Post Neoconservatism

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Read the entire article by clicking on the link below:

    February 19, 2006

    After Neoconservatism

    As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. The United States still has a chance of creating a Shiite-dominated democratic Iraq, but the new government will be very weak for years to come; the resulting power vacuum will invite outside influence from all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran. There are clear benefits to the Iraqi people from the removal of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and perhaps some positive spillover effects in Lebanon and Syria. But it is very hard to see how these developments in themselves justify the blood and treasure that the United States has spent on the project to this point.

    The so-called Bush Doctrine that set the framework for the administration's first term is now in shambles. The doctrine (elaborated, among other places, in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States) argued that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, America would have to launch periodic preventive wars to defend itself against rogue states and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; that it would do this alone, if necessary; and that it would work to democratize the greater Middle East as a long-term solution to the terrorist problem. But successful pre-emption depends on the ability to predict the future accurately and on good intelligence, which was not forthcoming, while America's perceived unilateralism has isolated it as never before. It is not surprising that in its second term, the administration has been distancing itself from these policies and is in the process of rewriting the National Security Strategy document.

    But it is the idealistic effort to use American power to promote democracy and human rights abroad that may suffer the greatest setback. Perceived failure in Iraq has restored the authority of foreign policy "realists" in the tradition of Henry Kissinger. Already there is a host of books and articles decrying America's naïve Wilsonianism and attacking the notion of trying to democratize the world. The administration's second-term efforts to push for greater Middle Eastern democracy, introduced with the soaring rhetoric of Bush's second Inaugural Address, have borne very problematic fruits. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood made a strong showing in Egypt's parliamentary elections in November and December. While the holding of elections in Iraq this past December was an achievement in itself, the vote led to the ascendance of a Shiite bloc with close ties to Iran (following on the election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran in June). But the clincher was the decisive Hamas victory in the Palestinian election last month, which brought to power a movement overtly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In his second inaugural, Bush said that "America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one," but the charge will be made with increasing frequency that the Bush administration made a big mistake when it stirred the pot, and that the United States would have done better to stick by its traditional authoritarian friends in the Middle East. Indeed, the effort to promote democracy around the world has been attacked as an illegitimate activity both by people on the left like Jeffrey Sachs and by traditional conservatives like Pat Buchanan.

    The reaction against democracy promotion and an activist foreign policy may not end there. Those whom Walter Russell Mead labels Jacksonian conservatives — red-state Americans whose sons and daughters are fighting and dying in the Middle East — supported the Iraq war because they believed that their children were fighting to defend the United States against nuclear terrorism, not to promote democracy. They don't want to abandon the president in the middle of a vicious war, but down the road the perceived failure of the Iraq intervention may push them to favor a more isolationist foreign policy, which is a more natural political position for them. A recent Pew poll indicates a swing in public opinion toward isolationism; the percentage of Americans saying that the United States "should mind its own business" has never been higher since the end of the Vietnam War.

    More than any other group, it was the neoconservatives both inside and outside the Bush administration who pushed for democratizing Iraq and the broader Middle East. They are widely credited (or blamed) for being the decisive voices promoting regime change in Iraq, and yet it is their idealistic agenda that in the coming months and years will be the most directly threatened. Were the United States to retreat from the world stage, following a drawdown in Iraq, it would in my view be a huge tragedy, because American power and influence have been critical to the maintenance of an open and increasingly democratic order around the world. The problem with neoconservatism's agenda lies not in its ends, which are as American as apple pie, but rather in the overmilitarized means by which it has sought to accomplish them. What American foreign policy needs is not a return to a narrow and cynical realism, but rather the formulation of a "realistic Wilsonianism" that better matches means to ends.
  2. Remeber, Francis was a signor of the PNAC (project for a new american century).... the neoconservative manifesto... he may now be trying to distance himself from it.

    The main failure was the assumption that democracies would be a good thing, not that people would use a democracy to vote in a theocracy or a dictator! (c.f. F. Zakaria)

    I think that realpoliktik is necessary. We should pit these idiots against each other and not against us.
  3. saxon

    saxon have to understand something about politics:

    People vote AGAINST candidates (and their followers) as often as they vote FOR them.

    With that in mind...I find it amusing that liberals are always surprised when their candidates don't win!!


    I mean, who wants to give someone who has been waving their finger in everybody's face a reason to gloat??

    Ideas have to be sold to people; and most liberals couldn't sell water in a desert.
  4. That is a lot of village idiots. Oh wait, village idiots make up 39% of the population. It looks like there are many more living in the cities paying taxes for the welfare payments paid to the village idiots.

    Quote from Trader5287:

    Going to be tough for Dems to turn this around:

    I know my food and energy comes from the red part. Is that also where my tax cuts come from? If it is, thanks suckers. :D
  5. Lotsa inner city idiots too , dude....
  6. Taking a look at the BLUE/RED map actually shows where the "THINK TANKS" are.

    Remember this: The Blues actually won in 2000 if not for Florida gov calling out the State troopers to stop the Dems from voting with the use of roadblocks, names magically removed from polling lists, etc, etc and the Supreme court being packed with right wing puppet followers.

    Anyone care to discuss the election in 2004 and who stole Ohio?

    How many would have voted for BUSH if the tax cuts never happened? How many even realize there are other things to worry about than tax cuts?

    A lot of RED in that map, BUT, it is not a true picture of how evenly divided the country as a whole is.

    Be careful out there, one out of two will be from the other side of the aisle..................:D
  7. When history is written I'd love to see you explaining to your grandchildren why you voted for the worst, dumbest, most corrupt and incompetent american president not once but twice. (personally I don't think Bush voters should be allowed to reproduce though). I really doubt your grandchildren will be impressed with your "Gore invented the internet" and "Kerry was swiftboated" explanation.
  8. The Supreme Court is right wing?

    If that was true, do you really think that Roe v Wade would still be 'in effect' ??
  9. :chuckle:

    That's a nice sentiment, but not for the reason you think. Before you pat yourself on the back, consider this.

    The reds will have plenty of opportunity to explain to their grandkids why they were seduced by bush et al. Because they include plenty of christian right wing fundamentalists, for whom having babies is a battle cry. And remember- they don't abort.

    The blues will not have the opportunity to explain to their grandkids why they couldn't stop the reds, because the blues didn't have kids. Yup, they aborted, they gay married, or they decided to live a lifestyle without children because they wouldn't conform to traditional family units (since they didn't have to), or they decided that "one was enough" to cut down on the population boom.

    Unfortunately, the world kept right on rolling. So now, there are more of the reds than the blues, and that trend is likely to continue.

    You may not feel that reds should be allowed to reproduce, but blues, when allowed, didn't reproduce.

    Frankly, it would probably be better for the pubic good if the blues decided to have more kids and incite a bit more of a public debate.

    Remember - demographics is destiny. Go read mikelthwaith & wooldrige.
    #10     Feb 20, 2006