Down goes Yglesias! Down goes Yglesias! [Karl]
TNR’s James Kirchick is not impressed byÃ‚Â Matthew Yglesias’s new book on foreign policy:
Avoiding arguments that weaken his case, Yglesias alleges that those who oppose his brand of liberal internationalism wish to transform the United States into an Ã¢â‚¬Å“imperial superpower that seeks to use its national strength to dominate the world and needlessly heighten conflicts.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If only Yglesias were as tough on AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mortal enemies as he is with his own intellectual adversaries… He echoes Osama bin Laden when he argues that Islamist anger against the West is a justified response to foreign powers that Ã¢â‚¬Å“occupy Muslim land.Ã¢â‚¬Â This is a bold assertion, and yet Yglesias doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care to explore why Iran and SyriaÃ¢â‚¬â€countries where foreign soldiers havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t set foot for decadesÃ¢â‚¬â€continue to be the two most active state sponsors of international terrorism. In fact, he urges the United States to engage Iran and Syrian in diplomatic talks about the future of Iraq so that all three can Ã¢â‚¬Å“work together to secure their common interests in that country.Ã¢â‚¬Â What Ã¢â‚¬Å“common interestÃ¢â‚¬Â supporters of a democratic, federal, and secular Iraq might share with the ayatollahs and Assads is left unsaid.
While charitable toward religious fascists and tyrants, Yglesias is suspicious of Western attempts to combat them…
Though Yglesias is at pains to distinguish his views from those of a hard leftist, he nonetheless ends up sounding like one. He sees no distinction between SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“aggressive warfareÃ¢â‚¬Â against Kuwait in 1991 and AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“aggressive warfareÃ¢â‚¬Â against Saddam in 2003. SaddamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign against the Kurds, by the way, was only Ã¢â‚¬Å“quasi-genocidalÃ¢â‚¬Â (perhaps because Saddam did not kill every last Kurd?). He applauds the ridiculous Dennis Kucinich, who Ã¢â‚¬Å“was admirable in his ability to articulate a clear and coherent theory of foreign affairsÃ¢â‚¬Â during the 2004 presidential election. He believes that rogue states and peaceful states should be treated the same, and lambastes the neoconservatives for adhering to a Ã¢â‚¬Å“two-tiered system of sovereigntyÃ¢â‚¬Â that deals with a country like Luxembourg differently than, say, Sudan. He also argues that no international action can be Ã¢â‚¬Å“legitimateÃ¢â‚¬Â unless it has RussiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and ChinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s support.
RTWT at City Journal, because — for some reason — it is not posted at Kirchick’s home base, TNR.
(h/t Donald Douglas, who also has a delightlful, non-Photoshopped pic of Yglesias dressed in “terrorist chic.”)