Thursday, April 10, 2008

We Sang and Danced Forever and a Day....

I know one of my favorite Democratic talking points is the one about how an Obama presidency will restore the good opinion of the world towards the USA.

Like so many liberal promises of a return to the Garden, it relies on an utter forgetfulness of the last time that party was in power. Victor Davis Hanson helps us remember how good things were. (“Back to the Good Ole Days Before Dubya? How Obama will restore America's standing in the world.”):

The world between 1992-2000 is the model we are to emulate, it seems. The world was much safer then — before George W. Bush’s indiscriminate wars — and it can be so again. In those golden days, the U.S. rightly contextualized “random” terrorist acts — making the proper distinctions between war and “police matters.” Yes, it’s true that thousands of American soldiers died in those peaceful days — about 7,500 between 1993-2000 — but they did so in noncombatant-related operations. Back then, our experts appreciated the hard lines and firewalls that separated Hezbollah from Iran, Sunni terrorists from Shiite killers, and were always careful not to overreact and turn mere responses into needless wars. In extremis, we can employ tried-and-true tools like no-fly zones, oil-for-food embargoes, U.N. sanctions, and the occasional cruise missile — avoiding the mess of President Karzai’s Afghanistan or President Maliki’s Iraq, and the peripheral blowback involving a jittery Libya, Syria, and Pakistan’s Dr. A. Q. Khan.

Presently the United States does the world’s heavy lifting under a Texan who says “nucular.” But soon it may well be charmed and mesmerized by a smooth-talking icon who raises trade barriers, leaves the Middle East to the Middle East, gets tough on China and India, relaxes relations with Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela, while redefining existing ones with Pakistan — and says to Europe, “We’re right behind you!” Let’s hope it will be as pleasant to see the results as it has been to listen to the utopian rhetoric.

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