Full episode
227: Why We Fight
Act Three

Realism 101

It's possible that the most compelling arguments against the war with Iraq, and the most compelling arguments for the war with Iraq, are arguments you've never heard. Ira talks with journalist Nicholas Lemann from The New Yorker magazine about two ways of seeing the war: The so-called Hawks' view, and the so-called Realists' view. His article about all this is called "The War on What?" Two of the Realists, Stephen Van Evera from M.I.T. and Stephen Walt of Harvard, lay out their surprising case against the war. Arguing a very persuasive case against them is Kenneth Pollack, of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, who was a Persian Gulf military analyst for seven years at the CIA (including during the Persian Gulf War) and after that for the National Security Council under President Clinton. He wrote a book called The Threatening Storm: the Case for Invading Iraq. (19 minutes)