Friday, September 05, 2008

Cameron declares a jihad on the Neo-cons

Well, perhaps that's putting it a little strongly, but never-the-less I wasn't expecting him to come out with this one. It's all part of the touchy feely re-aligning of the Tory Party I suppose. No longer are they for firing the gays out of cannons into hordes of Cha Wallahs. That's all in the past my friend.

The leader of the opposition told a, possibly bemused, audience in Pakistan that "We should accept that we cannot impose democracy at the barrel of a gun; that we cannot drop democracy from 10,000 feet and we shouldn't try. Put crudely, that was what was wrong with the 'neocon' approach and why I am a liberal Conservative, not a neoconservative."

Thanks for this. Because despite the fact I hadn't expected Cameron to actually say anything like this it's still not a particularly radical thing to say seeing as 90% of the population understand this to be the case. It's an utterly uncontroversial truth that the neo-con project was flawed from the very beginning but it has taken an extraordinary loss of life to convince respectable politicians that this was any sort of error.

Whilst there is a part of me that welcomes this speech, because it signals the possibility of a marginally less aggressive foreign policy (as British political leaders prepare themselves for an Obama Presidency). For a rightwing politician to come out so clearly against American foreign policy is something to take notice of, but I can't help thinking a begrudging "You lot couldn't have said this five years ago?"

6 comments:

Vicky said...

Love the photo, Cameron looks so awkward...

Jack Ray said...

I'd dispute that the neocon project had anything to do with 'imposing democracy' or even dropping it from a great height. It was the radical idea that in terms of foreign policy the US and its Allies could do what the fuck they liked without consequences. Democracy had very little to do with it (as anyone living in the democracies they've tried to exterminate, and in the dictatorships they've propped up could testify)

BenSix said...

"I'd dispute that the neocon project had anything to do with 'imposing democracy' or even dropping it from a great height."

True.

The problem is that some - myself included (massive mea culpa) - came to the nauseating conclusion that Iraq - and to a lesser extent Afghanistan - had been such a dishonest and foolish initiative that it didn't in any way tarnish the value of "liberal interventionism".

Not that we - well, I certainly - had any idea what it entailed beyond abstract notions of what may constitute'honourable' motivations. That's the wonder of sitting behind a screen two thousand miles away from conflict zones.

Jack Ray said...

I struggle to marry the concept of liberal interventionism to any actual event I can imagine happening.

It's up there with "if the moon was made of cheese, I could..."

BenSix said...

That's a very good allegory (which I shall promptly steal).

Ben

Mark M Heenan said...

'I can't help thinking a begrudging "You lot couldn't have said this five years ago?"'

Some of "us lot" were saying this five years ago...