Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bush made the world a safer place

So says The Guardian’s Oliver Kemm whose column today includes the following:

… His office, and the system of collective security from which we benefit, would be justification enough to welcome President Bush's visit to London this week.

But there is an additional reason peculiar to the Bush presidency. For all Bush's verbal infelicity, diplomatic brusqueness, negligence in planning for post-Saddam Iraq, and insouciance regarding standards of due process when prosecuting the war on terror, the world is a safer place for the influence he has exercised.

When Bush ran for president in 2000 he was an isolationist advocate of scaling back America's overseas commitments. But after 9/11, he was right in not interpreting the attack as confirmation that America was stirring up trouble for itself.

The theocratic barbarism responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers was driven not by what America and its allies had done, but by what we represented. In the words of Osama bin Laden, illegitimately appropriating for himself the mantel of Islam, "every Muslim, the minute he can start differentiating, carries hate toward Americans, Jew, and Christians".

The most fundamental decision in western security policy in the past seven years has not been the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It has been the recognition that the most voluble adversaries of western society are not merely a criminal subculture, and still less an incipient liberation movement.

Rather, they are a reactionary, millenarian and atavistic force with whom accommodation is impossible as well as intensely undesirable.

The grand strategy pursued by the US under Bush has overestimated the plasticity of the international order, but it has got one big thing right. There is an integral connection between the terrorism that targets western societies and the autocratic states in which Islamist fanaticism is incubated. …

Kamm’s entire column is

I’m pressed for time today so I won’t make any comment other than to say Kamm’s column contains so much wisdom and spine I just had to call it to your attention.

Hat tip: Realclearpolitics.com


Anonymous said...

John -

Bush I think will be remembered the way Harry Truman is. Disparaged while in office, but respected years later.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh.