Birds of a Feather


Robert Farley’s account of how national security hawks around the world re-enforce each other’s position, with each country’s version of Charles Krauthammer insisting that one more demonstration of implacable will can scare the other guys off, is a must-read. It’s also a reminder that there’s really nothing that’s “neo” about neoconservative foreign policy thinking.

Obviously, as a matter of historical fact it’s the case that a certain number of former liberals reacted to the dovish turn of the post-Vietnam Democratic Party by adopting more conservative ideas. But there’s nothing actually new in “neoconservative” thought. Their take on China, or their take on Iran, or their take on the Soviet Union, or their take on Saddam Hussein, is all the same and the same as the general take that the nationalistic right has in all countries—the enemy du jour is uniquely awful and compelled toward irrational and aggressive behavior, therefore we ourselves must behave in an irrational and aggressive manner lest we be overrun.