Realists can give Idealism a Chance

February 5, 2011

William Kristol critizes fellow Conservatives for being inherently pessimistic about the revolt/revolution in Egypt. I think this supports a friend’s earlier email.

I can see flaws in Kristol’s argument, but I’m not forwarding this email to critique it. When Bush invaded Iraq I thought it might be a necessary step to give Democracy a chance to take root in the Middle East. As you know I have an inherently pessimistic view, but no one in power could be sufficiently confident in such a point-of-view to take any action on its account.

Knowing that, a pessimistic realist would be wise to genuinely support Democratic movements as much as possible, using America’s influence to try to forestall them becoming Islamist (One man, one vote, one time).

If it works, then we held true to our ideals and, probably, served as an inspiration to freedom. A conservative would have to be proud of that. Besides once one of these nations becomes a friend of the United States friendly It if doesn’t, well, then we have some more evidence that may steel our nerve when the time comes.

It’s easy to criticize the government’s handling of the situation. And it’s getting hit from all sides. But we seem much more willing to criticize our friends than we are our enemies. Think of the different handling of this situation and Iran.

This seems worthy of criticism.


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