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March 29, 2006

The End Of Credibility

Francis Fukuyama supported the war when it was popular. Now that it's unpopular, he heroically steps forward to lead from behind.

He also lies about a Charles Krauthammer speech in the process, which is unwise thing to do. First, Krauthammer's speech was taped and can be checked.

Second, don't betray Krauthammer and then leave him alive.

It was, as the hero tells it, his Road to Damascus moment. There he is, in a hall of 1,500 people he has long considered to be his allies, hearing the speaker treat the Iraq war, nearing the end of its first year, as "a virtually unqualified success." He gasps as the audience enthusiastically applauds. Aghast to discover himself in a sea of comrades so deluded by ideology as to have lost touch with reality, he decides he can no longer be one of them.

And thus did Francis Fukuyama become the world's most celebrated ex-neoconservative, a well-timed metamorphosis that has brought him a piece of the fame that he once enjoyed 15 years ago as the man who declared, a mite prematurely, that history had ended.

A very nice story. It appears in the preface to Fukuyama's post-neocon coming out, "America at the Crossroads." On Sunday it was repeated on the front page of the New York Times Book Review in Paul Berman's review.

I happen to know something about this story, as I was the speaker whose 2004 Irving Kristol lecture to the American Enterprise Institute Fukuyama has now brought to prominence. I can therefore testify that Fukuyama's claim that I attributed "virtually unqualified success" to the war is a fabrication.

...

In that entire 6,000-word lecture, I said not a single word about the course or conduct of the Iraq war. My only reference to the outcome of the war came toward the end of the lecture. Far from calling it an unqualified success, virtual or otherwise, I said quite bluntly that "it may be a bridge too far. Realists have been warning against the hubris of thinking we can transform an alien culture because of some postulated natural and universal human will to freedom. And they may yet be right."

...

Fukuyama now says that he had secretly opposed the Iraq war before it was launched. An unusual and convenient reticence, notes Irwin Stelzer, editor of "The Neocon Reader," for such an inveterate pamphleteer, letter writer and essayist. After public opinion had turned against the war, Fukuyama then courageously came out against it. He has every right to change his mind at his convenience. He has no right to change what I said.

Fukuyama is of course now the darling of the left, appearing on NPR recently. He never really strongly supported the war, but now claims to have been a supporter in order to make his conversion all the more dramatic, and futhermore... claims to have secretly opposed it?

Is he in the habit of supporting wars he secretly opposes?


Thanks to Allah.


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posted by Ace at 11:22 AM

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