Monday, April 16, 2007

Democratic Illusions

Foreign policy advisers to the 'big three' Democrats bode ill for antiwar movement

By Justin Raimondo

"Anyone who had illusions about the Democratic Party as the electoral vehicle of choice for the antiwar movement has got to be dispirited by the "big three" presidential wannabes: John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. None have come out clearly and unequivocally for withdrawal from Iraq, and all refuse to rule out military action against Iran. The situation appears even worse when we look at who's advising them when it comes to foreign policy. A recent cover piece in the New York Observer throws the spotlight on these otherwise obscure (yet important) figures – hat tip: Matt Yglesias – and the result isn't pretty.

The "Iraq-eteers" are a "collegial" group, we are told, and, while there are differences of emphasis, all fit within the parameters of conventional liberal internationalism – of the sort that got us into Vietnam and will help keep us in Iraq. Particularly disappointing for principled opponents of interventionism is one Derek Chollet, co-founder of the Center for a New American Security, which advocates a "centrist foreign policy," i.e., interventionism, but with less melodramatic flair than the neoconservatives over at the Project for a New American Century......

Chollet tells us to "prepare for the worst" – and, if Edwards gets into the White House, we may have to. With Bush and the other Republicans, at least we know what we're getting: perpetual war. When it comes to the Democrats, however, we run into the danger of thinking we are getting a foreign policy based on sweet reason when what we're in for is the same old interventionist crap. These people sit around in their offices every day thinking up new ways to meddle in the affairs of foreign peoples. They are perpetually "concerned" about this "crisis" or that "turning point," and they are constantly warning us that "time is running out." Unless "we" – meaning the U.S. government – do something, the world as we know it will end.

That is a delusion, of course, and a dangerous one, but there you have it: it's the culture of the Washington policy wonks, who assume government action is the solution to each and every problem, both nationally and internationally. To these little lords of creation, there is no problem they can't come up with a government-funded solution to. Skepticism about the limits (or morality) of American power abroad is limited to "far left" commentators such as Noam Chomsky and Alex Cockburn, or Republican "realists" such as John Mearsheimer and Andrew Bacevich. Self-proclaimed "centrists" of the Edwards-Chollet variety are always interventionists......"

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