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After neo-conservativism?

Francis Fukuyama has a great piece in the NY Times about neo-conservativism and it's place in the American political scene today.

Fukuyama is a very important figure in neo-conservative thought. It's my opinion that he is one of the better theorists in the tradition.

I liked what Fukuyama wrote about the Bush doctrine, I hope that doctrine continues to lose its ability to shape US foreign policy. [...]

Fukuyama worries that one of casualities of the Iraq war will be the "the idealistic effort to use American power to promote democracy and human rights abroad." I agree with him on that point. It is good that ethical concerns were brought to foreign policy, it's a shame those concerns were immediately connected to violent action.

I agree with Fukuyama on this point:
"The problem with neoconservatism's agenda lies not in its ends, which are as American as apple pie, but rather in the overmilitarized means by which it has sought to accomplish them. What American foreign policy needs is not a return to a narrow and cynical realism, but rather the formulation of a "realistic Wilsonianism" that better matches means to ends."

The article is really good, take a look.

"make no distinction between

"make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them,"

"Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

-Pres. Bush

The above two quotes show the hypocrisy of Bush Doctrine. At the same time he was formulating this policy, the US government was busy fighting hard to harbor a pretty wicked terrorist named Jose Posada Carriles who had bombed a passenger airliner and killed 72 people in the 1970's.

"America has no empire to extend or utopia to establish. We wish for others only what we wish for ourselves -- safety from violence, the rewards of liberty, and the hope for a better life."

-Pres. Bush

The hypocrisy of the portion of Bush Doctrine is very evident in this administrations efforts to topple the democratically elected government of Venezuela. Not helping, and even actively working against the democratically elected government of Haiti 2 years ago is also a good example of Bush Doctrine hypocrisy.

I reject the notion stated above that neocon agenda is as american as apple pie. We have been actively building a different kind of empire under the guise of spreading democracy at the point of a bayonet or by the threat of economic terrorism. Neocon agenda is as imperial as it gets these days.


yeah, the bush doctrine really is destructive and conservatism has taken a real hit--
(that is why al-queada hasn't been able to function in the US since 911; the republicans OWN the house, the senate, the oval office, the supreme court, the military, and about 90% of America's business; -out of time- and so on and so forth.)

writer is in left-field

Don't forget the "total destruction" Bush has caused on the Supreme Court by replacing left-leaning ideologues, moving that institution back towards a more mainstream, conservative, and originalist orientation.

And the opening of doors to many more conservative (and venerable) minorities in leadership positions (witness Condoleezza Rice, for example).

And President Bush’s foreign-policy influence is supposedly shrinking??? Witness even France, of all countries, warning Iran about nuclear WMD!!! Not to mention the removal of two brutal regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But this is nothing new for President Bush. He favors letting his opposition continually underestimate him. And a President who is Pro-life, pro-family, anti-terror, anti-high taxes, and visibly Christian, will probably continue to succeed as long his opposition engages only in hate-speech (comparisons to Nazis?) but offers no viable alternative. And frankly, is there really a good alternative to these values?

The funny thing is that none of these things are neo-conservative. They only seem far right because the left has gone…well…so far left! America is generally pro-life, pro-family, anti-terror, etc. Strange, this works for me!

Response to Fukuyama

Anyone intersted in carrying out the debate actually contained in the article can go see this response.

Good excerpt

I liked that excerpt too. I think this line points to something many Americans don't realize:
"How are such institutions going to rebuild good faith and actual good works?"

Most Americans don't realize that many people around the world don't trust us. They discount this as "anti-Americanism" without reflecting for one second on our actions in the world and their effect.

Like it or not, America (more specically the school of the Americas) has messed around with South America too much. Our immediate interests haved damaged our long term interests in that region.

But this issue isn't isolated to South America. We must show the world our dedication to good works. We must demonstrate the ethical principles that make this country great. We should show the world that we want to prosecute terrorists and shut down the global terrorist infrastructure through transparent international efforts that operate within the bounds of international laws (current and future).

