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David Horowitz on Nation-Building: “I agree with Haley Barbour”

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Posted on March 28 2011 10:49 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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Coincidentally, Governor Barbour spoke right before David at CPAC.

Yesterday the Washington Times published an article on the continuing conflicts over foreign policy within the GOP and the Conservative Movement. NewsReal Blog‘s Editor-In-Chief David Horowitz was quoted:

David Horowitz, a prominent member of the party’s neoconservative wing, said his own views are changing and he has come around to Mr. Barbour’s position.

“I agree with Haley Barbour and am not surprised that he too has come to this conclusion,” Mr. Horowitz said. “Afghanistan is now our longest war, in large part because we are trying to remake a nation which has barely emerged from the seventh century, and in many respects has not. It was our mistake in Iraq.”

The Times did not include David’s full quote explaining his position. Here it is:

I agree with Haley Barbour and am not surprised that he too has come to this conclusion. Afghanistan is now our longest war in large part because we are trying to remake a nation which has barely emerged from the 7th Century, and in many respects has not. It was our mistake in Iraq. The Iraq war was justifiable 1) as a defense of international order against a dictator who had violated a truce and 17 UN Security Council Resolutions and was determined to build weapons of mass destruction; and 2) as a successful effort to remove a monster. We should have gone in, arrested the Iraqi leaders complicit in the war crimes against the Kurds, and quickly got out. We are not a nation that can occupy a country for a long time and do it with a good conscience (as the old colonial powers could), and we cannot sustain a long war and do it successfully. I disagree with Barbour in suggesting that al-Qaeda is our only enemy. Our enemy is radical Islam and this includes the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hizbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to name the most prominent forces engaged in a holy war against the West.

This is a theme that David wrote about previously at FrontPage in an article titled “Why I am Not a Neo-Conservative.” Andrew Sullivan distorted one of David’s points, prompting a response here at NewsReal Blog.

Also notable in the Times article is the way that David’s views are juxtaposed with those of Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. In February during the debates over Egypt David challenged Kristol for his unfounded attacks on Glenn Beck’s skepticism of the revolts.

I first wrote back in July about the growing foreign policy fissures within the Conservative Movement’s hawkish wing. What we’re seeing right now is a widening divide between the traditional neo-conservative establishment (most represented by the heirs of Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz at The Weekly Standard and Commentary) and the anti-Jihad movement (most visibly represented by Robert Spencer, Andrew McCarthy, Pamela Geller, us here at the Freedom Center, and recently promoted by Beck.)

The divide can be summarized in both movements’ reactions to one fact: 84% of Egyptians believe apostates from Islam need to be executed. The traditional neo-conservative establishment ignored that fact in their embrace of the revolts in Egypt. (Apparently traditional neoconservatives are so eager to remove one tyrant that they don’t care if a worse one steps in to fill the void.) The Anti-Jihad movement was more clear-eyed in realizing that “democracy” in such a country would be many things but “freedom” is not one of them.

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