Time for an Agonizing Reappraisal of U.S. Foreign Policy?
Pat Buchanan has a provocative essay in his American Conservative magazine arguing that it is “Time for an ‘Agonizing Reappraisal'” of our foreign policy. The piece defies excerpting; it’s a litany of examples of Islamists gaining around the world, partly as a result of “blowback” against American action aimed at promoting human rights and democratization.
But while the Bush foreign policy appears to be failing at every turn, in neither party can one see another vision. Emerson’s words come to mind: “Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.”
In Dulles’s phrase, it’s time for an “agonizing reappraisal.”
Oddly, however, Buchanan doesn’t even hint at an alternative vision. Presumably, he is calling for isolationism. Yet, as we’ve seen over the past several decades, Islamists have thrived in places we’ve largely ignored, too. While one can’t dismiss the possibility that an unspecified alternative policy might be better than the present one, the mere enumeration of problems is hardly dispositive.