Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Max has a good take on Gore's speech and reaction to it:

The line from the Right, the better to detract from the impressive substance of his speech, is that Gore has flip-flopped. General Sullivan is reduced to yapping, liberal! liberal! As evidence for a change of position, he links to a news article in 2000 reporting Gore's support for regime change in Iraq. Of course, one can be committed to regime change without launching a full-scale invasion of a country. There are few people in the U.S. who wouldn't welcome a regime change in North Korea, but few contemplate the use of force in that context.

The deeper point is that the Right fails to appreciate that Gore is in principle more interventionist than Bush. Gore has not renounced an industrial-strength effort to destroy Saddam. He is in fact proposing a more comprehensive commitment to that same end, one which more sensibly entails the prior neutralizing of Al Queda and the construction of an international consensus.