Francis Fukuyama: 2008 And the End of NeoCons History

In an interview with Le Monde's Daniel Vernet, Francis Fukuyama, the Author of 'The End of History', contends that forces of moderation and realists inside the Republican and the Democratic parties are already operating center stage in Washington and that the only obstacle to a real change in policy concerning Iraq is in the American constitution that gives full power to the president when it comes to foreign policy. The only way opponents to Bush's foreign policy can act is through a vote on the budget but here again, Fukuyama explains, politicians are reluctant to vote against sending support to the army out of fear of being labeled as anti-patriotic. And he concludes that we must wait until 2008 in order to see a real foreign policy change in Washington.
Here is an excerpt from the interview translated from French:

Q: Is the ''New Strategy'' of president Bush for Iraq really new or is it just the same old policy in a different form ?
F.F: It is the old strategy applied, this time, to a new situation. This is why it is not going to work. The assumption that drives this strategy is that we have in Baghdad a democratic government, beyond religious sectarianism, which is being attacked by forces representing the diverging interests of diverse religious sects. The official objective is that we have to militaryly support this government. One can see that this line of thinking is erroneous. Maliki's government is part of the religious sectarian conflict. It represents communities struggling to achieve domination in the balance of power in Iraq. The hidden objective of the new plan for Iraq is to defeat the clan of Moqtada Al-Sadr. Here again the problem is that Al-Sadr clan represents the most powerful community in Iraq. It is very difficult to inflict a military defeat on a sizeable part of the population.

Q: Do you consider what is going on in Iraq as a civil war ?
F.F: There is a stupid debate going in the US on the technical definition of a civil war. I believe that what we have in Iraq is a multidimensional conflict, a struggle to size power along sectarian religious and ethnic lines.

Q: How do you explain that the president and his advisors seem not to understand the real nature of the conflict ?
F.F: Despite the results of last elections and the critiques targeting this administration, there is an incapacity to recognise reality as it is. One of the most significant moments in this regard was a declaration made by president Bush during a farewell reception given for Rumsfeld's departure from the Pentagon. Bush said at the reception that the invasion of Iraq represented a formidable surge in the history of human freedom. That gives the impression that the president lives in a different world.

Q: Is it ideological blindness ?
F.F: In Bush's last speech, we have all this rethoric taken from WWII like ''There are there democratic forces who are waiting for our help...''

Q: Senator Kennedy said that Iraq was George Bush's Vietnam. Is he right ?
F.F: Yes, in a certain way. Iraq is, without any doubt, the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam.

Q: Liberals, including some American liberals, are making comparisons between Muslim fundamentalism and Communiusm, between the present War on Terror and the Cold War...
F.F: I believe that we have exaggerated the strategic threat of 9/11 and that this was an error. After 9/11, there was only some two to three dozen persons in the whole world capable of conducting terror operations inside the US and ready to do so. The result of our poor management of the aftermath of 9/11 is a self fulfilling prophecy. The parallel made between the present situation and the cold war is dubious. Islam is not comparable to Communism and Muslim fundamentalism is a more complex issue. It is more of a cultural issue than an ideological threat. The political discourse making parallels between Muslim fundamentalism and the Communist threat during the cold war is tailored to mobilise opinions around president Bush's projects and vision, but it represents, at the same time, an obstacle to understand the problems this kind of vision is tackling.

Q: What is the measure of the responsibility of your old friends, the NeoCons, in this vision ? What went wrong in Iraq ? Was it the war itself or the way it was done ? Your last book is titled 'Where the NeoCons come from' but my question is what will become of them ?
F.F: They are still around. They have followers. They also have an influence in this administration. The president consulted with them before announcing his new plan for Iraq to the nation on January 10th. However, I believe that after 2008, their time will be gone. The problem is the war itself. It was certainly poorly managed but the concept in itself is flawed. I am outraged by the fact that this flawed policy is being applied to Lebanon and Iran in the absence of any will to learn from the Iraqi adventure. The NeoCons are pushing for the bombardment of Iran's nuclear sites. This is simply madness.

Q: Do you think the president is going to take the decision to bomb Iran ?
F.F: I heard that Bush is going to do it just to show his determination, despite and against the public opinion.

In the same interview Fukuyama said that only Bush and Lieberman think that the US must bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

On Bush and reality read The Osterley Times: 'Bush continues to think that he can create his own reality'.


Behemoth101 said...

Fukuyama and I share a lot in common - we were both duped into thinking the war was a good idea, and now we oppose it vehemently!

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Fukuyama acknowledged that he was too hasty to announce in 1993 that History has Ended, since as a Liberal he thought that the market will end all wars, ironically he is drawing a lost attitude between the Realists and Liberals

Donal DeRoiste said...

History ended when Cain murdered Abel. In our drive toward death we all tend sometimes to try to capture and repeat the past. All wars are fought with the consciousness of previous ones. Nonetheless history goes on. Being Irish I would rather you labelled your site anti colonialist? Being anti zionist has shades of anti jewishness I feel? peace in our time Donal

Sophia said...

Well Donal, I assume I can label this blog as an anti-colonialist one and you are right. However:
Zionism is colonialism;
Zionism is not Jewishness;
Jewishness existed before Zionism and will exist after, if there is an after;
Being anit-zionist is not being anti-Jewishness but being pro-Jewishness.

I visited your blog and understood that you are a victim of something I could not define well. Good luck in bringing your case to the world through your blog because justice is everybody's fundamental right and is what makes us Humans...

N. said...

I see why I missed this. Jan 13th!
by the way, it's me, Naj.

Since March 29th 2006