Radosh Shafts Taft


He was once the foremost chronicler and defender of the Old Right anti-interventionist tradition from the left, in his excellent book Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism. But when Ronald Radosh turns his back, he turns his back. In this column from yesterday's New York Post, Radosh compares the recent anti-war speech from Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) with a similar anti-war speech on the verge of WWII from Sen. Robert Taft (R-Ohio)–and not to Taft's credit.

Radosh's piece is a sophisticated-sounding reductio ad hitlerum against those who oppose the looming Iraq war, and he doesn't even make it interesting by acknowledging that he dedicated a large part of the first half of his intellectual career to the other side of this issue.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether the likes of Byrd will be seen as prescient moral guardians of American foreign policy virtue or craven capitulators to evil. I suspect the latter, because Standard Opinion has a way of protecting its own. If the war ends without massive loss of American life, well, then, it will be seen as having not been worth fretting about. If our enemies have the temerity to strike back, it will undoubtedly be read not as indicating that the likes of Byrd might have had a point about not courting trouble, but as further proof of the perfidy of our foes, thus justifying the war all the more.