…from Norman Podhoretz, first presented in Commentary, and available online today via the Wall Street Journal.
Big statements like this one are inevitably structured around comparisons to historical precedents, and Podhoretz closes out by likening Bush’s foreign policy to Truman’s. He sees a long haul mission similar to the 45-year containment unto implosion of the Soviet Union that began, more or less, with the Truman Doctrine. I don’t see how that comparison works, given the differences between America circa 1950 and America now and the difference between confronting international communism as promulgated from Moscow and confronting the civilizational problems of Islam. But it’s close enough to run with for the moment.
The rest of Podhoretz’s essay is pretty well on the mark, but in the enriched atmosphere of what passes for discourse on geopolitics these days, will no doubt suffer for its clear-headed sobriety.
An Added Note: For a disturbing assessment of the impact that the late Soviet Union and the KGB had on the direction of Muslim anger toward Israel and the U.S., see this article by Ion Mihai Pacepa. It’s a good dot connector, especially if one wants to consider what can happen during a 45-year cold war, and why it’s not necessarily a better solution than a real war, like WWII, where very serious problems are solved in a comparatively short period of time.