The Bush Revival

Inspired by this incredibly silly post, I thought I’d recommend an old but prescient article from Ross Douthat on the all-but-inevitable recovery of Bush’s foreign policy reputation. It is staggering to think that a President who embroiled the nation in one of the most irresponsible wars in our history would live to see the rehabilitation of his legacy, but time, it seems, softens the memory and heals all wounds. Take it away, Rob Long:

If events in Tunisia have inspired events in Egypt, what inspired the events in Tunisia?

Hard to say, of course.  But perhaps a small nod and a tip of the hat is due to the diabolical neo-cons, and the naive president they conned into trying this absurd gamble on democracy.

Long is literally asserting causation between Tunisia’s nascent democratic movement and the invasion of Iraq. That’s it. I’d say more, but Douthat perfectly anticipated this development two years ago:

The Bush administration has often seemed bent on vindicating, in the short run and by force of arms, Francis Fukuyama’s famous long-term prediction that liberal democracy will ultimately triumph. Now Bush’s hopes for vindication depend on the Middle East’s following a gradual, Fukuyaman track toward free markets, democratic government, and the “end of history.” And just as crucially, they depend on American troops’ staying in Iraq for as long as it takes for that to happen. If these events come to pass—if the Iraq of 2038 or so is stable, democratic, and at peace with its neighbors, and if American troops have maintained a constant presence in the country—no one should be surprised to hear hawkish liberals as well as conservatives taking up the idea that George W. Bush deserves a great deal of the credit.

I do not mean to suggest that this is a likely outcome, or that it would be a just one. The cost of the Iraq War, in lives and dollars and squandered opportunities, ought to far outweigh the possibility that a long-term American presence might push the Middle East in a direction it was headed anyway. But when things work out in the long run—and especially when we can claim the credit—Americans tend to forgive their leaders for the crimes and errors of the moment.

Read the whole thing.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
Share

17 thoughts on “The Bush Revival

  1. Long et all are grasping at straws. I see no causal connection between Iraq and Tunasia at all. If Iraq had not been invaded do we think that Tunasia wouldn’t have happened? I don’t see why that would follow.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  2. You know who could best answer this question? The Tunisians. Has anybody asked them yet?

    Incidentally, I did ask my sister in Morocco if they’re going to have anything like that happen over there and her answer was: “ummm…it doesn’t seem like it- but we don’t get a whole lotta news, and that Tunisian thing happened very quickly– so maybe.
    Moroccans might just be too lazy- and the whole Royal family thing is quite powerful – so probably not. ”

    You read it here first.

      Quote  Link

    Report

  3. Well since there has been absolutely no history of democracy, popular revolts, revolutions or demonstrations in any Arab or Muslim country in like ever, of course The Bush should get the credit for what Tunisians are doing.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • I think that depends on just how long the time period you call “like ever” is. I recall a popular revolt in Iran a year and a half ago, but that was post-invasion of Iraq, so I guess that might be credited to Bush as well.

      Pre-G.W. Bush? Well… there was the Indonesian revolution in 1998 that ousted Suharto… the Kurdish and Shiite uprisings against Saddam in ’91… the first and second Sudanese Civil Wars that went from the early ’80s to the 2000s… the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran… anyway, that’s a few.

        Quote  Link

      Report

    • And how exactly is that? At least people giving credit to wikileaks make supporting assertions. How do you think Bush’s excellent adventures caused or contributed to the Tunisian uprising? Just because it’d give the neocons an excuse to sidle out of the corner where they’ve been standing with their asses smarting since 2006 doesn’t mean it’s true.

        Quote  Link

      Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *