Friday, May 18, 2007
Yet More on Debates
That would be a mistake. Republicans do need a vigorous debate on how and why an earthshaking shift has taken place in their perceptions of foreign policy. I asked a senior member of the Republican foreign policy establishment recently how exactly the position had shifted—I had noted, in my review of Nixon and Mao for the May 21, 2007 issue of The American Conservative, that “As late as 1985, Irving Kristol could declare in the first issue of The National Interest that the task of American foreign policy was not to make the world ‘safe for democracy’ but to create conditions ‘so that the nations of the world can have the opportunity to realize whatever potential for popular government and economic prosperity they may possess or come to possess.’”
In the past, the United States could forge together under the rubric of “the Free world” a hodge-podge of regimes—free-market democracies, socialist democracies, monarchies, and various types of authoritarian governments—but all sharing a common purpose. We used to think of democracy promotion as creating conditions for democracy to evolve in other societies rather than something to be exported and imposed. And as our beliefs have changed, though, so have the challenges to our ability to exercise leadership. Now, of course, Washington is finding it much harder to construct and maintain an overarching coalition in the Middle East (as well as other parts of the world). And do we think that the continued existence of monarchies, theocracies and even dictatorships elsewhere in the world de-legitimizes our own republican form of governance?
I would think we should be debating these questions much more than we are.
Why have conservatives changed is an important question. In the 1980s conservatives defended the importance of slow, evolutionary changes in places like East Asia and Latin America while it was the liberals jumping on every human rights violation of the hour. Now it seems some reversal has taken place.
Hence the requirement to stir up a Cold War with Russia.
And don't think this is the first Cold War with Russia they've stirred up.
When will any of you socalled experts dare to find the courage to define this thing called democracy? Your craven silence is shattering! Because when and if anyone - ANYONE finds the courage and the integrity to actually define this thing called democracy - the proof and terrible reality will be exposed to the hot light of truth - that the Bush governments fascist perversion and betrayal of democracy deceptively pimped and ghoulishly propogated by the fascist and pathological liars in the Bush government is actually tyranny, totalitarianism, colonialism, supremacy, and wanton profiteering - NOT DEMOCRACY!!!!!
Let me use an analogy. You can find Catholics (or Muslims) in every country of the world. Yet it would be a stretch to then argue that because one can find Danish Catholics, Lebanese Catholics, Nigerian Catholics, Indian Catholics, etc.--that each of these countries should be a Catholic country. It would also then be risky to describe them as being representative of their particular country. And yes, Catholics see themselves as a universal faith applicable to all peoples--but I don't think they have launched any new crusades at least not since Vatican II!