By Con George-Kotzabasis
The concept of the “Axis of Evil” had a politically pragmatic Machiavellian sense in the context of religious-riddled America, and not a metaphysical one. Religion can also be used not only as “glue” to societal values that binds people and commands them, as the French sociologist Emile Durkheim suggested, but also as glue to certain critical foreign policies that are vital to the security of a nation. Apropos the Axis of Evil in the context of global terrorism and the rogue states which support it overtly or covertly. Statesmanship does not govern in a vacuum; it has to rally its people, like Churchill did, by certain concepts that appeal to them behind its policies and strategies. Neo-conservatives as pragmatists are amoral, and have no relationship with any kind of Manichaeism, of good and evil.
Interestingly, WigWag’s first comment in The Washington Note, ironically as a past opponent and slightly diminishing opponent presently of the neocons, has loosened all the “demons” of neo-conservatism from their “caves” to come and haunt all liberals in their wishful thinking that Obama was a game-changer. From the “prince of darkness,” Richard Perle, who presciently said in 2002 that “we are all neoconservatives now,” Wolfowitz, Feith, Frum, the Kristols and the Kagans, Cheney and Bolton, have taken the centre stage of American politics by “winning the argument,” according to WigWag, and shattering the unrealistic, idealistic, nursery rhymed policies of the liberals, and especially Obama’s.
And presumably even the White House is presently neo-conservative turf as Obama himself has become their disciple, according to WigWag. But Obama is the bastard offspring of the neocons as he was conceived not by their spiritual virility but by the impotent idealistic policies of his own, which in a profligacy of ‘many nights stands’ on the domestic and international arena proved to be total failures, as the neoconservatives had predicted they would be. The clang sound of the chain of failures in health care, in climate change, in his toothless supine diplomacy in the Middle East, in his hope of changing the view of America’s enemies by practicing American values and asking for penance from those wronged from America’s past ‘sins’, have forced President Obama to semi-adopt the policies of the neocons. Being a ‘pragmatic chameleon’ he had to change his colors purely for his own political survival. Obama is no voluntary convert to neo-conservatism. He is perforce adopting and implementing some of the policies of the neoconservatives because they are the only reasonable policies in town and the only ones that can save his political scalp. It’s due to the poverty of liberal policies that Obama is ostensibly attempting to become politically a ‘nouveau riche’ from the wealthy and fecund policies of the neo-conservatives.
WigWag responded to the above as follows:
Kotzabasis, I enjoyed this comment and think you made some excellent points; especially when you characterize Obama as the “bastard offspring” of the neoconservatives.
At the risk of sounding wishy-washy, I’m not sure that it’s a question of whether I was once an opponent of the neocons or am slightly less of an opponent now.
I thought the war in Iraq was a mistake for the United States and the West. Whether it was a mistake for Iraq is an open question. Clearly the Kurds are delighted that the United States invaded and eliminated Saddam Hussein; presumably the Shia are too. The Sunni, not so much.
I think it’s hard to argue that the War in Iraq has not left the United States and all of its allies worse off than they were before the invasion…
But opponents of the neoconservatives will be making a serious mistake themselves if they think that the failures in Iraq or other errors in judgment by leading neoconservatives prove that as a philosophy neo-conservatism is wrong.
After all, the serious tactical blunders that the United States made in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia didn’t prove that containment was the wrong strategy to confront the Soviets.