Michael Ignatieff admits that he has no place to hide:
"The New York Times > Magazine > The Way We Live Now: Mirage in the Desert: ...the administration's arrogance. Gen. George C. Marshall began planning the postwar occupation of Germany two years before D-Day. This administration was fumbling for a plan two months before the invasion. Who can read Bob Woodward's ''Plan of Attack'' and not find his jaw dropping at the fact that from the very beginning, in late 2001, none of the civilian leadership, not Rice, not Powell, not Tenet, not the president, asked where the plan for the occupation phase was? Who can't feel that U.S. captains, majors and lieutenants were betrayed by the Beltway wars between State and Defense? Who can't feel rage that victorious armies stood by and watched for a month while Iraq was looted bare?
Someone like me who supported the war on human rights grounds has nowhere to hide: we didn't suppose the administration was particularly nice, but we did assume it would be competent. There isn't much excuse for its incompetence, but equally, there isn't much excuse for our naivete either.... "
For Ignatieff to say that there is "no excuse" for his assumption that the Bush administration was competent is not satisfactory: Ignatieff needs to tell us what chain of thought could possibly have led him to the assumption that the Bush administration was competent--or to the belief that a successful postwar reconstruction of Iraq was possible without 100,000 Arabic-speaking MPs.
Well, now I think about it, I am not certain that deLong's point gets to the heart of things. After all, one could think of many ways to describe the demonstrably baleful examples of American imperialism past, but "incompetent" would not necessarily top the list. Was this war really only objectionable because it was conducted by a chimp led by donkeys? Surely, we can come up with a deeper critique than that? Oh, wait! Thanks to Noam Chomsky , we can. Hurray!