The other day I commented on Matt Yglesias’s site that I never felt that Josh Marshall had committed to a pro-war stance. That is a personal interpretation of Marshall’s writings, so it is not open to debate. I just never believed he was committed to it.
After reading what he has written the last few days, I think he simply needs to be committed.
Taranto, and those who believe as he does, see the decapitation of the Iraqi government as the linchpin of international peace and security. We see it as extremely important, but a means to creating a more stable, safer world order. Fundamentally, we see the preservation of our key alliances and standing in the world, indeed the ‘world security system’ itself as even more important than Iraq.
Why is the preservation of or key alliances important if they are not willing to undertake what you describe as extremely important “means to creating a more stable, safer world order.”
One point that deserves notice — and which we’ll try to return to — is that the Bush crowd is now pursuing a logic on the international stage which is inherently self-validating. Every bust-up of an alliance, every disaster is proof that this or that alliance or relationship or global norm was worthless in the first place and thus we’re even more right than we thought we were in bulldozing through.
No, Josh. Just because a couple gets divorced does not mean the marriage was once worthless. What the divorce might lead one to believe is that it is NOW worthless.
We’re in international affairs not just for today but for the long haul. And our political leadership in the world community matters profoundly.
Josh is clearly working from a different definition of leadership than I am. Leadership means leading- not acquiescing to petty tyrants and becoming neutered by international organizations.
Next, to the United Nations. One hears that the United Nations was basically a wrecked or never-functioning institution. So the costs of putting it out of its misery are not so great. I’m not so sour on the UN. But what worries me here is not principally the UN. NATO sidestepped the UN in 1999 during the Kosovo war because of Russian intransigence. And I was happy to see NATO do it. Anti-UN types now see this as a bit of internationalist hypocrisy. But again, it’s not the UN I’m worried about. It’s the destruction of NATO that’s the issue here.