Doom and Gloom at the End of World War II. The cover of Life Magazine from January 7, 1946 (feature article here). Winston Churchill paints after being turned out of office while Europe was in chaos.
The mainstream media at the time reported doom and gloom. Where was our plan for victory? History repeats itself today in Iraq where our slow, steady, measurable progress is met with "but, but, but" from the same people who are desperate to escape accountability for never having any practical, effective solutions of their own on how to solve the immense problems we confront in geopolitics.
It took fifty years to clean up the mess after World War II. Would the naysayers say we shouldn't have bothered? Had we followed their lead, everyone in Europe, or at least the few permitted to survive the Holocaust, would either be speaking Russian or German.
Today, Germany, Japan and Italy are our allies in an international system that promotes economic prosperity, freedom and peace. Even Russia has changed from being an implacable foe to being more of an occasional nuisance.
The naysayers would have told us that none of that was possible. Or that somehow, they would have done it "better." Though if you look back at the last time they had the chance to do it "better" you will realize they handed North Korea the ability to make the nuclear weapons that currently threaten peace in Asia.
Jump forward to today where an unrelenting focus on what is not going right undermines the efforts to promote policies that history has shown to be successful. Those policies represent the best practical, effective and workable, though difficult, way forward in dangerous times.
Yet the naysayers continue. Never recognizing progress, only trumpeting failure and shortcoming. And still, they offer no real alternative, just a suggestion that somehow, they would do it "better." When pressed, that "better" they claim to represent is little more than a rehash of the current Bush policy which they oppose.
Take for example ex-presidential candidate John Kerry's "global test" and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's recent admonishment to President Bush that we are losing our allies. Well guess those folks didn't see the news that both Canada and Germany recently elected more pro-American (read PRO-BUSH) governments and the recent diplomatic successes of President Bush's trip to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. No doubt they ignored the re-election of pro-Bush Prime Minister Howard of Australia too.
When there is hard work to be done, it's "better" to stick with the people whose success is proven rather than those who can only say "no."