Could the Iraq War have been prevented?

In the comments to a post on Republican obstructionism, my old colleague Will Roberts proposes the following historical counterfactual: if the American left had been willing to fight harder and dirtier, they could have prevented or arrested the war in Iraq. He goes on to propose a variety of actions that might have achieved this… Continue reading Could the Iraq War have been prevented?

Is Moral Progress Due to Moral Imagination or Condemnation?

Throughout the nineties, and to some extent in the last decade, there has been a certain brand of political thinker who just can’t imagine the motivation for cruelty. So alien is the concept that these folks (Richard Rorty and Judith Butler, for instance) have developed a deflationary theory of moral philosophy that simply advises us… Continue reading Is Moral Progress Due to Moral Imagination or Condemnation?

Vendettas

A tale of revenge within the Shiite community in Iraq, from Jon Lee Anderson’s “Inside the Surge“: Amar was a lifelong friend of Karim’s. Three months earlier, Amar and his older brother, Jafaar, had been riding in the van of a friend, Sayeed, when a group of gunmen hailed them. Amar recognized them as Mahdi… Continue reading Vendettas

Democrats are on the wrong side of Iraq consensus

There is a consensus forming about Iraq, and increasingly I suspect that the Democratic party is on the wrong side of it. The consensus is this: though we were certainly the cause of the current instability in the country, the violence is not principally directed towards American forces. In light of that fact, David Ignatius… Continue reading Democrats are on the wrong side of Iraq consensus