“One month from The Anniversary, I’m thinking another 9/11 would help America,” says Stu Bykofsky, conservative columnist.
I think Ross is right and Henry Farrell wrong about the best way to interpret the Kristol/Kagan argument for a “Neo-Reaganite” foreign policy — the argument about this helping the Republican Party is probably offered in a pundit’s fallacy spirit. The dark truth is probably closer to what Bykofsky expressed, something like national greatness conservatism icon Teddy Roosevelt’s sense that war was, as such, a good thing because of its influence on the national character. Strains of this kind of thinking were definitely discernable post-9/11 on both the right and in the more hawkish precincts of the left — a kind of genuine enthusiasm for violence, the sense that war is a force that gives us meaning, and that it’s only by having giant disasters occur that our true national spirit is revealed.
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