Victor Davis Hanson, writing in the National Review Online today, does an excellent job in reviewing the historic levels of U.S. foreign policy success since 9/11. Arguing, similarly but much more effectively than the Pursuit of Happiness, VDH points out that the Bush policy has led to gains in the region, and improvements in our security that most have not acknowledged nor even perhaps realized.
As someone who has always viewed America should unashamedly use its strength in measured, appropriate ways to better the world, it was heartening to read this:
Every time the United States the last quarter century had acted boldly its removal of Noriega and aid for the Contras, instantaneous support for a reunified Germany, extension of NATO, preference for Yeltsin instead of Gorbachev, Gulf War I, bombing of Milosevic, support for Sharon's fence, withdrawal from Gaza and decapitation of the Hamas killer elite, taking out the Taliban and Saddam-good things have ensued. In contrast, on every occasion that we have temporized abject withdrawal from Lebanon, appeasement of Arafat at Oslo, a decade of inaction in the Balkans, paralysis in Rwanda, sloth in the face of terrorist attacks, not going to Baghdad in 1991 corpses pile up and the United States became either less secure or less respected or both.
VDH has it spot on. As he points out, there are a lot of books in galleys write now predicting failure that will look awfully foolish in the near future. Similarly, those pessimists that over reacted to the pro-Syrian demonstrations in Lebanon this week will also suffer from credibility gaps when that situation fully plays itself out in the coming months. I'm working on a piece regarding that now, something for your reading enjoyment early next week.
Now get over to NRO and soak in the gloriousness of the VDH article. Thanks to reader PDS for the heads up.