Thursday, August 17, 2006


The State Of The Bush Doctrine

Norman Podhoretz has authored a definitive look at the state of the Bush Doctrine, which some conservatives have recently complained has been neglected if not entirely abandoned by the President. Podhoretz reminds us of an overriding and inescapable fact:

If we go by the President’s speeches, as well as by his unscripted remarks at press conferences and other venues, there is not the slightest indication that today he is any less wedded than he was at the start to any of the four commitments that together constitute the substance of the Bush Doctrine.

A good benchmark is his Second Inaugural Address, delivered on January 20, 2005. During the campaign that would end by giving him the opportunity to deliver this address, and in spite of the political considerations that might have led him to play it safe, Bush kept reaffirming his belief in the soundness of his doctrine and his determination to stick by all of its interrelated parts. Over and over again he declared that, if reelected, he would go on working for the spread of liberty throughout the broader Middle East; that he would not relent in the war against terrorism (whose main front was now Iraq); that he would continue reserving the right to strike preemptively against mounting threats; and that he would steadfastly refuse to support the establishment of a Palestinian state unless and until its leaders renounced terrorism and began pursuing democratic reform.

Podhoretz dismantles a number of falsehoods and shows that, contrary to the current buzz about "the end of cowboy diplomacy" and other trite pronouncements, the Bush Doctrine continues to hold fast. Notwithstanding the perils that may come during the remainder of President Bush's second term, I believe historians will look upon this essay as integral to any accurate accounting of his presidency.

HT: Power Line

Related: Responding to George Will's Realism

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