It turns out that getting hip to op-ed squabbles in which the combatants don't dare speak each others' names makes reading the morning paper a lot more fun. Now we have Anne Applebaum going at it with Charles Krauthammer in the Post. This weekend, Krauthammer trumpeted that the state of our international alliances is, in fact, strong: When the Democratic presidential candidates pause from beating Hillary with a stick, they join in unison to pronounce the Democratic pieties, chief among which is that George Bush has left our alliances in ruins. ...
"What can be said about the Virginia Tech massacre?" writes Charles Krauthammer in the Post today. "Very little. What should be said? Even less." But there are, of course, column inches to be filled. Krauhammer bemoans the fact that "in today's supercharged political atmosphere, there is the inevitable rush to get ideological mileage out of the carnage"; he then, inevitably, rushes to get ideological mileage out of the carnage. His first target is gun-control advocates who've leapt on the tragedy.
Anyone who's worked in journalism for any period of time has faced situations where an article he's working on is superseded by events prior to publication (say, Mark Warner announces he's not running for president just as a writer is putting the finishing touches on a big piece about his candidacy). So, I'm willing to give Charles Krauthammer the benefit of the doubt and assume that today's op-ed, "The Surge: First Fruits," was largely written before yesterday's bomb attacks on the parliament building and Sarafiya bridge.
Charles Krauthammer bashes Democrats who call Afghanistan the site of "the real war" on terror. I'm sure it's true that Democrats prefer talking about Afghanistan to Iraq because it's an easier moral case. But Krauthammer's argument is built around an awfully glib view of Afghanistan's strategic value. Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents.
Charles Krauthammer's op-ed in today's Post offers a remarkable glimpse into the evolution of conservatives' moral philosophy on the U.S. attorney firings. He begins by recommending Alberto Gonzales's ouster--not because there has been a scandal, mind you, but because he has allowed the appearance of one where there is "none." ("How could he allow his aides to go to Capitol Hill unprepared and misinformed and therefore give inaccurate and misleading testimony? [my itals]" he asks, employing every euphemism for "lie" he can get his fingers on.) Why was there no scandal? Because "U.S.
You may not always agree with Charles Krauthammer. Indeed, you may always disagree with him. That's certainly not true of me, not by a long shot. But even his harshest critics must grant that he is learned, cogent, compelling. And he is certainly not Pangloss or tout-va-bienovich. Moreover, his argument is never, "If only we did this...everything would be hunky-dory." In any case, the "doing this..." now means talking to our adversaries which is O.K. sometimes.
The Heritage Foundation has never been known as an intellectually adventurous place. For decades, its policy briefs and studies have closely tracked Republican talking points. So did the opinions of the think tank's senior foreign policy analyst, John Hulsman. In his op-eds and Fox News appearances, he cheerfully whacked the French, John Kerry, and other enemies of the cause. But all these years of fidelity to the conservative cause couldn't spare Hulsman from suffering the wrath of his comrades.
Why is torture wrong? It may seem like an obvious question, or even one beneath discussion. But it is now inescapably before us, with the introduction of the McCain Amendment banning all "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" of detainees by American soldiers and CIA operatives anywhere in the world. The amendment lies in legislative limbo.
"Without the Cold War," Rabbit Angstrom asks in John Updike's Rabbit at Rest, "what's the point of being an American?" Rabbit's question, which he posed in 1990, anticipated something in the national mood during the decade that followed. In 1995, social critic Christopher Lasch wrote that the United States had descended into a "democratic malaise," the most telling symptom of which, Harvard public policy scholar Robert Putnam wrote, was a decline in civic engagement.