intervention in iraq was a disaster, and it was. but what you don't see is that one of the disasters was a diplomatic one, because i was covering the bush administration, preparing to write about it in the run up to the war, and i can tell you that they sincerely believed what i call the leadership hypothesis, that if the united states took certain positions at the u.n. and elsewhere, ultimately, the allies, like the french and the germans and the british, would follow. and they honestly believed that. and they were wrong. they were spectacularly wrong, because they didn't quite analyze the fact that after the end of the cold war, the allies were less dependent on us than they were before 1989. the other problem with "indispensable nation" is the more we run around and tell everyone that, the less other countries are willing to do on their own, because the united states is taking care of it. and the more they get a little bit offended. so in short, when bob, the editor of the american prospect, just called me with a random question, would i like to write a piece on what a policy of realism means today, and i said sure, but i thought that progressives sometimes don't quite understand what realism is, since the end of the cold war, younger progressives have taken realism to mean anti-interventionism, because that's what it meant at the time in 2002.