Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I have quite a bit of work to do today, but I will leave you with this link to Norman Podhoretz' latest article in Commentary, which is an absolute must read. Podhoretz discusses the commonly expressed belief that the Bush Doctrine (otherwise known as "cowboy diplomacy")is dead. It is a compelling piece that I will freely admit coincides with my own assessment of Bush's character.

Here is one excerpt about Iraq:
I must confess to being puzzled by the amazing spread of the idea that the Bush Doctrine has indeed failed the test of Iraq. After all, Iraq has been liberated from one of the worst tyrants in the Middle East; three elections have been held; a decent constitution has been written; a government is in place; and previously unimaginable liberties are being enjoyed. By what bizarre calculus does all this add up to failure? And by what even stranger logic is failure to be read into the fact that the forces opposed to democratization are fighting back with all their might?

Surely what makes more sense is the opposite interpretation of the terrible violence being perpetrated by the terrorists of the so-called “insurgency”: that it is in itself a tribute to the enormous strides that have been made in democratizing the country. If this murderous collection of diehard Sunni Baathists and vengeful Shiite militias, together with their allies inside the government, agreed that democratization had already failed, would they be waging so desperate a campaign to defeat it? And if democratization in Iraq posed no threat to the other despotisms in the region, would those regimes be sending jihadists and material support to the “insurgency” there?

If I may use a phrase from Podhoretz, if there were a "saner political climate" at the moment in this country, there might be some reasonable discussion about all the issues he raises in this excellent piece. But the political climate remains completely insane, and there is very little reason--or goodwill for that matter--to be found on either side of the political spectrum.

There is doom and gloom; bitter resentment; outright hatred of Bush and his policies; and a stunning lack of alternate ideas on the part of those who are most critical, and most steeped in the hatred and resentment.

The good news from my perspective is that Podhoretz believes--and has documented it extensively--that the Bush Doctrine--with its shining moral clarity in a world wallowing in a mist of relativity and surrealism--is alive and well.

If he is correct, the next two years will be very interesting.

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