The neoconservatives were right about one thing, ethically principles must guide the use of US power. Their biggest problem was to think of US power in terms of military action only.

Procecution by international law

I think the main obstacle to prosecuting terrorism right now is the lack of international law capable of prosecuting terrorists that hide in one country, commit crimes in another, receive money from another, etc. etc.

This is something missing from Fukuyama's piece. He doesn't seem to acknowledge that the global problem of spreading democracy and human rights depends on global institutions. It's an idea laid out by Etzioni better than anyone I've seen.

Here is one of his papers. This is a guy who understands the threat of terrorism and takes it seriously.

(His site has a strange proliferation of question marks, ignore them and look at the articles in the section "On the War on Terrorism"

Haiti and US Doctrine

The US has done pretty well with Haiti under the Bush administration as opposed to the Clinton administration, which reinstated Aristide who was overthrown two years ago (for the second time). The US has no compelling interests in Haiti other than the prevention of illegal immigration to the US. Right now, most operations in Haiti are UN-sanctioned peacekeeping, and their recent elections, however flawed, were in no way influenced directly by the United States government.
Haiti has a history of internal turmoil no matter what party is in power in the US, and I think it's unfair to blame the latest turn of events on Bush, Clinton, or anyone else in the US gov't.

No arguement here

Right on Kopite...republicans do OWN the house, the senate, the oval office and the supreme court....all bought and paid for by that 90% of America's businesses you mentioned (though I would love to see where you get that figure). When you have industry and government exert the kind of total control you speak of we actually have a name for is called nazism. You remember reading about that, I am sure.

Pre-emptive war certainly took a hit

The Iraq war, as it stands, is the Bush doctrine at work. Regime change resulted in a failed state and a terrorist breeding ground. The administration is currently rewriting the National Security Strategy, I guarantee you that there will be significant changes to it.

In 10 years or so we will see how the GOP is really affected by their want of pre-emptive wars.

Nice discussion of that

Nice discussion of that article. I particularly liked the following excerpt:

"There is little trust in Latin America for the NED, especially given that it played the front role for the CIA in the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002, not to mention a whole string of other shenanigans. How are such institutions going to rebuild good faith and actual good works? "Outsiders can't 'impose' democracy..." but we should use instruments with well-known pedigrees in promoting precisely America's preferred forms of government as the new reformed tools?"

Anti-terror? So some people

Anti-terror? So some people are pro-terror? And these people would be, I'm guessing, liberals? Since we love terror, and all.

prosecuting terrorists

"We should show the world that we want to prosecute terrorists..."

Unfortunately, we are harboring a terrorist right now named Posada Carriles who bombed a Cuban Airliner and killed 73 people in the 70's. If we want to prosecute terrorists we should extradite him to Venezuela with whom we have an extradition treaty. What we've proved however is that we care nothing about terrorism except as a pillow word title to justify any intervention in a nation's affairs in order to bring about economic submission.

Dumb Donkey, Brains are for Republicans

Pull up a list of donors for the republican party and for Bush's last presidential campaign. Then pull up a list of donors for the democratic party and Kerry's failed presidential bid. You'll see a bunch of the same corporations on both lists. Why? Because smart business people manage their risk as best as possible, and having influence on EITHER side is good.

If you want to use sensational terms like nazism to try and prove your point, you'll only prove to the world that you are in fact a dumb donkey. Let me help you out with that:

Nazism - a form of socialism featuring racism and expansionism and obedience to a strong leader [ source ]

Sounds more like what Democrats believe than the Republicans if you ask me.

US influence in Haiti

True there is often turmoil in Haitian politics, but the latest coup was likely entirely US backed. Guns sent by Bolton to the Dominican Republic end up in rebel hands... USAID/NED/AFL-CIO funding ends up entirely in the minority oppositions hands... Aristide is escorted (or kidnapped as he claims) out of the country by US marines... etc.

The coup was carried out by a very small number of rebels and had we the interests of democracy in mind, it would have been very easy to send a couple hundred troops to keep calm the "thugs" (using Powell's words) at bay. There's a lot of evidence that the US actively worked against Aristide in Haiti, opposed to the official policy of supporting him.

