Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Euston Manifesto and Dissent: Discussions of post-Iraq policies

The debate about the role and function of progressive foreign policy in a post-Iraq world is alive and well. This is an important discussion for liberal internationalists who have every reason to believe the current disaster in Iraq may sour Western citizenry on future work abroad for democratic and humanitarian goals.

Two such groups of liberals and leftists are addressing these issues. One is among the signers of the Euston Manifesto – a statement of democratic principles. It was written largely in the context of British politics but the themes are universal.

On April 30th, a group of Ministers in the British government, trade unionist activists, a journalist and NGO leaders – all associated with the Euston Manifesto – addressed the topic of “Humanitarian Intervention post-Iraq.” They discussed the lack of a Arab response to the crisis in the Darfur, the excuses made by Western intellectuals for suicide bombings and other terrorist acts, Iraq and the need to support democrats, the future for the United Nations, and whether the UN is a 'failed' organization.

The discussion was videotaped and can be viewed here.

On this side of the Atlantic are the intellectuals associated with Dissent magazine – a democratic socialist journal published since the 1950’s. The influence of this publication in progressive American politics far exceeds its small circulation.

Dissent published a symposium entitled, “Exporting Democracy: What Have We Learned from Iraq?” in its spring 2007 issue. Eight different writers address the issue of how or how not to promote democracy abroad in light of the disaster of Iraq.

Both are worth examining.

1 comment:

Steve Hilton said...

absolutely excellent post with great links