Monday, October 17, 2005
Why some Dems are war hawks
From silly to stupid: now that Clinton and Biden have started their run for the White House (don’t believe me? check your mailbox for campaign fund solicitations from said folks), perhaps it’s time we started hounding them in re: their war hawk positions on “staying the course” in Iraq. It would be pretty fucked up if we bounce one war president only to have another one of the opposition party pop up to take his place. And while you’re at it, send The New York Time’s Tom Friedman a stink bomb or two; that idiot ought to go into hiding. Half of this shit is his fault.
If you’ve been tearing your hair out trying to understand why Democrats like Lieberman, Biden and Clinton have taken such un-progressive views on the continuing occupation of Iraq, you might want to pop over to The Nation and check out this article by Ari Berman on the “strategic class,” that group of pundits, hothouse thinkers and has-been academics who help shape Democratic foreign policy thinking.
As one example, Stephen Walt, a leading foreign policy expert and academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, says that "Brookings [Institute]was basically supportive of the war in Iraq. If Brookings is signing on to a major foreign policy initiative of a Republican Administration, that doesn't give the Democratic mainstream much room to mount a really forceful critique of the incumbent foreign policy." Much of Kerry's campaign platform--with its calls to add 40,000 troops to the military, preserve the doctrine of pre-emptive war and stay the course in Iraq--read as if it had been lifted verbatim from a Brookings strategy memo.
At the bottom of the pyramid are the liberal hawks in the punditocracy, figures like New Republic editor Peter Beinart, Time writer Joe Klein and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. These pundits, along with purely partisan outfits like the Democratic Leadership Council's Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), help to both set the agenda and frame the debate. The journalistic hawks churn out the agitprop that the more respectable think tanks turn into "serious" scholarship, some of which eventually becomes policy, or at least talking points, when adopted by the politicians.
Dinosaurs all; bloody-red-meat-eating dinosaurs, bound and determined to make the future into an Orwellian nightmare of perpetual warfare. Just because they say they’re Democrats doesn’t make it so. A war hawk is a war hawk, gentle readers, and very bad news for all concerned. Think Lyndon Johnson.