Monday, December 04, 2006
Look at your track record, that's how far it goes back, you're better off trying to bring RSO back:
Jeff Jacoby and the Weekly Standard continue the preemptive strike on Jim Baker. Ralph Peters:
Baker is the dean emeritus of a reactionary school of diplomats--inaccurately labeled "realists"--whose support of the shah of Iran, the Saudi royal family, Anwar Sadat, then Hosni Mubarak, and, not least, Saddam Hussein delivered short-term stability that proved illusory in the long run. It was the "realist" elevation of stability above all other strategic factors--echoing Prince Metternich--that gave us not only the radical regime in Iran, but, ultimately, al Qaeda and 9/11.
So, just so we're clear: the neocon line here is that someone's track record of failure in foreign policy should marginalize that person in the public sphere. Let's shake on it. No take-backs. This is the line: if you fucked up on an important foreign-policy issue -- or better yet, if you keep fucking up -- you're out of the debate. You read it in the Standard first, with not a single iota of irony.
--Spencer Ackerman
In a way, Jacoby's remarks about Baker echo the Christopher Hitchens line, "I prefer a United States that overthrows Saddam to a United States that props him up," the point being that the United States' wonderfully idealistic project in Iraq has broken with an older tradition of Kissingerian cynicism, tolerance of dictatorships, etc.

Jacoby is probably right about Baker and Hitchens is certainly right about Kissinger. But both Jacoby and Kissinger insist on a false choice between neoconservative benevolent imperialism and amoral realism.

International support for the Varela project in Cuba, Solidarity in Poland and dissident publications in the Soviet Union prove that we can be true to our principles and support our progressive and democratic friends abroad without invading their countries and puting them in quasi-colonial administrations.
Blogger The Special | 2:00 PM

That realist vs. idealist thing is always used in mainstream discussions of US foreign policy. And since idealism is usually defined in terms of a willingness to engage in military intervention, it automatically narrows the debate to one between the Kissingers and the Wolfowitzes.
Blogger DonaldJ | 7:10 AM