Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Neocons here and abroad

John Zvesper reviews a couple of not altogether inspiring books by British proponents of neoconservatism, and Norman Podhoretz reflects on the Bush doctrine. Here’s the conclusion:

So far as the implementation of this new strategy goes, it is still early days—roughly comparable to 1952 in the history of the Truman Doctrine. As with the Truman Doctrine then, the Bush Doctrine has thus far acted only in the first few scenes of the first act of a five-act play. Like the Truman Doctrine, too, its performance has received very bad reviews. Yet we now know that the Truman Doctrine, despite being attacked by its Republican opponents as the “College of Cowardly Containment,” was adopted by them when they took power behind Dwight D. Eisenhower. We also know now that, after many ups and downs and following a period of retreat in the 1970’s, the policy of containment was updated and reinvigorated in the 1980’s by Ronald Reagan (albeit without admitting that this was what he was doing). And we now know as well that it was by thus building on the sound foundation laid by the Truman Doctrine that Reagan delivered on its original promise.


It is my contention that the Bush Doctrine is no more dead today than the Truman Doctrine was cowardly in its own early career. Bolstered by that analogy, I feel safe in predicting that, like the Truman Doctrine in 1952, the Bush Doctrine will prove irreversible by the time its author leaves the White House in 2008. And encouraged by the precedent of Ronald Reagan, I feel almost as confident in predicting that, three or four decades into the future, and after the inevitable missteps and reversals, there will come a President who, like Reagan in relation to Truman in World War III, will bring World War IV to a victorious end by building on the noble doctrine that George W. Bush promulgated when that war first began.

I hope he’s right.

Discussions - 3 Comments

The purpose, now as then, is to expose the futility of diplomacy where the likes of Saddam Hussein and the Iranian mullocracy are concerned, and to show that the only alternative to accepting the threats they pose is military action. Podhoretz

How about the futility of diplomacy where the likes of Hezb’allah is concerned? Has this cease fire been negotiated with an understanding that Hezb’allah cannot, will not abide by it, giving Israel the green light to finish the military action? If Podhoretz is right, I can think of no other explanation for the cease fire negotiations that are consistant with the Bush Doctrine.

I’m beginning to suspect that Bush is caving. I think he’s already made up his mind not to take any military action to end Tehran’s Manhattan Project, and simply hasn’t informed the American people of that somber and sobering fact. I’m pretty sure that he is still foolishly deluding himself that he can get some diplomatic "solution." The only thing he might, just might, get, is a diplomatic fig leaf.

Absent significant military action, Tehran is going to get the bomb. And that fact is going to loom large in our future. And if Bush allows Tehran to get the bomb, then his entire administration will be deemed one of the greatest disasters in American history. It can’t be put any more straightforward than that. It’s ALL about TEHRAN.

The Bush Administration’s war effort is careening wildly towards incoherence. The FOREMOST terror sponsor on the face of the earth is in Tehran. And other than wishful thinking, the Bush Administration STILL HASN’T formed an effective and REAL policy towards that regime.

U.G., Surely Israel is girding up again during this cease-fire as surely as Hezbollah is doing. I read that someplace this morning, maybe on the BBC. They are, both sides, just breathing a little until they can begin again. I hope it is Hezbollah who shoots first, for world opinion’s sake, alone. We really have to let Israel finish this, and Dan, you have to be wrong.


Another thing that has bothered me for a long time, and please, tell me I am being silly. Was it not a mistake to make a black woman our head of foreign relations when we would be dealing so importantly with Muslim leaders and officials? I know, she has the full force of US military might behind her, and it makes a grand Judeo-Christian statement on equality and American values to have her in the position. She, herself, is a worthy person in every way and I do like her very much. But what about THEIR cultural and religious values? Do they grant, concede, affirm, her worth, dignity and importance, (to carry definitions over from another post) and take her as seriously as we need them to do?

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