Monday, March 13, 2006


As Iraq descends into further chaos here are insights into what has led to the quagmire based on Jacob Weisberg's review of the book America at the Crossroads by Francis Fukuyama ; "While he remains sympathetic to the democracy-spreading mission, Fukuyama castigates the unilateral and militaristic turns that gave us such concepts as preventive war, benevolent hegemony, and regime change. Neoconservatives, he contends, have abandoned their fundamental political insight, namely that ambitious schemes to remake societies are doomed to disappointment, failure and unintended consequences (ed's. note aka Blowback). "Opposition to utopian social engineering," Fukuyama writes, " the most enduring thread running through the movement." Yet neconservatives to-day are bogged down in an attempt to remake a poorly understood, catastrophically damaged, and deeply alien semi-country in the Middle East. How did these smart people stray? The reviewer traces steps from the Vietnam War of the 1970s up to 1989 and the fall of the Iron Curtain which highlight the "tragic flaw," hamartia, made famous in many Greek dramas. His answer is that neocons have basically remained on the sidelines as the question of how government-led democratic transitions are accomplished. The concrete mechanics of how the United States would promote either democratic institutions or economic development were not debated. People that should have known better came to believe that one place is like another, and that historic inevitability would do the heavy lifting for them." Source: National Post, Wednesday March 8th, 2006