Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Down down deeper and down

Michael Costello asks
How has it happened that the Left of politics across the world has ended up opposing a foreign policy philosophy of spreading democracy in favour of supporting the traditional conservative agenda of stability, sovereignty and the status quo?
Yes, there is a deep feeling of antipathy to Bush. Partly because of who he is. Partly because of how he came to power in 2000. Partly because of his appalling domestic policies (economic and social).

Costello quotes Bush
in his second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
Costello argues that these words echo those of Kennedy's inaugural address of 1961 which inspired progressive groups. Then came Vietnam.

No one on the progressive side of politics can be agin ending tyranny in our world. But many people see the gap between the rhetoric and the history. The rhetoric "Promoting liberty" can quickly translate into "supporting death squads in Latin America". This feeling of antipathy is not going to go away when people like John Negroponte are still a part of the administration.

However overthrowing regimes that starve, that torture, that summarily execute their citizens is a good thing.

A Left that supports the traditional conservative agenda of stability, sovereignty and the status quo against the overthrow of tyranny is a left that's lost the plot of what being progressive means.

There are many tyrannical regimes that deserve to go. The means to remove them may be military. The means may be economic. But the regimes must go. And that is a good thing.

(Hat tip: Norm)

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