I usually write about theater in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, but I made a special guest appearance on this morning’s editorial page. The occasion was the opening of Embedded, Tim Robbins’ new play about Gulf War II, which he blames on the political philosopher Leo Strauss, quoting chapter and verse to prove his contention that the war was started for nefarious reasons by a cabal of Strauss’ neoconservative disciples in the Bush administration (including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz).
There’s just one little problem–the quote in question is totally bogus. And that’s not even the worst part:
Strauss’ complex political views are not easily reduced to speeches in a play, but Mr. Robbins has done his best by making one of his characters, a fellow named Pearly White and thus presumably modeled on Richard Perle (that being Mr. Robbins’ idea of cutting wit), spout the following lines: “Moral virtue has no application to the really intelligent man, the philosopher. In the words of Leo Strauss: