ions but to objectively describe the event - or at least he can maintain deniability with this ambiguous wording and when readers such as myself inevitably get outraged, he can then call us nasty reactionaries and chastize us for questioning his patriotism and then say that this proves the atmosphere in America is just like Hungary in the 40's.

Bull*&^%! This Sontaggian language is just wrong on so many levels and the whole essay is full of similar type comments. The whole premise: that we could've handled Afghanistan and al-Qaida as an international police action is truly imbecilic and I'm glad that the essay was largely and deservedly ignored by the mainstream press and bloggers alike - despite the controversial press conferences that preceeded its publication. The essay, as with his recent appearances in the news, inspires a level of exasperation so great that one cannot resist the temptation to psycho-analyze Soros. You are correct that comments like "self-hating Jew" are completely fallacious but I can see how so many can't stop themselves from thinking that way about him.

My own speculation about Soros's motives is: "Liberation envy." He sees himself as having played a crucial role in saving the world the opening up of Eastern Europe and he can't stand to see the American Government, especially one led by a distasteful Texan, attempt to achieve similar goals in the Middle East, using totally different means, i.e. attacking the dictatorships, instead of slowly undermining them. He is convinced that he has found the one and only formula for bringing reform and that his model could work just fine in other regions, even though the circumstances and the nature of the conflict are much different. He probably has a tremendous blindspot when it comes to uderstanding how the circustances are different. Perhaps he's just not interested in bringing the Open Society to Dar-al Islam.

Either that or he's senile.

Posted by: John, Tokyo at December 11, 2003 06:26 PM

John -- Yeah, that totally jumped out at me too. His incautious, comparative language is very strange to me, and I'm looking forward to reading his book to see whether it's the rule or exception.

Posted by: Matt Welch at December 11, 2003 08:10 PM
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