Playing the Part Too Well

Last Thursday, Matt Yglesias wrote:

Chris Hayes tries to take liberal hawks down a peg: “If the Hitchens and Cohen’s and Bermans of the world are so concerned with liberating the oppressed through American force, how come the long-suffering Burmese don’t make the cut?” The trouble with these hypocrisy arguments is that you never know who’s going to take you up on it.

You would have thought he was joking. And, indeed, when I saw that Bill Kristol had written a column on Burma, I thought he would say all kinds of crazy things, particularly relating to China, but stop short of calling for military action, since calling for military action in Burma is, well, insane. But then Kristol, well, read for yourself:

Couldn’t we use other military and intelligence capabilities to put more stress on the regime? As Sen. Joseph Lieberman has suggested, “The junta has tried to cut off the ability of peaceful demonstrators to communicate to the outside world through the Internet and cellphone networks; we should be examining how the junta’s ability to command and control its forces throughout the country might itself be disrupted.” What about limited military actions, overt or covert, against the regime’s infrastructure — its military headquarters, its intelligence apparatus, its rulers’ lavish palaces? Couldn’t such actions have a deterrent effect, or might not they help open up fissures in the regime? Have we really done all we can to avert the disaster that is unfolding?

It’s moments like these when one thanks God for whoever coined the term “self-parody”.

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