The US does have compelling interests in Haiti, including the apparel industry and a market for our farm products such as rice. When we helped Aristide back into power last time we forced him to open his markets to our cheap rice, forcing all rice farmers in Haiti out of business.

The prevention of immigration to the US is in direct opposition to recognized international law which recognizes the rights of those politically persecuted to seek asylum in a foreign country. On the other hand, immigrants during Aristide's rule were welcome as are Cuban immigrants. Now that our guys are in power we turn off the immigration faucet again.

The recent elections were a blow to the US backed opposition since the poor in Haiti claimed victory again.


actually, it was all taken this way via elections.
let's see, approximately 51,000,000 people voted Bush (more gross votes than any other president in history has ever won).

you're a nazi vegor. liberals are nazis. they're the ones who want to take away rights and oppress people. gun rights, property rights (via taxes etc), equality rights (affirmative action), in fact--the very right to LIFE (abortion). i can picture you right now marching around with your little hitler's youth knife attacking christians, conservatives, families (because of their values), and virtually everyone else who has any common sense at all (aka NON LIBERALS).


indeed, preemptive war was a massive failure in iraq
-yeah, free elections for the first time in 50 years
-a coalition government of sunnis, shiites, kurds, and others for the first time ever
-no government sponsored gassing or mass torchering of the innocent
-the absolute guarantee that saddam hussein will never be a threat to the United States and/or ANYONE else EVER again
and so on and so forth

Nazism - a form of socialism

Nazism - a form of socialism featuring racism and expansionism and obedience to a strong leader

Sounds more like what Democrats believe than the Republicans if you ask me.

How do you figure? Seems to me like the pot calling the kettle black.

liberals are nazis. they're

liberals are nazis. they're the ones who want to take away rights and oppress people.

Yep, those liberals that support the "Patriot Act" that robs us of rights. Those liberals that invade a country, defend their actions even though all their reasoning fell through, and have an active military presence in said country, those people-oppressing liberals.

gun rights, property rights (via taxes etc), equality rights (affirmative action), in fact--the very right to LIFE (abortion).

Gun rights are dumb to argue about. Libs and conservatives want the same thing: no guns in the hands of criminals. Property rights via taxes etc? That's pretty weak. Equality rights? I believe it was the good conservatives who believe(d?) blacks and women are inferior.

i can picture you right now marching around with your little hitler's youth knife attacking christians, conservatives, families (because of their values), and virtually everyone else who has any common sense at all (aka NON LIBERALS).

Sensationalism at it's best. Who invoked Godwin?

failed, yes

I'm sure your attitude would be different if you were an iraq civilian who lived in war zone for the past 3 years.

"-yeah, free elections for the first time in 50 years"
Free? Most canidates couldn't campaign in public or get their message out. Elections are a good element in a safe and democratic society but a safe and democratic society can't be reduced to merely having elections.
"-a coalition government of sunnis, shiites, kurds, and others for the first time ever"
If that coalition brings peace and stability rather than contention we will all be very happy. But the infiltration of militias into the Iraqi security forces isn't a good sign. Calls for independence in the Kurdish North isn't a good sign (for that matter, Kirkuk itself is hardly a good sign)
"-no government sponsored gassing or mass torchering of the innocent"
No torturing? Wow, what Iraq do you have in mind:,6903,1520136,00.html
Pictures (NSFW)

"-the absolute guarantee that saddam hussein will never be a threat to the United States "
Saddam was no threat to the United States. He was contained and very weak.

If you don't believe me then you should wait a few years to see where Iraq is going. You have a population that has suffered greatly, widening sectarian lines, and a climate of extreme anti-American sentiment. I can't imagine a standard so low that it could call this success.

Oh, Kopite, knock it off.

Oh, Kopite, knock it off.

