Democracy Arsenal

« The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler War | Main | "Bush Nostalgia" in the Middle East? »

April 13, 2010

Progressive Monopoly on Foreign Policy Virtue? Or Inanity?
Posted by David Shorr

In response to my Friday post on what distinguishes progressive and conservative foreign policy approaches, commenter Huitzil charged me with being overly harsh and simplistic in my characterization of conservatives. Pointing toward my calling the right-wing approach "lazy" because of its emphasis on making demands of others, rather than hashing out mutually agreeable solutions, Huitzil replied:

This is just silly. It's just a lukewarm demonization of the opponent. It's therefore just a short step for you to arrive at true demonization. Why not just go all-out and call the "right" "capitalist running dogs," "kulaks," or whatever? Why even bother to analyze anything when you say you know that the "right wing" is lazy, "zero sum," and otherwise unworthy of any serious thought?

And then quoting my 20-words-or-less version of foreign policy progressivism:

It doesn't matter that you love to preen about your desire for world peace, or "working together with others to address problems, reduce conflict and abuse, and increase peace, prosperity, and empowerment. (your bold)" That's just fluff. As much as you pride yourself on your enlightened morality, it sounds no different than the candidates for Homecoming Queen saying they want to work for world peace. At least they're beauties and they're just in High School. What's your excuse?

So according to Huitzil's reading, I have:  linked conservatives to the devil, surrounded progressives with angels, and in doing so, presented ideas that are nothing more than inane moralistic fluff. To start with, I will readily admit that my recent posts on these themes are a two-dimensional caricature of foreign policy conservatives. As harsh as they are, however, they are a completely fair characterization of the critique that Right's leading lights have been offering -- very loudly and with drumbeat repitition.

I'll say it for the Nth time, I am eager to engage in the kind of cordial, healthy, open-minded debate that Huitzil calls for. As I see it, though, the lines of the argument coming from the right call for firm rebuttal, rather than reasoning together. Let me once again rehearse the other side of the debate -- reiterating, to be crystal clear, that these are not the views of most or many conservatives:

  1. Pax Americana is all you need to know. The only lens through which to view the world is American strength and the need for others to conform to America's wishes.
  2. The only good dictatorship is a regime-changed dictatorship. We don't make deals with evil; we eliminate evil.
  3. You can never be too tough. Any policy that falls short of a tougher alternative undermines the security of the United States. Conversely, acts of toughness never have detrimental costs that outweight the benefits.
  4. American moral authority is inherent. We're the good guys, and any regret or contrition makes us look weak.
  5. The United States does not have to explain its actions to anyone. Any foreign policy that shows consideration to interests or concerns other than our own is a betrayal of America's hermetically sealed constitutional system.

My question for anyone who's been paying attention to recent commentary and the statements of opposition political leaders: does the above outline seem very different from what you've been hearing and reading?

In this light, I don't think my criticism of the critics is unfairly demonizing, or that my short summary of progressivism's strategic aims is so shallow or inane. First, the most important words in my little statement are "working together with others;" with the way the far-right portrays compromise as appeasement and diplomacy as the expression of US demands, they leave no room for meaningful international cooperation. Second, the reason I counterposed the "increase" and "reduce" parts is because US foreign policy needs to be more than fending off threats -- it also needs to improve conditions, which, by the way, means less threats. But as I say, critics of current policy have collapsed the debate down to the threats part.

Third, and related, my formulation points toward a broad, ambitious, and inclusive set of US strategic aims and interests. I expect the forthcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review to explain how the US plans to increase peace and prosperity and reduce conflict and abuse, but I do claim that the goals are matters of substantive debate, rather than beauty pageant fluff. After all, I remember during the 2008 campaign when conservaties mocked candidate Obama was that he "claimed an American national security interest in the well-being of every child in the world."

Indeed, it would be good to have a healthy civil debate among conservatives and progressives on how to accomplish these things. I don't claim there's a partisan monopoly on these ideas or ideals, just that in the present political environment, only one side of the debate is speaking up for the need to build common cause with the rest of the world. In closing, let me resurrect a favorite quotation that states the strategic aim of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's initiative on transformational diplomacy:

to work with our many partners around the world, to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that will respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.

