Glenn Greenwald points out the obvious: the DC foreign policy establishment -- who are "scholars" at places like the "liberal" Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) -- are currently maintaining the premise that
I guess there's something to the argument that it's always been like this -- especially for world powers. I guess to argue the opposite is to say "our country is not all-powerful and pre-eminent on the world stage." And to buck the Number One Rule is to admit that invading and occupying Iraq was a huge, unfettered mistake.
The Number One Rule of the bi-partisan Foreign Policy Community is that America has the right to invade and attack other countries at will because American power is inherently good and our role in the world is to rule it though the use of superior military force. Paying homage to that imperialistic orthodoxy is a non-negotiable pre-requisite to maintaining Good Standing and Seriousness Credentials within the Foreign Policy Community.
But all of those things are essentially true: pre-emption is a bad foreign policy, the US is indeed losing international influence (duh -- our President is a flake), and the Iraq misadventure is a huge, screaming mistake.
One responder to this post pointed out that it's hard to generalize a Foreign Policy Establishment. No, it's not: the Foreign Policy Establishment are those can't face the truth of the above paragraph, simple as that.