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September 09, 2007

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Yup, that guy is one crazy a-hole, alright. I was amazed by the restraint shown by Beinart in that review. Guiliani must be out of his mind.

By the way, how do you pronounce "Podhoretz"?

Buruma is one of the most perceptive writers about modern Japan. Highly recommend any of his work, but The Wages of Guilt is excellent. As an aside to Dutchmarbel, he's half Dutch. A quick google pulls up his own homepage, with lots of interesting stuff

When someone so close to the grave as Pudhurts spins out, ya gotta figure it's due to:

1. Alzheimers
2. Child bride needs money
3. They've decided there is no god.

puh-DOOR-itz

You know, I'd always heard "Big Norm's" name thrown around with Irving Kristol, et al. I never really read them, but assumed they were old-style bad-ass New York intellectuals (the kind that every 21-year old aspiring intellectual wants to be) who just had different normative views on some things.

In other words, I didn't know their work, but through osmosis, I thought of them with respect (much the same way I think of say Bill Buckley or even Edmund Burke).

But now I'm wondering whether these guys are simply the most overrated snake oil salesmen ever who just happened to find a niche narrative ("old lefties turn right b/c hippies have taken over..."). Maybe they were just the "AEI" of the 1960s NY scene if you will. I mean, this stuff is just batshit crazy. And so Big Norm (and the original neocons more generally) are either (1) losing it old age or (2) were never anything special in the first place.

I don't know their work, so I'll just pose the question to others who do. But I'll place a wager on #2

"Wow. Just wow. That defies comment."

I've little doubt that John Thullen will defy your defial if my response, "DNFTT", doesn't count.

I am sitting on my bed with my computer in my lap, in my nice safe house in a nice safe neighborhood, listening to Purcell.

Somehow this Mozart seems more apropro,

The very idea of saying that any dispute I am currently engaged in is "no less bloody than the one being fought by our troops in the Middle East" is obscene, and anyone who says this sort of thing should never be taken seriously again. Ever.

Well, with something like a million "excess" Iraqi deaths so far your (our) failure to win the current dispute may well end up in a lot more bloodshed. Anyway, since we are on a musical theme, here's a song to go with that thought. Cheers.

Those videos turned my stomach. I just banged my fist into a wall. That was kind of strange.

So: Giuliani's a despicable opportunist. Fred Thompson's a big, dumb idiot. Romney tortures animals.

Well, you identify the reason for this a few posts up-- conservatives like the world divided into Us and Them. Podhoretz got disinvited from parties he wanted to go to 40 years ago, and ever since has been on a jihad against the extreme left, and therefore became rigidly pro-US intervention everywhere because he knew it would piss Allen Ginsberg off. He still apparently believes that Noam Chomsky is (or rather would be) at the root of any US failures in Iraq.

I'll have to go back and take a look at the conservative excommunication of Jude Wanniski, which came up in Jon Chait's fine article about supply side economics in TNR. It might be that Wanniski retained his trademark conservative need to orient his thinking around Enemies Lurking, but once he somehow managed to expand his in-group to include Louis Farrakhan, it was just too much for the movement to bear.

I, like publius, am just now leaving behind an unexamined feeling of respect for Kristol, Podhoretz, and even Buckley, who supported segregation and Joseph McCarthy.

In times like these, when our greatest wounds are self-inflicted, the conservative impulse towards lashing out at built-up foreign enemies and domestic opponents who insist on accurate facts is devastating for our national security.

These people are warmongers, and are inclined to believe whatever is necessary to prop up that goal, no matter how illogical. It is amazing to see them paint Iran as behind Sunni radicalism.

Realize that all that separates Podhoretz from surge proponents O'Hanlon, et al. is greater sophistry -- Podhoretz has gone to seed, but clever illogic in the furtherance of war by the O'Hanlon's of the world is the greater evil because it works.

But it does speak volumes about Giuliani that he embraces sheer nut-ball ideology in support of his own warmongering agenda. And a disturbing fraction of America does believe that our destiny is never-ending war against anyone we perceive as threatening us. War is Peace.

Maybe it's just an age thing. As someone doing Central American solidarity and anti-intervention work in the 1980s, I'd long ago understood the neocons' leading "intellectuals" as people driven batsh*t crazy by hatred -- of me and people like me.

And the business of the domestic dispute over intervention being "no less bloody than the war being fought by our troops"? I wouldn't laugh that off. Jeane Kirkpatrick condoned the murder of the four American women religious murdered by the Salvadoran National Guard in December 1980, saying "They weren't nuns, they were activists."

What's changed since then is that a much bigger slice of the American public has moved into the category of people they deem worthy of being silenced, so that they're marginalizing themselves.

On that narrow, personal level I feel a tiny bit safer than I did in 1980 as a result.

On the other hand the influence they've already had has put us at the bottom of a deep, deep ditch, with the bodies of a million Iraqis below us.

Re the command center video: Very tasteful in the way it stops short of raising one reason why Giuliani insisted it be so convenient to City Hall.

Maybe puh-DOOR-itz meant "gorillas with tenure". Because we've seen the suit!

I think a valuable question to ask (but one that won't be) is "Has author X been right about ANYTHING?" If not, why should we listen to him this time (other than we like "M" over "W").

It would be interesting to see exactly who Podhoretz could cite as thinking that Muslims do "like being pushed around and repressed and beaten and killed by thugs."

Those would be the people who said we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq, and who figured that process should start with Shock and Awe.

@LJ: very very busy at the moment. But I'll give Buruma's "muder in Amsterdam" a try now ;)

All they're saying is give war a chance. Their entire reason, their sine qua non of foreign policy is an enemy, an *other*. And if there wasn't a genuine one, they were going to make one.

http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/07/the_search_for_an_enemy.php

It just so happened that 9/11 gave them their 'Pearl Harbor event' that greased the skids (so to speak) for their real wet dream.

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