Bush-bashing always tastes better when it comes from the Right. First up is Slate’s review of a number of books by conservatives that round on the president for his anti-conservative policies. Second, and more interesting, is a must-read article by NeoCon guru, Francis Fukuyama. Seriously, you’ve got to read this one. The short version: the Bush Doctrine (save the world through the projection of American might) is now in shambles. The solution:
If we are serious about the good governance agenda, we have to shift our focus to the reform, reorganization and proper financing of those institutions of the United States government that actually promote [rather than enforce] democracy, development and the rule of law around the world, organizations like the State Department, U.S.A.I.D., the National Endowment for Democracy and the like…
What is needed now are new ideas, neither neoconservative nor realist, for how America is to relate to the rest of the world — ideas that retain the neoconservative belief in the universality of human rights, but without its illusions about the efficacy of American power and hegemony to bring these ends about.
It’s all about institution-building, both at home and abroad. Build it, and liberal democracy will come. Much the same thing could be said about Palestine: we did not adequately support Abbas; Fatah foundered; the people voted for Hamas.
(Bonus: read Democracy Arsenal’s review of the Fukuyama piece: Fukuyama’s assertion that the problem with Iraq was one of faulty ideology (the ineluctability of democracy) is wrong. It was simply piss-poor governance.)