The Neoconservative Psychopathy
Sometimes you don’t need to read entire articles and debates about an issue to understand it; a single phrase can be enough.
Thus today’s Wall Street Journal says about Obama’s speech last night on the end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq:
“He gave short shrift to Iraq as a potential democratic example in the autocratic Middle East…”
The Journal is dissatisfied that Obama did not boast that Iraq has been made into an example of democracy in the Middle East. But note the adjective preceding the words “democratic example”: “potential”. That sort of alters the idea, doesn’t it? Does the Journal seriously expect Obama to boast that Iraq has been made into merely a “potential” democratic example ? If it’s only a potential democratic example, then it’s not actually a democratic example, is it? In which case, what is there for Obama to boast of?
This ambiguity runs through all the recent pro-Bush, pro-democratization conservative discussions about the end of U.S. military operations in Iraq. On one hand, the neoconservatives loudly tell us that Iraq has been a great “success.” On the other hand, they keep quietly letting on (though rarely in the same sentence as the sentence in which they assert the success, as they did in this case) that this “success” has, uh, hmm, well, not actually occurred yet, but is still a hope for something that may happen in the future.
This dishonest way of speaking has characterized the neocon treatment of the Iraq democratization policy from the beginning. They kept touting their various hopes—for “success,” for “victory,” for “democracy,” for “Iraq as an example of democracy,” and, finally, for the “spread of democracy in the Middle East”—as things that had already been achieved or that were so close to achievement that we could regard them as already achieved. The dishonesty was so built into the neocons’ thought and speech patterns, was so automatic for them, that I believe they never recognized that it was dishonest. For them, what they expected and guaranteed would turn out to be true, was already true. Their hopes were reality. They have now lived in this psychopathy for seven years.
Here is a collection of VFR pieces touching on this aspect of the Iraq story:Ferg writes:
I think it was always an article of faith with the neocon nation building experiment that once the seed of democracy has been planted, sooner or later it will have to grow, much as a weed grows up through a crack in concrete. All it needs is time and that crack in the concrete, much as it began to flower in the old Soviet Union after seventy years or so of oppression. It now seems to have been stamped out, but I think it is too early to say that for certain.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 01, 2010 08:38 AM | Send