Sure, confrontation can achieve something - *provided*: you know exactly what you want to achieve; you have near-unanimous agreement with other people (including those of a different political viewpoint) that it is the right thing to do; what you plan to do is specified; the target is specified; and the exit strategy when the target is achieved is specified.
If you're thinking self-defense, it maps out quite nicely. You plan to stop the other guy hurting you, and your plan is to fight until he can't hurt you any more, and then you stop.
I would have no quarrel with GWB's two invasions, had they been planned to impose democracy. But they weren't - Afghanistan was planned to salve America's feelings after 9/11, and Iraq was planned to finish what Daddy started. And to create a concentration camp for storage of Afghan fighters afterwards, or to invade Iraq with no plan of how to put the country back on its feet afterwards or of how to get the troops back out - *that's* the problem.
And while we're at it, if you want to use that kind of language then you *have* to be scrupulous about your own integrity, and the same standards have to be applied everywhere. Support of Israel in appropriating Palestinian-owned land, failure to act in "non-headline" places like Sudan, failure to apply the rule of law in Guantanamo - all those things and more mount up against the US. I have no problems with the US being a "tough cop", but the US being a cop prepared to falsify evidence or beat evidence out of people is not acceptable.