Liberals and War
In response to a piece this week by Ezra Klein on “liberal hawks,” I asked whether or not the hawkish liberal was a genuine phenomenon, or in fact just the creation of the progressive isolationist (I think I should trademark that):
I think the progressive isolationist has in fact created a convenient strawman of their own. By bemoaning the “war narrative” of the “liberal hawks” and the “Neo-cons,” they can dismiss any and all arguments made in favor of taking a tough stance with Iran. If it’s a “war narrative,” rather than a diplomatic use of leverage against a very real enemy, well than all talk is suspect. Invading Iraq is hawkish. Staying in Iraq is hawkish. Talking tough to a totalitarian (and he is a totalitarian, Ezra) becomes the same as President Bush mismanaging the war in Iraq. It becomes the same as failing to capture Osama Bin Laden, or aligning ourselves with obviously dubious regimes like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. To the progressive isolationist, any and all talk involving our military is apparently what distinguishes the “liberal hawk” from just a plain old liberal.
You can read my thoughts in full here. I believe this is one of the many problems synonymous with the modern Democratic Party. The truth of the matter is that there should be plenty of room for both the so-called hawks and the so-called progressives. Equating military action against Iran with “hawkish liberalism” strikes me as an oxymoron. Liberals have always been hawks, and have always fought wars that stretched beyond our own immediate security concerns.
Am I on crazy pills? Does the moderate readership of Donklephant have anything more to add to this?