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« Capitalism lectures a very confused pope | Main | A final thought on escaping platitudes »

April 28, 2015



The neocon philosophy is simplicity itself and requires no justification to whack a hornet's nest. Neocon maven and ex-Pentagon official Michael Ledeen put it most plainly: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” Bellicosity as policy - what could possibly be less problematic?

Peter G

It will do both. Strictly speaking interventionist does not necessarily mean direct military intervention. It can mean aid directed towards preserving a regional balance of power. The Iraq Iran war demonstrated that. And it probably pissed off the Iranian regime more than support for the Shaw did. Reagan had probably convinced them through the supply of military hardware that the US could be dealt with through back channels. Support for Saddam in his war against Iran while broadly supported by other Middle East allies cost any possible thawing of relations with Iran.

Paul's problem is that he is trying to articulate, without overtly saying so, a version of Realpolitik that requires the active support of some pretty slimy regimes and the suppression of democratic movements in these nominal allies. Mubarak's Egypt would be an example. This was something the US was legitimately criticized for doing as it frankly constituted a high level of hypocrisy that was excused only by the justification of a higher level cold war conflict with the old Soviet Union and its allies and clients. That excuse having passed there is no excuse for not recognizing the legitimate "democratic" aspirations of these countries. Even though their version of democracy consists pretty much of the tyranny of the majority and the abuse of their own minorities. Nobody's quite figured out how to deal with this state of international affairs. Certainly Paul hasn't. Better men than he are trying.

Peter G

Shaw? I meant Shah of course.


It seems in the actions taken so far the policy currently favored for MENA is "frozen war," which might be a slightly outdated term because of drone technology. The application of measured pressure, be it military or economic, to specific points intended to create general outcomes involving the least antagonism might sum things up. Rand is just playing amateurish politics. He's every bit the political anomaly as his dear old dad.

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