Monday, April 28, 2008

Larison on Obama
Of course, the correct conclusion to take away from Obama’s campaign is that he entirely too boosterish when it comes to talking about America’s role in the world. Naturally, mainstream conservatives feel obliged to portray him as a new McGovern, even though coming home is the furthest thing from Obama’s intention with respect to American deployments around the world. They likewise want to insist that he is a bad Americanist, when he basically shares the same triumphalist vision and progressive nationalist interpretation of American history that they have. They wish to portray him as someone who is “pessimistic” about America (because he acknowledges that there are problems and failures), when he is the most irrepressibly optimistic candidate of the last fifty years, and I don’t say that as a compliment.

Obama will necessarily disappoint...
There’s one thing that doesn’t ‘change’: demonising Russia
This election is simply not a case where one candidate has a better or more sane policy towards Russia or better views concerning the pursuit of hegemony in Eurasia. Over the long term, this shared view of U.S. policy towards Russia actually matters a great deal more than whether or not a candidate proposes to end the war in Iraq.
And some history
Every foreign war or foreign policy leading to involvement in war since 1898 has largely been supported and waged by the “diplomatic, communitarian Yankee” set.

Who wanted us to enter WWI? Liberal Protestants and Anglophiles from the Eastern Establishment. Who urged entry into WWII? The same people as had urged entry into WWI, and often for the same reasons.

Southerners, Westerners, fundamentalists, the “unsophisticated” of the land were overwhelmingly against involvement in European wars.

Who has given us the Iraq war? Bush may have lived in Texas for a while, but he is by background and education as thoroughly a product of the Eastern establishment as anyone alive. Do the so-called “Jacksonians” tend to support the war more than others? Yes, but not always enthusiastically or zealously; they support American wars because they believe, sometimes mistakenly, that it is their patriotic duty to do so. It takes Easterners, particularly those reared in the “realist” and “internationalist” schools and weaned on Wilsonian fantasies about democracy and self-determination, to come up with the sort of interventionist and ideologically-motivated crusading of the last twenty years.

Panama, the Gulf War, Kosovo – all were the products of “realists” and internationalists.

After all, who still has the real power? Overwhelmingly, they and urban elites around the country do, while Middle Americans will express their displeasure only if these people openly mock or belittle their beliefs. So long as the pandering and the charade of phony populism continue, Scots-Irish folks and Southerners seem mostly content to accept and even to support a system that consistently works against them, their history and their interests.

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