I know that there are still some good souls that support the war in Iraq, but I’m becoming more and more amazed by the depth of criticism about Bush and his administration by people who are naturally inclined to support him. I came across an English writer – Gerard Baker – through a link on NRO’s Corner.
Here is something Baker wrote in March, 2005:
Little more than three years after US forces, backed by their faithful British allies, set foot in Afghanistan, the entire historical dynamic of this blighted region has already shifted.
Ignoring, fortunately, the assault from clever world opinion on America’s motives, its credibility and its ambitions, the Bush Administration set out not only to eliminate immediate threats but also to remake the Middle East. In the last month, the pace of progress has accelerated, and from Beirut to Kabul
Contrast that with a latter-day piece:
If many of us miscalculated the scale of the threat Iraq posed, there was no excuse for the woeful lack of preparation by your Administration for the task of pacifying the country.
The outcome? A broken nation on the verge of civil war, prey to the avarice of tyrannical regional neighbours, violently immolating itself and nurturing new generations of terrorists……
How’m I doin’? You rightly identified Iran as the gravest threat to the West’s long-term security and you pledged to bend US policy to ensure that it did not gain the regional hegemony that would allow it to blackmail the world into acquiescence of its hateful ideology. Above all, Iran would be stopped from getting the bomb.
The result? The despised regime in Tehran has emerged as the true hegemonic power in the region, leeching on the battered bodies politic of Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, elevating its brand of Shia fundamentalism into position as the dominant force in the Islamic world and continuing on its path towards nuclear status.
If I were a conspiracy theorist I would be starting to conclude that you were some sort of Iranian Candidate, an agent of Tehran, brilliantly executing a covert strategy to enhance the prestige and power of the ayatollahs.
WoW! My main (what i consider realpolitik) objection to the war all along has been that the end result will be the destabilization of the region, which will contribute mightily to the Iranian rabid Shia-types. Mr. Baker strongly supported the war in the beginning, but his assessment of the result certainly dovetails with many of us who opposed this debacle all along.