It tells you how much the world has changed when I end up being one of the strongest supporters of Chen Shui-Bian. It also tells you how much the world has changed when I up being more optimistic about the neoconservative program than the neoconservatives.
The thing is that I happen to believe in the United States and its fundamental values, and I happen to believe that when you have your basic values right, and you keep fighting, you will win. Iraq is just the first small parts of a decades-long struggle against barbarism and poverty.
Where I think the neoconservatives got it wrong is that they were infected with arrogance, utopianism, and most importantly an unwillingness to listen. The basic values of the United States, which I argue are constitutionalism, tolerance, and rule of law, are basic human values. Consequently when the rest of the world thinks you are wrong, you need to do some soul searching.
I’m finding the pessimism of the neo-conservatives more than a little annoying. They are finger-pointing about mistakes, not realizing that people are falliable, and any foreign policy program that assumes that people won’t make mistakes and be able to recover from them is basically flawed. There utopianism is also hurting them. When times are good, people find me annoyingly pessimistic, but the thing about my pessimism and my faith in Murphy’s Law is that when everything falls apart (and everything will fall apart), I tend not to give up.
For a number of years, I’d been (justifiably) worried that the neo-conservatives would get the US into a war with China. That hasn’t happen, and that isn’t going to happen. The fact that we have a functioning trade and economic system that includes the US, China, India, and Europe means that we have a fundamental coalition against the Bin-Ladenists.
The fire of war has burned off a lot of idiocy (like the idea that China is the number one enemy of the United States). The neo-conservatives can feel miserable about Iraq for a short time, but at the end of the day, things are what they are, and the basic reality is that we are in an epic struggle over the fate of the planet.
We are at war, and we will win……