[T]o say that compassionate conservatism did not work out is, at the very least, misleading. The catchphrase devised by George W. Bush’s handlers when he was first running for the presidency in 2000 never received anything remotely like a fair trial, being swallowed up after 9/11 by the global war on terror.
As for the dream of spreading global democracy, it has indeed received a fair trail. Yet to say that U.S. democracy promotion efforts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq did not work out is akin to saying that Bonaparte’s campaign to capture Moscow in 1812 didn’t quite pan out as he had hoped …
Yet to this very day [David] Brooks and other members of the conservative establishment refuse to confront the scope of that disaster.
These are very valid points, and I cheer them lustily. But I don’t think Bacevich has demolished all that Brooks had to say in the column in question.