From Via Media: ‘Bambi Meets Godzilla In The Middle-East’

Full post here.

‘The end of history, which AI founder Francis Fukuyama used to describe the historical implications of the Cold War, is to American political philosophy what the Second Coming is to Christians. In the end, almost all Americans devoutly believe, the liberal, market principles on which our country is built will triumph around the world’


‘Meanwhile the President’s most ardent critics, both on the right and the left, believe that his biggest problem is that he isn’t exhibiting sufficient faith in the national credo. Since we know that liberal democracy is triumphing everywhere, if it isn’t working in Egypt it must be the President’s fault. There must have been some policy path, there must still be some policy path, by which the President can bring Egypt into the Promised Land.’

Worth reading.

It’s not a bad summation of the national credo.

I suspect Obama’s civil-rights alliance, the arc-of-history-bends-towards-justice thinking has placed him in an arguably more Left-of-Center, human rights advocacy position than even Jimmy Carter had placed himself.

It might be worth revisiting his Cairo Speech, as it’s clear Obama has a kind of global, universalist vision for the world and America’s role in it.  Call him secularly universal, anti-imperial, non-nationalist, but it’s clearly a vision of process and democracy promotion.  ‘Violent extremists’ is a curiously vague idea.

I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Obama, like Carter before him, is not only on the human-rights circuit at some point in the future, but may still be pushing his Organizing For Action in some capacity here at home:  A permanent civil-rights protest political machine with a particularly racial focus, perhaps aiming to unite the Left-Of-Center 60’s idealist coalitions under some vision of liberal managerialism.

Here’s a quote from Anne-Marie Slaughter, on liberal internationalism:

‘The central liberal internationalist premise is the value of a rules-based international order that restrains powerful states and thereby reassures their enemies and allies alike and allows weaker states to have sufficient voice in the system that they will not choose to exit’

Of course, a similarly human-rights focused policy didn’t turn out so well for U.S. in Iran, and here we are a few decades leader trying to strategize and stay ahead of the tide of Islamism and many other forces in the region.

As to foreign-policy, maybe we could return to some kind of realism, but that will take serious work, as the Republican party is quite split at the moment between pro-military nationalists, neo-cons, realists, the religious, pro-Israel right, all the way to the anti-Statist libertarian isolationists, with anti-war types among them.

Meanwhile, many decisions being made inside Egypt will likely affect our policy towards the region for generations to come.

What should we be doing, and why?  What can we do?  What’s already being done?

Related On This SiteNancy Okail At Freedom House: “‘Muslim Rage’ and the Politics of Distraction in Egypt’From Al Jazeera English: ‘Morsi Wins Egypt’s Presidential Election’Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest on Egypt: ‘Still More of the Same—and Something New’…are we still on a liberalizing, Westernizing trajectory?, however slow the pace? Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’

Michael Totten Interviews Eric Trager: ‘The Truth About Egypt’

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