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Sunday, 7 October 2012

A Defence of the Neocon Position on the Arab World

Photo: A DEFENCE OF THE NEOCON POSITION ON THE ARAB WORLD

The strange thing about ‘the neoconservative position’ on the Muslim and Arab world is that, at face value at least, Western Leftists and Arab Islamists should support it!

People such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle and William Kristol, specifically after 9/11, argued that all US governments made the same fundamental mistake when it came to the Middle East. That mistake was that they all supported undemocratic and corrupt Arab regimes, specifically Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (Obama is still doing so today, and the UK government has done and still does.) Of course it can easily be argued that American governments had ulterior (selfish) motives for such support. For example, Saudi oil and Egypt’s toned-down attitude towards Israel (which is, post-Muslim Brotherhood control, no longer the case).

Yet, as Arab Islamists, Western Muslims and Leftists are keen to tell us, most, if not all, of these Arab regimes were and still are undemocratic and corrupt. This is something Islamists in the Middle East and Western Leftists tell us is precisely because they are supported by America. So it is doubly ironic that the hated ‘neocons’ believe this too!

So, as with Saudi oil and Egyptian levelheadedness towards Israel (in the past), these short-term benefits to the US have proved to be disastrous in the long term both in the past and they will do again in the future. Indeed Egypt’s levelheadedness towards Israel (if it ever was real) has already dramatically changed since the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood in that country.

To repeat. The neocons (if that’s what they are) believe, along with Arab Islamists and Western Leftists, that most Arabs believe that these Arab states deny them both freedom and prosperity. And, again, they do so because they are in hoc, both politically and economically, with the US state (as well as with US business).

The neocon solution, then, is to stop appeasing and aiding/helping these undemocratic Arab regimes because not to do so only exacerbates anti-American hatred and Islamoterrorism.

Again, the neocon position appears to square, quite bizarrely, with the positions of both Arab Islamists and Western Leftists.

But here is where there is a huge rupture between the neocons and both Arab Islamists and Western Leftists. That rupture, despite some kind of agreement so far, is very simple to comprehend.

For a start, the neocons want the Arab regimes to become more democratic in nature before we can re-instate friendly political and business relations with them. Sure, according to Western Leftists this may well simply be democracy as it is in ‘neoliberal capitalist democracies’ (not ‘true democracy’). Maybe. Arab Islamists will think similar things with the important added detail that such regimes would not institute Sharia law, amongst other things.

This rupture is explained in the sense that neocons, Western Leftists and Arab Islamists all think that Arab regimes are undemocratic (or ‘not Islamic’), corrupt and in hoc to US political and business interest. What the three want to put in the place of these Arab regimes is, of course, radically different.

As I said, the neocons want (Western?) democratisation. Arab Islamists want increased Islamisation and the imposition of at least more aspects of Sharia law. And, finally, Western Leftists want the Arabs to… well, I’m not quite sure. To create Marxist revolutionary regimes? To enforce ‘classless societies’? To instigate Trotskyite ‘permanent revolutions’? Who knows. Perhaps, in the end, Western Leftists, in this post-Marxist-revolution age, don’t want anything specific in the Arab world (or in the ‘capitalist West’). Instead, contemporary Leftists or Marxists are ONLY AGAINST THINGS. They are not FOR ANYTHING.

Just to bring these points home, as it were, it can be said that it was precisely because of the neocon criticism of US governments’ support of - and aid for - Arab regimes, alongside the counter productiveness of supporting their undemocratic and corrupt natures, that Paul Wolfowitz and other neocons, as well as President Bush (not a Jew), Condoleezza Rice (not a Jew), Donald Rumsfeld (not a Jew), Colin Powell (not a Jew) and Vice President Dick Cheney (not a Jew) were ‘hell bent’ on invading Iraq in 2003! After all, Saddam Hussein’s regime was Arab; it was undemocratic; it was corrupt; and, despite all that, it had been supported by many American governments (both Republican and Democrat) right up to the First Gulf War in 1990/1. Indeed that support continued after that, both politically and in terms of American business. (How Donald Rumsfeld, a former ‘friend of Saddam’ in the 1990s, fits into the neocon mould is perhaps harder to explain.)


