Paperback: The World Crisis, edited by Robert Harvey

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The Independent Culture

For most of the 20 contributors in this colloquy on "the way forward" after Iraq, it seems the more eminent the figure, the more Panglossian the opinion. Jimmy Carter sees "an unprecedented opportunity" for the US "to use our unequalled influence wisely". Zbigniew Brzezinski maintains that "when the US and Europe are united, when we are motivated not by fear but by historical confidence, there is literally nothing we cannot do." It takes a journalist to pour cold water on the hot air. Simon Jenkins denounces our Afghan involvement as "a post-imperial spasm, a knee-jerk jingoism and plain dumb".