Sunday's NY Times Magazine features George Packer's article, "The Liberal Quandary Over Iraq," which asks the subtitular question, "Why is the Vietnam generation not marching against Iraq?"–by which he means why is that generation not uniformly marching against war with Iraq.
Apart from its odd selection of representative liberals–sure to David Rieff, Michael Walzer, and Paul Berman, but since when did Leon Wieseltier become such a spokesman for liberalism?–the piece fails to pack much of a punch. With the exception of Christopher Hitchens, none of the figures is clearly in favor of war with Iraq. So much for a compelling quandary; instead, what you have is a group of people willing to admit that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and that they don't like the current, hard-left peace movement. And Packer doesn't ask the obvious question, even as he references the former Yugoslavia: Would this cast be as ambivalent about intervention if a liberal Democrat was in the White House?