Correction Please! Professor Byas Libels Foreign Affairs – Part 1

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4 Responses

  1. Red Power says:

    Americanists vs Globalists

    Americanists are imperialists. Example: Neo-cons (John Bolton, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Dick Cheney)

    They want America to rule the world.

    (Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence are evangelicals.)

    Globalists are the Liberal Internationalists.

    They want a world government and limitations on national sovereignty. (like one world)

    And Donald Trump …

    Paleo-cons / isolationists (anti-imperialists and anti-globalists) supported Trump. They’re populists, not the American Power Elites.

    But Trump fired them and some resigned.

    Russia supports the paleo-con ideology, because thinks an isolated America will serve to the Russian Imperialism.

    CFR members are internationalists but not all liberals. Example: Dick Cheney is member of the CFR but is a conservative.

    Maybe I’m wrong.

    • Will.B says:

      Red Power, your taxonomy of US foreign policy ideologies and where Trump fits in is pretty close to how I see it.

      But permit me to quibble just on the issue of where the “Americanist” label applies. The most prominent “Americanist” is recently fired/resigned NSA to Trump, John Bolton, although a supporter of the US invasion of Iraq, didn’t share the neo-con vision of bringing democracy to the Middle East. More importantly, he had narrower foreign policy doctrine that he called “Americanist”, which not only rejected nation-building, but also was strongly opposed to any international/multi-lateral institutions that he believed constrained the application of US power. In a way there’s a few hair widths difference between Bolton and the Bush Jr era neo-cons (Bolton was a favorite of Cheney), but he was more about the brutal assertion of US power than combining that with Wilsonian/neo-con delusions about spreading democracy through invasion and long-term occupation.

      As for Trump himself, he’s no pacifist, despite the delusions of some that he embodies some sort of “non-interventionist mindset” (a position advanced albeit in a tweet by none other than Glenn Greenwald) but he is more of a militarist (as Daniel Larison has cogently and perceptively argued on The American Conservative site) who likes to use US power to bully other nations. That’s why Bolton was an attractive choice in that he represented an ideology that appealed to Trump in promoting the idea the US should do what it likes without regard to international law, United Nations etc. Except that Bolton had a slightly more sophisticated understanding than Trump on what happens when US power is used to play craps on the international stage…

      I agree that Russia (and China) supports the paleo-con ideology because it promises to limit US power.

      Cheney’s membership of the CFR is no mystery once one accepts the reality the CFR reflects the factions within the US power elite, except for the isolationist/paleo-cons. It’s never been an exclusively “globalist” concern.

      • Red Power says:

        “More importantly, he had narrower foreign policy doctrine that he called ‘Americanist’, which not only rejected nation-building, but also was strongly opposed to any international/multi-lateral institutions that he believed constrained the application of US power.”

        Yes, you are right, but aren’t neo-cons also anti-UN? Is the Americanism really different from the neoconservatism?

        Btw, why did you use the term “Wilsonian” for neo-con? What did you mean? Although there is consensus on democracy promotion in foreign policy, isn’t Wilsonianism a form of Liberal Internationalism, and pro-the League of Nations? Am I wrong?

        • Will.B says:

          Yes, the neo-cons are anti-UN, indeed some of their rhetoric about the UN was close to that of the John Birch Society at one time. The difference between neo-cons and Americanists is their attitude towards regime change and nation-building. The neo-cons believe regime change followed by installing a democracy will guarantee American security interests; the Americanists, at least as embodied in Bolton’s views, are more hit and run i.e. remove the offending regime, don’t care what the replacement looks like, so long as it toes the line.

          By Wilsonian, I don’t mean that the neo-cons share Wilson’s belief in the League of Nations, or even international government, but rather his belief that the spread of democracy would accelerate world peace. The neo-cons are nearly so altruistic, maybe idealistic in some respects, but not necessarily imbued with a deep and abiding concern for the human rights of non-Americans when they get in the way of core US interests.

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