Didn’t mean to leave out my conservative and liberal/leftist/progressive readers with this post on “libertarian” hawks. Feel free to send me your thoughts on the most obnoxious and the most reasonable hawks of your political stripe. My nominees:
Obnoxious conservative hawk: Oh, God, where to begin? I’ll take David Frum, for whom quotation marks are always in order when the term conservative is used.
Reasonable conservative hawk: It says a lot that George Will is the best choice available, largely for writing this:
To govern is to choose, almost always on the basis of very imperfect information. But preemption presupposes the ability to know things — to know about threats with a degree of certainty not requisite for decisions less momentous than those for waging war.
Some say the war was justified even if WMD are not found nor their destruction explained, because the world is “better off” without Saddam Hussein. Of course it is better off. But unless one is prepared to postulate a U.S. right, perhaps even a duty, to militarily dismantle any tyranny — on to Burma? — it is unacceptable to argue that Hussein’s mass graves and torture chambers suffice as retrospective justifications for preemptive war. Americans seem sanguine about the failure — so far — to validate the war’s premise about the threat posed by Hussein’s WMD, but a long-term failure would unravel much of this president’s policy and rhetoric.
Obnoxious liberal/leftist/progressive hawk: Christopher Hitchens. Is there any debate?
Reasonable liberal/leftist/progressive hawk: Hitch again, for as Peter Hitchens pointed out,
For at least the last century war has been the herald and handmaid of socialism and state control. It is the excuse for censorship, organized lying, regulation and taxation. It is paradise for the busybody and the nark.
In other words, it’s perfectly reasonable for an ex-Commie like Chris Hitchens to have supported this war.