I feel a need to respond to VDH, whom I admire greatly. I would expect better than his hit-and-run observations about aspects of Reagan’s foreign policy. If his point is that Reagan wasn’t perfect, there’s no disputing that. And if Buchanan made a false comparison between Reagan and George Bush respecting unilateral decisions, so be it. But just as there’s no need for Buchanan to elevate Reagan to diminish Bush, there’s no need for VDH to diminish Reagan to elevate Bush. Reagan’s foreign-policy legacy is a matter of record. Whether or not the British FM was misled about the invasion of Grenada, or France was upset that we bombed Libya after Libya blew up one of our commercial airlines, or Reagan didn’t invade Lebanon after the terrorist attack on our Marines, or Argentina was an ally (albeit not a democracy) seems to miss most of what happened in the 1980s. As for Iran-Contra, that might take a little more than a quick post on The Corner to properly address.
But why play this game in the first place? President Bush’s policies can (or can’t) be defended on their own merits. I, for one, think that in general they are not that difficult to defend.