I can get behind that.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Progressive Monopoly on Foreign Policy Virtue? Or Inanity?:


We don't take the luxury route, just playing crazy exaggeration and assertive personality. In addition we break the traditional and innovative stainless steel bracelet, stainless steel rings and so on. Our stainless steel jewelry has great stage effects. The color, texture and design are very fashion. The breakthrough in molding achieves the strong sense of art stainless steel jewelry. It experiences a foreign land and customs, tracking the trend of the international fashion accessories. Our company welcomes the large stainless steel jewelry wholesalers to e-mail consultation.

GHD IV mini styler has a safety feature that gives you peace of mind, by turning itself off if it is left unattended for 30 minutes. The unique digital technology of GHD hair straightener means that the temperature is automatically controlled even quicker for even better styling.

Creating tight curls, flicks and waves as well as the perfect straight. The ideal styling tool for urban angels with short hair, men's hair and fringes.

price includes: ghd IV salon styler,ghd purple roll bag.

product features:
Auto sleep mode(A built in safety feature that gives you peace of mind by turning off if the ghd IV styler is left unallended for 30 minutes.)
Universal voltage(So that you can use your styler in any country without an adaptor.)
Advanced ceramic heaters(The ultimate heating technology for the ultimate shine and style creation.)
All our products are cheap,if you want to find cheap ghd,come here and that is right.

If you want to find GHD hair products,you can write GHD straightener,GHD hair straighteners,GHD straightners,GHD hair,straighteners GHD in google browse.

On this point of view the President had however been politically sound in his judgements.And the government organized a number of foreign trade corporations under the People's Commissariat of Foreign Trade where monopoly over a specific group of commodities.

It is really a great sharing.As far as I know Wilsonians had no monopoly on virtue; the Jeffersonian democratic creed not only competed with their moralism but warned against its excesses, fearing that such interventions could become a threat to the foundations of democracy.

Mickie and Michelle lock up for a bit, all before Beth nails Mickie in the head with a killer stinger. Awkward, but really cool! The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? Wrong. While Michelle stood there for a second, pondering the many possibilities of shoe shopping and having some girl talk with her new bestie (you know, instead of actually taking advantage of the moment and pinning Mickie), Beth decides to level the playing field by sending Michelle flat on her ass, too. Beth leaves the ring with her usual snarky smirk, as Layla quickly accepts a pinfall via Mickie, just about as quickly as she entered the ring, telling Michelle she could finish the match. Great. You can walk to the next arena, Layla. But you’ll still look fabulous.

One holiday, they made links of london an appointment to shopping. They happened to meet the discount of the links of London store, there was just one bracelet left to be on sale, but the price was also very high to links of london jewellery others, even many of wanted to buy it. However, these two ladies could afford, and both of them wanted it, but there was only one.

Birkenstock was Made in Germany since 1774 . Check out our Birkenstock sandals and Birkenstock shoes including the Birkenstock gizeh,at the lowest regular outlet prices, free shipping and when you put on Birkenstocks. you will feel very comfortable.

Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading

It is really a great sharing.As far as I know Wilsonians had no monopoly on virtue; the Jeffersonian democratic creed not only competed with their moralism but warned against its excesses, fearing that such interventions could become a threat to the foundations of democracy.

seslisohbet siteleri arasında ekol bir adres sestonum hemen sohbette başlamak icin sestonum 'tıklayınız..! seslisohbet ve seslichat adreslerinin gözdesi hemen tıklayarak seslisohbet yapmaya başlaya bilirsiniz..!


