Each step brings on a call for its opposite number, which is hailed as the answer, until it, too, reveals flaws. As Hanson recalls, nation-building “was not our first choice but rather a last resort after numerous failures.”

After September 11, Bush 43 was assailed for not “connecting the dots” that led to the Taliban, and taking action to stop it, and assailed later for connecting the dots that led to Iraq as the next source of possible terrorist funding.

After he failed to take out Saddam, the commentariat assailed Bush 41 without mercy for his failure of vision in not leading Iraq out of its misery, and into the uplands of sunny self-government.

Liberal hawks lamented that he hadn’t the guts to finish the job, thereby making problems for their man, Bill Clinton, who in l998 took time off from impeachment to say regime change was the policy of his administration, and that Saddam, who was known to have used chemical weapons, was no doubt planning to use them again.