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« Hitchens: Screw Christmas | Main | More Americans believe freedom will win in Iraq »

December 26, 2005



I suspect history will look kindly on Bush Jr. I'd say he'll go down as the most notable president since Reagan. He's certainly achieved more during his time so far than most of them. If he can work out what to do with Iran as well over the next couple of years then he deserves a medal or two.

Frank Warner

You're right that Bush's place in history will depend on what happens after he leaves, principally in the Middle East.

The struggle that has built tensions between America and the Arabs since World War II remains that dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, and it won't go away until both sides are democratic and free. Unfortunately, "both sides" includes nations beyond Palestine: Syria and Iran.

Why do they have to be democratic for Palestine and Israel to make a real peace treaty? Because Palestine is too tiny to declare peace on its own, and its big neighbors can't be trusted until they are open and accountable.

jj mollo

If Iraq and Afghanistan become unified, free and democratic nations, Bush will be regarded as a genius, no matter how many other things he screws up and no matter how badly mismanaged the Iraq occupation has been. If it doesn't pan out in the Middle East, Bush will be remembered as an idiot.

At any rate, Lincoln was famous for suspending habeus corpus, and more famous for promoting U.S. Grant, whose main skill was confrontational warfare, sacrificing thousands in order to kill Rebels. They were both willing to pay the price, but they would have seemed like bigger fools than LBJ if they had failed.

Frank Warner

Had we lost World War II, and were we still permitted to publish history books today, FDR would be remembered only for Pearl Harbor, the Japanese-American internment camps, sending the ship St. Louis back to Germany with 900 Jews, GIs shooting down more than 100 unarmed guards at Dachau, Patton slapping that frightened soldier, and 400,000 Americans dead for nothing.

I'm not sure which language that history book would be written in.

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