From Berlin to Baghdad: The Second Generation and the New World Order



When Norman Podhoretz and Jeane Kirkpatrick, two veteran neoconservative Cold Warriors, made their first visit to the USSR in June 1989, they were stunned and bewildered by the freedom of expression and political dissent they heard in Moscow.1 Since 1979, most neocons had subscribed to what had become known as the “Kirkpatrick Doctrine” of totalitarianism. Writing in the seminal neoconservative journal, Commentary. Kirkpatrick had famously claimed that totalitarian states, like the USSR, were immune to all liberalizing tendencies. While authoritarian regimes may provide limited space for liberalizing influences to take root, state control in regimes like the USSR was so total that this was not possible. This meant that morally as well as strategically, the United States was justified in supporting anticommunist authoritarian regimes in an alliance against the greater evil of the Soviet communism. Her article had a wide readership, including Ronald Reagan who was so impressed that he offered Kirkpatrick a job in his administration.2


Foreign Policy Single Pole Bush Administration Military Power World Power 
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© Maria Ryan 2010

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