Haiti coup

Actually, if you're interested in the timeline for the coup:
Late in 2003 (October, if memory serves), a man named Amiot Metayer was found with his eyes and his heart cut out and shot out in the slums of Gonaives. Amiot Metayer HAD been a an Aristide supporter until he dissented with Aristide over the legalization of voodoo as a state religion. Aristide, for those who don't know, is a defrocked priest. Amiot Metayer was the leader of one of the multitudes of street gangs rampant throughout Haiti, though his was admittedly well-organized; it was known informally as "The Cannibal Army."
Early in 2004 (late January/early February), the Gonaives police station was burned, and its weapons were looted by an angry mob formed by elements of the Cannibal Army. Traveling south through Haiti, they seized the major cities along the coast (Port de Paix was one) until they broached the suburbs of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, at which point the threat was leveled against Aristide: Leave peacefully, or we will kill you forcefully. At that point, Aristide's bodyguards, provided by a freelance American organization (mercenary would be the polite term for it), decided to depart, and the US embassy gave Aristide an offer to fly him to a country of his choice, for which the US would guarantee safe passage. Aristide thus went on to the Central African Republic, a Francophone nation where he would fit in well.
And the rest of the story? The man found leading the mobs... was Butteur Metayer, Amiot Metayer's brother. Butteur suspected Aristide was complicit in his brother's death, and used his brother as a martyr in order to gain his way to the capital. So while the coup may have fomented a drastic change in the nation, the coup began over a man's vengeanec for his dead brother.
And US immigration policy under Aristide wasn't peachy either. Surely you can recollect the freighter that ran aground in Florida in late 2002 (while Aristide was still in power), carrying several hundred Haitian immigrants. Ten were granted asylum here (those who had a record of opposing Aristide), and the rest were sent home to Haiti. Never in history, except under Duvalier's regime, were Haitians as welcome as Cubans on US soil.
The US reinstated Aristide in 1994 after a military-backed junta tossed him out in 1991. During the 1994 action, Raoul Cedras was exiled, and his second-in-command, a war criminal indicted in absentia at trials held in 1995, disappeared. This man, named Duperval, finally surfaced in 2004... running a ferry at Disney World and living with his family in the MetroWest secion of Orlando, Florida. Clinton had granted him asylum in exchange for his assistance in the 1994 coup. Bush extradited him back to Haiti to face the music for ordering the deaths of 30 individuals in a Port-au-Prince slum in 1992.

American politics regarding rice? Haiti has been deforested for a long time, and in order to keep people fed, the UN was compelled to buy rice from other countries in order to give it to Haiti. Were it NOT for Haiti opening its markets to US rice, it's very likely a lot of people would have starved.
The elections in Haiti were in no way a blow to the US-- the UN has promised to maintain a long-term presence in Haiti. As long as Haiti isn't teetering on the brink of civil war, it will serve US interests, since the only interests there are economic.

And incidentally, the guns being carried by the rebels were AKM's and M-16A2's-- weaponry imported from South America and stolen from the UN, respectively, in addition to what the rebels looted from the police stations.

The only person supporting Aristide's claim that he was kidnapped is US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a black representative notorious for race-baiting and anti-authoritarian views.

My conclusion: The people of Haiti are better off, since the coup sparked a more intense UN presence there, which will in turn lead to less likelihood of civil war in the future, and the US is better off, since the resulting stability serves American economic interests in the nation and will exert less drag on states like Florida, which have to bear the greater part of the illegal immigrant burden.

-a coalition government of

-a coalition government of sunnis, shiites, kurds, and others for the first time ever

Unfortunately, this is no longer true:

Iraq's most powerful Sunni Muslim party quit talks to form a new government Thursday after reprisal attacks for the bombing of an important Shiite mosque.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called on his countrymen to extinguish the "flames of division" and President Bush denounced Wednesday's mosque attack as "an evil act." A U.S. military spokesman said the bombing clearly bears "the signature" of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

I"ll invoke a rule TreyMoney has mentioned

As the time spent in an on-line debate increases, the likelihood that someone will make an unfounded comparison to Nazis rises to 1.

