Dean Barnett, Hugh Hewitt’s excellent co-blogger, encountered Lawrence Korb for the first time last night when Korb debated Victor Davis Hanson on the subject of Iraq at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Barnett sees Korb “as an unrepentant member of the so-called ‘Realist’ school of foreign policy” and an admirer of Brent Scowcroft. Korb apparently argued that the U.S. retreat from Vietnam may have paved the way for our victory in the Cold War 15 years, and that, while it is unfortunate that millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians perished in the process, sometimes bad things have to happen in foreign policy. This struck Barnett as “unduly cold and clinical even for a Brent Scowcroft admirer.”
Actually, Korb should be seen less as a Scowcroft realist and more as an opportunistic partisan who will argue whatever he (and/or those who fund him) thinks will cast the Bush administration in the worst possible light, and assist the left. For example, when I debated him on a Voice of America broadcast on the topic of Hurricane Katrina, Korb argued that Bush adminiistration incompetence had resulted in 10,000 deaths (he later backed off this claim when I pointed out that this number was an invention). This slander, which Korb tried to pass off on a global audience, has nothing to due with Brent Scowcroft or “realism.” It has to do with rank, dishonest partisanship.
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