Monday, August 14, 2006

Today's must-read

I'm not a fan of MSNBC or Newsweek, but there's a Newsweek piece up at MSNBC.com by Michael Gerson, a former Bush speechwriter, that is absolutely fantastic. He lays out, with clarity, the situation in the world today, and what our options are. A couple of excerpts:
First, the nation may be tired, but history doesn't care. It is not fair that the challenge of Iran is rising with Iraq, bloody and unresolved. But, as President Kennedy used to say, "Life is not fair."

...

Some commentators say that America is too exhausted to confront this threat. But presidential decisions on national security are not primarily made by the divination of public sentiments; they are made by the determination of national interests. And the low blood-sugar level of pundits counts not at all. Here the choice is not easy, but it is simple: can America (and other nations) accept a nuclear Iran?

... All options have dangers and drawbacks. But inaction might bring the harshest verdict of history: they knew much, and they did nothing.


...

At some point, those who decide on aggression must pay a price, or aggression will be universal. If American "cowboy diplomacy" did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.


...

Five Augusts from 9/11, in a summer of new fears, in a war on terror that has lasted longer than World War II, public weariness is understandable. And that exhaustion is increasingly reflected in our politics. In a conservative backlash against the president's democratic idealism. In a liberal backlash that has moved from the fringes to the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Ned Lamont, in his primary victory over Sen. Joe Lieberman, summed up the case this way: "We are going to get our troops out of Iraq ... we're going to start investing in our own country again." Lamontism—the elevation of flinching to a foreign policy—is McGovernism, and a long way from "bear any burden, pay any price."

I urge you to read the whole thing. Excellent perspective on the geo-political state of the world in 2006...

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