Roger Cohen of International Herald Tribune fame had me at the onset of his OpEd at the Times this morning; but lost me at paragraph three, which began the descent into a laundry list of must dos (without how to do them) and a nuanced helping of ‘let’s go back to the way we used to do things.’ The hook:
“The unpopularity of George W. Bush has led many to believe global America-hating will ebb once he leaves office on
Jan. 20, 2009. That’s a dangerous assumption.
It’s dangerous because the extent of American power will continue to invite resentment whoever is in the White House, and because
’s perception of the terrorist threat will still differ from that of its Asian and European allies. Asians are focused on growth, Europeans on integration: different priorities cause friction.” America
Once out of office, President Bush won't be around, but the damage he has done will, so be prepared for things taking a while to return to normal (whatever that is). Cohen chooses the "things won't be easy" tack and admits that working internationally is a battle, but zero regard for how this could, did or can play into dislike toward the United States when perhaps everyone else is wrong.
No Line, Just a Sinker
Tidbits from Cohen that irk me ever so slightly…”
“The Iraq-linked damage to
credibility is too severe to be quickly undone.” U.S.
“The most critical is a switch from the politics of anxiety to the politics of confidence.”
“Bush and Cheney never emerged from the 9/11 bunker. Their attack-dog snarl alienated a globe asked to step in line or step aside.”
The Left and Leftists among us love to point to the Bush Administrations efforts and those that support it as mainly “living in fear,” which is annoying in the sense that perhaps those against the actions are “living in arrogant ignorance.” How about “living in fear” themselves, as it is a fear of an unknown, of ruffling international feathers and/or of stepping outside the mold of “stability” at almost all costs.
No one it appears can find anything of worth from this new doctrine; is it really that bad? No just scary…
Cohen fits in with those that fall under Mark Steyn’s essay from yesterday:
“Civilized nations like chit-chatting, having tea, holding debates, talking talking talking. Tyrannies like terrorizing people, torturing people, murdering people, doing doing doing. It’s easier for the doers to pass themselves off as talkers then for the talkers to rouse themselves to do anything.”
To put it succinctly to Mr. Cohen and others out there, Victor Davis Hanson's word show another side to the debate; one they will continue to ignore:
"the current orthodoxy that America is losing the war on terror inside and outside Iraq, while bereft of allies, is simply not true. Instead we are winning — it’s ugly perhaps, but winning nonetheless."
All talk, no action assisted greatly in our Tuesday morning revelation in 2001 and given the opportunity we will return to that do nothing time; hopefully we would have the option of returning to the tactics in practice now. No matter how feel good the attitudes of the Cohen’s are it will be necessary to return to offense that so many find offense with.