April 10, 2006

"Anxiety About Arrogance"

Leon Wieseltier: "I told you, I have nothing useful to say."

I feel the same way, rather often, of late.

Posted by Gregory at April 10, 2006 12:17 AM | TrackBack (0)

(Sigh.) Gregory, both you and Leon pine for a world where once you set the ball rolling, you control where it goes. Such autocratic thoughts are out-of-place in a democracy -- that's why criticism of the U.S. for not having detailed plans for Iraq after ousting Saddam is nonsense; the Iraqis must, to a great extent, control even their own democratic structures of government.

It isn't a cut-and-dried process. Sometimes, all you can do is set the ball rolling, and give it the occasional push. Total control is a fallacy of power.

Posted by: Solomon2 at April 10, 2006 02:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"...but the course of events in Iraq, which has embarrassed all the certainties of all the commentators, ..."

He's lying. The certainties of the anti-war movement have been justified by events. The certainties of those who were not neccessarily against the war, but who didn't trust the Bush administration, have also been justified by events.

Again and again, the best that these people can do are non-denial denials, 'who could have known?' revisions of history, and lies.

Posted by: Barry at April 10, 2006 06:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"...the difficulties of this grand and wild undertaking..."

There's an interesting phrase. Grandeur in national undertakings is the product of planning and thought usually stretching over years, like the Apollo program. Wildness is normally the product of desperation, like General Hood's march on Chattenooga. Grand and wild are adjectives that do not go naturally together when one is discussing government policy, but Wieseltier puts them together as if it were the most natural thing in the world in the course of telling us that he has nothing useful to say.

He gets no argument from me.

Posted by: Zathras at April 11, 2006 05:11 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Wieseltier is cogent, as always.

Posted by: liberalhawk at April 12, 2006 08:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Gregory Djerejian comments intermittently on global politics, finance & diplomacy at this site. The views expressed herein are solely his own and do not represent those of any organization.

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