Intellectual GBH

Beaumont wants to establish that he is a Good Person: “I was opposed to what I believed was an illegal war in Iraq … I, too, have been troubled by the consequences of occupation”. But he’s not like Chomsky, because “I reject Chomsky’s view that American misdeeds are printed through history like the lettering in a stick of rock.” While Chomsky’s thought is doctrinal, lofty and as rigid as Brighton rock, Beaumont’s is supple, nuanced and rooted in experience: “the conclusions I have drawn from more than a decade of reporting wars on the ground is that motivations are complex, messy and contradictory, that the best intentions can spawn the worst outcomes and, occasionally, vice versa.” That is an interesting thought, but the implicit sta