July 27, 2008

Barack Attack

I've been watching the unfolding Obama campaign, and reading the constant whining from neocon-land, such as this, and combined with his undoubted eloquence and charisma, these put-downs make me want to like the guy. Plus which, as the Republican party has degenerated, in a two-party system, one tends to want to vote against the bad guys.

However, as much as I kind of like the guy, and would rather listen to his elevated platitudes than W's lateral /s/, I can't bring myself to support him.

Aside from his mechanical support for the whole social agenda and centralizing, egalitarian domestic politics of the left, his foreign policy is not the pansified surrender that the neocons suggest.

In fact, the "Citizen of the World" who wants us to be concerned with Burma, Darfur, Zimbabwe, and God knows where else, is a traditional liberal internationalist. He wants us to be concerned with the happiness and prosperity of everyone, everywhere, and to spend the money and send the military forces needed to make it happen. This view isn't very different from the militarized democratic messianism that W adopted after 9/11, except it's unmoored from realpolitik, from any sense of what the strategic interests of our country are. Iraq may have been a mistake, but at least there was a claim (partly false, of course) that it was of special concern because of oil and terrorism.

The Darfurs of the world have no such significance. Whether BHO makes any distinction between humanitarian concern and the national interest is not clear. What is clear is that he has not eschewed such quixotic nonsense as NATO expansion, the basing of troops in South Korea, and a monetary military commitment to an increasingly repulsive Israel, notwithstanding the paranoid rantings on contentions.

What Obama has on offer, then, is a more multilateral, touchy-feely version of Wilsonian interventionism. Such a policy will not spare us from more useless expenditures on foreign aid, more kowtowing to the corrupt UN, and more war.

Unless, of course, as Bush did in abandoning his aversion to "nation building," the man surprises us. I'd be the first to applaud.

Parenthetically, McCain, with his "Bomb, bomb, Iran" jokes and his anti-Russian stance, is a dangerous man. If I lived in a swing state, I might have to force myself to vote for Obama. I live in California, now a Dem. slam dunk. I can vote for Bob Barr without fear or guilt, and hope agaisnt hope that Obama is a Manchurian candidate for non-interventionism.

2 comments:

Graham said...

"What Obama has on offer, then, is a more multilateral, touchy-feely version of Wilsonian interventionism."

and hope agaisnt hope that Obama is a Manchurian candidate for non-interventionism."

It's the second one, grumpy. Although I don't think he's being secretive about it. I can't think of any circumstance wherein BO would intervene militarily anywhere in the world without a direct attack on the United States first. This is speculation on my part, but I think the candidate's demeanor evidences my view. What makes you think he'd be willing to intervene anywhere?

TK said...

Come on over to the dark side, G. You know you want to.