The Corner

Neo-Real Split?

I’m with Rich on the talk-talk thing. I thought it was interesting this weekend that Bill Kristol derided talks with the insurgents as “negotiating with terrorists.” While I certainly understand where the perspective comes from and I agree with it depending upon which insurgents we’re talking about, I can’t help but think that’s an ideological distinction which might hinder progress in Iraq. Don’t get me wrong, if we could snap our fingers and kill all of the insurgents today, I’d be in favor of it. But if what all the military historian types say is true about the nature of insurgencies, I just don’t think we can take the position that everybody with a gun fighting on the other side in Iraq are irredeemable terrorists. If some insurgents are misguided nationalists, why not guide them into the government? If some are amoral opportunists, what’s wrong with explaining to them that greater opportunities await on the other side? Dice and slice the opposition every way you can. Never negotiate with al Qaeda types and use discrimination with baathists. But at the end of the day victory is a free and stable Iraq, and if the route to that place is through some painful negotiations with some bad guys, so be it. It’s not like every single person in the current Iraqi government is an angel.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More

The Media Fell for Elizabeth Warren’s Spin

Do you want to know what media bias looks like? Earlier today, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results that confirmed that she misled employers, students, and the public about her Native American heritage for years. Bizarrely, all too many members of the media treated the results as ... Read More