Alternatives to the Bush Doctrine
and I are going back and forth on Iraq policy
over at his Parapundit site:
I should say, that I was VERY reluctant to vote Bush. When voting for President, I take the pov that that office has limited scope and it is limited mostly to conduct of foreign relations. In that context, Bush had something for me where Kerry did not. I kept hoping and praying that Kerry/Democrats would come up with an alternative to the Bush Doctrine. All I heard was, in essence, "It's wrong!" Great, I'll admit that it has limitations and that it is dangerous, but what is the alternative?
The realist school (Bush Sr. and Clinton) failed to secure us from immediate threat. From Podhoretz' perspective, the folks you cite in the "Unilaterally Withdraw..." post (Odom and Diamond) are just bitter "realists" that see their influence dwindling (or being made irrelevant in a post-9/11 world).
The liberal internationalism are correct in their prescriptions for long term security, but they say nothing about the short term. It is true that the root cause of the terrorist threat is poverty and ignorance. These things can be remedied in the long run by instituting accountable government and economic freedom (Bush calls these democracy and capitalism). The question is how do we get from here to there and what do we do in the short run to "drain the swamp?"
Frankly, I hear the same from you. Iraq policy is broken. Fine, but are you making a strong argument or weak one. The weak argument is that we failed to properly implement the policy. I might concede a point or two there. On the other hand, the strong argument is that the strategy itself is flawed. If that's your claim, what do we instead of the ambitious Bush Doctrine to prevent terrorism in the short and long term?
Actually, the discussion has made me review who I voted for in past elections... Let's see: Perot, Dole, Nader(!) and now Bush. I don't think I was being honest about voting for Presidents based on their views on foreign relations. That only became an issue for me in this last election. On the other hand, I do believe we tend to put more weight on the importance of the Presedency than that office actually does. Steve Antler
posted on this subject earlier today.