via Light of Reason
Michael Scheuer: At the U.S. Army War Colleges 16th Annual Strategy Conference last week, a senior Department of Defense strategist defined U.S. Grand Strategy as the export of freedom and democracy. He added that the U.S. military would play a huge role in implementing the strategy. In short, and to paraphrase, the official said: Get ready, soldiers, youre going democracy-crusading.
Exporting freedom and democracy is not a Grand Strategy. It may be an ambition, an obsession, or most likely a hallucination. The idea that such exports are a Grand Strategy spotlights the ignorance about America of the men and women who today lead the country. Ditto for many of the 535 individuals in the Senate and House. America is not a nation meant to order others how to live and then push them at bayonet point into that lifestyle. The cost of such a policy, John Quincy Adams wrote, would be the loss of Americas soul.
The force behind this Grand Strategy is President Bushs inane, ahistorical claim that The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. This is pure Wilsonian claptrap with the lethality-multiplying extra of being hands-on, rather than rhetorical Wilsonianism the difference being that foreigners died from the latter, while Americans will die from the former. Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice, Mr. Cambone, Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Bolton, and their acolyte front organizations at the Weekly Standard, American Enterprise Institute, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, etc., are not bad or evil people. Theyre just confused and ignorant about the meaning of America.
I dont agree with Mr. Scheuers evaluation of the people and organizations he identifies; mine is significantly more negative. When evidence piles up by the minute to contradict and undercut your beliefs in all respects, a considerable amount of willful delusion and self-deception is required to avoid questioning ones program for world change. Moreover, even a smattering of historical and political-philosophical knowledge would similarly reveal the profound dangers in this Crusade for Democracy delusion.