Surrender as 'Realism' -- Retreat would win us no friends and lose us no adversaries.What defeated the USSR was not detente, and not containment; it was Reagan's huge defense build up, SDI and straight-forward/"in your face" no-holds barred "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!" rhetoric. IOW: confrontation.
[EXCERPT]: So let's add up the "realist" proposals: We must retreat from Iraq, and thus abandon all those Iraqis--Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, and others--who have depended on the United States for safety and the promise of a better future. We must abandon our allies in Lebanon and the very idea of an independent Lebanon in order to win Syria's support for our retreat from Iraq. We must abandon our opposition to Iran's nuclear program in order to convince Iran to help us abandon Iraq. And we must pressure our ally, Israel, to accommodate a violent Hamas in order to gain radical Arab support for our retreat from Iraq.
This is what passes for realism these days. But of course this is not realism. It is capitulation.
So called realists would like you to believe that they are in a noble line of "Cold Warriors," and they'd like you to believe that containment won the Cold War, (and that Vietnam was a waste). They'd like you to believe that global jihad can be likewise contained - by engaging in detente with Iran and Syria, but they are just as wrong. FACT: From 1945 to 1980 -- the era of so-called containment, appeasement and detente -- the USSR grew and grew and grew. They did not stop growing and start collapsing until Reagan.
Actually, adopting the policies of containment and appeasement now would be WORSE than they were during the Cold War; it would be like appeasing Hitler in 1942!
UPDATE: It's NOT off-topic to include a photo-shopped pic' of John Forbes Kerry in a post about so-called realism. Kerry would like you to believe he is a "realist" just like Baker and just like his own father - Richard - a life-time bureaucrat in the State Department, and a lifelong member of the "realist school", (who opposed Reagan and attacked Wilsonian foreign policy). Here's a quote:
"Americans," he writes, "are inclined to see the world and foreign affairs in black and white." They celebrate their own form of government and denigrate all others, making them guilty of what he calls "ethnocentric accommodation -- everyone ought to be like us."It matters not who promulgates so-called "realism" in foreign policy and national security - whether is Kerry or Hagel or Baker or Hamilton or Scowcroft or Brzezinski. "Realism" is an amoral policy which has never defeated an enemy, never liberated a people, and never brought lasting peace, either. In fact, it brought us 9/11.
As a result, America has committed the "fatal error" of "propagating democracy" and fallen prey to "the siren's song of promoting human rights," falsely assuming that our values and institutions are a good fit in the Third World.
And, just as Americans exaggerate their own goodness, they exaggerate their enemies' badness. The Soviet Union wasn't nearly as imperialistic as American politicians warned, Kerry argues. "Seeing the Soviet Union as the aggressor in every instance, and the U.S. as only reacting defensively, relieves an American observer from the need to see any parallel between our use of military power in distant parts of the world, and the Soviet use of military power outside the Soviet Union," he writes. He further claims that "Third world Marxist movements were autonomous national movements" -- outside Moscow's orbit. The book culminates in a plea for a hardheaded, realist foreign policy that removes any pretense of U.S. moral superiority.