On Tuesday, Mr. Bush cast the stakes in stark terms, repeatedly invoking his desire to spread freedom and democracy, the central themes of his foreign policy. Those themes are hardly new to American presidents. Woodrow Wilson talked about making the world safe for democracy, while Ronald Reagan warned that "freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."Italics mine. We invaded Afghanistan because it was harboring a mass murderer who launched an attack on the United States. We invaded Iraq because.....well, I'm not entirely sure why we invaded Iraq. But fostering democracy was pretty clearly not one of the major motivating factors. In the rest of the world, and particularly in the Middle East and central Asia, we've done virtually nothing to promote democracy. In Egypt, the whole idea is considered a sick joke.
But Mr. Bush, most experts agree, has taken the American freedom agenda to an entirely new level, by trying to foster democracy in nations that have not known it before, like Iraq and Afghanistan. Some historians have called it folly, and Mr. Bush conceded in an interview with conservative commentators last year that his critics believe he is "hopelessly idealistic."
Could we please hear who these supposed experts are? Outside of AEI and the Weekly Standard, I really don't think there's anyone left who believes the Bush administration is seriously invested in a "freedom agenda." Can we name some names?