Walking Back Bush.

The  He Kept Us Safe argument offered up by the dwindling but steadfast ranks of  Bush defenders has always struck me as a bit of a reach. Besides the fact that it’s not true — 9/11 happened on his watch, and there were plenty of warnings that something big and terrible was being planned — it ignores the question whether or not the Bush administration’s  massive, bajillion-dollar clusterfuck has made us safer by making future large-scale acts of terrorism less likely to happen.
That would be an unqualified no.

An independent commission has concluded that terrorists will most likely carry out an attack with biological, nuclear or other unconventional weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years unless the United States and its allies act urgently to prevent that.

In a report to be released this week, the Congressionally mandated panel found that with countries like Iran and North Korea pursuing nuclear weapons programs, and with the risk of poorly secured biological pathogens growing, unconventional threats are fast outpacing the defenses arrayed to confront them.

“America’s margin of safety is shrinking, not growing,” the bipartisan panel concluded.

Scary, right? The somewhat reassuring news is that some of the Democratic members on this council are likely to serve in senior positions in the Obama administration, meaning that some of their suggestions actually get carried out. It’s also heartening that Obama is going to restore the U.N. ambassador post (which is going to  Susan Rice)  to the Cabinet-level position  it held during the Clinton years. It’s a sign of how seriously the Obama administration is taking internationalism, sure. But it’s also an acknowledgment of a fact that the neocons have ignored during Bush’s tenure — that global military superiority has real limits, and isn’t always the strongest card to play.

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