I'm going to steal an AP quote from Tristero's great letter to DLC types up at Digby's.
President Bush proudly declared that American foreign policy no longer seeks to “manage calm,” and derided policies that let anger and resentment lie “beneath the surface.” Bush said that the violence in the Middle East was evidence of a more effective foreign policy that addresses “root causes.”
Everybody's going to parse the hell out of that quote and Tristero himself does a good job of highlighting the sheer, unadulterated insanity inherent in Bush's comment but I'm interested in what this actually says about our stated foreign policy coming from the mouth of the President of the United States: we believe in violent resolution to disputes as the only way to resolve conflict. Anything else is simply "managing calm."
As a young man, with memories of Vietnam still very strong in this country, I studied history and looked at the "peace first" crowd and decided they may have been idealistic but they were naively wrong.
There are evil men in this world. Souless, heartless, evil people to which negotiation won't work. Men who when presented with a flower of peace will put a bullet through it right into your skull without batting an eye.
Peace - the refusal to consider violence as an option to resolve a disagreement, even as a last resort - is untenable in reality.
But if those that see peace as the only answer are naively wrong what does that say about those that see violence as the only answer? Aren't these two sides of the same coin of those that would oversimplify the solutions to a very, very complicated world?
When I watch this administration continue to try and enforce an insane "bigger club" foreign policy on the world I see nothing more than hippies with nice haircuts and guns who believe that wishing the world were different would MAKE the world different. Instead of love they see fear as the thing that'll change men's hearts. As if either has ever worked before.
There are no shortcuts to geopolitics. People like Bush who think they're clever because they think they've found a shortcut wind up taking all of us off a cliff.
(cross-posted at Fark)