Friday, July 21, 2006

The march of the neocons.

It sometimes seems as if the neocons and the theocons are in a race with each other to see who can destroy America first. And I can't really tell which is ahead at the moment. Maybe they are neck to neck on this one.

The theocons sometimes tend to be more petty and small minded. They are concerned about how you live, what your believe, what views you express, who you sleep with. They are constantly snooping and prying into the affairs of others, they see themselves as God's busybodies eternally sniffing out sin. So we get assassine issues like the anti-marriage amendments and symbolic attempts to ban flag burning or to forbid the courts from ruling about whether the words "under God" can be still kept in the socialist pledge of allegiance. I suspect they concentrate on such minutia because the theocons tend to have small minds.

But the neocons are thinkers. They are endowed with what Hayek called the fatal conceit, that desire to mould the world. They are the central planners for the new century and have their five year plans to save the world. These are the type of people who championed Marxism, fascism, and Nazism. It is no coincidence that so many of them were in fact Marxists not that many years ago. They believe they have superior intellects to the rest of us and that with the right amount of force they can save the world from itself. That such hubris tends to lead to disaster totally escapes them.

The International Herald Tribune ran an op-ed concerning the neo-con/Bushian central plan to remake the Middle East. It noted: "...Washington's ideological hubris and practical incompetence have succeeded only in setting the region ablaze, awakening extremist and militant voices." We shouldn't forget that one reason Iran is getting uppity in the way it is dealing with the world is because the US, through it intervention in Iraq toppled their main opponent, Saddan Hussein, and in US financed elections replaced him with allies of the Iranians. The editorial concluded by noting that Bush's "errant attempt to impose democracy through force has backfired, only stirring up a hornet's nest and risking a region-wide crisis.
Iraq lies in ruins, Islamist forces are strengthening, and the Palestine-Israel conflict threatens to become a full-scale war. Even more ominously, the Middle East is being polarized along sectarian lines, empowering an Iran with nuclear ambitions. The mistakes of the Bush administration are coming home to roost." Or as John Lennon is repudiated to say: "Everything the government touches turns to shit."

Anyone familiar with the history of central planning can tell you that the plans always go astray but the planners, when they notice, never cease meddling. The solution, they will tell you, is even more planning. Of course that leads to more unintended consequences which need resolution through even more planning. This then is what Hayek called "The Road to Serfdom."

Gene Healey at the Cato Institute quotes the head cheerleader for war, Bill Kristol, as complaining in 1996 that the US didn't have an enemy to fight. Kristol, along with co-author Robert Kegan said: "The ubiquitous post Cold War question -- where is the threat? -- is thus misconceived. In world in which peace and American security depend on American power and the will to use it, the main threat the United States faces now and in the future is its own weakness." And Micahel Ledeen, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute is quoted saying: "Every ten years of so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." Nice people these neocon central planners.

And now Kristol is itching like crazy to have a new war this time with the enemy his policies emoboldened, Iran. He seems to think that "the right of use of targeted military force" will encourage the people of Iran to overthrow their government. I suspect not. In fact I believe the war in Iraq solidified support for the Iraqi regime which had been quite unpopular. The quickest way to get people to defend their own government is to attack it.

Just remember what happened with 9/11. The United States was being ruled by an upopular, dim-witted, theocratically inclined authoritarian with visions of grandeur. He was widely disliked and with good reason. The attacks take place, he sits dumbstruck in a kindergarten class for what seemed like eternity and then hightailed it into seclusion to hide. Only when assured he was safe did he come out to make some incoherent, garbled speeches. And his popularity soared. It soared not because he had suddenly become a leader but because the American people felt better pretending that he had become a leader.

It took several more years before the public again recognized that the man in the White House is moronic, incompetent and dangerous. If an attack could revive Bush's image it surely could make even President Ahmadinejad of Iran look good. A military incursion into Iran won't solve the problems that the invasion of Iraq created anymore than a new five year plan solved the problems created by the old five year plans.