21.10.02

PROCESS, NUANCE, FAILURE. Andrew Sullivan (scroll down) has a "what he said" endorsement of Max Boot's "The Consequences of Clintonism." Sullivan's key point: "Bill Clinton's policies - not his person or his private life or anything else - but his policies left the world a far more dangerous place than when he took office. History will judge him brutally for what he has done to damage world peace. He may have meant well; but we must live with the consequences."

Boot's summation: "There's a good argument to be made that peace based on threats and fear has proven to be much more durable than peace based on niceness and wishful thinking. After all, it was through threats and fear--and actual violence--that the Allies won World War II, thereby converting Japan and Germany from militarism to pacifism. It was also through threats and fear that Ronald Reagan helped to bring down the Evil Empire and end the Cold War, thereby promoting "fraternity between nations" and "the abolition or reduction of standing armies," two of the achievements the Nobel Peace Prize is intended to honor.
But [former Nobel Committee Chairman Francis] Sejersted is having none of it. Such a peace, he argues, "takes us back to deterrence and the terror balance. Ought peace of that kind to be honoured?" His answer is an emphatic no, because "it certainly does not correspond to Nobel's conceptions of disarmament and fraternisation." Perhaps not. But do Alfred Nobel's conceptions correspond with how to achieve peace in the real world? On this question, the Nobel committee is silent. Perhaps the ever-voluble Bill Clinton has some thoughts to share on this pressing subject
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