Monday, October 3, 2022
Home POLITICS KARA MCKINNEY: Why I am no longer a neoconservative

KARA MCKINNEY: Why I am no longer a neoconservative

A full year has passed since the suicide bombing that killed 13 US servicemen during Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Since then, the brother of one of those Marines has been suspected of took his own life in California near the monument to his fallen brother. Her mother says that in the days before her passing, she had been talking more about missing her younger brother and wanting to be with him. She could often be found sleeping on the grave of his brother.

My own younger brother deployed with the US Marine Corps on August 1, 2021 to provide security at Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul, the site of all the tragic events that unfolded in the pullout.

For those already skeptical of the Pentagon’s bloated budget, it may be important to note that while the Taliban could help themselves with billions of dollars worth of abandoned US weapons, equipment, vehicles and aircraft that largely remained unused In the hot desert sun, my brother was deployed in armor and helmet dating back to the early years of the initial invasion.

My brother already had friends patrolling the area until the end of July and was told the job would be relatively easy, even boring, despite mounting reports that the Taliban were almost making up ground on their way to Kabul. A friend contacted him to ask: “when are you coming to relieve us?” My brother would never come. His ship sailed too late to support the Marines and other US forces in Kabul before it went down.

My brother and many of his friends returned with insider knowledge that made them tired of what the military had become. I remember hearing about that phenomenon as a kid, when in third grade I (now embarrassed) voted for President George W. Bush’s re-election at a mock third-grade polling station at school. It always puzzles me. Why did so many patriotic men come back from the war angry with the government that sent them?

For many years I attributed it to stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. In these difficult situations, I believed it was my duty to honor their sacrifices without ever questioning their mission, even when they did. Doing that, I reasoned once, would be like siding with the leftists as they burned the American flag and called our returning troops baby killers. Oh, that’s what I thought. My love of country had been used against me by establishing a false dichotomy.

So what happened to cause him to change his mind so drastically as he grew to adulthood? Well, sadly there is no great epiphany moment. Just a slow trickle of reading academic papers on history, immersing myself more in my Catholic faith, and having a brother who saw it all from the inside. Those twin pillars and family connection gave me the foundation I needed to see world events more clearly. This is something I learned.

Patrick Deneen, Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame, in his book Why did liberalism fail? explains how the neoconservatives are just a complementary force to the liberal Democrats rather than their foil. While the former seeks to change the world through regime change and foreign interventionism, the latter seeks to do the same through international government agencies.

The fact that the Bush and Cheney dynasties were outvoted by Republican voters in the last primary election only to be welcomed with open arms by the same Democrats who once vilified them, without substantially changing their worldview, only confirms the thesis. of Deneen.

Understanding that paradigm explains why calls for nation building in Afghanistan, as just one of many examples, are doomed to failure. Such arguments are not based on reality. Novelist LP Hartley once wrote in 1953: “The past is a foreign country: things are done differently there.” Not only is the past a foreign country, but foreign countries are foreign countries.

What American liberals, left and right, fail to understand when they see humanity as made up of individuals freed from any unchosen ties is that humanity is truly rooted in time, place, family, and culture. What President Bush might consider “liberation,” with modern art classes in Kabul featuring images from a urinal to murals on city streets that would later include a depiction of George Floyd, many traditionalists in Afghanistan may see not as a liberation but as an existential action. threatens their way of life, regardless of their views on the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.

We must humble ourselves to acknowledge that there are also longstanding disputes that are so complicated and messy that we only do more harm than good when we get involved. Take, for example, that infamous 1993 headline run by the independent what he stated”Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the path to peace” with a photo of a young and smiling Osama Bin Laden. The CIA training and arms smuggling that the United States was conducting in Afghanistan to help the mujahideen give the invading Soviets their own Vietnam in the graveyard of empires only came back to bite us with 9/11.

To add insult to injury, just a decade after those deadly terrorist attacks in 2001, the US. side with Al-Qaeda in Syria as we learned from an email sent by our current National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, to his then head of the State Department, Hillary Clinton.

These are just two examples out of dozens I could easily cite, where the US trained and assisted a group using the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” formulation only to have them turn on us, using our intelligence and weaponry for each other. In Afghanistan, that took the form of many locals rejecting the Western-backed corrupt government that we used underhanded means to keep ourselves in power in Kabul. Some began to find the Taliban less corrupt. The US also sided with some northern warlords despite sexual slavery and abuse. A Green Beret in 2011 was disciplined by the military after kicking and body beating a powerful local police officer who was credibly accused of raping a child, a practice known as bacha bazi or child’s play. His superiors told the Green Beret that there was nothing he could do about it as it was his culture and we needed the police to keep working with us. The Taliban banned the practice in the 1990s.

There is also the related problem of sending our young people abroad to fight conflicts that we are importing here through mass immigration. After the 9/11 massacre, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) faced intense backlash for sending a Florida flight school a notice alerting them that two of the hijackers had been approved as students. This happened six months after his death.

So what should replace military adventurism for neoconservatism? I would argue that we need to be more realistic in how we view world events and realize that we are not God and cannot socially reshape or redesign the cultures of distant nations that are in the making for millennia. dr Sumantra Maitra, National Security Fellow at the Center for the National Interest, explained to me the realist theoretical framework that stems from the original reactionary conservatism:

“He argues that (I) the world is anarchic because there is an absence of hierarchy and global policing because hegemony is unsustainable in the long run as great powers rise and fall due to miscalculation, insolvency, or war. (II) Due to this anarchy, the great powers are also the main actors in world politics. They have mainly geographical and commercial interests, and the spheres of influence develop organically due to that asymmetry of interests. For example, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. (III) When that collides, there is a security dilemma. In the sense that great powers never trust anyone but themselves, so miscalculation of intent leads to conflict or competition. (IV) Small states tend to be ideological and drag the great powers to war, it is called chain ganging. (V) The ideal realist principle is to have very limited interests, not to waste blood and treasure on ideological or utopian crusades that spread values ​​or rights, only go to war under duress or extreme threat or when attacked, and seek balance from another way. of power and balance.






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