You must read the entire article, as I will only excerpt the last three paragraphs here:
Bush of ArabiaIf this article doesn't give you a better understanding of the bedrock strategic issues, then nothing will. It's been clear to any willing to look that the Bush strategy to win the war against Islamists has been one of the most visionary of modern American presidencies.
This U.S. president is the most consequential the Middle East has ever seen.
BY FOUAD AJAMI
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
...Suffice it for them that George W. Bush was at the helm of the dominant imperial power when the world of Islam and of the Arabs was in the wind, played upon by ruinous temptations, and when the regimes in the saddle were ducking for cover, and the broad middle classes in the Arab world were in the grip of historical denial of what their radical children had wrought. His was the gift of moral and political clarity.
In America and elsewhere, those given reprieve by that clarity, and single-mindedness, have been taking this protection while complaining all the same of his zeal and solitude. In his stoic acceptance of the burdens after 9/11, we were offered a reminder of how nations shelter behind leaders willing to take on great challenges.
We scoffed, in polite, jaded company when George W. Bush spoke of the "axis of evil" several years back. The people he now journeys amidst didn't: It is precisely through those categories of good and evil that they describe their world, and their condition. Mr. Bush could not redeem the modern culture of the Arabs, and of Islam, but he held the line when it truly mattered. He gave them a chance to reclaim their world from zealots and enemies of order who would have otherwise run away with it.
And while political candidates like Barack Hussein Obama are on the campaign trail talking about change and a vision with big ideas, President Bush has been quietly making them reality.