Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fukuyama Fuk Up

Francis Fukuyama is the new hero of the anti-war types. He is a certifiable neo-conservative who has now seen the light and what they take to be the massive error that is the Bush policy in Iraq. In a recent book titled, "America at the Crosswords", Fukuyama describes his opposition to the war and highlights his conversion at a presentation in 2004. Here is how Paul Berman describes the moment in Sunday's front page review in the NY Times Book Review:

In February 2004, Francis Fukuyama attended a neoconservative think-tank dinner in Washington and listened aghast as the featured speaker, the columnist Charles Krauthammer, attributed "a virtually unqualified success" to America's efforts in Iraq, and the audience enthusiastically applauded. Fukuyama was aghast partly for the obvious reason, but partly for another reason, too, which, as he explains in the opening pages of his new book, "America at the Crossroads," was entirely personal. In years gone by, Fukuyama would have felt cozily at home among those applauding neoconservatives. He and Krauthammer used to share many a political instinct. It was Krauthammer who wrote the ecstatic topmost blurb ("bold, lucid, scandalously brilliant") for the back jacket of Fukuyama's masterpiece from 1992, "The End of History and the Last Man."

But that was then.

The only problem is that, according to Charles Krauthammer's well documented piece in the Washington Post today, he never said anything remotely like calling the war in Iraq a "virtually unqualified success". Krauthammer even includes a link to the transcript of the speech at the site of the American Enterprise Institute, which had hosted the speech in question. He also notes that the speech was broadcast by C-Span which could, if necessary settle the matter by rebroadcasting the event.

What is really curious is why Fukuyama would dissemble about an event so easily verifiable and make it, as Krauthammer says, his Road to Damascus moment.