Monday, November 23, 2009

Against the Radiant Tomorrow

I think an underrated success of the Obama administration has been the way he pulled us back from the brink of a pointless Cold War dynamic the Bush administration had landed us in in South America...

I would link to a Human Rights Watch report on Chavez’s impact on Venezuela’s political institutions but everyone knows that HRW is a non-credible group obsessed with unfair slams on Israel so their criticism of Chavez must somehow be part of their vast conspiracy.

This post has a synoptic elegance. In rehearsing again the anti-neocon leitmotif, Matthew Yglesias demonstrates the tone-deafness of "reality-based liberalism" to anti-totalitarian concerns. Rather than fretting about effete and academic notions like liberty and the open society, Obama "[focuses] on concrete issues", which duly reveals "... that for all the huffing and puffing, there’s really no actual conflict between the United States and Latin America’s leftists."

Never mind that Lula just cut in on Chavez's dirty dance with Ahmadinejad, an extended number that undermines the idea that Chavez now praising Idi Amin is "[pushing] the envelope". It also undermines Obama's threat of sanctions, which the Yglesias crowd might prefer to bombing Iran's nuclear sites. Never mind, move on, there's nothing to see here. Maybe tribal neocons will denounce Latin America's leftists in light of Israel's interests, but since Operation Cast Lead concern for our ally seems more misplaced than ever. And they dare to suggest that Human Rights Watch is blinkered. What do we need with Israel? A broader interest in the consanguinity of liberal democracies? "Reality-based liberals" have no interest in such talk. That's the preserve of the Trotskyites of Commentary magazine.

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