It’s no secret that Polimom disagrees profoundly with the neoconservative foreign policy approach. The audacious underlying assumptions — our unique system is best for everyone, the rest of the world is just waiting for us to come and help them into freedom and happiness, America will be safer if we re-make other countries in our own image, we have a moral right to preemptively attack other countries for their own good — appall me at the most fundamental level.
What’s been hard for me to understand is the people who support and embrace the neoconservative vision.
I’ve been short-sightedly making assumptions of my own: that because I recognized that inherent and immutable differences in regions, religions, histories, and cultures automatically rendered the neo-con philosophies fantastical, then supporters of their vision must therefore be interventionists who are intolerant and arrogant also.
I think I’ve been wrong with that assumption, and I apologize. Because what I think we actually have here is yet another failed utopian vision… and many ordinary, but well-meaning people have been lulled into a dream. It’s time to wake up now, folks — because your dream was actually a nightmare, and its architects are bailing out:
As Iraq slips further into chaos, the war’s neoconservative boosters have turned sharply on the Bush administration, charging that their grand designs have been undermined by White House incompetence. In a series of exclusive interviews, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, David Frum, and others play the blame game with shocking frankness. Target No. 1: the president himself.
Like Communism and Marxism, or even Libertarianism, Neoconservatism hinges on the vision of a newer, “better” society. This latest, however, isn’t underpinned by social or economic issues; the coin of this realm has been freedom, and its scope was global.
Recognizing the neocons as failed utopians — like Lenin, say, or Mao — has provoked an epiphany for Polimom; I can’t possibly over-emphasize how strongly this has affected my thinking.
After years of being angry at the neocons, I finally understand them. I’m still afraid of their hands in our government (and want them out and away), but I no longer think they’re deliberately evil. Instead, I see that they are idealists — zealots — with a terribly (and lethally) flawed philosophy that was exposed when they attempted to execute… and their supporters simply bought into the utopian dream.
Yes, the Bush administration botched — horribly — the Iraq misadventure. Absolutely, the buck stops with this president. But even if the Iraq war had been executed perfectly, the fundamental flaw in this latest utopian attempt would have been exposed.
The flaw is a simple, but insurmountable truth: societies everywhere reflect the individuals within them, and each is utterly unique. One cannot externally impose a value system or way of life that works in one society upon another… and certainly one cannot “force” freedom.
There is no utopia to be found on this neoconservative road, or any other. There never was.
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