The United States has a strategic problem: its war on terror, unlike its long fight against Communism, is not universally seen as the pivotal global struggle of the age. Rather, it is often portrayed abroad as a distraction from more critical issues - as an American attempt to impose a bellicose culture, driven by the cultivation of fear, on a world still taken with the notion that the cold war's end and technology's advance have opened unprecedented possibilities for dialogue and peace.
The world never shared the American belief that the struggle against Communism was "the pivotal global struggle of the age." The Europeans and the Japanese might have shared some of our views because the Soviet wolf was literally at their door. They were, however, quite content to have America do the heavy lifing in that pivotal struggle. Most nations were largely consumed by the same set of domestic challenges all face today. In Latin America nations were either insulated from the struggle entirely or they saw it play out in their domestic politics with little sense of a world conflict.
Even an anti-Communist Latin American or African government did not automatically support any aspect of American foreign policy towards the Soviet Bloc or anywhere else. Much of Africa and some of Latin America was 'non-aligned' meaning that rhetorically they leaned toward the Soviet Bloc but expected most development assistance to come from the West. Today the functional equivalent of the 'non-aligned' myth is making variously disapproving noises about American foreign policy and strident anti-Israeli pronouncements. All the while they adamantly refuse to criticise any American or Israeli opponent, even those who are terroristic or who are a threat to the 'non-aligned' nation itself.
Believing that there was some idylic era where America had a common vision and purpose with the world anytime after World War II distorts the past and serves a partisan political purpose in the present. Are we to believe then that Bush and 'his' War on Terror had us cast out of some Eden of worldly consensus?
The source of this for the Left is their embrace of post-modernism and the "pomo" rejection of the West. Simply put: Post modernists blame white heterosexual men for all of history's ills; to the pomo Left white heterosexual men are the source of all bad things. All political movements which oppose the West and/or white heterosexual men are good - whether they be feminists, "anti-colonialists," nativists, Islamists, gays, open border advocates, or anti-globalists, greens, etc..
All the Left's "anti-USA, anti-capitalist, anti-globalist, anti-neocon" positions can be seen as attacks on traditional culture and politics of the West - which has been a traditionally white male enterprise - at least until the second half of the last century.
Cultural and moral relativism are the post-facto rationalizations for the Left's insistence on supporting anti-West groups even though most these groups are anti-libertarian and even Luddite. The Left uses cultural relativism and moral relativism to argue that truly evil groups (in any universal sense - for example groups that commit genocide or traffic in slavery, for instance) are (to them) "merely alternative ways of living and behaving and judging."
This is why the Left so OVERVALUES the U.N. and OVERVALUE international unanimity/consensus as prerequisites for international intervention: the only source of universality for the Left is consensus among divergent appearing groups (nations, cultures, races, genders, etc.). Consensus is ersatz universality for the post modernist Left.
Proof that the Left's pomo moral and cultural relativism is in fact morally bankrupt is the fact that absent a cross-cultural consensus they have no basis for interceding to stop genocide when it occurs within a nation - as in the Sudan, or Rwanda - recently. If Hitler was around today, they'd watch him kill German Jews and just shrug their shoulders saying - in effect: "it's none of our business; it is an internal matter" - just as they have with Rwandans and Darfurians. They claim this is nuanced and sophisticated; it is actually morally bankrupt. Another example: cultural relativists have no moral basis for ending all slavery everywhere. To me this proves that the pomo Left is morally bankrupt - a philosphical dead-end, a poltical non-starter.
Further proof of their moral bankruptcy is the utter hypocrisy at the core of their creed: how could white male heterosexual civilization be "bad" (for women, non-Western nations & cultures, etc) if there is no such thing as "bad" - in absolute/universal terms!? It cannot really be "bad" because by their own definition there is no such thing as "bad.". How can Bush be "bad" if there is no such thing as "bad?"! YES: they simply want to have their cake and eat it to. This cannot be done, and it proves the the Left is a hypocritical, false and useless creed.
Neocons are merely universalists - not unlike FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. Neocons believe that all humans everywhere deserve the same human rights. And neocons are willing to take on burdens and risks to help their fellow human beings achieve their human rights; in fact, neocons think it is the duty of the richest and freest and most powerful among us to help our poorer and less free and weaker brothers and sisters enjoy their rights, too.
Richard Cohen is still basically a Leftist trapped in a tired, hypocritical, vapid, useless and amoral ideology. When he and his fellow travelers at the NYTIMES and in the Left abandon their "pomo moral relativism" they will join us in he good fight to make all of our brothers and sisters everywhere be free. Until then, I expect nothing but hypocritical revisionist/fantasist sniping which does nothing but aid the enemies of universal human rights for all humanity everywhere.