Thursday, August 22, 2002

You don't usually find a lot of honest-to-Marx socialists online, so it was with some sense of, what, unfamiliarity? That I looked over the new blog of "D. Ghirlandaio", called An Unenviable Situation. What I found there was interesting, if a little rough, but considering that Ghirlandaio originally conceived the blog as a collection of unpublished letters, that's perhaps to be expected, and the ideas contained aren't noticably hurt by it. It includes a rather intense attack on E.C. bloggers and Instapundit, specifically on their rather overwhelming support of what Ghirlandaio called "a letter from a group of right wing heavyweights [sic] responding to a statement by a group of German intellectuals critical of our actions in Afghanistan and opposed to an Invsion of Iraq."

I specifically liked this particular paragraph:

to idiots who think that lefties are a bunch of simpering wimps and Episcopalian sticks-in-the-mud; if we want to pretend that we're the cold and morally indifferent strategists that any serious conservative intellectual must claim to be, we need to ask the following questions: How many relationships -political, social and economic- will we have jeopardized if we invade? Will stability in the region be decreased or increased? Will the explosion that results put out the fire or spread it even more.
This is a cogent response to a critique that a lot of wingers get away with accusing the left of: being "squishy" and "unwilling to face facts" when it comes to foreign policy. This is nonsense, of course- the left can speak in terms of states, interests, power and force just as well as the right does, and the right doesn't have anything close to a monopoly on arguments backed by realist or neo-realist theory. In this particular case, the arguments against invasion are (in my own personal view) better rooted in true realism (as opposed to the simplistic versions you often hear online) than the arguments in favour of invasion, but at the very least both can draw on realism (or neo-realism; not the same thing) equally well.

While I don't agree with Ghirlandaio on all or maybe even most issues, the variation is certainly refreshing, and I'll make a point of returning in the future.

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