Weak Realpolitik: The Vicissitudes of Saudi Bashing

As the shock of September 11 wears off and certain conclusions settle in, the U.S.-Saudi relationship has come under unprecedented scrutiny. It's about time.

Issue: Spring 2002

About sixty years ago, R.G. Collingwood wrote, "Every new generation
must rewrite history in its own way." Inasmuch as his thinking was
suspended somewhere between hope for a science of history and an
awareness of its practical limits, philosophers of history have been
arguing ever since about what he really meant. But one thing he must
have meant is that what interests us about the past is at least
partly a function of what bothers us or makes us curious in the
present. As Collingwood said, "As far as we can see history as a
whole . . . we see it as a continuous development in which every
phase consists of the solution of human problems set by the preceding

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