Friday, March 24, 2006

Several Species of Weasels Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With Friedrich Hayek

Or, Long On "Blah Blah Blah", Short On "Mea Culpa".

Read this crap.

Hitchens is made fun of here, Hitchens and Instayokel together here.

While those two deserve the most scorn, I don't think Matt Welch should be let off the hook either.

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

No. Nor did I oppose it.

2. Have you changed your position?

...What has changed about my position (as opposed to the changes in presumed facts) is that I'm even more worried than I was in spring 2003 (which was a lot) that cranky interventionism (or Jacksonian Wilsonianism, as I don't like to call it), is a terrible approach to foreign policy, because it extends our resources, enlarges the target on our back, feeds into the anti-American pathology that comes when we and only we flex the only Power that matters, and leads to the corruption that inevitably accompanies an expansion of power. Which is to say, the stuff I thought might go bad has gone far worse than I feared.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

I have no earthly idea. Maybe the most sensible thing to do is the most radical — separate the warring parties both physically and geographically. That is to say, stop trying to prop up the arguably untenable fiction that a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian, post-colonial, mid-FUBAR country can become the 21st century Switzerland, and instead hasten the business of dividing the pie up into three (or whatever) countries. This would probably set a terrible precedent, but it's hard to see how it can be much worse than the one we've established now.

Now his recommendation there is quite good, but what I object to is the disingenuousness of his first answer and the What I Did Get Right tone of his second -- both of which can be dealt with together. Far from presenting and arguing what doubts he had which the gravity of the situation might have demanded, what Matt Welch did during the lead-up to the war was much more fun -- basically what Kaus, Instayokel, Sullivan et al did: concentrate all their energy and firepower on the American Left which, obviously, was a far more courageous and conscientious position to take than to think just for a fucking second what might happen should the Great Crusade go awry.

Could Bush, Dick, Wolfy, Rummy & Co. fuck it all up? Was it a tragedy from the start considering the character and ideologies of the dramatis personae? Who cared! It was much more fun and productive to rant interminably about the anti-war Left.