The American-Arab-Lebanese-Shiite Neoconservative Middle East expert Fouad Ajami has been transformed from a serious scholar and a gifted author into a leading propagandist for the War Party. Last year, for example, he compared Scooter Libby to fallen U.S. Soldiers in Iraq.
In his most recent piece in the (guess) Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, he explains that the USA “remains an imperial republic with military obligations and a military calling” and suggests that there is a direct correlation between the level of patriotism of American politicians and their support for deploying U.S. troops around the world as part of the nation’s (Ajami’s) imperial project. Hence
to his honor and good name, Sen. [Joe] Biden took a leading role in pushing for the use of American military power in the Balkans when the Muslims of Bosnia were faced with grave dangers a dozen years ago. Patriotism does not embarrass this man in the way it does so many in the liberal elite.
It’s not suprising that Ajami believes that we need to elect as the next U.S. president a man who “shares the widespread attitude of broad swaths of the country that are not consumed with worries about America’s standing in foreign lands.” Yep. John McCain, as he puts it, “is not eager to be loved by foreigners.”
In fact, as many opinion polls have indicated, the “widespread attitude of broad swaths of the country” reflect strong opposition to the unilateralist and hegemonic policies of Bush-McCain as well as support for international engagement, withdrawal from Iraq, talks with Iran, etc. very much along the lines of the views of the “cosmopolitan” Obama whose “sympathies [lie] with strangers” and who “proceeds from the notion of American guilt.”
The Obama way is glib: It glides over the world without really taking it in. It has to it that fluency with political and economic matters that can be acquired in a hurry, an impatience with great moral and political complications. The lightning overseas trip, the quick briefing, and above all a breezy knowingness.
Well, all of that seems to fit very much with the foreign policy MO of McCain, the way he reacted for example to the recent crisis in the Caucus.
Ajami also argues that since WWII, Americans have elected warriors as opposed to, you know, liberal sissies and appeasers, as presidents.
That is why Eisenhower overwhelmed Stevenson, Reagan’s swagger swept Carter out of office, Bush senior defeated Dukakis, etc. The exception was Bill Clinton, with his twin victories over two veterans of World War II. We had taken a holiday from history — but 9/11 awakened us to history’s complications.
Yes, that “holiday from history,” during which the U.S expanded NATO, led military interventions in the Balkans, increased its huge military presence in the Persian Gulf, strengthened the the sanctions against Iraq and Iran, etc. And BTW, the leading foreign policy aides of Bush Senior, including the warrior Colin Powell agree with Obama on most foreign policy issues. But let’s not allow facts to interfere with flow of a neat Warrior vs. Wimp narrative.