I don't see any concentration camps, gas chambers, gun registration schemes, government-funded race identification (except for that regarding affirmative action, endorsed by the Dems), people mysteriously disappearing, forced religious cooperation with the state, or any other of the multitudes of actions the Nazis took in order to take control of the country.

Don't say I live in a Nazi state. As an American, I resent that, as I imagine many others on this board would as well. Find a more apt-- and perhaps intellectually and empirically supported-- conclusion to jump to.

Haiti coup

There are quite a few holes in your story RC. In the first place, there are a lot more who believe Aristide's claim of being kidnapped than you claim. Maxine Waters is his biggest proponent, but the entire black congressional caucus supports Aristide's claims as does the entire organization of CARICOM, the group of Carribean nations closest to Haiti. Every single country belonging to CARICOM still doesn't recognize the US appointed government and has called for the unconditional return of Aristide. Jesse Jackson is another prominent figure that supports Aristide's claims.

The private security outfit, Steele Industries, was prohibited by the US government from sending an extra 25 men to protect the president the day before the coup.
Franz Gabriel, the private bodyguard of Aristide also states that the removal of Aristide from Haiti was a kidnapping.
The Metayer guy was just one of the leaders out of a group of thugs, many of whom were freed from jail by their thug friends. Guy Philipe was also one of the leaders and is a suspected drug trafficker who was trained in the USA and at one point was on the CIA payroll. Louis-Jodel Chamblain is a convicted murderer and one of the chief orchestrators of the violence in early 2004. Other rebel leaders were trained in the USA in spite of their record of terrorist acts.

Open funding of the opposition (which has very little public support in Haiti) by the US thru the USAID/NED and AFL-CIO is further evidence that the US was against the democratic will of the people of Haiti. It is interesting how in this last election, out of the leading opposition guys, the highest vote getter got only about 12%. Luckily for the Haitian people, Preval appeared out of nowhere and swept the elections. He is of course an Aristide prototype though he has bowed down to the IMF and privatization more than Aristide did. Nonetheless, he is looked at as a champion of the poor by Haiti's poor and is seen as a poor substitute for what the US wanted in Haiti: A leader who would bow down to big business and the IMF so that US businesses could get richer in Haiti. Now Preval has stated that he will allow Aristide to return to Haiti in spite of the USA's strongly worded position opposed to Aristide's return. Aristide has said he will return as soon as possible and refuses to rule out future political activity. Preval's victory comes in spite of the interim government's position of keeping the major party, Lavalas, as much out of democracy as possible. No Lavalas leaders were allowed to run for office. Father Jean-Juste, a very popular figure in Haiti among the poor would surely have won the elections if he had been allowed to run. Instead he was jailed on trumped up charges (first on no charges at all) and kept in prison in spite of some sort of leukemia that has afflicted him, that needed urgent attention (he was finally allowed to be treated in Miami after a huge international outcry). All of the major leaders of Lavalas were jailed or killed and the US didn't even let out a peep of protest.

If by your mention of Duperval you are trying to show me that democrats are as bad as republicans in this thing, or even worse, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am not a subscriber to either party. They both have horrible track records in dealing with Haiti.

After checking up on my assertions of the guns the rebels used, it looks like I was mistaken. Though I'm sure that they didn't get any high powered weaponry from looting police stations as the police had only small weapons at their disposal.

However, Bolton apparently did ship a lot of weapons to Haiti illegally in 2004 after the coup, in spite of a 13 year arms embargo against Haiti.

As far as the rice issue goes, you may be correct, I am not sure on that point, however, if we are worried about Haitians starving we (the US government) would not have withheld 500,000,000$ in aid to this poorest country in the hemisphere over petty irregularities in the 2000 elections. This amounts to economic terrorism when every dollar counts so much in Haiti.

You should probably read the New York Times article that came out on 1/29/06 that really did some good investigative reporting into back-room support by the US government for opposition groups and the rebel coup. It is more than 7 days old so it will cost, but it is very educational and eye opening.

