PHILOSOPHICAL CLEAN-UP. Tom...

PHILOSOPHICAL CLEAN-UP. Tom Friedman says the Bush administration "tried to make history on the cheap. But you can't will the ends without willing the means. That is Strategic Theory 101, and ignoring it is not just some 'tactical error.'" It's not Strategic Theory 101, it's Philosophy 101 (or, in my case, Philosophy 168) -- Friedman's quoting Immanuel Kant here, not a military strategist.

Moreover, the upshot of that doctrine is to cut against Friedman, not Rumsfeld. The point is that if you will an end -- the liberation of Iraq by force of American arms -- you're committed to taking responsibility, morally, for the means your end necessarily entails. Meaning, in this case, the unilateral invasion of Iraq overseen by the actual government of the United States deploying the resources that were actually at its disposal. Subscribers will recall Harold Meyerson's Friedman section in his war pundits article spelling how far off this mark Friedman's been.

--Matthew Yglesias

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