Monday, October 23, 2006

The Fantasy Foreign Policy

Matthew Yglesias makes the sound point that, however bad Bush's foreign policy may have been, it is sanity itself compared to the fevered dreams of the neoliberals and neocons. If the Weekly Standard and the New Republic had their way, the US wouldn't just be in an unwinnable war in Iraq, but in Syria, Iran, Sudan and God knows where else as well. With fantasy troops. However reckless Bush is, he does have to actually implement his policies.

Interestingly, the foreign policy of Tory Canada resembles more closely the fantasy foreign policy of the neoliberal/neocon axis. Who cares if we don't have enough soldiers to meet our commitments in Afghanistan? We can always send sailors instead! No thought is taken for the fate of our navy, because this is Canada where left and right alike view the armed forces as ideological fantasms. We share an illusion of not having any security needs, and therefore treat foreign policy as simply vicarious identity politics.

Naturally, the big foreign policy debate in Canada today -- just as our biggest commitment since Korea has been exposed as a clear overcommitment -- is whether the (dim) foreign minister called his ex-girlfriend a dog. We haven't been a serious country about these matters for almost half a century, but this is a new low.

Update: The Minister of National Defence has announced that the navy will not be used for operations in Afghanistan. No resolution yet on the canine controversy.

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