Against liberal imperialism.
aziz, thabet, and Tariq Nelson are discussing. Toggle Comments
I am quite willing to sign up any petition against American imperialism, but when you stretch the definition of imperialism to mean “any military action on any scale by the USA and/or UK against a nation where the population is predominantly non-white” then you lose any utility for the phrase. I threw in the non-white bit because the military action in Kosovo and Bosnia seems to conveniently escape the label, even thouhg the foreign policy of Barack Obama, under the name liberal interventionism, would follow a very similar multi-national, multi-pole (diplomatic, economic, and yes also military components) strategy in any conflict.
I’ve laid out the case in the other thread for why Afghanistan was in my view justified, and why Somalia and Sudan might also be considered ripe for intervention as well. The form of the intervention there is, due to the nature of the problem, likely to involve a military component as well, at some point.
Fundamentally, I think that the call against liberal “imperialism” boils down to what Tariq honestly called it in the other thread – leave them alone, hope they leave us alone. That is a view I disagree with but at least is an honest one. This hand waving about imperialism – a word as abused as holocaust and genocide and apartheid and existentialist – strikes me as a denial.
Fundamentally, I think that the call against liberal “imperialism” boils down to what Tariq honestly called it in the other thread – leave them alone, hope they leave us alone.
I don’t think that we can be 100% neutral in all affairs and I do know that the terrorists are extremely dangerous, but my point is that our tax dollars is better spent on protecting the Homeland than on trying to transform other countries.
Aziz, I think the point is that the language of liberal/humanitarian interventionism reflects the tradition of paternalistic liberal imperialism, which stretches back to the ‘glory’ days of the British Empire.
(Although see this interesting view from Pankaj Mishra.)
sometimes, the language may be similar. democracy promotion is more than that, though. I have a piece at COB in response.
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