I’m reading a couple of chapters of “Trapped in the War on Terror” by Ian Lustick for my Senior Seminar, and I found this quote to be striking and extremely true:
“The notion of a war against al-Qaeda type terrorists arose as an immediate reaction to 9/11. It then rapidly developed into an abstract and far-reaching War on Terror. The supremacist faction within the Bush administration advanced that slogan to launch a neo-imperial war in Iraq; a war that had nothing to do with terrorism but everything to do with extravagant ideological and political ambitions”.
I couldn’t have possibly said it better myself. It’s hard to be an apologist for the Republican party when it was at the center of creating this mess – BUT what people ought to know (and are recognizing more than ever in light of McCain’s defeat) is that the far-left interventionism inspired by ex-communist thinkers, ie: neoconservatism, is what has caused this.
The truly conservative tradition in foreign policy is non-intervention, with a strain of internationalism resulting in a realist approach, which was born of the communist threat and resulting Cold War (Eisenhower, Reagan) …. Nothing about GWB’s foreign policy is conservative (even Eisenhower, who was the first Republican to steer the party out of a stricter non-interventionist tradition explicitly denounced preemptive war – and at the time, his foreign policy of internationalism was openly modified with the term “liberal”, because it was a radical step in the leftward direction, given that non-interventionism is the most conservative foreign policy that could exist in America in that we keep to ourselves, have a strong defense, and limit government’s power).
The only Presidents who have gotten us into wars in the last hundred years have been Democrats and Bushes- so think before you assume because President Bush has the R next to his name that he represents conservative philosophy.
The Republican party and the conservative movement have a long path to travel down in the years to come. I personally hope that there’s a chance for a revival of genuine conservatism within the party, because if it keeps going in its current direction, the true conservative movement will forever be disconnected from the party … and I have to assume that the Republicans will go the way of the Whigs if that happens, because worldwide neo-imperialism doesn’t exactly seem too popular – hence Bush’s approval rating.
I, however, have faith that the actual conservative movement itself isn’t fading away any time soon. Our voices may not be readily apparent when the party that’s supposedly ours nominates horrible candidates that don’t represent us – hence McCain’s overall pathetic campaign and lack of conservative enthusiasm for him … (sorry, liberals, who thought the defeat of McCain meant bye bye to conservatism – it only means bye bye to Republicans in Name Only – so I hope).
I’ve had a little bit of faith restored in seeing Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) – a true conservative – become the Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. Now, if Michael Steele can win RNC Chair, we’ll be in a MUCH better position than where we were. If Saul Anuzis wins, however, I won’t hold my breath ….