How the neo- and mainstream conservatives pretend that they are not responsible for the outbreak of Muslim extremism

From that wonderfully reliable GOP advocate John Hinderaker at Powerline, here is an example of the kind of deceptive argument that GOP and neocon stalwarts keep using to make their position vis à vis Islamic “democracy” seem responsible and pro-American, as compared with Obama’s irresponsible and anti-American position.

Hinderaker writes:

The Obama administration’s approach to radical Islam has always been accommodationist…. Most recently, Clinton and Obama took the side of the Muslim Brotherhood in opposing Egyptian military’s efforts to act as a brake on the runaway Islamic extremism and dictatorial tendencies of President Morsi. The Egyptian military was the only meaningful force in that country with any affinity for the U.S. Perhaps, like the U.S., it had been too arrogant for Obama’s taste.

See? Obama’s bad, because he opposed the Egyptian military’s effort to put brakes on “runaway Islamic extremism,” meaning Muslim Brotherhood rule, while the conservatives (i.e. right-liberals) are good, because they would have supported the Egyptian military in putting brakes on “runaway Islamic extremism.”

This is what I call an unprincipled exception to liberalism, by which a liberal attempts to avoid the worst outcomes of liberalism without renouncing his liberal principles. The liberal principle in this case is DEMOCRACY, meaning that a people choose their government through democratic elections. Without rejecting that liberal principle or adopting a non-liberal principle that is opposed to it, Hinderaker argues that we must do some non-liberal, non-democratic things (which of course he doesn’t call non-liberal or non-democratic), like helping the Egyptian military forestall the actual result of Egypt’s democratic elections—that actual result being the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the Egyptian government.

Hinderaker’s position is transparently false and contradictory, for a simple reason which my sixth grade classmates at Livingston Elementary School in 1961 would all have readily understood, but which is beyond the comprehension of today’s intelligentsia. Once the Egyptians adopt the principle and practice of DEMOCRACY, meaning that they choose their government through democratic elections, then, because most Egyptians believe in Islamic-law government, the government they choose will inevitably be one based on Islamic law, which Hinderaker calls a government of “runaway Islamic extremism.” Nothing done by the U.S.—no tweaking of Egyptian politics, no assistance to secular liberal parties, no encouragement of the Egyptian military—can prevent the ascendancy of “runaway Islamic extremism,” once DEMOCRACY has been made the ruling political principle of that devoutly Muslim nation.

Notwithstanding the disgraceful deceptions of the neoconservatives and GOP advocates, there is no fundamental difference between the left and the “right” on this issue. Both sides subscribe to Muslim democracy, which must lead to the ascendancy of our enemies.

* * *

A qualification: the neocons are actually less bad on this issue than leading Republican politicians. The neocons passionately support Muslim democracy, while urgently warning—with an utter lack of logic and realism—that this democracy must not lead to Muslim Brotherhood rule, which they say would be a disaster. By contrast, as Andrew McCarthy argued back in July, the Republican establishment has aided and abetted the Obama policy of embracing the Muslim Brotherhood.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 13, 2012 08:58 PM | Send

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