“America is not to be Rome or Britain. It is to be America.”
William Kristol boasts that September 11 proves the neocons to have been prophets because, after the Cold War, they alone warned that the world had become a more dangerous place, not a safer one. He and his crowd cite three factors that have made it so: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the rise of terrorism; and the emergence of rogue states. Kristol says that, if only the United States had increased defense spending in the 1990’s, intervened in the affairs of more countries, fought more wars, overthrown more governments, and tried more war criminals, September 11 would never have happened.
As usual, Kristol has everything exactly backward.
September 11 vindicated the paleoconservatives’ critique of American immigration and foreign policy. For over ten years now, the paleos have forecast an approaching clash of civilizations between a decadent West and Islam, pointed to the vulnerability created by mass immigration from the Third World, and warned of the dangers of blow-back from interventionism. If the country today is both more vulnerable and more likely to be attacked by terrorists, it is precisely because of the suicidal policies pursued by the last three administrations—with...