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November 15, 2007

Proclaiming Defeat And Torn Alliances When Neither Exists Doesn't Deter Democrats From Living In State Of Denial

As Charles Krauthammer notes today at IBD, when Democratic presidential candidates aren't busy beating up on Hillaryk, they're busy pronouncing the Democratic pieties, their favorite of which is that George Bush has left our alliances in ruins. Hillary says we've "alienated our friends," that we must "rebuild our alliances" and "restore our standing in the world." Others describe Bush as having a scorched-earth foreign policy that has left us reviled and isolated in the world. And then there's Rep. Nancy Pelosi (who went to Syria to cavort with terrorists) and Sen. Harry Reid (who's stuck on stupidly announcing that we've lost the war and the surge hasn't worked), who insist that nothing of significance has changed in Iraq.

It's as though the Democratic leadership and Democratic presidential candidates have somehow missed what's going on in France, Germany, Britain, Australia, Canada, and all those Eastern European nations.

It turns out that Bush had it right all along: Success or failure in Iraq matters, and it matters big time under the threat of global Islamic terrorism and the spread of radical Islam.

it makes the point that the Bush critics have missed for years -- that the strength of alliances is heavily dependent on the objective balance of international forces, and has very little to do with the syntax of the U.S. president or the disdain in which he might be held by a country's cultural elites.

It's classic balance-of-power theory: Weaker nations turn to the great outside power to help them balance a rising regional threat. Allies are not sentimental about their associations. It is not a matter of affection, but of need -- and of the great power's ability to deliver.

What's changed in the last year? Bush's dress and diction remain the same. But he did change generals -- and counterinsurgency strategy -- in Iraq. As a result, Iraq has gone from an apparently lost cause to a winnable one.

The rise of external threats to our allies has concentrated their minds on the need for the American connection. The revival of American fortunes in Iraq -- and the diminished prospect of an American rout -- have significantly increased the value of such a connection.

This is particularly true among our moderate Arab allies, who see us as their ultimate protection against an Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hamas axis that openly threatens all of them.

It's always uncomfortable for a small power to rely on a hegemon. But a hegemon on the run is even worse. Alliances are always shifting. But one thing we can say with certainty:

The event that will have more effect than any other on the strength of our alliances worldwide is not another Karen Hughes outreach to the Muslim world, not an ostentatious embrace of Kyoto, or even the most abject embrace of internationalism from the podium of the U.N. It is success or failure in Iraq.

Continue reading: Iraq Successes Put Hegemony In A New Light

As a commenter to the article posted at Free Republic notes: "The leaders of our allies are more pro-American than the democratic party."

Cross posted from Hyscience

Posted by Mike in Iraq at November 15, 2007 10:56 PM

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