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Policy via Exhaustion

An interesting point from Shadi Hamid of Democracy Arsenal:


All of which to say is that if things had had taken a different course from that point on, the Bush administration's legacy could have been judged a mixed bag, one with both positive and negative elements. However, today, the verdict is and will be much harsher - that this administration, as far as foreign policy is concerned, is one of the worst in American history. The decline and fall of George W. Bush, then, is both tragic and somewhat vexing. As I've said before - and this may anger some - I remember telling one of my friends in Jordan in early 2005 (and, trust me, I hated saying it) that in 10 or 15 years, we will look back and we might have to admit to ourselves that the Bush administration was the best thing that happened to the Middle East. Yes, I know, it's crazy.

But I think the general point holds - in the span of less than three years, the Bush administration went from being the "best thing" to being the worst thing that could have happened to the Middle East. It was a precipitous fall, and it's worth remembering what we've lost in the process. The public appetite for a "revolutionary" foreign policy is all but gone. But a revolutionary foreign policy, at this time in our history, might very well have been what was needed. But, then again, after the disaster of the Bush administration, even a thoroughly mediocre foreign policy will seem revolutionary. And perhaps that will be enough.


This, as I've argued, is why Ron Paul makes sense to many disaffected citizens.

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