Neo-conservatives

Tony Blair and George Bush

If you want an exposé of the latest misadventures of the neo-conservatives, I can recommend that you read the latest piece in the Guardian by David Clark. You can find the link by clicking here.

David Clark has proved to be one of the most articulate and insightful critics (in the best sense) of the Blair government and its policies. His warnings about the neo-cons deserve to be taken seriously.

An argument we often have to face is that only by signing up with George W Bush are we able to defend and export the values of liberal democracy. That is what the neo-cons and their friends tell us. I disagree. I would argue that the antics of the neo-cons do more harm than good.

Liberal democracy depends not only on what happens within the state, but also what happens between states. Democracy and the rule of law belong there, too. The evidence of Guantanamo Bay shows that the neo-cons do not agree.

Establishing the principles and habits of liberal democracy at international level is much harder than at national level – no-one can deny that – but that does not make it less important. Multilateral institutions take time and patience to build. In claiming to be democrats while setting about undermining those multilateral institutions, it is the neo-cons who have some explaining to do.

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