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1. Thanks to John P. for his astute and truthful account of our greatness. Due to circumstances partly beyond my control and partly because of my lazy inattention, the pomocon thing had languished. But we’re back, better than ever, and I’m proud of the TEAM I’ve assembled. I’m aware of my limitations as the only old guy. John is also right that Andrew Sullivan is quite the blogger, but we’re getting close at least to rivaling his range. We’ve already exceeded his prudence and genuine cultural conservatism. It’s difficult not to admire Andrew’s entrepreneurial talent in making a fine living as a blogger (and with blogging-related products). None of us is there (yet?). Anyone with a real job can’t keep up the two-a-day regimen.

2. On the Bush Doctrine, 10th anniversary of 9/11 front, we have to reflect on what we learned over the last decade. Maybe first of all: We have to admit that we exaggerated what the threat was. It wasn’t World War III, and there hasn’t been a successful second attack aginst our “homeland.” Al Quaeda hasn’t been decimated, but it remains on the run and fairly marginalized. Our basically “special forces” policies have worked—policies continued by President Obama, after all. A random attack remains possible and even likely, but even it would fall short of “terror” at this point. We certainly have corrected most of the errors that allowed 9/11 to happen in the first place. All the talk about our future filled of asymetrical wars also seems exaggerated (so not completely wrong). Today, real countries—like Iran and China—seem scarier, and politics in a more normal sense seems back.

3. Maybe second of all: We’ve been slapped in the face by the limits of our own power. The “Leninist” approach of the neoncons of giving the world’s movement toward democracy some powerful boosts didn’t work out so well. And the Fukuyamaish “organic” view that the global progress toward democracy will continue better without boosts also seems on the naive side now. The Arab spring—the overthrow of tyrants—seems somewhat encouraging, but that’s not because we know that what’s coming next in those countries will be regimes we can believe in or get along with. When Santorum tries to revitalize the Bush “freedom agenda,” he seems out of touch, and trying to find inevitably effective deep longings for democracy and rights in spirations of human nature (Bush’s Second Inaugural) now seems to be a form of justly discredited progressivism. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t do what we really can. So I too think Obama’s policy in Libya was basically right, if, like most successful policies, more than a bit lucky.

4. The world as a whole also seems to be becoming more religious, and so we see that the aspiration for Sharia law is hardly diminishing and that the hope for China may be less the internet (which it turns out the government can control) than the less controllable growth of Christianity. There remain reasons why the secular West (beginning maybe with the demographic crisis) might not be the world’s future.

5. I ask all of you, in a seriousness, to let me know what you’ve think we’ve learned over the last decade.

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