Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Neocon architect says: 'Pull it down'

Lots of lefties are talking about the abandonment of the neocon cause by one of its architects, Francis Fukayama. The change itself is important and noteworthy, of course. But the specfic things he is saying are not what I expected. None of this "good idea, bad execution" nonsense for him: the things he says would be immediately condemned as burn-him-at-the-stake heresy from anyone else.

From the

Mr Fukuyama once supported regime change in Iraq and was a signatory to a 1998 letter sent by the Project for a New American Century to the then president, Bill Clinton, urging the US to step up its efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power. It was also signed by neoconservative intellectuals, such as Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and political figures Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the current defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

However, Mr Fukuyama now thinks the war in Iraq is the wrong sort of war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

"The most basic misjudgment was an overestimation of the threat facing the United States from radical Islamism," he argues.

This is huge. Overestimating the threat posed by radical Islam is Rove tactic numbers 1 through 5, and tactics 6 through 10 are about beating up Democrats for not overestimating it.

Fukayama is not afraid to throw some powerful epithets at his former brothers in arms, either:

Going further, he says the movements' advocates are Leninists who "believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practised by the United States".

Gadzooks. Calling Bush and Cheney Leninists is about the nastiest thing one conservative can call another -- calling each other fascist is, if not a compliment, certainly nothing to lose sleep over.

Perhaps now Fukayama can help us to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance.


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