Towards a pre-emtive foreign policy?

Given the international nature of the discussion and topics here this week, it seems a timely moment to post my report on a debate held in London by Intelligence Squared. The subject: the merit of pursuing a pre-emptive foreign policy. It was a fascinating experience, and used a form I’d love to transfer to a venue in Belfast and/or Dublin on subjects nearer to home.

It is easy to forget just how informal public discourse has become in these days of internet blogdom and 24 hour news, until you see the revival of an old classic, the Oxford-style debate.

Two years ago, a pair of media entrepreneurs

  • David Vance

    Very interesting indeed.

  • Boomtown Wrath

    The Times They are a-Changin’. Liberals are in retreat as they ponder the new relaities of the 21st century and neo-conservatism is becoming the new socialism for the chattering classes.

  • James

    “and neo-conservatism is becoming the new socialism for the chattering classes.”

    And Trotsky has the last laugh.

    Rock on Leon, dude.

  • cronopio

    The most interesting thing is the way opinions could change after a well-argued debate, with clever guys like Hitchens and Aaaronovitch.
    Part of the problem of Bush, I suppose, is that he is not very efficient in transmitting the message and comes up (even for people who could be convinced otherwise) as a sort of caricature. His face doesn’t help much either, of course.

  • Shingo

    I don’t think this represents any significant departure from the general consensus. This is just a case of votes responding to whom articulated their arguments more eloquently.

    Neocons are very clever at establishing the premis for their arguments, but the interesting this about their beliefs is that they are based on utterly fanciful ideology. They only way they are able to communicate their goals is be deception.