Neo-cons Get Letters


Paleo-cons, realists, and libertarians take their swings at the neo-cons in the letters page of Commentary, in response to this extended diss by Gary Rosen. The whole thing is surprisingly interesting; I'll quote from Rosen's response to the libertarians:

Messrs. Logan and Preble parrot a few of the more credible assertions made by critics of the war in Iraq, but they should not pretend to come to these matters with an open mind. The Cato Institute is dogmatically laissez-faire in foreign policy just as it is on every other policy question. Fearful of statism at home, libertarians have reflexively resisted virtually every assertion of American power and influence since the cold war: no to the National Endowment for Democracy, no to NATO expansion, no to the first Persian Gulf war, no to engagement in the Middle East, no to American intervention in Haiti and the Balkans. […]

Despite the upheavals and changed circumstances in America's international situation in recent years, this continues to be Cato's basic outlook. It leaves little guesswork in predicting the foreign-policy views of the institute's staffers, which is why, in my article, I called them ideologues.

Link via Andrew Sullivan.

We've been debating these questions ourselves, including a should-we-invade-Iraq? tussle from November 2002, a summer 2003 roundtable on whether liberalism can be spread at gunpoint, and much more.