In today’s NYT mag, Michael Ignatieff has one of the nicest essays on political leadership that I’ve read in a long time.
it would be a good essay for students, but overall it is unconvincing. He thinks it is significant that critics of the war should have ‘rightly evaluated the motives that led to the action’. I doubt the value of a focus on motive as a criteria of judgment (Posner is interesting on this). The point is not what George Bush thought (exactly what electro-chemical processes were going on in his brain, who knows, who cares?) but what the result of the Iraq war was to be, a sovereign democratic Iraq was not to be the outcome. Human motives are the result of historical processes not their cause.
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