There’s a very subtle and challenging article by Charles in the new CLAREMONT REVIEW. It’s not linkable yet and really can’t be summarized quickly. But let me just quote two of his conclusions for discussion:
"If Republicans mean to win in 2008, they will have to separate themselves, gently but unmistakably, from the Bush Doctrine."
"The writ to use force against him [Saddam] and his regime was cogent and persuasive. But the decision to turn that deterrent, punitive, and preventive action into the occasion for elaborate democratic reconstruction was, alas, ill-conceived. Iraq was not that important to us. It could seem that important...only by imagining that an utterly transformed Iraq would be an outpost of liberal democracy in the Middle East...and that Iraq in turn would utterly transform the whole Middle East into a land of milk and honey, not to mention democracy and peace."