Across the Bay

Friday, April 23, 2004

On Clairvoyance and Pre-emption

Cathy Young wrote a very nice piece in Reason magazine on the 9/11 commission. In that piece she quotes Gregg Easterbrook's excellent post on his diary on TNR.

It's worth repeating here:

" ... the same politicians and commentators who say Bush failed because he did not take decisive military action in August 2001 after a general warning about Al Qaeda also say Bush was wrong to invade Iraq because there was only a general warning.


Had decisive military action been taken in August 2001, and had that action been successful--September 11 avoided and thus its possibility never even known--there would now be a carnival of recriminations about why we invaded Afghanistan 'unnecessarily.' A presidential commission into the Afghanistan invasion might now be demanding to know why George W. Bush and his advisors paid too much attention to intelligence warnings about Al Qaeda

There is something very disturbing in the accuracy of these remarks if you think about it. Among other things, it says a lot about the two-faced hypocrisy of some self-proclaimed anti-war "liberal" figures who don't deserve that label. Theirs is a very self-consumed, condescending, and nihilistic attitude.

For a critique of a very similar attitude in Eco-circles, read Paul Driessen's book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.

But the question does remain: how do you fight an anti-liberal Jihadist ideology while operating within that same liberal democratic framework that the Jihadists have no problem using in order to undermine!? It's a tough question.