Thursday, August 31, 2006


Fresh Air Last Night

Terry Gross had on some neo-con. I couldn't stand to listen to it for more than a few minutes, but what I heard was very revealing:

(1) Iran does not and will not any time soon develop nuclear weapons. Why do I say this? The neo-con was very clear that we should attack Iran even if it may not develop nuclear weapons. At the very least, the warmongers have learned that crying "WMD" is no longer credible after what's happened with Iraq. At worst, these people again know that they want to go to war with a country with no WMDs, but wish to claim they (well, actually they won't be fighting it ... we all know who gets stuck with that job) had to go to war rather than that we are being led to war 'cause Barney Fife has an itchy trigger finger.

(2) At least some neo-cons don't mind WMD proliferation, so long as a "democracy" (read US friendly, which is fair enough) has those weapons ... of course, Iran is a quasi-republic (actually, it's pretty much what the religious right wants our country to be: a republic, but with established religiosity), so that kinda defeated the neo-con's point (and, funny, he didn't mention Pakistan -- maybe Terry Gross brought that up, but by this point I was getting sick from this yahoo and had to turn the radio off) -- so "neo-con" foreign policy is pretty transparently about placing US friendly governments around the world, by force if necessary ... not about stopping WMD proliferation or democratization. So why do they call we who oppose them realists? How is their foreign policy really any different than the "realism" that helped to bring us 9/11 in the first place?

They claim "9/11 changed everything". But it didn't exactly change things for those liberals now slandered as if they are the second coming of Kissinger, simply because some of us were pushing foreign policies and security ideas that may have prevented those attacks and have not changed course 'cause we were not exactly, er, disproven. Meanwhile, those who were proven wrong are pushing the same course they always pushed, but are repackaging it and claiming "9/11 changed everything". I guess the packaging is "everything" in today's commercial society, eh? Either that or, as we've learned with people who were right about Iraq being considered "unserious" about national security and people who were wrong and who continue to be wrong being lauded as "serious" (it's time to read P.J. O'Rourke's excellent essay on the "serious problem" ... heck, it's time to re-read Hazlitt's "On the Pleasures of Hating"), wrong is the new right like pink is the new black: but really -- can you were pink with all the same colors with which you can wear black?

(3) These neo-cons really think that bombing a place will cause people to turn against their leaders and for democracy to bloom. What the $#@*? When we were attacked we certainly didn't say "GW Bush might be part of the problem" and didn't then vote him out. Instead we rallied behind him and criticized other countries (e.g. Spain) who actually did vote their leadership out following terrorist attacks.

Now, I know -- we are not as bad as the terrorists and our actions are more justified than those of the terrorists. But so what? We could be perfectly justified in bombing Iran (I'm not saying we are) and we could be quite selective in our targetting, but would that change perceptions? Would the Iranians necessarily think "oh, the US was right to bomb us, this really has brought us to our senses -- let's push for more democracy and change our leadership?" ... it could happen, but it doesn't sound like something that would happen now does it? It sounds like "effete" thinking to me -- that if it happened in Europe, the neo-cons would be blasting. So why should they think it will happen in Iran? Are these people that deluded? Especially considering our previous hardline stances against Iran had the opposite effect? And considering that, after what we did in the 1950s, we really will never have any credibility pushing regime change there ...

Hi there !

Very happy to visit your blog !

Greetings from Brussels.

I think your point about the Iranian government doesn't get made often enough. It really is the kind of quasi-republic that conservatives want to create here, only with their "one true faith". They want a country where freedom of religion means going to whichever Christian church you wish.

How painfully blind and naive does one have to be to continue being a neoconservative today? Has any foreign policy theory been more discredited in practice? They've convinced themselves that these Middle Eastern regimes are so bad that destroying them by any means necessary simply must be an unmitigated good for the world. Neoconservatism is the perfect wingnut ideology: it's utterly disconnected from reality and completely impervious to empirical evidence.

Aaaah! The stupid, it burns!!!
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