I am not familiar with this group, and I did not get any vibes at first.  Not really.  They are holding a conference for two days now, and some of the speakers strike me as off key to be mixing with a lot of the Democrats here who are on the whole what I would call Clinton friends and allies.   Here are a few I noticed speaking today who seemed out of place:

Terrorism, Security & America’s Purpose conference

Norms Under Stress – Is there a Civil Liberties Trade-Off in Fighting Terrorism? And what of the Debate on Rendition, Interrogations, and Detentions?

Jonah Goldberg
Editor-at-Large, National Review Online and nationally syndicated columnist

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform and Member of the Board, American Conservative Union; and Member of the Board, National Rifle Association

The Hon. Lawrence Korb
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress;
Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information; and
Former Asst. Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration And Co-author (w/Robert Boorstin), Integrated Power: A National Security Strategy for the 21st Century

Reuel Marc Gerecht
Resident Fellow, American Foreign Policy, American Enterprise Institute
(Don’t know him, just saw the AEI)

Executive Session — Private Meeting
Roundtable on Guiding Principles in Considering Security Challenges in America
The Hon. John Ashcroft
Former Attorney General of the United States and Principal, The Ashcroft Group

The Hon. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
U.S. Senator and Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Francis Fukuyama
Academic Dean, Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies Johns Hopkins University
(Wasn’t he a guy who helped found the PNAC?  Will have to look it up.)

To be frank,  there are a lot of them I don’t know at all.  There are a lot who look fine.  It is just that the ones above are so out of place with a group that claims Democratic roots.  I guess I am not very trusting anymore.  
There is something about the conference at Tom Paine today:

America’s Purpose Conference Blog

The challenge of this conference was summed up well by Jim Steinberg of the Brookings Institution. He asked whether we are asking the right question when it comes to our national security strategy.

Steinberg said we must look at how the U.S. acts in the world–that  thus far, we have not asked the right questions when it comes to the post-9/11 world. That, until we deal with the deeper issues that cause the major problems and threats we face, we are not going to have a strategy that secures our real national security interests.

Most of the first panel said as much. A few spoke as if they were asking the right questions and were not affected by Steinberg’s challenge.

But the worst offense was Joe Biden’s affirmation of George Bush’s grand strategy. As I write this, he’s still speaking, but he opened with the idea that the two priorities of the United States are, first, to win the struggle between freedom and radical fundamentalism. (Indeed, he is praising Bush now.) Second, he wants to keep WMD out of the hands of terrorists. In his search for common ground, Biden is blinded to the larger issues facing America.

It was clear Biden was going to parrot the Bush-lite concepts laid out by Peter Beinart last December as he begins to run for president. But now he has formally embraced it, and it looks like the Democrats are going to be in for quite a pre-election debate. I’ll write more after the next session, but I hope, for the republic, that Biden is open to listening to folks like Steinberg–who was brave enough to say he and others had it wrong.

There is a little more that is very interesting from the writer.  I feel that way looking at the speakers for the conference.  Who are the hawks?  Who are the practical ones who realize our role needs to change in the world.   Again,  there are too many claiming to be in charge of the party’s agenda, and my head feels as though it will burst.  

Robert Pape just dropped a bombshell on the conference, arguing that it was American military policy in the Muslim world that led to 9/11. Of course, the 9/11 Commission said as much, but it said so quietly.

Thinking about what just preceded this, Joe Biden’s embrace of the Bush Doctrine, I sit wondering if we are about to witness a real split in the American political system. Those who are willing to accept Pape’s analysis and deal with root causes like Steinberg said…versus those who would rather try to continue to feed America’s illusions.

Pape just did it again. He’s reading from an Al Qaeda strategy document written in 2003 that explains the Al Qaeda strategy and shows that their motive and intent are aligned: to get Western forces out of the Muslim world, stripping us of our allies.

Now he’s taking it the next step. He’s arguing that we need to rethink how we secure our regional interests in the Gulf. I’d argue that we need to rethink our interests completely, but this is the interim step. Now it’s out there.

Just trying to make sense of a group which includes such diversity and apparently trying to form a foreign policy.   I think the Third Way is doing that as well as the PPI. They are both allied with the DLC.

Progressive Policy Institute

The Third Way

Should be a crowded foreign policy field and very interesting.   But Jonah Goldberg?  Grover Norquist?  John Ashcroft?

0 0 votes
Article Rating