One underlying assumption of those who characterize the
Many liberal commentators are very explicit about the good intentions of US policymakers. In June 2005, Newsweek‘s Baghdad Bureau chief Rod Nordland wrote an article entitled "Good Intentions Gone Bad in
Newsweek‘s Senior Editor Michael Hirsh shares these feelings. In a May 2007 article on Paul Wolfowitz, former Deputy Secretary of Defense under Bush and then-President of the World Bank, Hirsh describes his subject as "a genteel, brilliant figure" who humbly serves the public good "with the best of intentions" (the article’s title). He quotes a former assistant to Wolfowitz who says that his ex-boss "‘deeply, deeply cared’ about making the world a better place." Regrettably, though, Wolfowitz’s heart was just too big, leading him to pursue over-ambitious goals: "If Wolfowitz has a fatal flaw, it’s an obsession with One Big Idea that would set the world right" . Sympathetic ruminations about the "agony" of well-intentioned policymakers who have made mistakes are extremely common in mainstream criticism of the
Clyde Prestowitz even makes the good intentions of US policymakers the central focus of his book, subtitled The Failure of Good Intentions. Throughout the book a recurrent metaphor for the
My purpose in this book is to try to explain to baffled and hurt Americans why the world seems to be turning against them, and also to show foreigners how they frequently misinterpret America’s good intentions. 
Prejudiced or naive foreigners just aren’t capable of seeing that US leaders are really good, honest people who act with the interests of the world’s poor and marginalized at heart. US policies like support for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, massive military aid to top human rights violators like Egypt and Colombia, and toppling of democratic governments in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, and elsewhere have blinded the world’s people to the good intentions of the US government. If they could just be taught to look past the United States’ "mistakes" they would realize that "our intentions are usually honorable" . The
Some liberal critics of the Bush administration seem even more convinced of the
After 9/11, we tried to effect change in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world by trying to build a progressive government in
Friedman, we must remember, is enormously popular and enjoys extraordinary access to venues where he can expound on the noble intentions of
Commentators and media publications that applaud the honest intentions of the
Nearly all major media and war critics have parroted the official government line, presenting the bill as a necessary measure for "equitably distributing oil revenues" among Iraqis . Most have expressed frustration at the Bush administration’s inability to push the proposal through the Iraqi Parliament and/or the latter’s incompetence for not passing it into law. The Times editors have told us that the law would ensure "an equitable division of oil wealth," but they angrily complain that such "goals have not been met, and the administration has virtually abandoned them" . Only on very few occasions have those who rely on the Times, Post, and similar newspapers for information been given any concrete information about the actual stipulations of the proposal . Even some critics on the Left who see through most official mantras about US intentions in Iraq assume that the law’s passage would be an important step toward "sharing oil revenues" among Iraq’s Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish populations, and complain that this "oil-sharing statute is stalled in the Iraqi parliament" .
In sum, mainstream liberal commentators almost universally imply that the
 Nordland, "Good Intentions Gone Bad in
 Hirsh, "With the Best of Intentions," Newsweek, 21 May 2007.
 On the "agony" of LBJ, see Brian VanDeMark, Into the Quagmire: Lyndon Johnson and the Escalation of the Vietnam War (New York/Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991), 216. See also Thomas Ricks’s section on "Colin Powell’s regrets," including the author’s own regrets that "sadly" Powell will not be remembered for his "decades of public service" but for his February 2003 presentation to the UN on the need for invading
 Prestowitz, Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions (
 Ibid., 15.
 Friedman, "The Chant Not Heard," NYT,
 Friedman, "Iraq Through China’s Lens," NYT,
 "Democrats Find Their Voice," NYT,
 Incidentally, one vote to cut veterans’ funding occurred in the very same week that the
 Zogby International and
 Quote from Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson, and Tim Webb, "Future of
 For info on oil companies, see See Consumers for Peace, Consumer’s Guide to Gasoline (updated Dec. 2007), 2-3. Available from http://www.consumersforpeace.org/pdf/consumers_guide_update12_18_07.pdf; For Iraqi poll, see Oil Change International, "Iraqi Oil Law Poll: June-July 2007." Results and relevant links available at http://priceofoil.org/iraqi-oil-law-poll-june-july-2007/.
 "Congress’s Challenge on
 "Unfinished Debate on
 For rare exceptions, see the op-ed by Antonia Juhasz, "Whose Oil Is It, Anyway?" NYT,
 Joe Conason, "What They Call ‘Progress’ in