Is the neocon nightmare dead? Can I wake up?
Christopher Orlet (who runs the The Existential Journalist ponders in a very interesting piece in The American Spectator whether the neocon "dream" is dead:
These are hard days for the neocons. [not sure about that. sugar daddies continue to fund weekly standard and company; neocons still hired as op-ed writers by elite newspapers and show-up on television news shows] There are defections left and right (well, mostly right). [am not sure about this "right" and "left" thing; I always associated social engineering on a global scale with the left] Those who remain on board seem as wobbly as Kate Moss after an all-night coke binge. [cool metaphors and analogies invlving Paris Hilton or Survivor demonstrate that you're not a stuffy analyst but are in touch with the popular culture.I do that all the time] Last month Francis Fukuyama -- always an irresolute neocon [always irresolute? really?] -- formally severed all ties:[a day that would live in infamy] "Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support." [sobbing] At home the Venerable Buckley pronounced the Iraq War a lost cause. Andrew Sullivan offered a mea culpa to his readers in Time. ("The shock of 9/11 provoked an understandable but still mistaken over-estimation of the risks we faced.")[check out my earlier post] Abroad, the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections gave critics more ammo. [Shame on you, Condi. Giving ammo to critics] Given the choice in a free and open election, Palestinians opted for a terrorist organization. Iraq, the cliche-mongering press [you mean cliches like "the war president" or "Saddam has nuclear weapons"] reminded us, "teetered on the brink of civil war."[so Iraq is not on the brink of civil war? Isn't that what the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad told the LA Times in a recent interview? Is he a cliche-mongering kind of guy]To some it appears the neoconservative moment is over. ["Some" are just wimps!]
Critics maintain that Islam and democracy are incompatible; that Arab democracy is an oxymoron. [did anyone actually say that?] In his new book America at the Crossroads, Fukuyama chastises neocons for the apparent double standard in opposing social engineering at home, but taking it on the road to the Middle East. "By definition, outsiders can't 'impose' democracy on a country that doesn't want it," he writes. [makes sense to moi] "Demand for democracy and reform must be domestic." The Cato Institute's Leon Hadar seconds this: "The U.S. push for democracy in the Middle East has been a self-defeating strategy that has made the region safe for nationalism and other radical forms of ethnic, religious, and tribal movements....It's difficult for American neoconservatives who fantasize about a global multicultural community committed to liberal democratic values to admit that perhaps the Muslims are not 'like us' after all." [Hey, I know this guy! Thanks, Chris. You've made my mom happy]
The childish temper-tantrum over the Danish Khartoons [is this suppose to be clever? "Cartoons" and "Khartoom?"] would seem to support Fukuyama and those who insist that Muslims do not share our values.[I don't think that Frak F. thinks that. Read his stuff again] Then again the U.S. media doesn't appear to share them either, for only a handful of media outlets showed the drawings. And as for free speech and diversity, when was the last time you heard a conservative balance NPR's Daniel Schorr's far-left screeds? Imagine if the Detroit Free Press or some such paper ran an editorial cartoon highly offensive to some American ethnic group. Would not all hell break loose? [Now, that's really silly? You mean the critics would threaten the live of the cartoonists or burn the NPR offices?]
WE ARE TOLD THAT Muslims despise liberty and freedom and relish the sound of their own chains rattling. [Again, who exactly is saying that? It's a nice trick. To turn intelligent and balanced arguments into a caricature, like if I said that you believe that Washington and Jaffari are both "democrats"]This conveniently ignores that fact that half of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims live under democratically elected governments in Bangladesh [now, that's really a shining model of democracy], India [it's ruled by the Hindus and in any case, I won't apply the term "democracy" to both India and say, Canada in the same sentence], Indonesia [the same here], Nigeria, [that's probably a mistake...] and Turkey. [I actually agree with you here, although the Kurds and the novelist Pamuk may have different opinons] The U.S. is home to 4 to 7 million Muslims. Every day hundreds cross legally and illegally into the U.S., Canada, Australia, the EU and South Africa. [You're talking about Western democracies and considering the great success of integrtating Moslems in Europe...] If these nations were to open their borders today, there wouldn't be enough people left in the non-democratic countries to field a soccer team. [They are looking for jobs, jobs, jobs. Do you really think that anyone would leave non-democratic Hong Kong to India or Nigeria?]
President Bush has said (and it bears repeating)[not really] that our security depends on the spread of democracy to unfriendly nations. [why is that exactly?] The question remains how best to achieve this? A recent report by Freedom House states that nonviolent "people power" movements are the strongest force in most successful transitions to democracy. The report focuses on 67 countries where dictatorships have fallen since 1972. To that end, the Bush administration has announced it would increase funding for dissident groups in Iran. Fukuyama likewise suggests this route, beefing up USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the State Department. Sure, and maybe we can "dialogue" Osama bin Laden into giving himself up. On this point in particular, neocons, like the military historian Victor Davis Hanson, disagree:
More often than not, democracies arise through violence -- either by threat of force or after war with all the incumbent detritus of humiliation, impoverishment, and revolution....[T]he birth pangs of democracy are often violent, and we should pay little attention to critics who clamor that the United States cannot prompt reform through regime change. Instead, let skeptical Americans (who were not given their own liberty through debate) adduce evidence that freedom is usually a result of mere petition or always indigenous.
It is true a minority will always oppose freedom. However, those Sunnis who bombed the Samarra mosque are but the remnants of Saddam's dying fascist regime -- thugs who believe they can regain their lost power by provoking a sectarian war. Yes, there will be sectarian violence. And it will not be limited to Iraq. The Shiites and the Sunnis have been beating each other over the head since the Prophet ascended into paradise in 632. Sectarian violence is common in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, and until recently Ireland. The fascists do not speak for the Iraqi people, nor can they be allowed to win. [what you're describing here is called "nationalism" even if it's mish-mashed with ethnic, religious, and tribal indentity. They seem to exploding in Iraq as a result of our democracy project].
Do not write off the Iraqi people. The alternative is a return to Taliban or Baathist rule. And nobody, save the Taliban and the Baathists, wants that. [conclusion: if you are opposed to Bush's Freedom Project, you're an ally of the Taliban and the Baathists]