The Skeptics

Down with Doctrines

I have been struck by the congenital aversion of Americans to taking specific decisions on specific problems, and by their persistent urge to seek universal formulae or doctrines in which to clothe and justify particular actions…We like, by the same token, to attribute a universal significance to decisions we have already found it necessary, for limited and parochial reasons, to take…


Three Phony Reasons to Bomb Libya

American wars require salesmanship, even when Congress surrenders its power to authorize them. Hawks collect justifications, which need not match their motivations. The Obama administration’s case for the war under way in Libya fits this model, except that this time the bombing preceded the PR.