Let me explain. Sometime between the 9/11 attacks and the start of his second term, Bush decided that the only way to make America truly safe from jihadist terrorism was to spread democracy and freedom across the Muslim world, and beyond.
And this, in a nutshell, is the suicidally idiotic “Democracy Project” which has been an abject failure, as was inevitable from the start, given the fatally faulty assumptions upon which it was so desperately founded.
Consider Bush’s position: Politically, he could not let the challenge of 9/11 pass. He had to respond, and respond massively, or he would have been defeated in 2004 in favor of a President who would respond to the worst attack on the US mainland in history.
Unfortunately, the author of the attack, a scion of a leading Saudi family, running a Sunni terror gang that had been supported by the Saudi regime, who had then led a strike force of Saudi terrorists in the attack, was not, for a host of reasons, a suitable target – in large part because of Saudi control of vast amounts of oil, and (controversially) the likely personal control of George Bush himself.
So we got Iraq as a target instead – “low hanging fruit” it was said at the time, but in terms of a war on the Muslim terrorists who threatened us, the least likely or rewarding target.
By the time Saddam fell, Bush had realized that, between his inability to attack the Saudis, and domestic leftist pushback against his war strategy in general, he was (or felt he was) stymied in a standard military solution – destroy the regimes that, in his announced calculus of “you’re either with us or against us,” were against us. In other words, he would not be employing military strategies against the regimes running Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, the PLA, and so on. He needed something else.
That something else ended up being the Democracy Project, which was dusted off and held up as the primary reason for invading Iraq – to save Iraqis by bringing “democracy” to them.
An even stronger reason for offering this justification was that it dodged the real problem, which was Islam himself. We weren’t “fighting Islam,” (the religion of peace, remember, in official doctrine), and so we weren’t “crusaders.” Instead, we were merely bringing democracy to the Islamic world, and who could object to that?
Especially when it shortly became obvious that any true democratic movement would enshrine sharia Islam in one form or another as the governing ideology/theocracy in any nation in which it was tried.
In other words, the Democracy Project guaranteed, not American safety from Islamic terror, but whole new religious Muslim regimes dedicated to our destruction.
And so the Muslim sharia regime in Afghanistan is kicking us out. And so the Muslim sharia regime in Iraq did likewise. And so the “democratically elected” sharia Muslim regime in Egypt became violently anti-American as soon as it gained power – not to mention destroying the very “democracy” that had allowed this ascension by imposing a brutal Islamist dictatorship.
Cheney got the whole thing wrong. Bush got the whole thing hideously wrong. Obama continues to get it wrong. And here in America, we continue to pay the price, as our own personal liberties are destroyed, one after the other, in the name of “keeping us safe from (some unnamed) terrorism.”
Beinart, the author of this pile of dreck, is an idiot. But there’s a lot of money, power, and props from the American ruling class in being an idiot today. Expect that whatever you reward, you will get more of. Which is why, going forward, we face a tsunami of suicidal idiocy.