There's less to object to than I expected, actually, but that's only because what Fukuyama is critiquing is a very broad caricature of neoconservatism. Does he really think that one must step beyond neoconservatism to grapple with how a democracy-promotion strategy should be circumscribed, or how to cope with anti-Americanism during the democratization process? If so, then various people generally counted within the neocon camp should be counted out of it (I'm thinking especially of Charles Krauthammer and Reuel Marc Gerecht, but there are many others). As with most discussions about neoconservatism, the labels tend to obscure rather than illuminate the ideas in play.
The Spectacle Blog
This is a real time report of a siege underway at Balata refugee camp near Nablus on the West Bank (aka Occupied Palestine).
The IDF and agents have surrounded a dwelling and settled down to a stand-off. Surrender or collapse or death are the options. Inside the dwelling are two critical Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade leaders on the West Bank. First is the Nablus leader, Ala Senakreh. The second is Abu Aziz, who is deputy commander of Al Aqsa on the West Bank and a major league bad guy.
Francis Fukuyama returns to the ground he stomped over a decade ago in The End of History to announce, in The New York Times, the failure of the neoconservative project. Fukuyama's editorial asks all the right questions and supplies many of the wrong answers. To wit: 'the overarching lesson that emerges from these cases is that the United States does not get to decide when and where democracy comes about. By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.'
Hugo Chavez's ego seems especially fragile. Every time Condoleezza Rice criticizes the Venezuelan strongman, his mojo is lost. His latest response is what you'd expect from a teenage gangster wannabe: "Don't mess with me Condoleezza. Don't mess with me, girl." From which a strategy may be derived.
From now on, our ladies should take the lead in leveling criticism on Chavez. He'll be reduced to a blubbering rubble of babble if Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley and (shudder) Ann Coulter take him on. Ladies, he's all yours.
More from intelligencesummit.org, the Tierney translation of Saddam Hussein’s tapes recordings of meetings with his staff with regard WMD.
Following is a section that features Saddam and an unidentified male briefer. They are discussing deceiving the UN inspections process by creating a cover story.
The contrarian view that Hillary might sit out 2008 shows itself, just as Mickey Kaus predicted last month. Douglas MacKinnon's argument is worth reading, but consider a factor that he doesn't: the forward inertia of the Clinton fundraising machine. As long as the money keeps rolling in, it's very hard to see Hillary stepping aside.
First look at the Tierney translation of a most compelling part of the Saddam Hussein tapes from intelligencesummit.org: there is no fixed date to these exchanges. There is a clue when Saddam Hussein says that America experienced a terror attack two years before, suggesting 2000, two years after the 1998 attack on the embassies in Africa. There is no reference to 9-11.
John, Byron York, far from "sneering" at John Loftus, calls his judgement into question by reporting on his former investigations, publications, and opinions. Surely that's legitimate, and fact-based. Like this:
I first encountered (Loftus's) name in the fall of 2003, when I was working on a story about Bush hatred. I was looking at the people who claim that the Bush family got its wealth from financing the Nazis, and I discovered that one of the sacred texts of that particular worldview is a book, The Secret War Against the Jews, by the authors Mark Aarons and...John Loftus. In 1995, when the book appeared, Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman, who can reasonably be counted on to speak out against people who financed the Nazis, called it "so exaggerated, so scantily documented, so overwrought and convoluted in its presentation, that Loftus and Aarons render laughable their claim to offer 'a glimpse of the world as it really is.'"
First read through of material in the Bill Tierney slide show translation for the Saddam Hussein secret tapes at intelligencesummit.org yields dynamic and confounding material.
Saddam and his aides discuss the Iraq nuclear weapon program; they discuss "plasma" (which is part of hydrogen bomb science); they discuss "fission" bombs. These discussions appear to be after the year 2000. The translations are choppy, require much explanation and correlation, which Tierney does with bullet points and cross referencing with inspector material (he was an inspector before the 2003 invasion.)
Saddam and his aides also discuss asking the Russian, Brazilians and French for help with biologicals. They also discuss hidden missiles, hidden warheads. They discuss at length how to deceive the UN inspectors.
Much work to be done. Much to understand.
Remember, these are tapes that Saddam ordered made: they have been in the Coalition hands since April 2003. There may be thousands more hours of tapes.
See the intelligencesummit.org website now for the slide shows, the downloads of the Arabic.