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    24 May 2006

    Tough days for neocons [UPDATED]

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    Man this week - not to mention ever since "Mission accomplished" - has been tough on the so-called foreign policy experts at the American Enterprise Institute (a neoconservative dormitory in DC). Yesterdays bitch-slap by thinkprogress.org blogger Faiz Shakir of Peter Wehner (warning: link will take you directly to BS. Do not click unless you seek to comfort yourself from the reality of how piss-poor Republican policy has been these past 5 years). And now today's Op-Ed by WaPo's Harold Meyerson takes Willie Kristol to school on the Iraq war and the misguided course neoconservativism has taken since the days of Bill's father, a liberal named Irving Kristol.

    Meyerson writes, quoting Willie:
    "There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America," he told National Public Radio listeners in the war's opening weeks, "that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's been almost no evidence of that at all," he continued. "Iraq's always been very secular."

    He wasn't entirely wrong. Iraqi professionals were disproportionately secular. Now they are packing up their secularism and taking it to other lands. The war, and the failure to establish order that led to the barbarism that's driving Iraqis away, can't be laid solely on the neocons' doorstep, of course. These second-generation neos needed a trio of arrogant, onetime CEOs -- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld -- to actualize their vision. But actualize it they did, and the ideologues whose forebears once argued that the drugged-out Bronx was a monument to liberal folly have now made blood-drenched and depopulating Baghdad the monument to their own neocon obsessions.

    Ouch.

    Col. Pat Lang writes, "Yes. It is the non-secular majority of Iraqis, as opposed to the very Westernised and secular minority who are now in command of the 'national unity government.'"

    Dr. Juan Cole piles on:
    Oh, yeah, Kristol is a big Iraq expert who can avoid "pop sociology." Bill Kristol should have read my co-edited book of 1986, "Shi'ism and Social Protest," if he thought the Iraqi Shiites were not interested in establishing an Islamic state. Hanna Batatu could have given him some information on the Dawa Party and the Badr Corps, which are now more or less in control of Iraq, thanks to Kristol. Kristol, by the way, once argued that the US should have 1.2 million troops available solely for foreign occupations, and that 400,000 each should be allotted to occupy Iraq, Iran and North Korea. And this looney tunes, smug man has the ear of the wealthy and powerful in our country!


    It was my birthday yesterday. I'll take this as an extra present.

    The ideals of neo-neoconservatism are all but gone, and what a mess they've left.

    [UPDATE] Philip Slater at the Huff Post has more...

    Posted by Geoff

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