In his letter to the editor (Winter 2004/05), Francis Fukuyama repeats his contention that my advocacy of a muscular foreign policy-what he calls the "testicular route to hearts and minds"-derives from a peculiarly neoconservative identification with "Israel's experience dealing with the Arabs." He cites nothing to support this connection. He simply asserts it.
This assertion is not just unsupported. It is wrong. Israel's experience is neither definitive nor particularly instructive. Having pursued both hard- and soft-line policies in dealing with its Arab enemies, Israel can hardly be a model for anyone-57 years of pursuing these policies have left it mired in conflict and subject to more terrorism than any country on earth.
My approach to Islamism is identical to the muscular approach I consistently advocated against our previous global challenge, Soviet communism. From opposing the nuclear freeze to advocating U.S. support for anti-Communist insurgencies in Nicaragua and Afghanistan and around the world, my views on muscularity in confronting existential enemies have not changed. Given that history has demonstrated, definitively and with rare clarity, the wisdom and success of precisely this approach in our last existential struggle, it is entirely logical that I would apply it to the current one. What has any of this to do with Israel?
Does Fukuyama's attribution to me and to other neoconservatives of excessive and inappropriate identity with Israel amount to anti-Semitism? Fukuyama challenges me to answer the question. My answer is: I don't know and I don't care. I don't care what people feel. I care what they say. After speculating about my motives, he invites me to speculate about his. I decline. I do foreign policy, not psychiatry.