Saturday, August 16, 2008

Democracy and Nationalism

Following up, it is fair to ask why neoconseratives assume that a democratically elected government will always toe our line. Militant nationalism and an attitude of "screw the world" have been big electoral winners in the US and were largely responsible for the necon's rise to power in the first place. Is it any wonder that militant nationalism and an attitude of "screw the world" will be winners in other countries as well? Or that such an attitude will often go against our interests?

In the short run, chest-thumping and ass-kicking will prevail over restraint and cooperation every time. In the long run, the bill will always come due. In a small and weak country like Georgia next to a large and powerful neighbor, it hasn't taken long. In a country so large and powerful as the United States, it takes longer, but, as George Bush's unpopularity shows, the bill is arriving. The bill is beginning to come due for Russia already as Poland has responded to Russian aggression in Georgia by allowing the US to base anti-missile interceptors in Poland. The full bill may be delayed in Russia, or in Iran, or in Venezuela because high oil prices are keeping all three economies artificially afloat, but let there be no mistake, it will come due.

If we, as Americans, want to hasten that day, our best approach would be to cut oil consumption, which will bring down prices. And then Russia, Iran and Venezuela will have to face the long-delayed consequences of their actions.


Blogger Jordan said...

Two things.

1) Neo-conservative influence in the US gov't has been greatly diminished, or does the fact all the major players (Rummy, Perle, Wolfowitz) are all now unemployed mean nothing? :P

2) Cutting oil is like cutting our wrists. To assume all we need to do is cut oil is naive since OPEC and the other major producers can easily work together to shore up oil prices. It's going to take a big stick and some soft words to take on the cartels. Most importantly, we should be working on driving a wedge between Russia and its oil allies, instead of attempting mass economic suicide.

9:46 PM  

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