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Tuesday, March 25, 2003
How did we get here?
Andrew Sullivan addresses the issue of who's responsible for getting us to this point with regard to Iraq. Although he does pass around some blame, that's not entirely what he's talking about; while blasting the U.N., he praises Tony Blair. But he also notes (in a non-Pat Buchanany way) the influence of the neoconservatives:
When George W. Bush looked around him in the ashes of the World Trade Center for an analysis of what had gone wrong and a comprehensive strategy to put it right, the neoconservatives were the only credible advocates who had an actual plan.


And this humble, instinctually modest president in foreign affairs, demanded a comprehensive strategy to grapple with the gravest attack on American soil in American history. The neocons had such an analysis. Their rivals - the multilateral purists - had nothing but piece-meal initiatives and they also had recent history against them.
Exactly. That's the problem I have with the serious anti-war position (as distinguished from the anti-American Chomsky/Fisk anti-war position). They don't offer alternatives. For those who oppose war altogether, what do they suggest? I don't ask how they propose to handle Iraq; their answer to that is "containment." The question I have is how they propose to handle the Middle East.

It's not as if the U.S. is the only country on the planet. The French, the Germans, the E.U., had an opportunity to address the Middle East. Long before Bush took office. They were either unwilling or unable to solve any problems. Or both. So why should Bush listen to them now? What exactly demonstrates the wisdom of their approach? Indeed, what is their approach? Ignore the Middle East and hope it gets better on its own? Prop up dictatorships that seem more pro-Western than their populaces? Throw some foreign aid their way? We've tried those. Those didn't prevent 9/11. Why would they prevent the next 9/11? The neoconservative idea, the idea that liberating Iraq can lead to democracy, which can, in domino fashion, lead to liberalization throughout the Middle East, may be wrong. But at least it's an idea. It's something for Bush to try. The French, the anti-war people, offer nothing.

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