Sunday, October 28, 2007


Victor David Hanson once again makes a point that, particularly in this political environment reflexively opposed to all things Bush, can't be made often enough:

Neoconservatism is slandered as messianic and dangerous in its advocacy of democratic reform. Are we then to revert to amoral realism that tolerated Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, or winked as the House of Saud funded madrassas that empowered global jihad? Or should we treat terrorism as a “criminal justice” matter? We did that serially in the 1990s, from the first World Trade Center bombing to the attack on the USS Cole — and earned 9/11 as the logical outcome of such appeasement.

This isn't just slamming the foreign policy of the Clinton administration. It's also slamming the foreign policy of the first Bush administration, and of the sainted Reagan administration before it--and rightly so in all cases, because they are in large part responsible for what confronts us in the Middle East today.

We created this mess. We created it long before W-The-Antichrist (TM) came into office. We have a responsibility to fix it--a responsibility not only to the security of our own country, but to the people of that region.

And a laissez-faire foreign policy--or a laissez-UN foreign policy, for that matter--is not going to get the job done.



Dad29 said...

Well, yeah, but who is "we"?

VDH's comment ignores a lengthy discussion of the results of WWI (ONE!!!!) which indicts Britain, France, and the USA (indirectly, of course, Germany) for the origins of the Middle East Mess--referenced on The Corner at NRO.

And in that discussion, it was made very clear that Wilson's air-headed idealism about 'democracy' was no small part of the problem.

Shack said...

Dad, if you're reaching back to World War I, you might as well reach back to the Big Bang--the breakup of the Ottoman Empire is the root cause for virtually everything happening in the Middle East today.

As far as Wilson goes, Bush has not been nearly as air-headed or idealistic--I think you are drastically underestimating the degree to which this administration, which has always been possessed of a tendency to exaggerate its projections (it was dubbed "the corporate presidency" in the early days for a reason) oversold the Iraq war in the face of domestic opposition.

Further, the situations are very different, and the main reason for that is globalization. Today, disengagement to any degree is basically impossible--and that, in conjunction with the dictatorial leadership currently in place across the Middle East (leadership for which the United States is largely responsible, which is what I mean by "we") is what has incubated groups like Al Qaeda.

Bush's idea of "planting democracy," to gradually root out those dictatorships, may well turn out to have been a fool's errand. On the balance, though, it had (and still has) the best chance of making lasting repairs to that wretched situation.