As reported earlier on this blog and discussed on Professor Cutler's blog, Henry Kissinger has strolled back to the front of US foreign policy. Christopher Hitchens never Kissinger's greatest fan, has responded with typical clarity and anger here. Hitchens is wrong though to state that Kissinger and the neo-cons are direct opposites- far from being so they share an agenda but divide on its analysis, so that they both aim for stability but disagree about the way there. Their problem though is shared: both Kissinger and the neo-cons advance less through an understanding of a particular situation and what to do there than a broad and general theory about international life- consequently both of them run into problems misunderstanding phenomena such as third world nationalisms as commitments to a world war against the west whether communist or Islamist. Its by leaving the subtleties of the situation behind, that Kissinger and the neo cons risk making mistakes with their policies- failing to recognise the rhetorical traps of supporting democracies or the West in every situation without realising why and how the attacks on the West or democracies like Isreal and South Africa in the past take place. The world is not as simple as either Wolfowitz or Kissinger or indeed Hitchens understand and in the heat of the battle, they've lost sight of the field.