Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All Roads Lead to Rove

You know, for a self-described nuanced bunch, the Left has a decidedly simple narrative of what the root cause of Middle East violence is. Max Boot (via Real Clear Politics) puts it well:

REMEMBER HOW idyllic the Middle East was before that crazy cowboy moved into the White House? Oh for the good ol' days when Saddam Hussein would invite Kurdish and Shiite leaders to his palace for a lamb roast followed by a nice game of checkers. When the Iranian mullahs would host Fourth of July festivities in Tehran in honor of the Great Angel. And when Hamas and Hezbollah big shots would balance yarmulkes on their turbans and visit Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to victims of the Holocaust.

Wait. You mean my memory is playing tricks on me? None of that actually happened? Well, then, why on earth are so many pundits blaming President Bush for the current mess in the Middle East? A typical example comes from fellow Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks, who writes: "The Bush administration's
tunnel-vision approach to foreign policy has pushed the U.S. and the world into a devastating tailspin of conflict without end….We promised to make the world safer, but we've turned it into a tinderbox." ...

Critics are right that Bush hasn't transformed the Middle East into a bastion of peace, love and harmony. But he never promised to work miracles; he has consistently spoken of our current struggle as a generational challenge — the Long War. Sure, he could have done more to help win the war. But there is no reason to think that the critics' preferred approach — more diplomatic blather, more international confabs, more concessions to the terror-mongers — would have produced any better results. In any case, to suggest that his policies are the cause of today's woes, rather than a reaction to them, reveals a stunning historical amnesia.

Ah, nuance. Funny how in a nuanced world, all the world's problems started in January 2001.