The Wall Street Journal has a piece today ($$$) headlined “Mideast Violence Darkens Bush’s Policy Successes.” It opens thus: “The surge in Mideast violence means conditions are deteriorating in the very places — Israel, Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Afghanistan — that President Bush had been able to point to as bright spots for his policies.”
Well, this is puzzling. As best I can tell, the Bush administration has not had any discernible policy in relation to Israel and the Palestinian territories, beyond willful neglect and an indulgence of pretty much any policy Israel has wanted to pursue. (And the election of a Hamas government counts as a bright spot?) The best known politician in Lebanon was blown up, which led to massive anti-Syria protests and then even more massive pro-Syria protests courtesy of Hizbollah, the strongest political force in the country, whose power seems undiminished. Syrian troops withdrew, yes, but that wasn’t the Bush administration’s doing. Afghanistan…is in an advanced stage of total meltdown. If these are foreign policy successes, what would failure look like!? Don’t answer that.