Monday, March 12, 2007

Having Your Cake And Pretending to Eat It

Robert Kagan is the neo-con think tank warrior whose stunningly mediocre Of Paradise and Power helped enflame American contempt for the European orientation toward international law, negotiations, and patience during the run-up to the Iraq War. As a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Kagan got to enjoy living in Brussels far away from both the United States and the war in Iraq while pretending to eat the Europeans with his words.

Yesterday, Kagan came out with an editorial in the Washington Post defending the surge policy that was orchestrated by his brother Frederick Kagan, another battle-scarred conservative word warrior at the American Enterprise Institute.

Here's Matthew Yglesias' hilarious post on how the Kagans spread the family love around.

While The Weekly Standard has to make do with using Frederick Kagan's wife to write articles proclaiming the Kagan surge plan a success, The Washington Post believes in integrity and trots out brother Robert Kagan to do it instead. Maybe someday we can get [the deceased] Donald Kagan's take on all this. If only the whole world were made up of members of the Kagan family, then maybe George W. Bush would be a really popular president. At any rate, you're not supposed to mention Robert Kagan in polite professional punditry circles without observing that he's much smarter and a much more honest writer than your average neocon. This pearl of wisdom even has the virtue of being true. Sadly, as Glenn Greenwald exhaustively demonstrates, this really isn't saying very much. For a neocon, he has a great analytic track record on Iraq, which means his track record is horrible rather than, say, horrifyingly horrible. That he gets to slander his employers at the Post in the first graf of his terrible column merely demonstrates how nice it must be to be a conservative . . . well-worked refs are the best refs to have.

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