March 8, 2005


Giving Wolfowitz His Due (DAVID BROOKS , 3/08/05, NY Times)

Let us now praise Paul Wolfowitz. Let us now take another look at the man who has pursued - longer and more forcefully than almost anyone else - the supposedly utopian notion that people across the Muslim world might actually hunger for freedom.

Let us look again at the man who's been vilified by Michael Moore and the rest of the infantile left, who's been condescended to by the people who consider themselves foreign policy grown-ups, and who has become the focus of much anti-Semitism in the world today - the center of a zillion Zionist conspiracy theories, and a hundred zillion clever-Jew-behind-the-scenes calumnies.

It's not necessary to absolve Wolfowitz of all sin or to neglect the postwar screw-ups in Iraq. Historians will figure out who was responsible for what, and Wolfowitz will probably come in for his share of the blame. But with political earthquakes now shaking the Arab world, it's time to step back and observe that over the course of his long career - in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Central and Eastern Europe, and now in the Middle East - Wolfowitz has always been an ardent champion of freedom. And he has usually played a useful supporting role in making sure that pragmatic, democracy-promoting policies were put in place.

If the trends of the last few months continue, Wolfowitz will be the subject of fascinating biographies decades from now, while many of his smuggest critics will be forgotten. Those biographies will mention not only his intellectual commitment but also his personal commitment, his years spent learning the languages of the places that concerned him, and the thousands of hours spent listening deferentially to the local heroes who led the causes he supported.

Here's what it means to be an American: your Jewish intellectuals fight to liberate the Islamic world.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2005 12:00 AM

[Warning: Irony ahead.]

your Jewish intellectuals fight to liberate the Islamic world.

Yeah, but for the sophisticated, the nuanced, the perceivers of the real truth behind the arras, the whole scheme was dreamed up only to benefit Israel!!! Which, of course, discredits the whole enterprise. Or ought to.

Let's not be naive.

If the grand plan succeeds, or succeeds at least partially---what is "success," anyway?---then Bush and his administration can earn the acclaim; though there are those who would grant Bush mere grudging respect, or say he got lucky, or say it all would have happened anyway, that he just got in the way and caused lots of unnecessary death and destruction (while putting the US way in hock), or say that it was not worth all that death and destruction---or money.

And for whom was all this done? Well, the Likudnik Zionists. And for what? For Israel, that sinister dog-wagging tail.

Of course, if the plan fails, as many hope---and there are all kinds of reasons to call it a failure (it hasn't gone perfectly, has it? Not by a long shot, Mr. Wolfowitz)---it's the obvious fault of the Likudnik Zionists and the international Jewish conspiracy wagging that American dog.

But even if the plan succeeds (or does so only partially), why shouldn't one still blame the Likudnik Zionists for plunging the world into potential abyss---for placing all the world's chips on this particular number. For playing Zionist roulette?

Since the whole effort was---in the view of those seekers of truth, those apprehenders of "how it really is," those brave folk undeterred by the Zionist-controlled press, not frightened by the threats or ridicule of those whose opinions have been hijacked by the Likudnik narrative---for Israel's sake alone.

And why allow the Zionists to get off the hook so easily? Just because the thing didn't fail? Well, it sure could have failed, and they could have and brought down the whole shebang with them.

In fact, it still might fail. Besides, what is failure, really; and what is success? When Israel benefits, can that really be called success? Really? Come on.....

[End warning.]

There's a whole lotta perversity out there. And it's not going to roll over and die any time soon.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 8, 2005 2:46 AM

The reality is, Barry, that many of these same characters, from Michael Moore to Ken Livingstone, would be more hard-line irredentist than the late, great Rabbi Meir Kahane had the Israelis been as slavishly pro-Soviet as Todor Zhivkov's Bulgaria during the Cold War, or as doggedly, suicidally anti-American as Castro is now.

Posted by: Bart at March 8, 2005 6:57 AM

Except Wolfowitz isn't fighting. He sits in an office issuing pronuciamentos. Other people's kids are doing the fighting, and they're the ones who pay for those "post-war screw ups", along with the tens of thousands of civilians killed and maimed.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 8, 2005 11:32 AM


Is your heart actually bleeding onto the keyboard? When did paleos become such pansies? I remember when a thermonuclear exchange was the price we might have to pay to stop Godless Communism. Now you guys won't spill a drop to stop equally vile isms.

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2005 11:44 AM

"Here's what it means to be an American: your Jewish intellectuals fight to liberate the Islamic world."

How does Sharansky fit into that pardigm?

Derek: go away.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 8, 2005 12:56 PM

The only post-war screw-up is that we did not kill 10,000 Iraqi Ba'athist terrorists and any foreigner (Syrian/Iranian etc.) trying to enter the country right after April 2003.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 8, 2005 1:33 PM

"Is your heart actually bleeding onto the keyboard? When did paleos become such pansies?"

This from a chairborne commando.

Old Rightists, such as Taft, have always been leary of intervention. John Birchers hardly fit into that paradigm. At any rate, citing civilian casualties is measuring progress by the reformer's utilitarian terms.

"Now you guys won't spill a drop to stop equally vile isms."

The point is that vile "isms" drop of their own accord. At best, launching pre-emptive wars hastens this dropping, but it always does so at a great and needless cost in blood. It isn't shedding blood that's a problem; it's shedding blood needlessly that is. You would think such a thing should trouble a self-proclaimed Christian.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 8, 2005 3:20 PM

Who's ever been willing to shed more blood to change the world than Christ and Christians?

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2005 4:56 PM