Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Neoconservatism and the Arab Revolutions"

Here's a teaser from Ross Douthat's review of discussion among neoconservatives about what the U.S. military should do or not do in the Arab crescent currently in tumult. He takes pains to highlight the present disparity between neoconservatives and the Israeli government, which are often mistaken for one another.

The New York Times columnist frames the ideas in a way that clearly belie his own empathetic position to neoconservative sensibilities. But he concludes, so true to form, with a soft-touch but clear rejection of the idea to wage intervention with any involvement of U.S. boots on the ground.

Douthat starts and ends as follows:

"[Here is] a good piece exploring the divide that’s opened between American neoconservatives and many Israelis over the revolutions and protests currently roiling the Middle East — with neocons welcoming the fall of Hosni Mubarak and the promise of democratic change throughout the region, even as the Israeli leadership classes wax more pessimistic about the likely consequences of replacing despots with more popular regimes. “Could there be a starker illustration of just how mistaken the neocon-Israeli conflation always was?” Kirchik [the author of the linked piece] asks, and he’s right: The last few weeks should bury, once and for all, the foolish idea that neoconservatism’s rhetorical commitment to democracy promotion is just a smokescreen for Likudnik dual loyalties or U.S. imperialism.
"... The last time we imposed a no-fly zone on a weakened Arab tyrant who we hoped would soon be toppled by his own people, the year was 1992 and the tyrant in question was Saddam Hussein — and we have been at war in Iraq, in one sense or another, ever since."

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