Thursday, 10 November 2005

Liberal Interventionism

Liberal interventionism seems to be something that a lot of bright people are writing about lately. Sam Rosenfeld and Matt Yglesias combined to produce this thoughtful article at American Prospect yesterday. My favorite local writer, Jack Whelan, has this to say over at After the Future, and points us to this Dan K reply at the TPM Cafe, including the following frightful observation:
A fire is raging that is threatening to burn the world down. Yet instead of arguing constructively about how to put the fire out, people are consumed instead with arguments about (a) whether it is ever a good idea to light fires and (b) who told the lies that tricked some of us into lighting this one.
Pride often tempts us to find some subtle truth that others are missing, and display it like a peacock's tail. Personally I wouldn't pretend to predict the outcome of bold intervention, whether the intention is noble or not. I was confident enough that going into Iraq was a huge mistake that I took to the streets back in February of 2003. Others on both sides of the issue knew more than me, but when the stakes are high we sometimes must make our best guess and take a position that our moral compass demands of us. I would have been happy to have been proved wrong. I wasn't. There is no joy in that.

I don't know what to do next. But we desperately need some smart, forward thinking, and morally directed people to put their best effort into suggesting some alternatives.

2 comments:

Daniel Kirkdorffer said...

I should point out that "Dan K" is not the same person as this "Daniel K" (glad I've been using the more formal form of my first name online over the past year).

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