Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Democracy and peace?

Mark Helprin (in an op-ed version of this)
is critical of Bush’s attempt to democratize every country in the world that would have the effect of bringing everlasting peace everywhere for always for ever. For the pleasure of displaying our virtue, as he puts it, we will suffer because foreign policy has to be run according to common sense and history. O.K., we get it. Let’s be clear: Those of us who seem a bit idealistic (as it used to be called among the Left) are not necessarily impractical. We know the difference between what is good and what is possible, and what is true and what sounds good, just as we know the difference between good writing and good thinking. Helprin writes.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Do you really believe that Bush IS attempting to "democratize every country in the world that would have the effect of bringing everlasting peace everywhere for always foir (sic) ever."? Do you really believe that he is doing this, or WOULD if he could?

Straw man argument - W is not attempting "to democratize every country in the world."

He does believe democracy is more stable and less likely to war than dictatorship, and he is interested in seeing those nations whose leaders despise us become more democratic.

Frank: Of course I don’t. I was trying to be sarcastic. I guess it didn’t work.

Halperin doesn’t help his cause, nor does he advance his argument by making a caricature of the position of the Administration. Creating straw men, for the purpose of knocking them over is hardly engaging in a good faith, mature confrontation with the positions of, what are stylized, neo-cons.

There are reasons that the Neos have won all the major policy arguments since 9/11, and one of them is that those who urge countervailing positions offer little more than cliches, banal observations, and caricature.

I expected better from Halperin.

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