NRO had a great column today comparing George Bush's War against Jihadist Terrorists to Harry Truman's war against Communisn in Korea. The author points out that just as George Bush is reviled and suffering terrible poll numbers, so too did Harry Truman. But the passage of time has shown that Truman was right and his contemporary critics were wrong:
In retrospect, we can see that Harry’s war preserved a chance for the Korean people (half of them, at least) to pursue freedom and democracy from an imperfect beginning. It gave us history’s clearest side-by-side controlled experiment comparing the effects of totalitarianism and free democracy. Same people, same history, language, and culture. The only difference is that one of the petri dishes was protected by the United States Army, while the other by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Harry’s quagmire turned into the Cold War’s first critical stand for freedom, and the first reverse (even though only a partial one) for tyranny. Thirty-three thousand American soldiers paid the ultimate price for it. Harry Truman paid only a political price—the price of near-universal disfavor, with job approval numbers dipping to 23 percent. And he was willing to pay it.
Then, a funny thing happened. A few years after he had returned home and stored his grips in the attic, Truman was “reconsidered.” As South Korea got the hang of democracy and gradually grew more stable and prosperous, and the North degenerated into a nightmarish hellhole bad enough to embarrass dictators everywhere, history took another look at Harry.
The article's content isn't the only thing that impresses me. There's something about the author too. When I first clicked on the link, I noticed right away that the writer was "Hans Moleman." That stirred a vague Simpson-esque feeling in my brain, which was confirmed by the name I got to the end of the article and discovered that, of course, the name is a nom de plume (do I mean nom de keyboard?):
Hans Moleman is a National Education Association employee and lifelong Democrat who prefers to remain anonymous. He has no relation to the Simpsons character by the same name. Any similarities are purely coincidental.
In other words, Mr. "Moleman" is a crypto-conservative. He's spent his whole working life toiling in the belly of the Democratic beast and, now that he's seen the light, he's afraid of the repercussions if he ventures out of hiding.