June 25, 2008

They Won’t Go Away

With regard to Tom?s hope that ?As Bush falls, so should the neocons,? it?s worth looking at the list of the ?100 Top Public Intellectuals? recently compiled by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, without question an accurate estimate of Who?s Who in the set of ?unacknowledged legislators? and global hob-nobbers. 

Of the 100, 22 are well known for commenting publicly about American foreign policy and matters of war and peace. Of these 22, 7 can be considered ?neocons? (of various orientations) or their very close allies: 

Niall Ferguson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (now a fellow at AIE), Christopher Hitchens, Robert Kagan, Bernard Lewis, Olivier Roy, Francis Fukuyama (who, one should add, turned against the war in 2004)

There are also the neocons? friends on the Center Left who initially were Gung Ho about Iraq and now are offering up mild criticisms of the campaign (or else trying hard to distance themselves from their views of 2003):     

Fareed Zakaria, Thomas Friedman, and Michael Ignatieff.

And then there are the Center Left thinkers who might have declined to back the Iraq War but nevertheless are well known for supporting ?humanitarian interventions? around the globe and are basically right on board with the whole spreading peace, democracy, and multiculturalism mission:   

J?rgen Habermas, Tony Judt, Paul Krugman, Martha Nussbaum, Peter Singer, Ian Buruma, Anne Applebaum, Michael Walzer, Samantha Power.

As for consistently antiwar intellectuals? well, there?s Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Zizek. Interesting guys. But I don?t think we?re going to want to forge alliances with them any time soon. 

On the entire list, I see only Samuel Huntington as a thinker who, more or less, shares our views on foreign policy and culture. 

Put simply, Bush?s approval rating could drop down to nil and the GOP be destroyed in November, and little more than a dint would have been made in the interventionist consensus. 

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