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3:21AM

Neocons are Alive and Kicking

chineseUN.png

If you thought the neocons were vanquished, disappearing along with the Bush-Cheney administration, better think again. Their mindset still animates most of what the GOP offers in opposition to President Barack Obama's magical apology tour. For while the president won a Nobel Peace Prize for his heartfelt mea maxima culpa, Charles Krauthammer & Co. see no reason to surrender America's two-decades-and-counting "era of maximum dominance" to the Chinese simply because Beijing holds the pink slip on our national economy.

Continue reading today's New Rules column at WPR.

Reader Comments (8)

My answer to this question from your article.

"So why is the Republican right, and the still-sizeable chunk of America that it represents, so scared about arriving at this point in history?"

I don't speak for Republican right, but I'm classify myself in that group.

1) It seems that Obama wants to spread our wealth to others around the world, and NOT spread the basis of our wealth; liberty, freedom and democracy. America's value to the world is liberty not our riches. Tom, to your point, maybe political comes after economic liberty. But Obama wants to jump right to economic equity without doing the hard work of liberty. AWG is the vehicle for this strategy.

2) Obama and the Left domestically, will make our businesses less competitive by adding heaping costs to doing business in America. This is a HUGE issue. Minimum wage, health taxes, carbon taxes, VAT and who knows what else. All these taxes come from his ideas of spreading the wealth and collectivism that is deeply a part of the Left's ideology.

Even while we must face the fact of globalization, we are being hampered by old tired ideas from the turn of the last century, even as China runs away from those ideas after 6 decades trying to implement them and had to turn to economic liberty and free enterprise to prosper.

I don't see China as a threat, but our future is our choice. Once hampered by wealth transfer or one enhanced by wealth creation.
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoe Michels
As usual, much food for thought in this article.One particular was the reference to China's success as a single party system leading to "no flowering of democracy...this isn't a WW IV win".Once again it got me thinking about American's total obsession with democracy as the ONLY way to achieve our ultimate goals and how offensive & threatening this probably seems to others who may be trying to achieve the same ultimate goals but in their own way.
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElmer Humes
The Right operates via ideology and a belief in ideology over actuality, as the last commenter demonstrated. Abstracts die hard, which might partly explain the persistence of the neocons, although, to be more accurate, abstracts were never living any way. The peoples in the developing world, more so than generally in America, must live by the concrete; the concrete will always be a greater motivator to them than the abstracts of "liberty, freedom and democracy". You can't eat liberty, dress in freedom, and live sheltered in democracy -- although the neocons and the Right in general would have us believe this is possible.

BTW Tom, your article expresses once again the 5GW of your 5GW dream:

1. "First, globalization has clearly grown beyond our ability to control it -- just like the Internet. And turning to our European friends for a presumed "great power quorum" simply no longer works, as evidenced by the recent global financial crisis."

This speaks to the necessity for managing the larger environments (your Grand Strategy) because, quite simply put, things are much too complex for one Superpower or any single entity to control outcomes effectively.

Thus,

2. "Worse, as we instinctively continue playing bodyguard to globalization's advance, our many instruments of national security are inevitably drawn into all manner of broken states and off-grid neighborhoods, because that's where rising Asia's ravenous resource demands are driving globalization's further expansion."

We are drawn there, but if we continue to believe we are The One, and try to go-it-alone, we will fail. Put another way, we need to accept the fact that other actors in the world are going to have significant impact on the world whether we like it or not and whether we stand in their way or not. This includes China, and it may also include various hostile actors as well if we don't preempt them (with China's aid and the aid of others.)

Best:

3. "To tread this virtuous path requires accepting the task of nation-building -- pure and simple. This is counterinsurgency writ large:"

Yes, that's the simple, directly stated formulation of the 5GW effort you have been proposing for some time now.

But the poor neocons, who so love "liberty, freedom and democracy" with a surface love denigrate those abstracts with every white paper and public oration. They believe these abstracts are things imposed upon a people rather than formulated -- i.e., rather than taking form -- from the ground-up. If, otoh, leaders would just listen to you Tom, and we could move forward on the work you have so long proposed, the safe harbors created would give the peoples in those areas the time to build "liberty, freedom and democracy" according to their own needs and per their own required dimensions. Alas.
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCurtis Gale Weeks
I agree with Joe on economic policy, because what the Left of the Democratic party wants in the US simply did not work in Europe. They seriously believe that increasing corporate taxes and increasing income taxes "for the rich" will enable them to expand medicare to all - Pete Stark's "Americare" legislation, and expand government in most facets of US society (They are not "for the people" as much as they are for the Government jobs interest).

But this type of "spreading the wealth" socialistic policy ruins economies. So you have countries like Ireland with a top 40% income tax (right on track with ours if you include state taxes), 12% corporate taxes, and high consumption taxes that hurts the poor the most. It is not giving to the poor! but it is necessary to maintain these programs.

The ignorance is staggering. Lefties talk about France's "universal healthcare" in the same terms as our fat third party payer plans in the US, conveniently forgetting the 30% coinsurance in France (It's a public good - tragedy of the commons!) and the addons for the wealthier people!
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPetrer
"Why is the Republican right, and a sizeable chunck of America that it represents, so scared about ariving at this point in history?"

Tom answered the question w/ his next point. Because "globalization has clearly grown beyond our ability to control it." Accepting this and veering from the tired old idea of protectionism is what is needed. But old habits die hard.
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteven J.
Hi Tom,

You seem to gravitate to Charles lately whenever you mention neo-cons, but I have yet to see any other references to quotes and articles from anyone besides him. There may be some solid basis to assume Charles' thinking is subscribed to by everyone in the neocon bucket, but it is a little too easy. And who are the Republican hawks you refer to?

I believe all your points are on target, but seems like you mainly just have a beef with Charles and not enough time to delve into his Company.
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShawn in Melbourne
I focus on Charles because he gives the most coherent and vigorous presentation--his particular gift which I appreciate immensely even as I sometimes disagree vehemently. Kagan makes similar arguments, just not as well (although I like his writing the most out of that crew, as I have often noted). The rest just sputter on so (e.g., Kristol, Rove, Ajami) without the coherence or clarity, so elevating them to Charles' level seems a waste of time.
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett
Thanks for your response, Tom. I agree that Charles is the most articulate of the group and, relative to the names you mention, more appropriate to treat as the figurehead for dissecting neo-conservative arguments and positions.
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShawn in Melbourne

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