I occasionally end articles about neoconservatism with a retort that goes thus: “Arrogance and hypocrisy; the values that ‘they’ hate about ‘us’.” It’s just a little slogan that I think goes some way to describing the contempt that neoconservatives have toward those they presume to be their enemies. The ‘Arrogance’ part of the slogan reflects the self-righteous ‘we know best’ haughtiness of neoconservativism, while the self-explanatory use of the word ‘hypocrisy’ exposes neoconservatism’s real values as they parade the ideals of ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’ as being the acceptable standards that humankind should live by whilst denying democracy to those ideologies they don’t agree with (Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood) and denying justice to those they believe are their enemies and who offend them (those that are assassinated by hit squads and drones and locked up without trial in places like Guantanamo and other secret prisons after being illegally ‘renditioned’).
‘They’, of course, are those that are a part of the world of Islam, and ‘us’ is the so-called West. While ‘arrogance’ and ‘hypocrisy’ describe broadly how the world of Islam views the West, Islam’s beef with the West needs a fuller and more detailed explanation.
One of Islam’s biggest beefs with the West is the way the West presumes to know what’s best for the Islamic world and then attempts to foist its Western ways on the world of Islam by interfering with the Islamic world’s affairs. This is classic neoconservatism and a recent article by Tony Blair in the Guardian is a classic example of neoconservative arrogance and hypocrisy as he attempts to argue that only Western style democracy is right for the world of Islam and that bringing “stability to the Middle East is not somebody else’s job, it’s ours”. Clearly Blair thinks they can’t find there own way to ‘democracy’ – and that’s assuming its ‘democracy’ that they actually want.
Every time the West interferes with the affairs of the people in the Islamic world, particularly in the Middle East, it has been followed by disaster. One would have thought that the failures of the West’s interference in these people’s affairs throughout history, from the time of the Crusades through to the colonialism of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, would have taught the West a few lessons.
But apparently not.
Come the twenty-first century, the West is at it again. George W. Bush, together with his extreme right-wing cohorts, Tony Blair and John Howard, tell the world that it’s in their interests to invade and conquer Iraq. They were supported and encouraged in this endeavour by the neoconservatives that had ingratiated themselves into the US government’s ranks in order to ensure that their primary interests, which happen to be Israel’s, are secure. Those same neoconservatives now lobby for Israel’s interests directly. Today Jonathan Tobin, senior neocon propagandist at Commentary, is trying, once again, to push the US to halt Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapon program. After the Iraq experience the neocons are stopping short of actually calling for regime change though reading between the lines of their other propaganda about Iran and their calls for regime change elsewhere in the Middle East, it is clear that, ultimately, regime change is their goal.