We Are All Kissinger-like Realists Now
'We are all realists now. Iraq has turned conservatives and liberals alike into cold-eyed believers in a foreign policy that narrowly calculates national interest without much concern with what goes on inside other countries. The Republicans had their neoconservative spree and emerged this month from its smoking wreckage in Iraq and at the polls, with nothing to steady them except the hope that two aging condottieri from the first Bush presidency, James A. Baker III and James Gates, can lead the way out. These are the same men who, fifteen years ago, abandoned Afghanistan to a civil war and Al Queda, allowed Saddam to massacre his own people and concluded that genocide in the Balkans was none of America's business. They are not the guardians of all wisdom. At some point, events will remind Americans that currently discredited concepts such as humanitarian intervention and nation-building have a lot to do with national security--that they originated as necessary evils to prevent greater evils. But for now, Kissingerism is king.'
--George Packer, writing recently in the New Yorker.