Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hilzoy neocons vindicated?

Hilzoy on Finkelstein
The end of the post sums it up nicely:

Towards the end of his article, Finkelstein writes:

"The mistake the neocons made is that we were not conservative enough, not patient enough. Such impatience with dictatorships is understandable, indeed laudable. But the frustrating truth is that there are limits to what can be achieved by outsiders. Instead we have to wait as national movements, one by one, stand up for their rights. And sometimes, tragically, we even have to stand aside as those movements are crushed by their oppressors."

Well, yes; that would be one way to put it. Another would be to say: neoconservatives were not just insufficiently patient; they were reckless beyond belief, willing to bring down unspeakable costs on other people without bothering to weigh the possibility that their simplistic and unrealistic views of the world might be wrong. If Mr. Finkelstein wants to change his ways and become more "patient", power to him. To my mind, though, this column, with its equally simplistic (and insulting) view of his opponents, shows that he has not changed nearly enough.

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