Illustrating the absurdity of conventional (or at least conventionally sloppy and pejorative) left-right descriptions in foreign policy discussions is Ed Morrissey’s labeling of Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Robert Malley as “radical leftists.” Robert Malley is maybe a couple of microns outside the establishment consensus on Israel and Palestine, and is therefore deemed here a “radical leftist.” As for calling Rice and Power this, well, I don’t know where to begin. Power is essentially a liberal interventionist, who, if anything, thinks that the government should generally be more aggressive in using force for humanitarian ends. Unless I am confusing her with someone else, she was a supporter of the war in Kosovo; the “radical left,” as I understand this term, was not or was certainly not unified if some did support it.
Morrissey is not satisfied with that, but opts for a partisan distinction that means next to nothing:
I’ll take Brent Scowcroft any day of the week over the Carter/Brzezinski model.
This contrast of Scowcroft and Brzezinski, who are virtually indistinguishable these days in their views, is just plain odd. When you consider how much in agreement Brzezinski and Scowcroft are, as the NYT reviewer of their conversation-turned-book put it, on “a remarkable number of basic strategic and diplomatic principles,” there is no great Obama movement or shift to Scowcroft away from Brzezinski. When you consider that Scowcroft also supported the Kosovo war (using the bogus regional stability and NATO credibility arguments), the lines get blurrier still between him and the aforementioned “radical leftists.”