Sunday, July 23, 2006

Conservatives and Neoconservatives

Glenn Greenwald has another good post: Neoconservatism and the White House -- Still Married. Probably won't make you feel good, mind you, but it's good to know nonetheless.

Paraphrasing the neocon worldview:
There are bad people over there. The Enemy. And we need to attack and kill them without restraint, regardless of the cost or consequences or alternatives or what might come after that. And anyone who doesn't agree, or who wants to negotiate with the Enemy, is weak, an appeaser, someone who likely is even on the side of the Enemy. That is the crux of our foreign policy at this point.

Then he goes on to talk about some of the grim realities in the Middle East. Too bad the Bush "administration" doesn't put much stock in reality.
And the supposed Middle Eastern allies we do have -- the ones who issued the terse anti-Hezbollah statements which neoconservatives have been parading around -- are not democracies, but instead, are the tyrants, dictators, and emirates whom we support and prop up. Conversely, the democratically elected governments in the Middle East beyond Iraq -- such as Lebanon, the Palestinians, and one could even add Iran -- are on the other side of this conflict. And two Middle Eastern democracies, Israel and Lebanon, are at war with one another.

All of this is the exact opposite of the glorious neoconservative promises that invading and bombing countries and bringing democracy to the Middle East will foster pro-U.S. alliances and ensure peace. And literally, the only thing which neoconservatives seem to want to do in response to all of this patent failure is bomb and invade more and more countries because that's worked so well so far.

In another post, Greenwald reviews "Conservatives Without Conscience", by John Dean. He says these are the book's two central points:
First, that what is currently described as the "conservative movement" bears virtually no resemblance to Goldwater's conservatism, and has nothing to do with restraining government power or preserving historical values. Instead, it has transformed into an authoritarian movement which largely attracts personality types characterized by a desire and need to submit to and follow authority.

Second, because those who submit to authority necessarily relinquish their own conscience (in favor of serving the conscience of their leader and/or their movement), those who are part of this movement are capable of acts which a healthy and normal conscience ought to preclude. They can use torture, break laws, wage unnecessary wars based on false pretenses, and attempt to destroy the reputation of plainly patriotic and honest Americans -- provided that they are convinced that doing so advances the interests of the authority they serve and the movement of which they are a part.

Greenwald is also providing a 1000-word excerpt of the book, if you're interested.


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