So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists don't seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we haven't yet held talks without preconditions with. This isn't about repudiating the Bush years, or withdrawing from Iraq, or even liquidating Israel. It's bigger than that. And if you don't have a strategy for beating back the ideology, you'll lose.
Dennis Byrne, RealClearPolitics
Consider: President George W. Bush has been passionately faulted for "breaking the bank" by conducting the Iraq War. But the non-partisan Congressional Research Service figures that the total cost of the Iraq War and the rest of the global war on terror, including the war in Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001 is $864 billion. Now, we can whistle past that in a single day, and few seem to worry. There are no metaphors for this because there is nothing comparable to the rapidity of our plunge into national hock.
Robert Fulford, National Post
It seems clear that Bush's legacy is now carved in stone. He's the perfect recipient of blame for everything that happened during his administration. He's made a few remarks suggesting that he dreams of a reversal in opinion resembling the moral upgrade that time eventually conveyed on Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, both of them much-derided in office. That hope has grown increasingly wan.
Bush has never been the complete failure his enemies have always pictured, but his greatest success is hard to appreciate. After 9/11 demonstrated the incompetence of America's intelligence system, history assigned Bush the task of preventing anything similar happening again. For a national leader, nothing out-ranks the safety of the citizens. Few would have bet on success in this project -- 9/11 having seemed so easy for the suicide killers -- yet this continent has, amazingly, enjoyed seven terrorism-free years.
Somehow, the plans of terrorists have been frustrated. That may be Bush's greatest
The fears everyone experienced in 2001 have so diminished that Americans and others now regard as bothersome the security systems that may have saved their lives.
In response to: Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up