. . .Now, it is certainly true that the Bush administration in its conduct of both war and diplomacy has too often been inept. Even if the provincial elections in Iraq this fall and the national elections next winter establish a long-lasting means for Sunni-Shiite reconciliation, fortify the country's nascent democracy, and decisively prove the wisdom of the surge last January, President Bush's allowing Iraq to descend into hell in 2004 will likely haunt his legacy. Whether it is Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, extraordinary rendition and the CIA's not-so-secret prisons, or the Patriot Act and the gargantuan Department of Homeland Security, there are many things that thoughtful critics could wish the United States had not done or had done better in the war on terrorism.
Yet when we look at what George W. Bush has actually done, it's pretty hard not to credit him with massively improving America's security, both at home and abroad.