Sunday, February 06, 2005

"It is Hard to Remain Uninvolved"

One of the most damning critiques of neoconservatism, in my mind, was written well before what we know as neoconservatism even existed. Graham Greene published the excellent book The Quiet American, about early American intervention in Vietnam, in 1955, and yet many of the quotes about the title character could be applied just as easily to Bush, Rumsfeld and others in the administration. Alden Pyle, the quiet American who meddles without considering the ramifications of his actions, is described as such:

He was impregnably armoured by his good intentions and his ignorance...

Pyle had been silent a long while, and I had nothing more to say. Indeed I had said too much already. He looked white and beaten and ready to faint, and I thought, 'What's the good? he'll always be innocent, you can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity.'

He comes blundering in and people have to die for his mistakes.

That about says it, doesn't it? This administration is 'innocent' in the worst sense: naive, overidealistic, careless, blundering and, most of all, ignorant.

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