During a BloggingHeads.tv appearance with Robert Wright, Fukuyama says of Bill Kristol and his circle at The Weekly Standard that during the 1990s "There was actually a deliberate search for an enemy because they felt that the Republican Party didn't do as well" when foreign policy wasn't on the issue agenda. The obvious candidates were either China or something relating to Islamic fundamentalism and, as Fukuyama notes, what they came up with was China. Then 9/11 changed things around, at least for a few years.Matt says this is telling of the Bush mentality, and it is. But I can't help but think of that Onion headline - "Madonna shocks 7." (If you know the article, this makes sense. If not, go buy Our Dumb Century.)
Basically, my reaction is: "This is news?" I mean, it's nice to have it stated so baldly, but really, didn't we all kind of believe this anyway? Certainly, the rhetoric around Saddam Hussein in the runup to the war suggested to me that what was important was that he serve as a bogeyman, not that any words were actually true.
What words like this should do is make any swing voter who pulled a lever for Bush because "The GOP is more serious about national security" in to an ardent Michael Moore fan. Of course, those people will never believe this stuff, even when a conspirators (like Fukuyama) confess.