Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wilson vs. Dubyah


Alfredo Triff

Fresh from New Criterion, an article from James Piereson, Is Conservatism Dead? In particular, I care for this paragraph:

President Bush, in addition, justified the war on liberal or Wilsonian grounds, so that if the war discredited anything, it was the liberal ideal of achieving collective security through the promotion of democracy. One may argue that such an approach is misguided or impractical, or even that it is inconsistent with conservative principles, but it is not possible to say that it is revanchist.

What's at stake for Piereson, is not Bush's Minority Report-like foreign policy (but Wilson's  liberal programme)!

Did Hussein have WMDs?

Once the main reason for going to war becomes illegitimate (and the real war with it)1, Piereson/Bush has no choice but to appeal to the second best (Wilsonian doctrine). Let's come back to Piereson's second sentence: it is not possible to say that it is revanchist.2

Since 2007, the trickle-down of damning evidence from ex-associates in the Bush administration over the manipulation of information by his government hasn't stopped. The prize goes to Cheney's push to imply an Al-Qaeda--Hussein connection to justify the invasion, using Powell as Cheney's mouthpiece and pressing Tenet to lie to the international community.

Was George W. Bush really promoting democracy in the Middle East?
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1 Academics often forget (in the heat of their ideological exchanges) the fundamental difference between "reasons for going to war" and the war itself. All the death, horror and destruction in the name of what sort of justification?  2The three legs of Bush's revanchist stool: 1- Axis of Evil, 2- The Iraq War, 3- Guantanamo.