August 8, 2004

IT ENDED PRETTIER ON PAPER:

Under friendly fire: Francis Fukuyama long advocated getting rid of Saddam. But the one-time Bush fan says his man botched it (Peter Fray, August 7, 2004, Sydney Morning Herald)

Francis Fukuyama used to be part of the Washington gang that happily filled in the gaps in George Bush's intellectual world. Several of his fellow members - Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz - have played defining roles in the Bush presidency and will effectively meet their political fate with him in November.

Fukuyama, however, has departed from Team Bush over Iraq. Despite his ranking as one of the world's foremost public intellectuals and a leading neoconservative thinker, he will not be voting Republican this year and he thinks his old ally, Rumsfeld, should have resigned over Iraq.

"There seems to be this cultural thing that Americans don't resign, no matter what," he says. "But I think that people who are responsible for policy that hasn't gone well owe it to give a chance to somebody else. I just think they [the Bush Administration] ought to be held accountable for policy failure."


Poor Mr. Fukuyama, in The End of History he correctly identified liberal democracy as the deus ex machina of modern human affairs, but--unlike Samuel Huntington--he expected an immaculate conception. The Reformation of Islam will be somewhat messy--though considerably less so than the defeats of Nazism and Communism were--but the eventual outcome is not in question.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2004 9:59 AM
Comments

He joins the ranks of Brooks, Carlson, Sullivan et al, the sunshine patriots, in an effort to hedge their careers in case the French win.

Posted by: Genecis at August 8, 2004 11:27 AM

Who in their right minds ranks Fukuyama as "one of the world's foremost public intellectuals" ??

He writes about provocative issues, and raises interesting questions, but so far, he's gotten ONE THING right !!

That's half as knowledgeable as a stopped clock.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 8, 2004 2:52 PM

He's right about biotech too.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2004 3:01 PM

The Reformation of Islam might also diminish Islam, at least in terms of the number of worshippers.

One of the characteristics of Muslim nations is that they're generally hostile to Christian proselytizers.
A more liberal Islam would be accompanied by more liberal states, and if Christian missionaries are allowed to convert people, Islam might shrink for decades, possibly by half.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 8, 2004 3:18 PM

Michael:

Of course. The future of Islam is Christianity.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2004 4:24 PM

It has been impossible to dine out on the east coast and keep your wits about you this year.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 8, 2004 11:53 PM

It would seem the Middle East would be best served by imbibing a healthy dose of skepticism, rather than yet another round of clerics.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at August 9, 2004 7:15 AM

"Of course. The future of Islam is Christianity."

Why go back to Windows 95 when you've already got a nice, shiny Mac?

Efforts to convert to Christianity would probably falter on the "So how does that Holy Trinity thing work?"

Not to mention Christianity doesn't offer you the prize of 72 raisins in the afterlife.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at August 9, 2004 1:51 PM

"A more liberal Islam would be accompanied by more liberal states, and if Christian missionaries are allowed to convert people, Islam might shrink for decades, possibly by half."

Riiiiiiight.

And the Red Sox will walk the next World Series.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at August 9, 2004 1:53 PM

I cannot imagine anything that would convert a Muslim to Christianity.

To secularism, yes, there have been a few.

But I don't think I've ever heard of a Muslim becoming a Christian.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at August 9, 2004 10:29 PM

In the Christian world, a person has to be pretty sure of their faith to buck the trend and be Muslim.

In the Muslim world, there are plenty of folks that go along to get along, just like everywhere else.
Introducing a competing and compatible religion to people who've never had the choice before will necessarily cause Muslim numbers to lower.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 10, 2004 1:05 AM

Nope. It simply isn't different enough to warrant a change.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at August 10, 2004 5:25 AM

Ali's right. Christians haven't proselytized among the other Abrahamic religions in recent centuries. They will in the future.

Posted by: oj at August 10, 2004 8:54 AM
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