January 25, 2007 12:13PM

Up from Neoconservatism

Today, NYT columnist David Brooks tells us that he is disillusioned with the dream of transforming Iraqi society from the top down. Better late than never. But then Brooks has the audacity to criticize Senator James Webb’s idea of a slow pull‐​out because “it takes no note of the long‐​term political and humanitarian consequences.”

This is too much. 

Let’s not forget that Jim Webb anticipated the current debacle in Iraq back in 2002. At that time, David Brooks was calling skeptics of Bush’s Iraqi war plans “kibitzers.” In fact, Brooks was not only urging Bush to use our military power to transform Iraqi society, he went further and advocated the use of military power to transform the entire Arab world. Thus, on a John McLaughlin scale of “anticipating the long term consequences of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East,” Webb gets something approaching “metaphysical certitude” whereas David Brooks is off somewhere in the negative numbers.

The neocons have had a pretty good record with respect to short‐​term politics. That is, they often get their policy proposals adopted. Unfortunately, we all must face the disastrous consequences of those policies.