Thursday, January 13, 2005

Podhoretz Article

There's a fantastic article written by Norman Podhoretz in the new issue of Commentatary titled The War Against World War IV. It's a good read even if you are opposed to the war in Iraq because it defines fairly succinctly the different groups, right and left, that oppose (and support) military intervention. Particularly insightful is his characterization of the extreme-left and extreme-right opposition:
So, too, with the isolationists of the hard Left. These—exactly like their forebears in the late 1930’s who fought against America’s entry into World War II—have made common cause with the paleoconservatives at the other end of the political spectrum. True, the isolationism of the Left stems from the conviction that America is bad for the rest of the world, whereas the isolationism of the Right is based on the belief that the rest of the world is bad for America. Nevertheless, the two streams have converged, flowing smoothly into the same channel of fierce opposition to everything Bush has done in response to 9/11.

Note here that he is talking about the extreme elements of either party, and not necessarily the majority of those who oppose intervention, though it is noteworthy how the extreme elements do overlap.

It is a very thorough and thought-provoking piece. Podhoretz is a tad more optimistic than I both in his confidence in Bush and his belief in democracy as a force for stablization, though I am certainly in greater agreement with him than with those he argues against. Do read it if you have a good thirty minutes to spare.


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