If this piece by neocon writer Andrew McCarthy in the National Review Online is anything to go by, the neoconservatives who have – until now – been advocating wholehearted support of the various Arab Spring uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, have finally began to wake up to the idea that their unequivocal support for these uprisings may not have been such a good idea after all.
For years the neocons have advocated and supported uprisings against the many and various dictators scattered around the region. Their whole raison d’être about the Middle East was to change the governments of the region to ones that are ‘democratic’, just like the good ol’ US, and, of course, friendly to Israel. They believed that somehow this would entirely alter the Arab and Islamic mindset to one that supports the Israeli cause of creating a Greater Israel at the expense of the Palestinian and Arab peoples.
The neocons naively believed that the Afghan people would welcome the West when they invaded Afghanistan to get rid of al Qaeda and the Taliban. More than ten years later the Afghan people are still trying to get rid of the foreigners that invaded their country.
The same in Iraq. According to the neocons, it was going to be ‘cakewalk’ and that the allies invading Iraq would be welcomed as ‘liberators’. Almost ten years later in a virtually destroyed Iraq, having suffered around a million dead, millions more maimed and wounded and even more millions displaced, the daily killings are still going on.
When the Palestinians had a go at establishing democracy in January 2006, the neocon-led US government baulked at recognising an elected Hamas government the US and Israel thought had no chance of winning.
Then the Arab Spring got under way starting in Tunisia in December of 2010. By October 2011 the Islamist Ennahda party had become the majority party in the Tunisian assembly. By February 2011 Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s secular dictator and US ally who had kept peace with Israel was also gone. Since then Islamist groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, have made extensive gains in Egyptian elections.
Then it was Libya’s turn. Once that had got underway the neocons insisted the US put ‘boots on the ground’ to support the rebels. Obama resisted and instead NATO aircraft were used to bomb Gaddafi strongholds killing and wounding thousands of civilians in the process. As it became obvious that the opposition forces in Libya had attracted Islamist fighters, the neocons then insisted that there be a ‘post-Gaddafi occupation’ of Libya to ensure Islamists didn’t gain a foothold in the government.
In January 2011 unrest also began in Yemen. By February 2012 the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh had been deposed but Islamist unrest continues. In all of these places and elsewhere throughout the Middle East and across North Africa the Islamists are gaining a foothold in their respective countries.
And now Syria. At first the neocons demanded that there be ‘intervention’ but now it seems they’ve finally woken up to the fact that these Arab uprisings are not serving Israel’s interests at all, indeed, it is having the opposite effect. It has taken them more than ten years to realise that their aspirations were delusional and based on the arrogance of American Exceptionalism. As I previously pointed out, an Assad-free Syria is likely to be even less sympathetic to the Israelis once the Muslim Brotherhood begins to wield influence in Syria’s affairs. The Syrian people still want the Golan Heights back regardless of who is in power. And the Syrian people are still likely to support Hezbollah in Lebanon despite Hezbollah being Shia and the majority of Syrians being Sunni.
As in the past, the neoconservatives know only to advocate the use violence to get their way. For them, full-on American might is the only answer. The confrontation with Iran will be the final straw – one way or the other.
JUST AS AN ASIDE…
“The Bush administration is politicizing intelligence on Iraq. What does “politicizing intelligence” mean? Using intel, or more often partial intel, to produce an effect in line with White House policies rather than giving a full picture of a particular situation.”
Sound familiar? This was what most people around the planet knew in the run up to the war against Iraq in 2002/2003 – except in this case I have taken what Elliott Abrams wrote recently in The Weekly Standard and replaced just two words.
This is what Abrams originally wrote:
The Obama administration is politicizing intelligence on Syria. What does “politicizing intelligence” mean? Using intel, or more often partial intel, to produce an effect in line with White House policies rather than giving a full picture of a particular situation.