Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Their "death," and not a moment too soon

And I thought it was just a string of bad decisions.

No, there was actually a political philosophy behind the horror that has been the U.S. foreign policy for the past 8 years. Neoconservatism (practiced by neocons, for short) - as laid out in this article from the BBC news, is about:

  • a tendency to see the world in terms of good vs. evil (ie, the axis of evil)
  • a minimal emphasis on diplomacy, with a "disdain for multilateral organisations"
  • emphasis on U.S. unilateral action
  • readiness to use military force

What part of that is the outgoing administration proud of?

Just because we are, were, or think we might still be the strongest military force, that is not an excuse to exercise it without just cause, nor against stand-in targets (Iraq vs. Al-Qaeda). Unilaterally? In today's global economy, let alone since the creation of the United Nations, unilateral action should always be a last resort, right up there with military action itself. And what kind of example is the U.S. setting by trivializing diplomacy, a country itself based on democracy?

It served to amuse me how Obama was attacked during the campaign for being willing to re-open discussions "without preconditions." I was just so happy to hear about a politician willing to actually DISCUSS things and CONSIDER the international community before pulling the trigger of the military.

Obama has already inherited fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the powder keg that is the Israel-Palestine situation - I look forward to a fresh perspective about these conflicts starting in just about a week now. The real tests over the coming year or so will be Iran and North Korea - how Obama's administration handles the nuclear (note, not "nu-ku-lur") threat. And, of course, the ominous "terrorist test" he will face simply because he is a new commander-in-chief. I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

Regardless of the actual challenge, at last we have people that are willing to dig deeper into the playbook and utilize tools that have been helpful in the past, and reaffirm Americans' commitment to humanitarianism on a global scale. Down with the neocons!!

1 comment:

Ron B. said...

huzzah, Bonzo! I agree, the neocons are the worst thing to happen to America. They make the old school conservatives look like a bunch of liberals. Barry Goldwater looks like a font of wisdom in comparison. I hope Obama does well, and once the economy is back on track, I hope he does something to reduce the federal debt, otherwise, our kids and future generations will be working for all the creditor nations...