Türkiyenin ilk Hiphop Sitesi Hiphop, Gekko G Fan Sitesi Gekko G, Mask animasyon

Are you fighting in Final Fantasy XIV for FFXIV Gil or Final Fantasy XIV Gil?
Can you suffer yourself being called newbie in FFXIV Gil game?
Are you seeking unofficial Buy FFXIV Gil cheats or Final Fantasy XIV guides in order to make Final Fantasy XIV Gil faster?
Can you get millions of Cheap FFXIV Gil in one day?
Even if you know how to farm Buy Final Fantasy XIV Gil you have to prepare enough Final Fantasy XIV Power Leveling first to buy height class Final Fantasy XIV Items, to upgrade your Final Fantasy XIV characters.
Buy aika gold
Cheap aika gold
Then why not Buy FFXIV Gil from us?
In Final Fantasy XIV it's the fastest way FF14 Gil,for you to get rich. We are online 24 hours a day ready and 7 days one week to power up your FFXIV Gil accounts with FFXIV Gil. Here is the best place for the Final Fantasy XIV Online players to buy your Final Fantasy XIV Gil.
We are the professional website in FFXIV GIL sale.FFXIV GIL here,We are professional FFXIV Power Leveling online. We update price every single day to make sure we are the lowest in the market.(we don't compare price with scam sites which uses unbelievable low price to deceive.)
Our slogan:Cheapest price, Fastest delivery, Best service!
In the 2 years we are in this field , WWW.GMMMO.COM built many business with tens of thousands of customers. They are very satisfied with our service.So if you want to get a log of Cheap FFXIV Gil ,no doubt ,come to our website to buy. Our customer service is ready for you on line now!(WWW,GM MMO,COM)

Very good blog, I got a lot of things! If you need to watch, please click on my name, visit our website, where you need to be able to find watch and look forward to your visit! Thank you!

nike air maxs
nike air max zapatos
nike air max Schuhe pondering the many possibilities of shoe shopping and having some girl talk with her new bestie (you know, instead of actually taking advantage of the moment and pinning Mickie),
nike zapatos
nike Schuhe

pondering the many possibilities of shoe shopping and having some girl talk with her new bestie (you know, instead of actually nike air maxs
nike air max zapatos
nike air max Schuhe
nike zapatos
nike Schuhe taking advantage of the moment and pinning Mickie), Beth decides to level the playing field by sending Michelle flat on her ass, too. Beth leaves the ring with her usual snarky smirk, as Layla quickly accepts a pinfall via Mickie

Who doesn’t want to ugg boots clearance have a good future? It’s something everyone desires. But, for that, you must first accept that your future is your responsibility. The one who determines whether or not you have a good future is you ugg boots outlet. Don’t expect the circumstances or someone else to take care of it for you. It’s you who must take action ugg boots clearance.

With that understood, what should we do to have a good future ugg boots clearance?

I believe that one important thing you should do is investing in your future. Investing in your future means making some sacrifices in the present to reap rewards later ugg boots clearance. It means investing your time and money in something that might not give you immediate return, but which could give you tremendous value later. It also means preparing for the uncertainties of the future ugg boots clearance.

Sadly, many people don’t do it ugg boots clearance. They only think about the present. Therefore, when something unexpected happens, they aren’t ready and get into a difficult situation. For example, many people just do the same job with the same skills all the time. They don’t improve themselves and prepare for future changes. They neither learn new skills nor expand their knowledge. Then, when the situation changes, their skills are no longer relevant and they lose their job ugg boots outlet.

Salut, où avez-vous obtenu cette information peut vous s'il vous pla?t appuyer ce avec une certaine preuve ou vous pouvez dire quelques bonnes références que moi et d'autres apprécieront vraiment. Cette information est vraiment bon et je vais dire sera toujours utile si nous essayer sans risques. Donc, si vous pouvez le sauvegarder. Cela nous aidera vraiment à tous. Et cela pourrait apporter un peu de bonne réputation pour vous.

Ce blog est certainement excellent. Excellent travail. Pour cette raison, je jouis de maintien de retour à la weblog.

Hi, where did you get this information can you please support this with some proof or you may say some good reference as I and others will really appreciate. This information is really good and I will say will always be helpful if we try it risk free. So if you can back it up. That will really help us all. And this might bring some good repute to you.

Very well written post.I would like to say the US has not a foreign policy which is followed the ideas. เช่าคอนโด คอนโด ขายคอนโด ซื้อคอนโด

corruption, oblivious to all of the death, destruction, and sufferin

Thanks for explaining everything very clearly. This keeps me informed about the topic. ปลวก กำจัดปลวก ปลวกขึ้นบ้าน

These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

i am very glad to study your article.

I really liked your article and I shared with my friends in my facebook account ..

This is the most smashing trick I’ve come across ever! Thanks a lot for sharing.


Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Guest Contributors
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use