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Us vs. Them

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The New Republic's Peter Scoblic has a great op-ed in the Los Angeles Times about Bush's comments to the Israeli Knesset this week. It is a must-read.

Here's the crux:

But if there is anything that has been discredited by history, it is the argument that every enemy is Hitler, that negotiations constitute appeasement, and that talking will automatically lead to a slaughter of Holocaust-like proportions. It is an argument that conservatives made throughout the Cold War, and, if the charge seemed overblown at the time, it seems positively ludicrous with the clarity of hindsight.

The New Republic, of course, has been one of the most reflexively pro-war publications in Washington, helping beat the drum for the Iraq War. However, Scoblic's op-ed is spot on -- and it derives from his new book, "Us vs. Them."

I've known Scoblic for years now, and though I certainly have taken issue with The New Republic in the past, I have always found Scoblic to be a solid writer, and not prone to the kind of national security zealotry and extremism many at that publication champion. I confess that because I'm swamped trying to get ready for my book tour, I haven't had a chance read the book yet, but if the op-ed is representative of it, then it's probably a worthwhile read. Whether it signals a shift at The New Republic -- I have no idea. But progressives certainly need more voices out there making the case that a radically different foreign policy is not just a good idea -- but a necessity.

The truth is, both our international economic and military policy is not only making the world less safe -- it is specifically making AMERICA less safe. Conservatives' attempt to make saber rattling and the concept of military action synonymous with "strength" and "toughness" is threatening our security. Democrats should be saying just that.