Because this is the silly season, we continue to get nothing else from Bush’s political opponents on foreign policy than an emphasis on no WMD’s in Iraq and the view that the threat was not imminent, as Bush had claimed. This is both wrong and misleading (never mind for the moment the continued misquotations by the liberal press and it’s use by his opponents). The real questions that will have to be addressed in this campaign are much more important than that and generally fall under the term "grand strategy." Bush has one--loosely called the Bush Doctrine--and he is implementing it. It has to do with so-called preemption, unilateralism, and hegemony. Of course, reasonable people may disagree with it, yet there it is and it cannot be ignored. The historian John Lewis Gaddis was interviewed at length for this Boston Globe story on this issue. He has a book coming out on it in April (and has already written on it as Powerline notes). The book will be essential reading on the subject not because it will the last word, but because it will be first very public example of the conversation that has already begun, and which ought to be had, especially in an election season. And it will be a good start to that conversation. Please read the Boston Globe article with care, and file it. You will need it and more will be added to your file over time. This will mean--self-evidently--that we will have to have a conversation about very fundamental things, never mind the understanding that John Quincy Adams, or Teddy Roosevelt, or Franklin D. Roosevelt, or Ronald Reagan had of American ends and means in the world.
I only note in passing the reference in the article to Bush as Prince Hall being transformed by 9/11 into Henry V. If his opponents don’t see this possibility, they might as well keep their day job. With such large issues moving through the world, this is not the time to underestimate your political opponents. They do so at their peril, and to the disadvantage of the conversation that ought to take place.