posted an interesting link (here
) about the neoconservative hypocrisy about democracy in the Middle East. Simply put, the neocons - Bolton, Condi Rice, and the rest of them - were very gung-ho to invade Iraq, depose an anti-American dictator, install a puppet government, and call it democracy. They are less gung-ho to support a peaceful revolt against a staunch American ally in the name of democracy. This, at least, is understandable on their parts - they don't know what would come after Mubarak, and they had fears (IMO somewhat unrealistically elevated) that the Muslim Brotherhood would take power; and no matter what, even a legitimately democratically elected government with guaranteed constitutional protections of liberties would take a hard line against Israel, because that's what the people want.
This goes along with a core principle, not often stated, of the neoconservative ideology: what they really desire is not democracy, but governments who will go along with America. In this mindset, democracy is good as long as they like the results. In Iraq, the results are good because we pick the results. In Palestine, the results (Hamas in control of the Gaza strip) don't favor our policies and are thus bad. In Egypt, it is not clear that the results would be worse in the long run for America, but they would be worse for Israel, and that makes the neocons itchy.
But we now have a much different phenomenon going on: a revolution in Libya against Muhamar Kaddafi, similar in character to the one that overthrew Mubarak, but much more bloody because Kaddafi is that much more ruthless. Here is a movement to overthrow a staunchly anti-American
dictator, one who sponsored terrorism against the UK and US, one whose exit and replacement with a democratic government would most likely benefit the West.
And the neoconservatives are absolutely silent about it. No support, no condemnations. Silence.
I have a hypothesis that I submit for your consideration. That hypothesis is this: the neoconservatives want Kaddafi to stay in power
. They hate him, but they have him contained. He's the devil they know. Once he and his sons are gone, we have to roll the dice on free and fair elections and see what we get, and that makes them antsy.
But, they can't admit this
. Kaddafi is the enemy
. He has been the enemy
for as long as I can remember. To admit that they would prefer the enemy they know in Kaddafi to the uncertainty of Libyan democracy would expose them, completely and irretrievably, for what they are: not small-d democratic idealists, but imperialists, through and through. And the one thing they cannot afford is for this to happen. They would lose any legitimacy they have left, even in DC.
Here's the test of my hypothesis. If there is one nation that the neocons would love to bomb right now, it's Iran. John Bolton, molestache and all, has been screaming for this for years. Right now the Tunisian-Egyptian revolution is just getting started in earnest in Iran as the elections approach. I think there's a good chance that it will catch fire and that we will see the same chaos in Iran within six months that we saw last week in Egypt and are seeing now in Libya.
If my hypothesis is right, the neocons will keep their mouths shut then, too.