Summer reading

The summer issue of the Claremont Review of Books and the June issue of the New Criterion magazine are both out. Two of the most interesting pieces in these issues are related: the review by Victor Davis Hanson of Paul Johnson’s biography of Napoleon in the CRB and Paul Johnson’s essay “From the evil empire to the empire for liberty” in the New Criterion.
The CRB also features Angelo Codevilla’s latest installment of his continuing series on the war: “When the cheering stops.” The thesis of this installment comes in the second paragraph: “In a nutshell: President Bush ended up making war on Iraq more or less correctly only after having courted political and diplomatic disaster. Immediately after winning the battle, he resumed the policies that had forestalled military success. He reassured the terror regime of Syria, rewarded the terror regime of Palestine, did not scrub the remnants of Ba’ath rule in Iraq, and sought to relieve pressure on the Saudi royal family. Most important, any ‘regime change’ abroad remained less certain than the permanence of the post-September 11 changes wrought by security measures in the American regime. Victory or defeat may well depend on George W. Bush’s threshold of embarrassment.” Ouch!

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Books to read from Power Line