My latest in the latest Agonist:
The American hubris that confuses interests and values, downplays deep cultural differences, and clings fanatically to the hope that military operations can almost always create a clean and fog-free political result was on full display in our invasion of Iraq. “All of the traditions,” Michael MacDonald writes in his book Overreach: Delusions of Regime Change in Iraq, “that called for regime change blended American power and values; all considered American values transportable; all equated threats to American values with threats to national security; and all assumed that American power was welcome in Iraq because it materialized liberal values.” MacDonald means the Washington hawk-consensus of neoconservative-liberal hawk-neoliberal. This ideological cul-de-sac, that everyone in the world is really an American liberal in colorful ethnic costume and technocratic market-economies are inevitable, is a synecdoche for the closed loop of our military logic. We take the impossible for the inevitable and call ourselves the agents of history. We don’t make mistakes; it’s just that the world hasn’t yet been bent far enough along the arc of history towards justice.
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