Monday, July 10, 2006

The Man Giveth Thee Answer

American Liberalism, the Cold War, and the Lessons of History

Can we learn from the Cold War liberals? You bet. But let’s get the lessons right. And let’s understand that the Cold War was messy and ambiguous, even if one side possessed more virtue and a better cause than the other.

And, above all, let’s understand that the Cold War possessed a structure and coherence that we can never expect in the “War on Terrorism”—so-called because it would be impolitic to declare a war against Islamic fascism. Who in 1947 could have imagined a war in which one dared not name a deadly enemy?

Beinart, Marshall, and their friends are on the right track. They have something to say to us. But are they really prepared to fight the kind of war that Truman and the ADA liberals committed to in the years after World War II? You decide.
Keep in mind my rule about Hamby. If I disagree with him, I am probably wrong.

1 comment:

Tom said...

As promised, I hereby defer to Hamby on this issue.