The strange thing about ‘the neoconservative position’ on the Muslim and Arab world is that, at face value at least, Western Leftists and Arab Islamists should support it!

People such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle and William Kristol, specifically after 9/11, argued that all US governments made the same fundamental mistake when it came to the Middle East. That mistake was that they all supported undemocratic and corrupt Arab regimes, specifically Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (Obama is still doing so today, and the UK government has done and still does.) Of course it can easily be argued that American governments had ulterior (selfish) motives for such support. For example, Saudi oil and Egypt’s toned-down attitude towards Israel (which is, post-Muslim Brotherhood control, no longer the case).

Yet, as Arab Islamists, Western Muslims and Leftists are keen to tell us, most, if not all, of these Arab regimes were and still are undemocratic and corrupt. This is something Islamists in the Middle East and Western Leftists tell us is precisely because they are supported by America. So it is doubly ironic that the hated ‘neocons’ believe this too!

So, as with Saudi oil and Egyptian levelheadedness towards Israel (in the past), these short-term benefits to the US have proved to be disastrous in the long term both in the past and they will do again in the future. Indeed Egypt’s levelheadedness towards Israel (if it ever was real) has already dramatically changed since the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood in that country.

To repeat. The neocons (if that’s what they are) believe, along with Arab Islamists and Western Leftists, that most Arabs believe that these Arab states deny them both freedom and prosperity. And, again, they do so because they are in hoc, both politically and economically, with the US state (as well as with US business).

The neocon solution, then, is to stop appeasing and aiding/helping these undemocratic Arab regimes because not to do so only exacerbates anti-American hatred and Islamoterrorism.

Again, the neocon position appears to square, quite bizarrely, with the positions of both Arab Islamists and Western Leftists.

But here is where there is a huge rupture between the neocons and both Arab Islamists and Western Leftists. That rupture, despite some kind of agreement so far, is very simple to comprehend.

For a start, the neocons want the Arab regimes to become more democratic in nature before we can re-instate friendly political and business relations with them. Sure, according to Western Leftists this may well simply be democracy as it is in ‘neoliberal capitalist democracies’ (not ‘true democracy’). Maybe. Arab Islamists will think similar things with the important added detail that such regimes would not institute Sharia law, amongst other things.

This rupture is explained in the sense that neocons, Western Leftists and Arab Islamists all think that Arab regimes are undemocratic (or ‘not Islamic’), corrupt and in hoc to US political and business interest. What the three want to put in the place of these Arab regimes is, of course, radically different.

As I said, the neocons want (Western?) democratisation. Arab Islamists want increased Islamisation and the imposition of at least more aspects of Sharia law. And, finally, Western Leftists want the Arabs to… well, I’m not quite sure. To create Marxist revolutionary regimes? To enforce ‘classless societies’? To instigate Trotskyite ‘permanent revolutions’? Who knows. Perhaps, in the end, Western Leftists, in this post-Marxist-revolution age, don’t want anything specific in the Arab world (or in the ‘capitalist West’). Instead, contemporary Leftists or Marxists are only against things. They are not for anything.

Just to bring these points home, as it were, it can be said that it was precisely because of the neocon criticism of US governments’ support of - and aid for - Arab regimes, alongside the counter productiveness of supporting their undemocratic and corrupt natures, that Paul Wolfowitz and other neocons, as well as President Bush (not a Jew), Condoleezza Rice (not a Jew), Donald Rumsfeld (not a Jew), Colin Powell (not a Jew) and Vice President Dick Cheney (not a Jew) were ‘hell bent’ on invading Iraq in 2003! After all, Saddam Hussein’s regime was Arab; it was undemocratic; it was corrupt; and, despite all that, it had been supported by many American governments (both Republican and Democrat) right up to the First Gulf War in 1990/1. Indeed that support continued after that, both politically and in terms of American business. (How Donald Rumsfeld, a former ‘friend of Saddam’ in the 1990s, fits into the neocon mould is perhaps harder to explain.)

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