Thursday, July 20, 2006

In This Corner

George Will has stir'n up a hornet's nest with this article on United States foreign policy. It is worth the read. Some of his more notable quotes:
The administration, justly criticized for its Iraq premises and their execution, is suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature. The national, ethnic and religious dynamics of the Middle East are opaque to most people, but to the Weekly Standard -- voice of a spectacularly misnamed radicalism, "neoconservatism" -- everything is crystal clear: Iran is the key to everything.

(WS link included by me -HR)
I knew it, not even real conservatives like the neo-cons!

"Why wait?" Perhaps because the U.S. military has enough on its plate in the deteriorating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which both border Iran. And perhaps because containment, although of uncertain success, did work against Stalin and his successors, and might be preferable to a war against a nation much larger and more formidable than Iraq. And if Bashar Assad's regime does not fall after the Weekly Standard's hoped-for third war, with Iran, does the magazine hope for a fourth?

(Again, WS link included by me -HR)
I may not have said this before, (I probably have) but I think neo-cons are a serious foreign policy problem.

The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. What we do here affects almost everything everywhere. If we are to spread true Democracy and true Liberty, they must be spread by cultural, economic and diplomatic means, we cannot rely solely on force. I think the tunnel-vision of the neo-cons, who have hijacked American foreign policy at this point, prevent us from doing that.

3 comments:

RightOnPeachtree said...

Essentially, I agree with you.

However, it shouldn't come as too big of a surprise that traditional conservatives don't embrace Neocons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservative) with open arms. As it says on Wikipedia, the movement's original founders came from liberal/Dem/socialist backgrounds. Inherently, theirs is far from a perfect fit with general conservatism. In Republicans, they saw some common ground on defense and hawkishness, jumped to the Republican side, and single-mindedly worked to manipulate US foreign policy. I do think they have hijacked American foreign policy and I don't like it, either. There is really no balance in our foreign policy and diplomacy seems to be an afterthought (although I don't like the nanny-state, talk-even-after-you-see-the-whites-of-their-eyes diplomacy of many European countries, either).

Neocons are conservative only in the sense that they are pro-defense and pro-military, but they push that beyond what (IMO) most conservatives desire.

Personally, I loathe idiots like "General" Bill Kristol, who has never seen a war that he's not willing to lose other Americans over. The sooner he is marginalized, the better.

I agree with you. Force is important, but it should be only one component of a broad democratization plan -- and it should be wielded with great care.

Patrick Armstrong said...

That same Neoconservatism seems to have been bought hook, line and sinker in a coupla circles I thought were dominated by real conservatives.

Sometimes a guy in a bar just has to wish aloud that we nuke everybody but England, but I never thought a group of those same guys might some day have their hands on the trigger!!

I just can't tell what, as a political sub-group, their overall goal is. But it looks, consistently, like the worst possible answer to any possible question.

RightOnPeachtree said...

I'm sure you've seen the link below, but this is what I think of when I hear the term "neocon".

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

You notice some of the names there include Kristol, our VP, our Defense Secretary, and the president of the World Bank (a former assistant Defense Sec). These people run the world right now and, while I'm not completely paranoid about it, it does give me pause.