The Right Coast

May 24, 2004
John Gray on Iraq
By Tom Smith

Interesting essay from John Gray, a professor in London now, via Brian Leiter, my favorite enemy of the state. Gray was at Oxford when I was there, but I only heard him speak once or twice and came away thinking here was a guy who really wanted to fit in. It's a very British thing. I may be cynical, but I think these sorts of essays tell you a lot more about the social and political pressures within the English academic classes than they do about reality on the sandy ground. But it is interesting, for all that.

I agree that neo-Wilsonianism is something to be watched out for among the neo-cons. Wilson, arrogant Princetonian prig that he was, did think he knew better than everyone else, and that led him astray. I worry about that among some of the neo-cons, who seem intellectually arrogant to me. On the other hand, those who don't see how Iraq fits into the war against terror, which means the war against the Islamo-fascist fantacists, are being deliberately dense. Iraq isn't Vietnam, or Algeria, or Chechnya. "It's a whole new world . . ." as Princess whats-her-name says in Alladin.