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Matthew Yglesias Thinks Little of Anne Applebaum and David Brooks

Young Yglesias thinks little of Anne Applebaum:

Matthew Yglesias: Hypocrites Everywhere: Anne Applebaum:

No troops? Though deeply appealing to the "we told you so" crowd, this plan is clothed in the greatest degree of hypocrisy. How many of the people who clamor for intervention in Darfur will also be clamoring to rush back into Iraq when full-scale ethnic cleansing starts taking place? How many will take responsibility for the victims of genocide? I'm not saying there will be such a catastrophe, but there could be: Mass ethnic murders have certainly been carried out in Iraq before.

This line of argument has been in vogue for some time now, but it seems singularly nonsensical. For one thing, I think there are real questions about the math -- how many people arguing for withdrawal for Iraq really are advocates of large-scale insertion of US ground forces to Darfur? Not me! Numbers aside, I think it's fairly obvious that if the US does withdraw from Iraq and full-scale ethnic cleansing does result (something Applebaum concedes is by no means certain) that very few withdrawal advocates are going to be clamoring for intervention. Here, I guess, is where the hypocrisy comes into play.

But it's not actually hypocritical to favor interventions to prevent mass slaughter where you think such interventions will be effective, but not otherwise. The idea that consistency's sake requires one to either be a pacificist or else to support whatever military adventure happens to be fashionable in the Washington Post opinion pages at the moment is daft.

And he thinks less of David Brooks:

Matthew Yglesias: Conservatives and the Government: His conclusion is odd, but today's David Brooks column is pregnant with things to blog about. For example:

Conservatives are supposed to distrust government, but Bush clearly loves the presidency. Or to be more precise, he loves leadership. He’s convinced leaders have the power to change societies. Even in a place as chaotic as Iraq, good leadership makes all the difference.

Now I suppose there must be some conservatives for whom this "are supposed to distrust government" dictum applies, but for the past fifty or so years that's clearly not the case. The mainstream conservative belief is that the government needs to be given dramatically greater scope to gather information and to deploy force -- including deadly force -- and threats thereof. This isn't an innovation of the Torture and Arbitrary Detention administration, it's a longstanding pattern. Conservatives didn't like the Warren Court's criminal justice jurisprudence, they didn't like the Church Commission's inquiries into the CIA, they chafe at contemporary military reticence about civilian casualties, etc.

There are exceptions to this (as there are exceptions to everything), but the dominant view in post-war American conservatism has been of almost boundless faith in violence and in large government institutions like the military, the prison system, etc.

This is what Jim Henley calls Heinlein-Goldwater Fusionism: "limited" government plus militarism.

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