I’ve seen links to this Ian Buruma essay linked in a couple places today but didn’t blog on it, mainly because it strikes me as an overbroad condemnation of the Left. It is hard to pass up mention, though, of this related observation by Andrew Sullivan:

There is indeed a wonderful confluence of racist-right and racist-left in the attitude toward the liberation of Iraq. Both sides are desperately eager for the project to fail; they want it to fail so as to keep America – and its dangerous, universalizing ideas – at bay. That’s why Gore Vidal and Pat Buchanan are now indistinguishable in many ways; ditto Norman Mailer.

Ouch! Not much would insult Buchanan more sharply than being likened to Vidal, and vice versa.

Update (1900): “B” is for Bedfellows.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anthony C says:

    I like Buruma and thought it was a good article. If you ever have the time or the inclination it’s worth checking out some of his old articles from the Guardian. His departure for New york stripped the Grauniad of one of its best (and most sane) columnists. I thought one of his best columns came from the time of the Miss World contest in Nigeria when Nigerian Muslims had taken offence at a journalist’s article and gone on the rampage, killing large numbers of people. Buruma’s article neatly dissected some of the reactions to the incident put forward by the left – something of a more tightly targeted version of this recent article.