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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Friday, April 18, 2003


pre-emptive vs. preventive war

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, April 18, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
From the comments thread of this post comes this email written by Charles Knight, who wrote the original critique that prompted Dean's rebuttal in Common Dreams (and sent out to the campaign mailing list). I think it's a great acknowledgement of how responsive Dean is to critics:

This past Monday a commentary I wrote critical of a Gov. Howard Dean speech to Democratic foreign policy specialists in DC was published by the Website Common Dreams. On Thursday Gov. Dean responded to my piece with his own article on Common Dreams. Dean "sets the record straight", so to speak, in a very progressive direction which strikes hard at key components of Bush foreign and domestic policy. I find myself in agreement with most of what he says, but that matters little. What does matter is that a pointed piece of political criticism has resulted in clarifications from the candidate and the clarifications are in a progressive direction. A good moment for "the power of the pen" or power of the keyboard, in my case.

I do have to nit-pick a bit. Dean still doesn't address clearly the difference between preemptive war and preventive war. It is a very important one and I hope that progressive politicians will learn to talk clearly about it. So I nit-pick! A short article with links to more in depth discussion about this issue can be found at .

Charles Knight, Project on Defense Alternatives

Talk about winning over your critics! Still, after reading the Kroening piece to which Knight refers, I think that the distinction between pre-emptive war and preventive war is indeed one that needs to be addressed.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.