It’s like the ghost of George W. Bush, but with smoother segues. …and so it begins:

Now is not the time to retreat from freedom’s rise.

[…] Yet at the same time, we know these revolutions can bring to power forces that are neither democratic nor forward-looking. Just as the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and elsewhere see a chance for a better life of genuine freedom, the leaders of radical Islam see a chance to ride political turmoil into power.

The United States has a vital stake in the future of this region. We have been presented with a challenge as great as any we have faced in recent decades. And we must get it right. The question is, are we up to the challenge?

My answer is, of course we are. […]

But President Obama has failed to formulate and carry out an effective and coherent strategy in response to these events. He has been timid, slow, and too often without a clear understanding of our interests or a clear commitment to our principles.

And parts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments. This is no time for uncertain leadership in either party. […]

There’s the obligatory chastising of Pres. Obama, because he’s mean to Israel:

In 2008, candidate Barack Obama told AIPAC that he would “always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.” This year, he told AIPAC “we remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” So I have to ask: are all the options still on the table or not? If he’s not clear with us, it’s no wonder that even our closest allies are confused.

The Administration should enforce all sanctions for which legal authority already exits. We should enact and then enforce new pending legislation which strengthens sanctions particularly against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who control much of the Iranian economy.

And in the middle of all this, is Israel.

Israel is unique in the region because of what it stands for and what it has accomplished. And it is unique in the threat it faces”“the threat of annihilation. It has long been a bastion of democracy in a region of tyranny and violence.

Oh, and you’ll love the part on Syria. Mr. Pawlenty has a domino theory of sanctioning nations, with the U.S. providing Wilsonian intervention wherever needed.

The fall of the Assad mafia in Damascus would weaken Hamas, which is headquartered there. It would weaken Hezbollah, which gets its arms from Iran, through Syria. And it would weaken the Iranian regime itself.

Daniel Drezner weighs in saying it was a “a reasonably coherent speech.”

You can likely imagine what the part on Palestinians reads like, but here’s the bottom line: It’s all the Palestinians’ fault.

When the Palestinians have leaders who are honest and capable, who appreciate the rule of law, who understand that war against Israel has doomed generations of Palestinians to lives of bitterness, violence, and poverty “” then peace will come.

If you like your neoconservatism rebooted, T-Paw’s for you. A more accessible, well spoken George W. Bush, whose record at least shows a hint of competency.

John McCain’s got to love this guy.