Neocons for Obama
The presidential candiate who's marketing himself as opposing the Iraq war at the time his biggest-name opponents supported it is drawing support from mighty strange quarters. One of the neoconservative movement's leading lights has penned a paean to Sen. Barack "I'm not planning to nuke anybody right now" Obama:
His critique is not that we've meddled too much but that we haven't meddled enough. There is more to building democracy than "deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box." We must build societies with "a strong legislature, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, a free press, and an honest police force." We must build up "the capacity of the world's weakest states" and provide them "what they need to reduce poverty, build healthy and educated communities, develop markets, . . . generate wealth . . . fight terrorism . . . halt the proliferation of deadly weapons" and fight disease. Obama proposes to double annual expenditures on these efforts, to $50 billion, by 2012.
It's not just international do-goodism. To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States. "We cannot hope to shape a world where opportunity outweighs danger unless we ensure that every child, everywhere, is taught to build and not to destroy." The "security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people."
This really is breathtaking, since at the heart of neoconservative doctrine is the notion that no one is safe until everyone is democratized. Thus the distance between Obama and Bush is revealed to be merely one of tactics, not strategy. And the proposition of Empire, of America-as-hegemon, is simply not open for discussion.