Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Daniel Larison
  • ‘Firmly grounded.’ So Cantor means that he will offer support to opposition Maronites in Lebanon and work to realign U.S. policies in the Near East to favor Armenia, right? No, I guess that wasn’t quite it. When he says that policy should be “grounded in the beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” maybe he means that we should repudiate aggressive warfare, collective punishment and indiscriminate bombing, especially when those methods also adversely affect local Christian populations. Oh, that’s not it, either? Of course, it means exactly what you would think that it does, which is that we must support Israel to the hilt with support defined as the embrace of the most hawkish, counterproductive policies possible.
  • National-security ideology is the same as ever. Obama always concedes grounds to entrenched interests.
  • Non-interventionism and nationalism. Most nationalists do not and cannot accept non-interventionism because of the fundamentally aggressive nature of most forms of nationalism. Non-interventionists cannot credibly appeal to such people without ceasing to be non-interventionists. For the latter, the national interest is quite limited, definite and obtainable, while for nationalists it is expansive and virtually unlimited, because this is the only kind of national interest commensurate with their idolatry of the nation. To say that some foreign quarrel is none of our business is to impose a limit, which in the eyes of nationalists is to diminish the nation, and this they will never tolerate.

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