You’ll Never Break This Heart of Stone

On Wednesday, Jim Henley, in a post titled “All Is Forgiven,” noted an important admission by Andrew Sullivan: “what marks conservatism is extreme prudence in initiating conflict, a principle I foolishly rushed past in the wake of 9/11.” That’s certainly all true, and it was mighty nice of Sully to link approvingly to an essay right here on (Call me a dick, but I like to think that Tom Palmer wept a little bit when he saw that.) Moreover, I agree with Jim that “We have too much of the handiwork of the Unitary Executive Years to undo for anyone to be too persnickety about entrance requirements for the team.” That doesn’t amount to much more than “when people agree with you, let them,” but it’s sound counsel all the same.

But while forgiveness is a wonderful thing, it’s beside the point here. Forgive Sullivan all you want – it’s good for the soul – but for God’s sake, don’t forget his horrendous record. Jim’s soft heart has led him astray if he thinks one remorseful sentence means we should heap credibility on Sullivan, especially now. Here’s the great convert to noninterventionism today on the gas riots in Iran:

I’d say it means we need to tighten the sanctions, especially on gasoline. If we can economically strangle the theo-fascists, it’s far preferable to war.

Do you see where this is heading, Jim? Among other places, to a post titled “Hope In Iran” consisting entirely of the wisdom of Victor Davis Hanson. I don’t know how long it will take to unfold – six months, a year, two – but mark my words: this sanctions are preferable to war mantra will gradually shift shape into we tried everything else, all that’s left is war. I have no doubt that Andrew will draw on his vast reserve of fake pathos and shake his head sadly when he pronounces the words, but pronounce the words he will. Is it really a good idea to boost Sullivan’s stock right now, just in time for him to help launch another war? Shouldn’t there be some sort of probationary period before we let him “join the team” – say, five years without advocating an indefensible, catastrophic war of aggression?