There was a time in the 1930s that Fascists and Nazis were proud to call themselves ‘Fascists’ and ‘Nazis’. Today, however, if someone calls you a ‘Fascist’ or ‘Nazi’ they are insulting you. There will come a time, if, indeed, it hasn’t already come, when being called a ‘neoconservative’ will be just as insulting.
Today’s neoconservatism will forever be linked with the West’s war against the Iraqi, Palestinian and Afghan people and Islam generally. The folly of this war will one day be seen for what it really is – a blatant attempt by neoconservatism to brutally force American style ‘democracy’ on to a world, the Islamic world, that does not want it.
Neoconservatism’s opportunity came on 11 September 2001. The events of what has since become known the world over as ‘9/11’ became the signal for neoconservatives to launch their attack on the world of Islam. For the American neoconservatives, most of whom are Jewish-Americans with extremely strong ties to right-wing Israeli politics, the enemy was, and is, most of the Middle East nations that are around them, particularly Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
For American neoconservatives a war against Iraq would serve many purposes. It would finish something that they considered was never completed during the First Gulf War – the removal of their arch-enemy Saddam Hussein, an evil dictator for sure but not in any way a threat, particularly by the end of the Gulf War, to the US or to any one else. It would also secure the world’s second largest reserves of oil under American control, and, finally, it would remove the monkey of Saddam’s support for the Palestinian cause from Israel’s back.
At first most of the world sympathised with America’s loss on 9/11. The graphic footage of the aircraft slamming into the Twin Towers and their subsequent collapse will likely remain the most potent images of the Twenty-First Century. The finger of blame was quickly pointed at Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda movement and the world just as quickly joined the US in condemning him and his movement for what had happened. Within a few weeks the US attacked him and the Taliban regime that supported him in Afghanistan. The Taliban government was overwhelmed by the US and a puppet government soon put in place with its leader quickly endorsed by a sham of an election which was portrayed as real ‘democracy’ at work. But no sign of Osama bin Laden.
Even before the final defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan the world was beginning to hear about the evils of Saddam Hussein and how he had been involved in the events of 9/11. (One would have thought, after all the allegations by the neoconservatives and the Bush administration, that once Saddam had been caught the first thing they would do is whip him off to the US to face charges relating to 9/11 rather than have him stand trial in Iraq for crimes committed there.)
Some leaders of the Western world, including the UK’s Tony Blair, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and Spain’s Jose Maria Aznar in Europe and John Howard in Australia, who happened to be in the US on 11 September 2001, were all quick to jump on Bush’s bandwagon of ‘regime change’ in Iraq. The propaganda machine began to churn out the most lurid stories imaginable of life under the Saddam regime. The world was told of Saddam’s desire to produce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons all of which, we were told, he’d gladly hand over to al Qaeda ‘terrorists’ for use against the US, the UK, Italy, Spain and, oddly enough via their branch office in Indonesia, Australia.
We now know, of course, that all of this was lies designed to garner support for their attack on an otherwise innocent nation that happened to be led by just another of the world’s dime a dozen tin-pot dictators. So, why Iraq? As I’ve said many times in the past it was for three reasons; hegemony, oil and Israel – and not necessarily in that order.
Iraq today is now in complete and utter chaos and in the first stages of what could easily become, and is showing all the signs of becoming, a very bloody civil war that could engulf the entire region.
The neoconservatives’agenda has failed miserably both in Afghanistan and Iraq. ‘Democracy’ has failed completely in both countries. In a show of pure irony the Iraqi people turned out in their millions using their first taste of democratic freedom to tell the world they are not interested in the West’s secular American-style of governmental ‘democracy’. In Iran the Iranian people also showed the West what they thought of Western-style secular ‘democracy’ and, just to demonstrate how arrogant the neoconservatives really are, they actually expressed genuine shock when the Palestinian people voted for the religious Hamas organisation in yet another show of rejection of American-style ‘democracy’.
Throughout all of this the neoconservatives have continued with their rhetoric of the ‘war on global terrorism’ and their futile quest to bring ‘democracy’ to the Middle East. Those main leaders that jumped on to the neoconservative bandwagon of attacking Iraq are still with us. Bush, Blair and Howard, whose lies have brought nothing but misery and death to hundreds of thousands of innocent people, are still lying to justify their crimes. Blair and Howard still insist that neoconservatism and an alliance with America is the answer to the world’s woes. They do not realise that, far from being the answer to the world’s woes, they are indeed, the cause of them.
Whereas neoconservatism started life as a peculiarly American phenomenon it has, like Fascism and Nazism, spread its influence and tentacles elsewhere. Neoconservatism has, as we now know, nothing to offer the world except war, death, destruction, lies, hypocrisy and an arrogant self-righteousness that is filled with hatred and an Islamaphobia that borders on paranoia. Yet those that have become neoconservatives are unable and unwilling to see the evil that neoconservatism has become – just as the Fascists and Nazis of yesteryear failed to see the evil they were perpetrating on the world – until it was too late.
In The Australian today Greg Sheridan, Howard’s chief apologist and propagandist, is almost swooning with platitudes for Tony Blair but one wonders if he would ever thank Greg Sheridan for calling him a ‘neoconservative’.