Harsh Reminders

Yesterday I linked to Slate’s email chat called “Liberal Hawks Reconsider the Iraq War.” The best liberal case for war so far is made by Paul Berman:


The language of WMD, Bad Guys, humanitarianism, and all the rest cannot describe these movements and their doctrines and their fanaticism. We know how to speak about member states of the United Nations. But totalitarian movements have always been international, with and without state support. We have lost the ability to speak about mass international movements of that sort.

Why is that? It is because most people have convinced themselves that modern totalitarianism no longer exists. The Bush administration has said so itself. Everybody remembers the notorious National Security statement of 2002


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