Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Devil They Know

Tuff to jank with why realists remain so confident about their doctrine, given that changes in the nature of states have benefited Great Satan to the nth!



Every threat to internat’l order after Cold War involved a government that fell short of Western and economic standards.

Every security problem Great Satan felt called upon to address would be alleviated, if not solved altogether, if the regimes responsible for them could be remade to all American specs:

Tolerant, egalitarian societies with a penchant for periodic, transparent elections, a free, uncensored press, a nat’l treasury under public scrutiny, a military under civie control, an independent judiciary under elected gov oversight

Realpolitik critics of daemoneoconservatism amazingly (or perhaps on purpose) fail to include Dr Condoleezza Rice’s caveat - that such a smooth move in the new millennium …

“Is a generational commitment. But it is not a generational commitment in military terms; it is a commitment of our support to them, our political support and an understanding that democracy takes time.”

Regime Changes the fun, friendly way have repeatedly been in Great Satan's "National Interest" since way back.

Enemies, Frenemies and realists alike know it.

And Dr Paul D. Wolfowitz is high priest of Great Satan and all she stands for --

The Devil they know

Regime changes have been a blessing -- not only the peaceful collapse of Soviet Union and the end of apartheid in South Africa, but also with the many transitions from dictatorship to democracy that have deepened security in almost every region of the world -- Deutschland getting re hooked up, SoKo, Philippines, Warsaw Pact, Taiwan etc

Pushy reform

"After all, that's what Reagan did. He conducted serious negotiations with the Soviet Union that achieved real breakthroughs, while also characterizing the regime as an "evil empire," forcibly contesting its foreign policies and pushing hard for internal reforms.

"Ultimately, it was changes inside the Soviet empire, not arms-control talks, that ended the Cold War.

Moreover, there are so many other instances where a disregard for such issues has been totally bass ackwards to the national interest.

"Realists" in the purest def should be addressing the nature of nation states and not ignoring the reality that democratic reform is a powerful force to advance Great Satan's ideal environs:

"Pushing for changes in the nature of states gets complicated the more the United States has genuine common interests with them -- as Americans do, for example, with Egypt on Arab-Israeli peace or with China on managing the global economy.

"Issues of reform should be approached more quietly sometimes, but should not be abandoned. That would be disheartening to reformers who are often instrumental in bringing about the changes the United States seeks through engaging their governments.

"The collapse of the shah's regime in Iran led to something worse for Iranians and for U.S. interests. So in the Arab world, the United States must steer a course between two dangers: on the one hand, that extremists will exploit the opportunities of a more open society and, on the other, that U.S. support for Arab dictators will generate hostility toward America.

"For decades, successive U.S. administrations have preferred stability over democracy in the Arab world. We have seen the result: a superficial stability that has encouraged the growth of extremism, terrorism, and anti-Americanism. When all opposition is suppressed, the forces of change go underground -- and that is where radicalism thrives. Jailing a democratic reformer like Ayman Nour in Egypt is not a way to fight extremism.

"U.S. foreign policy does indeed have multiple goals that must be balanced, but promoting reform is often one of them.

"Brutal regimes will not behave better if the United States speaks nicely about them.

"In fact, the perception of U.S. weakness in supporting its friends is a great disadvantage when negotiating with regimes like those in North Korea and Iran that are quick to perceive vulnerability. These states will negotiate -- if they do -- when they see it in their interest, not because the United States soft-pedals its differences.

"U.S. foreign policy does indeed have multiple goals that must be balanced, but promoting reform is often one of them.

And that is the devil they know

Art -- "Great Satan stares down illegit regimes with democratic realism"


mauryk2 said...

Love your blog today. Great art as always.

Jeff Wills said...

Excellent FP piece by Wolfowitz.