One Calculation

ONE CALCULATION….At the end of a remarkably thorough piece of reality avoidance in the Washington Post today, Robert Kagan says this:

I would worry about an American foreign policy driven only by fear of how our actions might inspire anger, radicalism and violence in others. As in the past, that should be only one calculation in our judgment of what does and does not make us, and the world, safer.

Crikey. I would be happy (well, happier, anyway) if the Bush administration showed even the tiniest inclination to think about whether their actions might inspire anger, radicalism and violence in others. We are so far away from this being their only consideration that Kagan’s unease brings to mind visions of middle-aged Victorian gentlemen harrumphing that the Royal Navy has been treating its recruits with rather too light a hand after that kerfuffle over the Bounty a few years back.

On the other hand, Kagan is right that the classified National Intelligence Estimate leaked to the New York Times the other day should be released. I’m willing to bet that it would require only light redaction, and understanding its context would allow all of us, liberals and conservatives, to judge whether its conclusions are justified. I for one would like to know the analytic basis on which our intelligence community views the world.