August 30, 2011

A CLOSED DEBATE:

Score One for Interventionism (ROGER COHEN, 8/30/11, NY Times)

It will be two decades next year since the outbreak of the Bosnian war -- and since the debate on interventionism began to rage, becoming one of the most acrimonious moral questions of our times. Now Libya, a successful Western intervention, will be placed on the scales.

The issue has divided friends and united enemies. Democrats under the age of 30 were almost as eager to go to war in Iraq as Republicans over 65, according to a Pew Research Center poll of October 2002, a moment when liberal hawkishness and conservative American hubris coalesced with disastrous consequences.

It has been the focus of an age-old foreign policy debate between realism and idealism, prompted a deluge of finger-pointing, and proved a catalyst to the U.N.-endorsed notion of a responsibility to protect. At the heart of the polemics lie divergent views on the very nature of American power.

Like many of my generation, I became an interventionist in Bosnia.


Note that the "debate" in question is entirely on the Left, where intervention against dictatorship became safe only once the Soviet Union had fallen. The argument is basically just over whether liberals should support the application of American values abroad. The avatar of this historical moment is Christopher Hitchens, who had never met an anti-Western regime he disapproved of until Reagan rid us of most of the Marxist-Leninist ones the Left identified with.


Posted by at August 30, 2011 7:09 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« BUT FIRST YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS GOING ON, NO?: | Main | THE GREAT VALUE OF AN OBAMA PRESIDENCY...: »