Saturday, February 08, 2003

Deploring the Arrogance of Binary Moralism at the New York Times

In the course of studying and writing about George W. Bush, the New York Times' Bill Keller has apparently managed a modicum of admiration for him or at least his foreign policy. Keller now calls himself a hesitant hawk or a member of the I-Can't-Believe-I'm-a-Hawk Club. This club of "wary warmongers" includes other members of the East-Coast liberal media cabal, according to Keller, including some of his colleagues at the Times. These arrogant prigs "deplore the arrogance of binary moralism," but admit grudgingly and sadly that the alternative to war is not reasonable. They are still smarting not only over Bush's "axis of evil" but also Reagan's "evil empire" a generation later.

So embarrassed is Keller by his support for the war against Iraq that he ends his piece with a quote from Ronald Asmus, a Clinton Europe hand, who worries that the war may be more about American power than democracy. So far Mr. Asmus thinks that the administration has not made the case on democratic grounds.

These are the sort of people who would not be convinced by any amount of argument that this continuation of the Reagan Doctrine is dedicated to the promotion of liberal democracy in addition to being motivated by self-protection. Oh well, Keller did say that he was hesitant, wary, and even patronizing.


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