Peacenik Howard Dean has come out in favor of military intervention in Liberia. How does he square this with his fervent opposition to military action in Iraq? Incoherently:
“Dean argued there’s no inconsistency in opposing the war in Iraq while backing intervention in Africa. He said Bush never made the case that Iraq posed a threat to the world.
“‘The situation in Liberia is exactly the opposite,’ Dean said. ‘There is an imminent threat of serious human catastrophe and the world community is asking the United States to exercise its leadership.'”
Huh? Iraq didn’t pose a threat to the world, whereas in Liberia there is a threat of a human catastrophe. No, wait, it was Liberia that didn’t pose a threat to the world and Iraq where there was a human catastrophe. Anyway, the situations are clearly opposite.
They are indeed opposite in this respect: America’s national interest was at stake in Iraq, but is not in Liberia. Dean’s attitude toward foreign policy is classically Clintonian: be willing to intervene around the world, but only where America’s interests will not be served. This is viewed by some confused people as a “moral” foreign policy.
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