The Right Coast

November 05, 2005
Krauthammer on Scowcroft
By Mike Rappaport

In his latest column, Charles Krauthammer attacks the realism of Brent Scowcroft. Such realists support some despicable regimes in the service of stability. But as Krauthammer points out, the realists ignore that people are motivated by ideological considerations:

Even today Scowcroft says, "I didn't think that calling the Soviet Union the 'evil empire' got anybody anywhere." Tell that to Natan Sharansky and other Soviet dissidents for whom that declaration of moral -- beyond geopolitical -- purpose was electrifying and helped galvanize the movements that ultimately brought down the Soviet empire.

It was not brought down by diplomacy and arms control, the preferred realist means for dealing with the Soviet Union. It was brought down by indigenous revolutionaries, encouraged and supported by Ronald Reagan, a president unabashedly dedicated not to detente with evil but to its destruction -- i.e., regime change.
The realists pride themselves on understanding how the world really works. As Krauthammer suggests in the title of his piece -- the Realist Who Got it Wrong -- they are mistaken.