Tags: Al-Qaida | George W. Bush | Iraq | War on Terrorism | george w bush | iraq | foreign policy

Kristol: George W. Bush Right on Jihad Threat, Forceful Response

Image: Kristol: George W. Bush Right on Jihad Threat, Forceful Response
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By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 09:10 AM

For the first time in a decade more Americans have a more favorable than unfavorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, evidence that Bush was right about a range of foreign policy issues, said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.

"Bush was right to take the jihadist threat seriously after 9/11 (though he may have fallen prey to euphemism at times in describing it). He was right to insist on legislation that authorized surveillance and other efforts to thwart and defeat the terrorists," Kristol wrote in a column.

He said that Bush was also right when he saw the dangers of the combination of terrorism, Islamic jihadism and weapons of mass destruction. And he was right to think that Iraq, Iran and North Korea posed particular threats, Kristol said.

"It's unfortunate he couldn't do more about Iran and North Korea — but his administration ended with Iraq pacified and reasonably calm, and with pro-Western and anti-jihadist elements strengthened in Iran and Syria.

"Unfortunately, he was succeeded by an administration that failed to support those forces in Iran in 2009, or in Syria in 2011," he said.

Bush was right to believe that there is no substitute for American leadership in a dangerous world and that America cannot lead from behind, Kristol said, making a contrast to President Barack Obama.

"He was right to see that preemption would at times be necessary in dealing with 21st-century threats, and that, like it or not, there would sometimes be no substitute for American boots on the ground. He was right to sense that the old Middle East was unsalvageable, and that a freedom agenda aimed at fostering constructive regime change was right and necessary," Kristol wrote.

Kristol said that while Bush made mistakes, it "was not his ambitious foreign policy agenda."

"It was the failure to educate the country as to the merits and necessity and then the decision to retreat from it more than perhaps he had to. The Bush Doctrine and the freedom agenda should have been pursued more robustly. The problem with Bush was that he wasn't Bush-like enough," he said.

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For the first time in a decade more Americans have a more favorable than unfavorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, evidence that Bush was right about a range of foreign policy issues, said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.
george w bush, iraq, foreign policy, kristol
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2015-10-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 09:10 AM
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