Thursday, 12 June 2008

Against intervention

. It has been argued that the neo-conservative doctrine should be welcomed by liberals and progressives. Firstly, it is helpful to pin down what we mean by 'neo-conservatism'. It's proponents would have us imagine that it is a doctrine that has the aim of spreading “liberty, justice and a constitutional government” which, as he rightly says, are things we all believe in; however, we have to be quite clear that this is not the aim of neo-conservative doctrine. Let's take a look at what Wikipedia says;

“Neoconservatism emphasizes foreign policy as the paramount responsibility of government, maintaining that America's role as the world's sole superpower is indispensable to establishing and maintaining global order.

So, in other words spreading the warmth of human kindness is not the aim of neoconservatism. How can anybody realistically say this is anything other than an imperialist doctrine? This is easily proven because while America has been busy invading Iraq it maintains close relations with the barbaric House of Saud amoung other questionable regimes. It gets the red carpet treatment at the White House.

It is to be hoped that nobody here would seriously want to defend Saddam's regime; a choice between supporting 'neo-con' wars and sitting alongside those who support or apologise for the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah is a false one. It is perfectly possible to establish a third camp which neither supports these wars nor supports the reactionaries of Hamas and Hezbollah. Of course, Saddam no longer being in power would be a good thing but if you change the means then you change the end.

Western powers had their chance to support the democratic rising of the Iraqi Shia at the end of the first Gulf War and they didn't take it this in itself says a lot about where the focus of neoconservatism is; the people are not the solution, the state and it's tanks and guns are and this is defiantly not in line with classical liberalism. One of the tragedies of the left through it's various guises and ideological divides has been the abandonment of people as the creators of their own progress and the willingness to support them in that wherever possible; this should be the central tenant of our foreign policy.

The arguments against the 'regime change' doctrine are rooted in both ideological principle and practical common sense. Solutions other than regime change exist and they would be more viable if the international community was not splintered due to unilateralism and belligerence of the part of the 'great powers'. Sometimes these solutions may call for the application of military force but that will achieve little with the west so desperately lacking in any kind of moral credibility; drained as it has been by the mess made in Iraq.

Recognising this does not make our party an 'isolationist' in international affairs; it makes it a realist. We are not an isolationist party we are an internationalist party which believes in supporting people as they strive for it but not imposing it on them above without any due mandate or justification in international law.


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