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20090204

Now What?


Is there life after Neo-conservatism? Fukuyama knows! Or so he claimed three years ago. Where were we then, and where are we now? A misguided "benevolent hegemony," was it? Did Francis Fukuyama have it right? Is that what those past eight years have really been about? I don’t know---just asking.

And is Neo-conservatism dead?

There are those, like Juan Cole, here, who claim that it died in Gaza:
The Gaza War of 2009 is a final and eloquent testimony to the complete failure of the neoconservative movement in United States foreign policy. For over a decade, the leading figures in this school of thought saw the violent overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the institution of a parliamentary regime in Iraq as the magic solution to all the problems in the Middle East. They envisioned, in the wake of the fall of Baghdad, the moderation of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the overthrow of the Baath Party in Syria and the Khomeinist regime in Iran, the deepening of the alliance with Turkey, the marginalization of Saudi Arabia, a new era of cheap petroleum, and a final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on terms favorable to Israel. After eight years in which they strode the globe like colossi, they have left behind a devastated moonscape reminiscent of some post-apocalyptic B movie…
The truth is that Neo-conservatism is an idea, a philosophy. It’ll always be around, in some form or another.


There will always be in the world small, bitter people ready to follow some leaders who promise them peace and happiness through justified violence and the killing of scapegoats.

Ah! I see that you have recognized John Gast's famous painting. How perceptive of you. You're right: it is an allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny. Like all of the paintings displayed here at the Wulfshead, it’s an original. The one at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles is but a mere reproduction, of course. The Wulfshead prides itself in its art collection and the contrasts highlighted therein between the historical and the mythological. Don't be afraid. Take a closer look. Careful, now; the bartender is staring at us. Just don't let him catch you touching anything. Observe how the different economic activities of the pioneers are highlighted. There is a strong emphasis on the telegraph and the emerging new forms of transportation. The Indians and wild animals are fleeing...

5 comments:

  1. I am descended from the Choctaw. I was student of history, and "Manifest Destiny" is the nastiest concept we ever concocted as a justification for rape pillage plunder and extermination of a people. I thought it was very telling that the term came into favor again in the Bush administration to justify our "adventure" in the Middle East. "Bringing freedom and Democracy" is a code for subjugating a people we seem to think is inferior to "The Good Christian people of the USA."

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  2. I live in a walled subdivision with some of those "good christian people." They walk tiny dogs on leashes and discuss The End Times while the furry things piss on my hydrangeas.

    They really don't know what to do with themselves now that there's a black man in the White House. They're buying a lot of guns and ammo, though.

    Welcome to the South.

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  3. Dick Chenney is hanging around DC as the voice of DOOM. Uuggaboogga. Dick, you are a scary old bastard. Please make him shut up.

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  4. I understand there are a lot of inaugural photos on the Net, but this one has me returning every day. Cheney in the wheelchair was the perfect touch. Frank Rich said he looked like Mr. Potter in It's A Wonderful Life. You can zoom in on him in the photo...and don't miss what Clarence Thomas is doing.

    http://gigapan.org/viewGigapanFullscreen.php?auth=033ef14483ee899496648c2b4b06233c

    This actually is a digital composite of 220 photos with a resolution so fine you can check out facial expression on just about everybody.

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  5. What still amazes me is that Cheney shot that guy in the face.

    And the guy apologized for it!!!

    As for "manifest destiny:" this reminds me of Hunter Thompson's famous admonition from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, "You have no faith in the essential decency of the white man's culture..."

    Of course, how else demonstrate the superiority of an advanced culture? War! Slavery! Rape! Slaughter! Destruction! Proofs positive of a superior civilization!

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