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The Answer Is Always War: The Four Traits of Neoconservatism


Wherever there’s a non-ally of the United States not being invaded by the United States, Fred Hiatt is there to find a crackpot to advocate that the problem of non-invasion be solved immediately:

Obama’s stance implies that we have no choice but to accept Iran’s best offer — whatever is, to use Rice’s term, “achievable” — because the alternative is unthinkable.

But should it be? What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons? That, in fact, is probably the reality. Ideology is the raison d’etre of Iran’s regime, legitimating its rule and inspiring its leaders and their supporters. In this sense, it is akin to communist, fascist and Nazi regimes that set out to transform the world. Iran aims to carry its Islamic revolution across the Middle East and beyond. A nuclear arsenal, even if it is only brandished, would vastly enhance Iran’s power to achieve that goal.

Such visionary regimes do not trade power for a mess of foreign goods.

Conveniently, the ridiculous-though-not-treasonous letter to Iran from most of the Republican Senate conference has allowed Chait to distill the 4 crucial characteristics of neoconservatism:

  •  “First, of course, is the wild confrontationalism, which in this case was directed not against Iran but against the Obama administration.”
  • “the letter was drafted and signed with maximum haste and a total contempt for planning or serious thought of any kind.
  • “the ploy has failed even by the standards of its own logic.
  • “And, then, finally, there is the stubborn refusal to concede the plan has backfired even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

The mere summary doesn’t do it justice — it’s all worth reading. Muravchik’s letter has already scored highly on points one and two…

…as if often the case, Fallows is excellent.

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