Colbert: My guest tonight is the author of a new book titled The World America Made – although for tech support, you’re gonna want to call India. Please welcome Robert Kagan!Mr. Kagan, thanks for coming on.
Kagan: Thank you.
Colbert: Man, I am so happy that you are on this show, because you’re a neo-con. Right?.
Kagan: I guess. That’s what they tell me.
Colbert: That’s what they told me about you too.
Colbert: I miss you guys. Because back in the early 2000’s, back in the Bush administration, you guys were like the Cabbage Patch Kids, the Tickle Me Elmo. Everyone had to have a neo-con on their team. It’s like talking to a collectors item.
Kagan: Thank You. Thank you
Colbert: Now, you’re a whole bunch of different things. You’re senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, you’re a Washington Post columnist – I’m surprised that liberal rag lets you write over there – and a foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney. Is that as sexy as it sounds?
Kagan: I’m very honored to be able to work and help to governor in any way that I can.
Colbert: You’re one of 24 guys advising him on foreign policy.
Kagan: At least. He’s got quite a…
Colbert: But you’re the best one, right?
Kagan: I’m sure that’s not the case, no.
Colbert: No, c’mon, c’mon! Alright, now you’ve got a book called The World America Made. What is the world America made?
Kagan: Well it’s the world that the United States, with its influence after World War II, created. It’s a liberal international economic order of free and open markets. It’s a world increasingly democratic. Before World War I, there were ten democracies, today there are 115.
Colbert: We did that?
Kagan: We did do that, yeah.
[The U.S. seeks] to portray Iran as a criminal enterprise, not just as another bad country but as a rogue state that is engaged in horrible crimes across the region.... We are moving from a position of accommodation to one of confrontation across multiple fronts.
There’s a very strong tendency in U.S. foreign policy to acknowledge and to congratulate for holding elections, even when those elections take place in a pretty unfair context.