As a result of Bush's commitment to democracy and his initiatives combating HIV and AIDS, the President enjoys near rock-star status in many African countries. And NATO, thanks to Bush's prodding, swelled from 19 members to 26, admitting in 2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
And what about Bush's war on Islamofascism, which allegedly provokes alienation and a backlash against America? Support for homicide bombing among Muslims in predominately Muslim countries worldwide shows a dramatic decline. Support for "suicide bombing" in Lebanon, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, dropped 50 percent or more in the past five years. Similarly, support for Islamist political parties -- linked or sympathetic to the Taliban or al-Qaida -- has dropped dramatically. In Pakistan, for example, Islamist parties garnered only 3 percent of the vote, down from 11 percent in the previous general election. "The Islamist defeat in Pakistani," writes Iranian-born journalist Amir Taheri in The Wall Street Journal, "confirms a trend that's been under way (in Muslim countries) for years." Muslim support for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan fell in the six months before February '08 by as much as 50 percent -- to 24 percent -- with some former followers now renouncing him. In Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, where many believe bin Laden hides, polls show support for him falling to single digits.
Maybe historians should wait for some, well, history, before rendering a verdict.