Many blame Rumsfeld and the neoconservative idealogues for the disaster in Iraq. But the current foreign-policy crisis vastly exceeds their mistakes. President Bush is still talking about “winning in Iraq” and “fulfilling the mission,” and his administration is still loaded with people who want him to stake his legacy on doing so. The neoconservative ideology of his administration is merely an exaggerated version of the normal politics of American empire. Before a significant change for the better is possible, Americans must reckon with the costs of the nation's perpetual war and military empire.
The war in Iraq has begun to shatter the ranks of the neoconservatives—the faction that gave us this disaster. The most prominent turncoat is Francis Fukuyama, whose forecast played no small part in the neoconservative project of a war that was to make the Middle East safe for Halliburton and Republican political consultants. America at the Crossroads is Fukuyama's apologia for apostasy. He has much to regret.