The key point is this: Mr. Fukiyama
was wrong when he wrote of "The End Of History"; what was happening with
the fall of communism was the End Of Empire. When the battle of the two
great powers was won by the side that stood for freedom, the world was
not yearning for a one-power dominated geopolitics, the core vision of
the neoconservative catastrophe.
The world was yearning for freedom
and democracy where America would be the leader and role model that
respected and empowered, but did not dominate, others who shared our
The poisonous premise of the
neoconservative was the arrogant, overbearing and historically
catastrophic notion that the end of the Cold War meant that instead of
two powers that compete to run the world, the victorious power would
stand alone at the throne of world power.
With a premise so historically
wrong, the result was inevitable disaster that not only discredited its
advocates, but violated principles of our democracy, alienated the
worldwide opinion of democratic peoples, destabilized our military,
divided our nation and endangered our security.
This was well understood by two
Presidents who understood history and war. John F. Kennedy ran for
President while opposing the colonial war of his time, the French in
Algeria, warning in a famous essay that great powers can attract but
great powers also repel.
Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex, whose incarnation
today involves secret energy policy meetings at the White House, corrupt
crony deals, war profiteering abuses run rampant, campaign contributions
run amok, and attacks against a recipient of the Bronze and Silver Stars
financed in large measure by oil money.
If there is responsibility for the
current crisis in the stained hands of the neoconservatives and their
partisans who disrespect dissent and who demean the checks and balances
of our democracy, there is also responsibility in the hands of those who
failed to speak out for their own lesser reasons.
Who ever thought that a Prime
Minister of Britain would be nicknamed after a French dog? A word in
defense of the poodle. My favorite breeds are the Labs and Retrievers
but I grew up with a poodle as a pet, and he was great. Smart, loving,
loyal, his only fault, and this is true, was that he was a little kinky,
and would occasionally masturbate on the legs of guests, which nowadays
is qualification for high office.
Let's understand the strategy of
the gentleman who is called by his country "Bush's poodle". The Blair
vision is that Britain, having lost its Empire, will now be the
intermediary between the United States and continental Europe, not the
voice of conscience or experience.
With Blairism, it is immaterial who
the American President is; Tony Blair views Britain's role as a
supplicant more than a true partner, which deprives the world of
Britain's conscience and experience, shames the once great Labour Party,
and surrenders one more check and balance that should have restrained
the neoconservative obsession, but didn't.
If neoconservatism is the deadly
danger to our security, the spread of "poodle-ism" is an equally deadly
danger to our democracy. The checks and balances essential to our
freedom were not only demeaned by the partisans; they were surrendered
by Blair and by countless others who failed to do their duty.
Far too often, Democratic leaders
embodied the politics of poodle-ism and at the decisive moment were
indistinguishable from the neoconservatives pursuing their decade-long
obsession of war in Iraq.
Far too often the entire Congress
surrendered its historic role in war powers and for oversight, in one of
the most damaging demonstrations of Constitutional poodle-ism in our
Far too often, the major media
embodied the spirit of poodle-ism, and at the decisive moment became
cheerleaders for their sources and courtiers to power.
For too often, officials such as
Colin Powell, a good man whose contribution to America is not yet
finished, fell victim to poodle-ism and at the decisive moment looked
like Khrushchev, pounding his shoe at the United Nations, for a war he
privately despised and opposed. [For Consortiumnews.com's coverage of
"Behind Colin Powell's Legend," click
Contrast this rampant poodle-ism
with the profiles in courage of those who honored the tradition of JFK
and Eisenhower, such as General Tony Zinni, who was reprimanded for
warning about war in Iraq while we was on active duty. Or General Eric
Shinseki, who was professional and courageous in warning of the danger
of disaster, and was slapped down by the neocon Wolfowitz and demeaned
by Rumsfeld and Bush.
Or the six retired generals who
spoke out with conscience and honor and by doing so, gave up many
millions of dollars of income, that lesser men took while they
maintained their silence with poodle-ism for profit.
If the crisis of our times is
largely caused by the Faustian marriage of the obsessive mirage of the
neoconservative ideologue and the dirt politics of the smearing
partisans, it is enabled by the feebleness and amoral opportunism of
Those of us, who truly believe in
freedom and democracy, should always ask: isn't there something terribly
dangerous and wrong when the policies being pursued are opposed and even
feared by the overwhelming majority of friends of freedom and democracy
around the world?
Shouldn't we align ourselves with
the overwhelming majority of the friends of freedom and democracy around
the world, rather than demeaning their opinion and disrespecting their
viewpoint and advice?
The answer to neoconservatism is
not the way of the poodle, but the way of Jefferson, who valued the
decent opinion of mankind; of Eisenhower, who understood the danger of
the military industrial complex; of Kennedy, who spoke out against
colonialism by the French and challenged us to combine the power of our
force, with the force of our ideas; of Walesa, Havel, Mandela, and John
Paul II who knew that the history of our times is not a matter of which
empire dominates the world, but which spirit liberates the energies of
people, in a world that hungers for freedom, and self-determination,
without the arrogance of empire, or the cowardice of the poodle.
Brent Budowsky was an aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen on intelligence
issues, and served as Legislative Director to Rep. Bill Alexander when
he was Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Leadership. Budowsky
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org..