Between the Lines

Our Antiwar Opportunity

The politics of U.S. foreign policy are governed by the tides of partisan warfare, the ebb and flow of the constant struggle between “left” and “right.”  Which means that, every decade or so, the political spectrum switches polarities: Witness the transformation of the “isolationist” Old Right of the 1940’s into the warmongering conservative movement of the Cold War era.  A similar case of role reversal occurred on the left in the 1990’s, when the previously “antiwar” liberal wing of the Democratic Party allied with the neoconservatives to bring us U.S. intervention in the Balkans, and conservative Republicans in Congress threatened to withdraw funding from Clinton’s conquest of Kosovo.  That spurred neocon grand strategist Bill Kristol to vow to walk out of the GOP if it succumbed to “isolationism.”  For some reason, the end of the Cold War did not possess most conservatives with the urge to “crush Serb skulls,” as Kristol so memorably put it in The Weekly Standard.

September 11 derailed the developing anti-interventionist consensus on the right, but the Republican ascendancy also played a role.  With George W. Bush in the White House, and in the tender care of his neoconservative duennas, the stage was set for a solid decade of war.

Now that the partisan pendulum has swung the other way, and the Democrats control the foreign-policy...

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