The Limited Education of an Imperialist
Boot does not address his earlier enthusiasm for neo-imperialism.
Max Boot’s essay on what he learned from the Iraq war shows that he still has a lot to learn:
Like the war in Vietnam, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq offered a potent warning about the dangers of good intentions gone awry. The 2011 U.S. intervention in Libya under the Obama administration, which I also supported, later confirmed on a smaller scale those same lessons.
Boot presents his support for the Iraq war as the result of excessive optimism and naivete. This is a common and convenient excuse that allows war supporters to make themselves look like noble, well-meaning people that just got a bit carried away. It is how warmongers spin their record of catastrophic bad judgment by saying that their biggest flaw is that they care too much. “Foreign policy cannot be solely or even mainly an altruistic exercise,” Boot writes, as if choosing to wreck another country in an unnecessary war had something to do with altruism.