AMERICAN NOTES: Remember Gunboat Diplomacy?

Not so long ago, the response of a superpower like the U.S. to the current Arab oil embargo would have been foreseeable and blunt. As in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Lebanon, the U.S. would probably have seen its interests as best served by some form of military intervention. Even now there is fantasying here and there about seizing the Libyan oilfields or parachuting forces into Saudi Arabia, but no one really believes it could happen.

In the Wall Street Journal, Author-Professor Irving Kristol, a wise and sometimes truculent intellectual, suggests that such forbearance is all wrong. What's more, he claims,...

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