Hopeless optimism

I would like to start by just mentioning the fact that the position that people like myself come from – that is, liberal and military interventionism, in situations of ethnic cleansing, or violence by leaders against their own people – is in a curious position at the moment. It is at the same time both wanting a term and replete with terms. People variously call you a ‘neoconservative’, or an ‘interventionist’, or a ‘liberal interventionist’. Perhaps worst of all, nomenclature-wise, was the brief period when we were referred to as ‘muscular liberals’ – a term which I always found embarrassingly self-aggrandising as well as, broadly-speaking, physically inaccurate.

Whilst not wanting to get stuck on terms of definition for too long, the plenitude and paucity of terms available to us is significant because it accompanies a non-verbal confusion. Because those who come from the neoconservative position have simult...

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