Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cut and run from reality

"...given the growing dangers in the world, the intelligent and effective exercise of America's benevolent global hegemony is as important as ever." --Robert Kagan
Given the increasingly obvious divergence between prediction and reality, neocon intellectuals have seemed a bit desperate lately in their efforts to sustain their Manichean world view.

Harvard professor Niall Ferguson has resorted to science fiction in an attempt to raise the levels of testosterone required for continued support of the eternal imperial war. A kind of neo-con Turner Diaries, his openly racist fantasies of a future war with Iran are fueled by fear of the formidable breeding capacity of the lesser races.
A second precondition of war was demographic. While European fertility had fallen below the natural replacement rate in the 1970s, the decline in the Islamic world had been much slower. By the late 1990s the fertility rate in the eight Muslim countries to the south and east of the European Union was two and half times higher than the European figure.
Remind anyone of the Yellow Peril? He literally has the Chinese threat waiting in the wings. All for a lack of will. Justin Raimondo has a good rundown of some historical parallels and lenin has more. And here is Ferguson's punchline:
Yet the historian is bound to ask whether or not the true significance of the 2007-2011 war was to vindicate the Bush administration's original principle of pre-emption. For, if that principle had been adhered to in 2006, Iran's nuclear bid might have been thwarted at minimal cost. And the Great Gulf War might never have happened.
For those more grounded in reality, a pre-emptive strike on Iran might look more like a trigger for world war than a way of avoiding it. But I'm rather afraid that Ferguson and some of his comrades in arms might like it that way.

Fellow neo-con Robert Kagan instead resorts to abstraction in his triumphalist depiction of the present in an editorial titled Still the Colossus (perhaps a homage to Ferguson's book Colossus and Empire). In his world, everything is apparently still going really well.
Yet, despite everything, the American position in the world has not deteriorated as much as people think. America still "stands alone as the world's indispensable nation," as Clinton so humbly put it in 1997. It can resume an effective leadership role in the world in fairly short order, even during the present administration and certainly after the 2008 election, regardless of which party wins. That is a good thing, because given the growing dangers in the world, the intelligent and effective exercise of America's benevolent global hegemony is as important as ever.
Funny. And the evidence for this bold prediction?
The truth is, America retains enormous advantages in the international arena. Its liberal, democratic ideology remains appealing in a world that is more democratic than ever. Its potent economy remains the driving wheel of the international economy. Compared with these powerful forces, the unpopularity of recent actions will prove ephemeral, just as it did after the nadir of American Cold War popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
How can he write this stuff with a straight face? Liberal democratic ideology perhaps. Reality and practice, not even in the US. The "unpopularity of recent actions" is as close as Kagan comes to acknowledging the reality of the past few years, no concrete references to torture, mass murder or the transparent lies used to justify them.


At 1/19/2006 3:32 AM, Blogger OORANOS said...

Have a good time


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