Even I don’t have the stomach to get through a Chunky Bobo column anymore, but Steve M. does. Here’s Douthat on why Bush II’s wars were awesome and Clinton/Bush I/Obama’s suck:
This is an intervention straight from Bill Clinton’s 1990s playbook, in other words, and a stark departure from the Bush administration’s more unilateralist methods. There are no “coalitions of the willing” here, no dismissive references to “Old Europe,” no “you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Instead, the Obama White House has shown exquisite deference to the very international institutions and foreign governments that the Bush administration either steamrolled or ignored.
…there are major problems with this approach to war…. Because liberal wars depend on constant consensus-building within the (so-called) international community, they tend to be fought by committee, at a glacial pace, and with a caution that shades into tactical incompetence….
The thing is this: whatever one thinks of Bosnia and Iraq I, they weren’t, by most measures, as disastrous as Iraq II. I find it mind-boggling that anyone would pretend otherwise.
Also too, I sometimes think there’s a fine line between being a bold Churchillian unilateralist and being diplomatically incompetent.