…From a grand strategic perspective we are in decent shape having projected power into the region wherein lies the center of gravity of our new enemies as we move out of Western Europe and Korea where we have defeated or contained our old enemies. We have Iran ringed with new and upgraded bases and have removed 2 hostile regimes and replaced them with friendly ones. We are poised to be the balancing force in the region between the Sunni/Shia and Arab/Persian blocs. Beyond the Middle East, we have better relations with India to check Pakistan and China. We have deployed a limited BMD capability that can thwart Iran and North Korea. This is the real ‘realist’ view of the situation. It is largely independent of Arab democratization, the Israel/Palestinian problem, the mess in Lebanon, most forms of CIA incompetence, Turkey going fundamentalist, the price of crude, etc. Tactically, there is all sorts of bad news due to our own mistakes and the vagaries of fortune. The fundamental problem is that the Democratic elite has the ethos of 1968. They believe America is a force for ill in the world. The rest is just noise. A good question for the Bush retrospective is how much of his grand strategy is easily reversible. An argument can be made that Bush rearchitected our position more than anybody since Truman. If and when Iran achieves nuclear capability, we will know how well this architecture can work. I hope McCain is at the helm when the test comes and any ‘conservative’ who thinks otherwise is being childish.