I was planning to bash (big time!) the silly article in today’s New York Times about the “two foreign policy camps” that are “competing for the ear of Senator John McCain”, but Dan preempted me here. Let me just add that I was intrigued by the list of the “pragmatists” and “realists” mentioned in the piece. Take for example the “pragmatist” John Lehman:
Just eleven days after September 11, Lehman signed a statement by the Project for the New American Century that presaged the administration’s own foreign policy initiatives.
PNAC’s September 20 letter to President Bush stated: “It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”
Kissinger? He has been advising Cheney on a regular basis to stay the course in Iraq. Re Colin Powell and Richard Armitage. They’re not Elliot Richardson or Cyrus Vance, but two of Bush’s leading enablers on the road to Baghdad. Brent Scrowcroft is more realist than John Bolton. That’s a plus. But it’s not clear what kind of advice he is providing to McCain (if at all).
The irony is that when it comes to discussing their latest Mr. Evil and his camp of advisors, the neocons have always disdained narratives that advanced theories about struggles between “moderates” and “extremists” in, say, Moscow, Beijing or Tehran. So in a way, Robert Kagan’s comments in the Times are consistent with this perspective:
“I would say his world view is so established that there is not a real battle going on,” said Mr. Kagan, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “A struggle over individual policies I could imagine, but the broad view, no. People would agree on what McCain thinks. This is not one of those situations like Bush all over again, with some titanic struggle going on between different factions.”