plaque of infamy…

Posted on Saturday 25 November 2006

the left coaster has a post up about Stephen Holmes review of Francis Fukuyama‘s book, After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads. Fukuyama is a reformed neocon, one of the signers of the 1998 Project for the New American Century‘s letter to President Clinton outlining the Bush Doctrine and urging "regime change" in Iraq.
Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.
Francis Fukuyama While Fukuyama’s analysis from the perspective of a former neoconservative is interesting, as is Holmes critique, there remains an unassailible point in this story, actually several. This radical change in a proposed U.S. Foreign Policy was effected without any public debate in either Congress or the Press. It was put into action billed as National Defense rather than Offense. It was touted as related to the 9/11 attack, which is simply a lie. But the biggest point of all is that it was, from the first moment, a deeply flawed plan, based on yet another delusion. From the P.N.A.C. Statement of Principles:
We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present andfuture challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:
  • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
  • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
  • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
  • we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.
These people thought that the Soviet Union failed because of something Reagan did, and suggested we keep doing it. The Soviet Union fell because it was a rotten idea, based on secrecy and oppression, and it was time for it to fall. Starting with their Reagan delusion, they took it a step further – American Dominion over the world. For this, every name on those documents should be engraved in a Plaque of Infamy in Washington for posterity. Here are the combined signees of the letter and the principles, in case the engraver needs a list [with Wikipedia profiles for orientation]:

Plaque of Infamy
Elliott Abrams
Richard L. Armitage
Gary Bauer
William J. Bennett
Jeffrey Bergner
John Bolton
Jeb Bush
Dick Cheney
Eliot A. Cohen
Midge Decter
Paula Dobriansky
Steve Forbes
Aaron Friedberg
Francis Fukuyama
Frank Gaffney
Donald Kagan
Robert Kagan
Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol
I. Lewis Libby
Richard Perle
Norman Podhoretz
Dan Quayle
Peter W. Rodman
Stephen P. Rosen
Henry S. Rowen
Donald Rumsfeld
William Schneider, Jr.
Vin Weber
George Weigel
Paul Wolfowitz
R. James Woolsey
Robert B. Zoellick

By putting himself on this list, Dr. Fukuyama took himself off of the playing field. The only thing we need to hear from him is "I’m sorry," or nothing at all…

    November 29, 2006 | 11:25 AM

    […] plaque of infamy… The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership. Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences: …Read more: here […]

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