Friday, January 16, 2009

The New Republic thinks we should repeat the last 8 years, but smarter

The New Republic says Obama should embrace idealism over pragmatism:

Around the globe, the temptation for Obama to run away from ideals, and fall back on interests, will be great. Bush, after all, has badly tainted foreign-policy idealism. But, instead of abandoning idealism, Obama should strive to save it. That means fulfilling our obligations to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan--providing them with as much stability and freedom from tyranny as we have within our means to ensure. It means using American power to stop genocide, and dealing unflinchingly with regimes--from Iran to Burma to China--that suppress their own people or threaten others. And it means revivifying our role as the vanguard in crafting global efforts to check the spread of nuclear weapons and carbon emissions.

Words fail me. TNR... HOW? HOW do we do these things? What does "dealing unflinchingly" with Burma even mean? Sanctioning them? We did that, and it did nothing. Calling them Burma instead of Myanmar, as they prefer, at the UN? Um, we do that too. No effect. Invade? If you want that, then say so. Does "using American power to stop genocide" mean liberating Darfur? Does it mean thousands of troops in Congo to keep Hutu genocidaires at arm's length from Laurent Nkunda? Does it mean invading Somalia? And how exactly does putting pressure on an increasingly nationalistic China help that country become more politically liberal? When, in human history, has prodding nationalism with a stick EVER led to more freedom?

The New Republic... solutions for a world populated by some sentient species other than human beings.

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