Friday, September 16, 2005


In an otherwise very good article, I think Spencer Ackerman misrepresents George Soros a bit here:
What accounts for Soros' emerging gliberalism? The central preoccupation of American foreign policy—which, disastrously, is not al-Qaedaism. "The invasion of Iraq has spawned more insurgents and suicide bombers than there were before," Soros noted, making an indisputable point. Then he went further: "Most people have come to realize that the invasion of Iraq was a blunder, but they still accept the war on terror as the obvious response to 9/11." In other words, for Soros—as for many others in attendance—the disastrous and counterproductive Iraq War is the direct consequence of answering al-Qaeda's call to arms.

Now, you might notice that this contention is the exact opposite of the vastly more compelling argument that invading Iraq was a strategically disastrous misapplication of anti-al-Qaedism, that it was a distraction from the real and manifested enemy—a case made by the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, expert al-Qaeda journalists like Peter Bergen and Jim Fallows, and, at least by the October presidential debates, John Kerry. Instead, Soros and Bush apparently agree that a straight line connects Ground Zero to Baghdad, which makes both of them idiots.

Err, Soros' argument is not that a "straight line connects Ground Zero to Baghdad," it's that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were inappropriate and counterproductive responses, both wrong in their own way. I don't agree with him, but that's what he meant. Maybe Ackerman was just dazzled by the prospect of twinning.


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