The ruinous alliance of neocons and leftists on the Egypt crisis
In an article of rare scope and insight, Caroline Glick grasps the double ideological illusion that controls American politics toward Islam in general and the Egyptian uprising in particular. On one side, the neoconservatives/Bushites believe that elections will automatically give birth to good regimes in the Muslim world, and so they support the popular rebellion against Mubarak even though in reality it will most likely lead to the creation of an Islamic republic. On the other side, the left-liberals/Obamites believe that anything done by Third Worlders in the name of resistance to Western colonialism is good, and since the protesters in Egypt are resisting Mubarak who is supposedly nothing but a U.S. puppet, left-liberals support them. Thus pro-democracy neocons on one hand and anti-colonialist leftists on the other both cheer developments that will bring about the radical Islamic takeover of the largest Arab country.
How is it that pro-American neocons, who define America as a universal benevolent abstraction, and anti-American left-liberals, who see America as a vicious oppressor of non-Western peoples, end up on the same side? What is it that the two factions have in common? What they have in common is that neither believes in America or the West as a concrete entity. Neither is capable of thinking about the good of America or the West as a concrete entity. And so both promote policies that are harmful to America and the West as concrete entities.
When we further remember that respectable opinion in America is virtually monopolized by the above described neoconservative and left-liberal positions, with no options outside them, we start to realize how demented, dangerous, and destructive American politics has become.
February 1, 2011
Paul Gottfried writes:
This situation seems to be resolving itself. Several days ago the Israeli foreign minister issued a statement indicating that the Muslim Brotherhood would take over Egypt in the planned transition to democracy. Needless to say, this assessment is realistic. Since then, this may or may not be coincidence, most of the neocon maniacs have been back-pedalling. Bolton has become sensible, and even Rich Lowry is punctuating his stuff about global democracy with the reminder that Bush’s initiatives in this direction “petered out.” My initial reaction was the same as yours but now it seems that even neocons can learn, at least in this instance, if pushed toward reality.LA replies:
Twice in the last 24 hours, most recently on William Bennett’s radio program this morning, Norman Podhoretz’s son-in-law Elliot Abrams has said that the events in Egypt “prove that Bush was right,” i.e., that all Muslim people want democracy, and that the push for “democracy” should be cheered. I’ve heard that other neocons are saying that as well. And Glick indicates that they are saying it.E. in Florida writes:
Good for Glick. I’ve been watching the national evening TV news for several days now, something I rarely do, but I wanted to see their coverage of Egypt. I was astounded that, almost to a person, the newscasters, whether in the studio or in Egypt, were not concealing their glee at the upcoming overthrow of the Mubarak regime. I don’t get it. It’s clear that the Mubarak elite will simply be replaced by another elite, probably Islamists and their cronies. The middle class and upper class will suffer (or flee to the U.S. and Europe if we let them). The poor will be even worse off than they are today. And the whole Middle East will go Islamic radicalist. I just this afternoon asked a friend if he’d seen ANY analysis that remotely paralleled mine and he said No. I am totally in your camp. The people who run this country (U.S.) and our news media and analysis are divorced from reality.Alan Levine writes:
I thoroughly agree with you and Caroline Glick, but I would argue that the blather that has passed for “analysis” of the Egyptian situation is really a special case of a more general leftist mania, namely, the cretinous belief that if a bad regime is overthrown by people who are “democratic” or claim to be (of course even this is doubtful in the Egyptian case), the result will be the victory of democracy.LA writes:
Investors Business Daily also criticizes “pundits on both the left and the right” for taking the side of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the pundits on the “right” it names is President Bush’s former press spokeswoman, Dana Perino, who has become an all-out pest on Fox News over the last two years.Charles T. writes:
IDB quote from the above post:LA replies:
Dana Perino is a typical TV talking head female: preciously pretty, with media skills, and with absolutely nothing worthwhile to say. The main message she conveys is, “I am so pretty and I know how to talk; and I am so very special because I’m pretty and know how to talk.”Laura G. writes:
Are you sure that sufficient account has been paid to Obama’s own Muslim self? Father Muslim, adoptive father Muslim, Muslim schooling, Muslim after-school classes: as they say, you do the math. In my opinion, an adequate explanation for why he was so silent on the Iranian demonstrations is that he didn’t want to rock the Muslim boat the mullahs controlled, and the reason he is now so solicitous of the Egyptian “demonstrators” is that they are the front for a suitably radical organization, which Mubarak (Semi-allay of U.S. and Israel) is not and never was. Whatever the core values that are leading to the Egyptian meltdown, the outcome will be another radical Muslim state, and the One knows this very well. As far as his public defense of the need for democracy in Egypt is concerned, all I can say is: Taquiyya, you’all. He hates the U.S., has fairly visible plans for its future, and never hesitates to advance the strength and position of all things Muslim. I do not deny the correctness of your assessment of the genesis (i.e., neocons and leftists) and that of the wonderful Caroline Glick, but I do think that you both may have under-appreciated a central and core element.February 2
Gedaliah Braun writes from South Africa:
Laura G.’s comment is right on the mark.LA replies:
I wrote in June 2009 that Obama in his Cairo speech had declared himself to be the worldwide enforcer of Islamic law.Donald Hank writes:
Here is a neocon, Cal Thomas, who seems to have woken up.LA replies:
I don’t think it’s correct to call Thomas a neoconservative. He has not pushed the specifically neoconservative line over the years, though he is in agreement with neocons on various issues. He’s better described as a “mainstream Christian conservative,” with a huge dose of racial egalitarianism but also a strong opposition to Islam. Among conservative columnists, he has consistently been one of the most hostile to Islam. So I wouldn’t describe this column warning about the MB as a “waking up.”LA continues:
As far back as 2003, Cal Thomas has taken strong exception to Bush’s universal democracy rhetoric. I wrote in November 2003:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 01, 2011 02:21 PM | Send