Last Word on Gideon Rose

I don't really know what to say about Gideon Rose's attempt to respond to his blogospheric critics.

Instead, let me observe this. During a week long guest-blogging stint for The Economist Rose seems to have written five blog posts. Two of them -- forty percent of the total -- were dedicated to how left-wing critics of the foreign policy establishment go too far and, in fact, are just as bad as those dastardly neocons. Zero percent of his posts concerned the current neoconservative effort to gin up a war with Iran. National Review's editorial proclaiming that we "will never be safe" until we change the ideology of the government in power in Iraq? Not mentioned. Anything in The Weekly Standard or Charles Krauthammer column or Bill Kristol's many TV appearances worth criticizing? No.

Okay, so maybe liberal bloggers are both more pernicious and more influential than every single conservative opinion journalist in the country. Maybe rebutting Duncan Black is really more important than tackling the right-wing noise machine. But how about Rudy Giuliani? His senior foreign policy advisor Norm Podhoretz published a long article making "the case for bombing Iran" earlier this year. Podhoretz says he thinks Giuliani shares his views on this matter. Giuliani himself penned a foreign policy manifesto for Foreign Affairs (where Rose himself works so surely he's read it) in which he came out of the closet as a raving lunatic whose idea of peace is to plunge the country into an endless series of wars.

Rose didn't see fit to mention that, either.

This is why even someone like me who thinks Glenn Greenwald's views are a bit too far to the left can heartily share his concerns about the nature of the foreign policy establishment. Given that Rose deploys "anti-war bloggers are like neocons" as an insult, I suppose he doesn't admire the neoconservative worldview. And yet he can't seem to muster the energy to actually oppose it, even at the very time it's being espoused more loudly than ever by a leading presidential candidate, and the Bush administration itself is once again taking steps to lay a legal predicate for war with Iran.

Something is wrong here.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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