Saturday, December 09, 2006

What True Conservatism Would Dictate in Foreign Policy

Two posts ago, in A Cogent View of Why Iraq Is So Divided I wrote:
How much evidence do our policymakers need that intervening in a foreign culture is an extremely difficult thing to do with any success; there are just too many unintended consequences and unforeseen outcomes.
Any truly conservative government could never have lost sight of this idea. John Adams is almost universally celebrated as one of America's most distinguished conservatives and he fully understood this. Writing about taking the step of declaring independence from England he wrote:
All great Changes are irksome to the human Mind, especially those which are attended with great Dangers and uncertain Effects. No Man living can foresee the Consequences of such a Measure [independence], and therefore I think it ought not to have been undertaken until the Design of Providence by a Series of great Events had so plainly marked out the Necessity of it that he who runs might read (quoted in Y. Arieli, Individualism and Nationalism in American Ideology, 1964, p. 70).
But the radical pseudo-conservative government of George W. Bush of course showed no such caution, patience or acute understanding of the difficulties of their Iraq adventure; Bush, opposite to his father in 1990, rammed his war resolution through Congress less than one month prior to a Congressional election and couldn't have seemed more anxious to invade Iraq and turn it into a "beacon of democracy" in the Middle East. How absolutely opposite of conservative do radical rightists like Bush have to be before Americans recognize the con game being run on them when these radicals cloth themselves in the garments of 'conservatism?'

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