May 19, 2008

“Gunboat Generosity”

Speaking of foreign policy as identity politics, I think it’s safe to say we reached a whole new level of militant global do-gooding among journalists last week with Robert Kaplan’s idea of “aid at the point of a gun”: Myanmar is gonna get our munificence, and they’re gonna get it good and hard! It’s not too surprising that Kaplan would make such “regime change + save the children” proposals, and I guess it shouldn’t be surprising either that a NRO writer, in this case Lisa Schiffren, would enthusiastically endorse them. Wasn’t there a time when you could read serious critiques of the very idea of foreign aid in NR? I guess they’ve now moved on to ?Gunboat Generosity,? as Jim Antle call it. It all fits in with the Bush Doctrine, you see, as we could add a ?friendly government? right next to China and encircle the Red Dragon with democracy and aid! I’m not sure that our other ?friendly,? pro-USA government right off the coast of China has helped much in the way of containing China?s rise, spreading democracy, or preventing conflict?but, hey, let?s give it another try!

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