Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, February 21, 2005

Michael J. Totten feels that the Iraq war has made fools out of a lot of people on both the right and the left, and concludes:

Great events should shake people and change them. I have a hard time trusting someone who says this never happens to them. After the toppling of Saddam's regime, it happened first to the hawkish right. And now the anti-war left has had its turn.

Unlike Totten, I feel pretty thoroughly vindicated by the whole affair. The positions I've taken on the war, from "Robin Hood Imperialism" to "The Iraqometer" to "WMDs Don't Matter, Stupid" to "Bringing Neoconservatism Home" seem to contain a lot of the insights that, two years later, people are waking up to, and which may be conventional wisdom in a few years' time.

That said, I was timid. For all the bluster of "Robin Hood Imperialism," (before the war) my conclusion had a hint of irony:

So should the US play Robin Hood, freeing millions of people from a tyrant at the expense of being an outlaw against the (rotten) world order, dreaming of a better world, but risking a worse one? An older, wiser man might doubt. But in the ardor, the idealism of youth, I confess that I can’t resist hoping for an adventure in Robin Hood imperialism.

Thoughtful people like me are often useful for avoiding getting sucked into big mistakes and intellectual frenzies. But I doubt that I would have had the courage to take the moral responsibility of giving the order, even if I had a strong coviction that it was the right thing to do. So I shouldn't claim too much vindication.


  • I would have given the order for sure, but I would have given it a year later, after our efforts in Afghanistan had more or less come to their conclusion, and after our troops had a little time to recuperate.

    As I've always said, I'm against the methods of the current administration, not necessarily the agenda. (And just so you know, there are many, many people who "appear" anti-war, but are merely anti-Bush. Please give them a little credit now that Bush's own party is criticizing him.)

    By Blogger Thomas Reasoner, at 12:40 PM  

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