My conclusion: The people of Haiti have suffered foreign intervention in their democracy again and are sufferring very much right now. Political jailings are commonplace and the atrocities of the rebels far outweigh anything Aristide has ever been accused of. It will take a long time for Haiti to recover from this mess and I'm not sure Preval will be the best man for the job, but we shall see how things pan out. I also stand by my assertion that Haiti is a great example of the hypocrisy of Bush Doctrine since the Bush administration has been actively working against democracy in Haiti the last two years.

But wait RC...

We do have concentration camps (jails), gas chambers (for executing people in jails), gun registration schemes (in a lot of states, which tend to be blue in nature, you must register your gun), there is that whole affirmative action thing, we are forced into accepting an anti-religion (homosexuality, abortion, etc.)

We must be living in a Nazi controlled country... except vegor got the parties wrong.

Well, RC, I agree with you,

Well, RC, I agree with you, at least.

But wait RC...

We do have concentration camps (prison torture camps), death penalty (for executing handicapped people and minorities), gun problems (in a lot of states, which tend to be red in nature, you can kill anyone for just about any reason, see the Yoshi Hattori case), there is that racism and sexism evident in our culture (which the Republicans repeatedly ignore, despite consistent facts that show otherwise), we are forced into accepting self-righteous judges' religion (ten commandments in the courtroom despite separation of church and state, etc.)

We must be living in a Nazi controlled country... except dJake got the parties wrong.


Appreciated. I haven't had to Heil Bush or Heil Cannon or Heil Hatch lately, so I think we're still a safe distance away from Naziism, contrary to whatever Chicken Little shrill-cry of the day adherents may say.


if our prisons really are concentration "prison torture camps" where CRIMINALS ARE TAKEN (not the innocent), then we're doing something right. prisons aren't about TLC because of "society's" creation of bad products, they are also about PUNISHMENT.

death penalty for "executing handicapped people and minorities"? (Laughing like a maniac) you believe this? we execute cold blooded killers (tookie, mcvae, etc)--if we were executing "handicapped people" ted kennedy would have been hung ages ago.

gun control is wrong. constitutional right and common sense. (see FBI Uniform Crime reports and related data on CCW's for any state that has them legalized since 1988).

more racism and sexism? you mean like AFFIRMATIVE ACTION and TITLE IX? (round of applause for the liberals and their perpetuating racism and sexism--the message is, black people and women really aren't equal so we will have to give them special advantages and discriminate against white males--now that's left-wing-logic.)

oh yeah, the ten commandments...they'll certainly bring down a culture

liberalism=bullshit (i refuse to say nazism though)

You have no clue what you're talking about

Prison torture camps? What? Visit a prison in Mexico, and come back and tell me what a prison torture camp is. America has one of the lowest inmate-death-per-capita-due-to-non-natural causes rates of any developed country. And something else? If you don't want to get punished, DON'T BREAK THE LAW.
Gun problems? Wrong again. We have cultural problems, not gun problems. "In a lot of states, which tend to be red in nature, you can kill anyone for any reason?" Gimme a break. I am an NRA-certified rifle & shotgun instructor and a Utah CCW holder, and all I have to say is that that is blatantly laughable-- not to mention that a CCW (Permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon for those of you who are not acronym-savvy) holder is LESS likely to commit a gun crime than your average citizen and has, as a matter of fact, less likelihood of committing an unjustified shooting than a police officer!
As far as evidence of racism and sexism-- okay, your point? There are no more racist laws on the books. Everyone gets to pave his own road. If a few people want to be jerks and be racist and/or sexist, then the market can--and should-- punish them for it. But it's not the government's job to be regulating people's opinions, a point I'm sure you would not disagree with me on.
And I've never had a judge impose religion on me. He wants to hang the 10 Commandments in his courtroom? Fine. Just so long as he doesn't cite one as legal precedent, I frankly don't care. It's what we have an appeals process for, anyway.
And if you would care to debate any further, I would be happy to include some links with my next posting. But if you expect me to care about the sort of drivel you're posting, I would suggest you say something less pejorative, especially to your current country of residence.