by Rupert Cornwell
It has taken more than three years, tens of thousands of Iraqi and American
lives, and $200bn (£115bn) of treasure - all to achieve a chaos verging on
open civil war. But, finally, the neo-conservatives who sold the United
States on this disastrous war are starting to utter three small words. We
The second thoughts have spread across the conservative spectrum, from
William Buckley, venerable editor of The National Review to Andrew Sullivan,
once editor of the New Republic, now an influential commentator and
blogmeister. The patrician conservative columnist George Will was gently
sceptical from the outset. He now glumly concludes that all three members of
the original "axis of evil" - not only Iran and North Korea but also Iraq -
"are more dangerous than when that term was coined in 2002".
Neither Mr Buckley nor Mr Sullivan concedes that the decision to topple
Saddam was intrinsically wrong. . . .
Of all the critiques however, the most profound is that of Francis Fukuyama,
in his forthcoming book, America at the Crossroads. Its subtitle is
"Democracy, Power and the Neo-Conservative Legacy" - and that legacy, Mr
Fukuyama argues, is fatally poisoned.
This is no ordinary thesis, but apostasy on a grand scale. Mr Fukuyama,
after all, was the most prominent intellectual who signed the 1997 "Project
for the New American Century", the founding manifesto of neo-conservatism
drawn up by William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, the house
journal of the neo-conservative movement. . . .
"The Neocons, Israel, and the Iraq
War," The Wisdom Fund, July 17, 2003
David E. Sanger, "President prepares U.S.
for conflict with 'radical Islam' from Spain to Indonesia," New York
Times, October 17, 2005
[The roots of neoconservatism lie in a remarkable group of largely Jewish
intellectuals who attended City College of New York (C.C.N.Y.) in the mid-
to late 1930's and early 1940's, a group that included Irving Kristol,
Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, Nathan Glazer and, a bit later, Daniel Patrick
Moynihan.--Francis Fukuyama, "After Neoconservatism," New York Times, February 19,
Bernard Weiner, "Conservatives are
jumping ship: Bush is going down," The Crisis Papers, March 7, 2006
allies desert Bush over Iraq," Independent, March 9, 2006