Tom Junod, who believes that George W. Bush is a Clymer, has written "The Case for George W. Bush -- i.e., What If He’s Right?" in Esquire. It is a warts-and-all portrait that includes an appreciation of a "great accomplishment" in foreign policy:
YEAH, YEAH, I KNOW: Nobody who opposes Bush thinks that terrorism is a good thing. . . . [They say Bush’s] obsession with Saddam Hussein led him to rush into a war that was unnecessary. Sure, Saddam was a bad guy. Sure, the world is a better place without him. But . . .
And there it is: the inevitable but. Trailed by its uncomfortable ellipsis, it sits squirming at the end of the argument against George Bush for very good reason: It can't possibly sit at the beginning. Bush haters have to back into it because there's nothing beyond it. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, but . . . but what? . . .
We might as well credit the president for his one great accomplishment: replacing but with and as a basis for foreign policy. The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein, and we got rid of him.
Junod’s article reminds me of the answer Tony Blair gave at a joint press conference with President Bush on November 20, 2003:
[T]here is something truly bizarre about a situation where we have driven the Taliban out of government in Afghanistan, who used to stop people going about the street as they wished, who used to prevent girls going to school, who brutalized and terrorized their population. There is something bizarre about having got rid of Saddam in Iraq from the government of Iraq, when we have already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves, there is something bizarre about these situations happening, and people saying that they disagree when the effect of us not doing this would be that the Taliban was still in Afghanistan and Saddam was still in charge of Iraq.
And I think people have got to accept that that is the consequence of the position they are in.
Junod calls it President Bush’s "one great accomplishment." I think he undercounts. But even if there were only one -- what an accomplishment!
Like the end of the Soviet Union, no one would have thought it possible four years ago.