Monday, January 31, 2005

Call The Doc, Spain Has WT

As an international politics major, I have had countless theories on foreign policy shoved down my throat, similar to my infantile years when my mom used to try the old “here the comes the plane into the hangar” trick with broccoli. However, it was this past fall that I was introduced to, and ecstatically surprised, to encounter what I believe is the most straight-forward yet enlightening hypothesis to hit international relations and foreign politics this side of the Mississippi. Professor Harkavy, at my home base university of Penn State, lectured to our class on several occasions his sincere belief in what he so lovingly describes as the “WT Theory,” otherwise known as the “Wounded Testicle Theory.” Unimaginably resourceful in nature, the WT provides some of the most shocking insight to almost every conflict that has occurred in the history of the world, from the biblical tale of Cain and Abel to the fateful terrorist strike in the heart of Manhattan.

The drive behind the WT is human emotion and the pain of humiliation. As a result of such humiliation, the attacked, or the group possessing the “wounded” blue balls will stop at nothing in order to exact revenge. Most notably this is seen as occurring in the case of the Middle East. For nearly five hundred years, the Arab world has experienced a real pounding in the sac. This is exemplified by the fact that they have been unable to take control of Israel, a measly speck of desert on the shiny surface of the globe. This disappointment is compounded by the fact that their world population squanders that of the Jewish citizenry. While this is all fun and interesting, it was not until I arrived in Barcelona this semester that I have begun to witness the WT firsthand.

As mentioned by, but not in the exact same terms, Robert Kagan discusses in his masterful work, Of Paradise and Power, the shame and tail-between-the-legs feeling of the entirety of Europe following two World Wars and a successive fifty years of the most lackey stagnation of foreign policy to date. The shove-offish way that Europe tends to act toward the U.S., and vice versa (in the eyes of the neocon) is not surprising considering the realist explanation of why one with power should refuse to give that power up, and why the little kid in the sandbox who has no friends to play with has all the incentive in the world to be a complainer just to gain some attention. When I talk to my newly acquired Catalan friends, who demonstrate 100% hatred for Dubya, I am not sure if it is blind ignorance, researched and formulated disgust, or inherited mistrust from two generations of those suffering the sock to the genitals. In any case, I never really predicted that the WT would follow me across the Atlantic during my studies in sunny Barcelona. Too see how far the WT will go in España, stay tuned for future neocon updates from the Frum faithful. Jonathan signing off.

Bienvenido

Welcome to DemRealists. This is a blog edited by two Penn State students - my compadre Jon and myself - who are currently studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. We think and write with a neoconservative persuasion on American foreign policy and international affairs. Yes, a neoconservative persuasion. We aren't afraid to admit it. But let me be more specific. Our blog title is DemRealists. But we aren't Democrats (Kerry, Dean, Kennedy, etc), nor are we realists (Morgenthau, Kissinger, Scowcroft, etc). We are, as Charles Krauthammer termed it in an address to the American Enterprise Institute last Februrary, democratic (small "d") realists. This school of thought is a more narrow neoconservative approach for American foreign policy. Allow Dr. Krauthammer to explain:

"We will support democracy everywhere, but we will commit blood and treasure only in places where there is a strategic necessity--meaning, places central to the larger war against the existential enemy, the enemy that poses a global mortal threat to freedom."

In essence, as our blog's sub-title says, we support democracy "Where it counts." And where it counts today is from Casablanca to Karachi. From North Africa, across the Arab peninsula, through Persia and into Pakistan is where we wish to see democracy spread because, as most observers will acknowledge, this is the part of the world from which the murderous ideology of Islamic fundamentalism is conceived. Therefore, we believe the antidote to Islamic fundamentalism are the universal ideals of democratic self-governance, human rights, rule of law, and market economics.

Further, it is our belief that the Bush administration's foreign policy is based upon this democratic realism. Critics point out that while President Bush talks about spreading democracy the world over, he has remained relatively quiet over Russian president Vladimir Putin's authoritarian creep. The United States remains a close ally of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, a general who came to power in a military coup in 1999 and certainly not a democrat. And, of course, our relations with fundamentalist Saudi Arabia are never without criticism. After all, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were of Saudi origin.

Well, this is the "realism" in this neoconservative approach. Clearly we can't just go 'round the world knocking off dictators a la Saddam. And we aren't arout to. In fact, the point of our invasion of Iraq was to make military action less likely. The point of our Iraq operation in 2003, was, in part, self-defense against Saddam's illicit weapons programs and, in part, to give political reform a kick start in the heart of the Muslim world. Remember, this all harks back to 9/11. The hope for many hawks was that Iraq would be the model for the rest of the Middle East to begin a democratic revolution (or at least the slow beginnings of one) throughout the region (See Krauthammer's quote above).

And it looks like the Iraq's successful elections yesterday are a good start in making this hope a reality. But only history will be able to confirm this. In the mean time, we'll be doing our best to sort it all out.