Against ‘Nation-Building,’And Empire-Building.
by Justin Raimondo
Americans are sick and tired of perpetual war: even that champion evader, Barack Obama, had to acknowledge that in his recent Afghanistan speech, in which he said it’s time to start nation-building right here at home. Of course, he’ll say anything to get reelected – except, perhaps, that it’s time to end the wars in Afghanistan (and Pakistan and Yemen and …) and bring all our troops home now.
With polls showing 70 percent-plus in favor of doing just that, the President had to make some accommodation with popular sentiment. The War Party, however, has no such political calculation to make: they don’t care about popular sentiment, at least the neoconservatives don’t. Indeed, the neocons are self-consciously elitist, disdaining the hoi polloi, who supposedly live in a world of “myth,” in favor of the alleged wisdom of the “enlightened” minority – the Philosopher-Kings – who supposedly know what’s good for the rest of us. The neocons make their appeal to Washington, and the foreign policy establishment, not the American people, and that’s who Max Boot, writing in the Los Angeles Times, is addressing when he avers:
“The signature line of President Obama’s June 22 Afghanistan address was ‘America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home.’ This no doubt resonates among an electorate sick of foreign wars and eager to focus on domestic problems, but it is a wrongheaded statement. ”Whenever America has eschewed commitments abroad and turned inward, the results have been disastrous. The most isolationist decade in the country’s history — the 1930s — was followed by World War II. The ‘Come Home, America’ isolationism of the 1970s was followed by the fall of South Vietnam, the genocide in Cambodia, the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the 1990s, the post-Cold War desire to spend the ‘peace dividend’ led the U.S. to turn a blind eye to the rising threat from Al Qaeda.”