Conservative Foreign Policy, A Tradition Of Failure

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Rudy Giuliani is just the latest to carry the torch.


Giuliani

If having a macho swagger and talking tough about bad guys were enough to make a good commander in chief, we wouldn't have the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history on our hands right now in Iraq. And, need I remind anybody, one of the reasons Giuliani hasn't been able to fulfill his Bin Laden execution fantasy is that Bush allowed the Al Qaeda leader to escape at Tora Bora by using Afghan proxies instead of U.S. ground troops.

As I noted in this space last week, conservative foreign policy consists increasingly of abstract notions divorced from reality. In preparing for last week's House debate over the Iraq troop surge, the Republican leadership instructed its members in a memo: "The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose."

So they're strong on foreign policy, except insofar as it involves actual policy. They tend to be much better, however, at comparing themselves to figures such as Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln. They make such comparisons incessantly. Last week, Giuliani said that Lincoln had "that ability that a leader has — a leader like George Bush, a leader like Ronald Reagan — to look into the future."

(highlight is mine)