for roughly $25 billion of those obligations. That’s only a start