Monday, November 13, 2006


Abandoning Principle

Michael Rubin, writing in the Journal Online, challenges those opposed to the Bush Administration’s efforts in Iraq, who would contrarily applaud the arrival of the Realists.

The subtext of Rubin’s piece could be stated as “be careful what you wish for,” or “beware the temptation to view your enemy’s enemy as your friend.” As much as some may call on neoconservatives to apologize, history is replete with the consequences of Realism.

The unexpected carnage of 9/11, being perhaps the most sensational. Rubin mentions another, in passing: “Saddam's career is a model of realist blowback.”

Rubin concludes with this rhetorical gem:

Both realism and progressivism have become misnomers. Realists deny reality, and embrace an ideology where talk is productive and governments are sincere. While 9/11 showed the consequences of chardonnay diplomacy, deal-cutting with dictators and a band-aid approach to national security, realists continue to discount the importance of adversaries' ideologies and the need for long-term strategies. And by embracing such realism, progressives sacrifice their core liberalism. Both may celebrate Mr. Rumsfeld's departure and the Baker-Hamilton recommendations, but at some point, it is fair to ask what are the lessons of history and what is the cost of abandoning principle.

That’s the world we now live in. Black is white, white is black, honor is dishonor and dishonor is honorable.

Abandoning principle may mean never having to say you’re sorry, but abandoning principles always involves a human cost, and not just for the souls of those who abandon.

Some dismiss such concerns as Vanity of vanities. If only politics, or politicians, suffered from the aftermath of such illogic. Tragically, the people of a Great and Noble nation, along with the hapless victims of prior Realisms, will pay the greater price in years ahead.

(Via Real Clear Politics)

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