I do love the tendency in so many to spout something and then insist on its truthfulness because, well, because they just said it. From the political left, right and center there has been no shortage of critique hurled upon neoconservatives in the last few years. Bret Stephens, in the Wall Street Journal, writes an international piece illuminating what was thought to be (just a few months ago) the most discredited wing of an ostensibly brain-dead conservative movement:
All this must, at some level, come as a surprise to an administration so deeply in love with itself. "I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world," Mr. Obama told the U.N.'s General Assembly last week with his usual modesty. He added that those expectations were "rooted in hope—the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change."
Yet what sounds like "hope" in, say, Toronto or Barcelona tends to come across as fecklessness in Warsaw and Jerusalem. In Moscow and Tehran, it reads like credulity—and an opportunity to exploit the U.S. at a moment of economic weakness and political self-infatuation.
For those much-scorned neocons, none of this comes as a surprise. Neoconservatives generally take the view that the internal character of a regime usually predicts the nature of its foreign policy. Governments that are answerable to their own people and accountable to a rule of law tend to respect the rights of their neighbors, honor their treaty commitments, and abide by the international rules of the road. By contrast, regimes that prey on their own citizens are likely to prey on their neighbors as well. Their word is the opposite of their bond.
That's why neocons have no faith in any deals or "grand bargains" the U.S. might sign with North Korea or Iran over their nuclear programs: Cheating is in the DNA of both regimes, and the record is there to prove it. Nor do neocons put much stock in the notion that there's a "reset" button with the Kremlin. Russia is the quintessential spoiler state, seeking its advantage in America's troubles at home and abroad. Ditto for Syria, which has perfected the art of taking credit for solving problems of its own creation.
I have faith that we'll be done with Barack and Michelle soon enough. Soon enough. The sky is not falling and all damages inflicted under this bizarre administration can be undone. Given that we cannot possibly opt out of our leadership position in the world, nor can we possibly wash our hands of foreign entanglements, neoconservatives will be proven not simply technically correct in the broad sweep of their prescriptions but self-evidently prudent in those same prescriptions. Academics, business elites or left-leaning defense experts who didn't have nearly enough faith in American neoconservatives but far too much faith in China or Russia, Syria or Iran, will be proven to be the educated fools that they are.
Poland and Israel, yes. India and Australia, yes. Indonesia, Ethiopia and Botswana, yes. Some of these places Barack is insisting we cozy up to? Hell no!
All we have to do is remain vigilant, keep the faith, keep living and stay active.