Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Softs v. Hards 

Peter Beinart's article in The New Republic deserves the attention it's getting. Thanks to Jeff for making me finally aim some of my procrastination at it in this post, which (intentional or not - pretty sure it is) serves as a good response to my post here, where I not so subtly called him out.

I'm going to need some time to digest the article. It's thought provoking and the ideas put forth are (though not new. I know) put forth in a way that requires them to be confronted by people who think as I do about the world. I plan on doing that confronting, and I can't do it in a blog post or while finals are raging - but I will do it.

My only immediate reaction to the article is that it has no effect on my thinking about the Iraq war generally (that it should not have been at all - at the very least not as early as it was). But it will likely have impact on my thinking on the war on terror, including what we must do in Iraq now that we are there. I promise to do a post on this as soon as I get my ideas gathered...obviously after finals since this will likely be a big one.

The article coincides well with my recent thinking on the war on terror. I did support the war in Afghanistan, and did not support the war in Iraq. I don't think that is inconsistent at all as I think the war in Iraq will do more to help Islamist Totalitarianism (there's that term I've been looking for - thanks Beinart) than to hinder it. But that's an empirical decision, not a normative one. In other words the reason I opposed the Iraq war and still think it was a bad idea is because I believe it will help our enemy in the long run, not because I want to help our enemy in the long run.

I do think the left needs to sit down and talk with itself about foreign policy and should do so on it's own terms. I'm willing to be a part of that debate - with an open mind.

UPDATE: Fafblog chimes in on the article. Satire can really communicate sometimes.

Oh yeah, and no blogging for a while. I may get a post or two in before the 17th, but then I'll be gone fishin' through Christmas. HOLLAH!


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