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Before WWIV, Reagan Won WWIII

Norman Podhoretz gives an interesting interview to K-Lo over at NRO today, on his new book, World War IV,

While I agreed with much of what he had to say, I think this paragraph deserves some attention:

 I regret to say that Bin Laden was emboldened at least as much by Reagan’s hasty withdrawal from Lebanon after the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983 as by Clinton’s response to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Podhoretz fails to make the obvious point that Reagan's primary goal was to defeat Communism -- a goal he accomplished.  And Reagan understood that (because of the malaise of Watergate, Jimmy Carter, and the entire post-Vietnam era) Americans would need both confidence and momentum.  His foreign policy decisions -- including the decision to withdrawal from Lebanon -- reflected those realities.   

Conversely, Bill Clinton inherited a confident nation at peace.    There was really no compelling reason for him not to respond vigorously to the World Trade Center bombing.

Reagan was so busy winning WW III, that he can hardly be blamed for not getting started on WW IV.

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