Saturday, May 08, 2004

Time for a midcourse correction

It looks like even the neoconservative David Brooks is having second thoughts about the course American foreign policy has taken in the last few years. In today's column he writes:

To conserve our strategy, we have to fundamentally alter our tactics. To shore up public confidence, the U.S. has to make it clear that it is considering fresh approaches.

We've got to acknowledge first that the old debates are obsolete. I wish the U.S could still go off, after Iraq, at the head of "coalitions of the willing" to spread democracy around the world. But the brutal fact is that the events of the past year have discredited that approach. Nor is the U.N. a viable alternative. A body dominated by dictatorships is never going to promote democratic values. For decades, the U.N. has failed as an effective world power.

We've got to reboot. We've got to come up with a global alliance of democracies to embody democratic ideals, harness U.S. military power and house a permanent nation-building apparatus, filled with people who actually possess expertise on how to do this job.

From the looting of the Iraqi National Museum to Abu Ghraib, this has been a horrible year. The cause is still just, but to keep it moving forward, we have to reinvent the enterprise.

Now that Brooks recognizes the problem will he connect the dots and link the mess we are in now with the current administration in power? If he doesn't it will be a real feat of doublethink.


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