Across the Bay

Friday, August 04, 2006

Who's the Realist?

A quote by Richard Haass the other day caught my eye:

"The arrows are all pointing in the wrong direction," said Richard N. Haass, who was President Bush's first-term State Department policy planning director. "The biggest danger in the short run is it just increases frustration and alienation from the United States in the Arab world. Not just the Arab world, but in Europe and around the world. People will get a daily drumbeat of suffering in Lebanon and this will just drive up anti-Americanism to new heights."

It reminded me, you know, as a stranger to the "reality-based community," of another comment, written about two years ago by Michael Doran, who I believe has also been designated as a "non-Realist":

Any serious evaluation of the war on terror must gauge the balance of power between the U.S. and its enemies, not the level of American popularity with the Arab public. It is a fatal miscalculation to treat the war as a zero-sum game, with every mistake by the Bush administration somehow translating into a victory for Osama bin Laden. In order to win the war, America need not be popular. In fact, it can afford to be hated. What it cannot tolerate is a global balance of power that favors al Qaeda, kindred groups, and rogue regimes that might be tempted to supply them with nuclear weapons.

So which is the Realist position again? Just a random thought.