Neo-Conservatism and Schizophrenia.

There are two groups in American political discourse that annoy me thoroughly: Progressive Liberals, and Neo-Conservatives. I love arguing with these people, but I am still annoyed by them. Between the two of them, I am far more annoyed with Neo-Conservatives. Recent events in Iraq have reminded me of how true this is.

The other day, I was surfing the political blog Instapundit, produced by neo-conservative law professor Glenn Reynolds. Surfing Instapundit can be pretty painful at times. Reynolds is a guy who frequently laments the George W. Bush years as “the good old days”, if you can believe that. This is a guy with a really warped perception of the world.

I came across this post, on the recent crumbling of Iraq:

insta

Reynolds believes that the Iraq War was a good idea, was justified, and would have been a success if only handled differently and extended for a longer time. He disapproves of the withdrawal from Iraq in 2011-2012. On his blog, search for “Iraq” to see proof of this. So a post like the one shown above is not uncommon on his page. It bugs me, to say the least. I vehemently disagree. I don’t think the Iraq War was ever a good idea. Reynolds thinks that not only was it a good idea, but it should even still be ongoing.

I decided to examine the comments section, just to see what the reading public thought of this. The top-rated comment appears below:

irizzy He claims Iraq was a good idea, not a mistake. He believes it was justified to topple Hussein on account of his being a “brutal dictator”. He claims Al-Qaeda was making itself at home in Iraq. He claims we could’ve “created democracy” in the Middle East. He claims the “war was won”, and that what we see now is the result of Obama pissing away victory.

This guy and his comment, in my opinion, encapsulate modern Neo-Conservatism and all it’s inconsistencies. He calls himself an “Old School Conservative”; but is he really? What is an old-school Conservative? If he’s talking about the pre-World War II conservatives, like Robert Taft and Howard Buffet, than he’s kidding himself. Old-School Conservatives like Howard Buffet had this to say about war and “policing the world”:

Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home… We cannot practice might and force abroad and retain freedom at home. We cannot talk world cooperation and practice power politics.

This was the view of the pre-World War II conservatives. They were upended by the Cold War Neo-Conservatives who wanted to fight Communism in all corners of the globe, which was largely replaced by fighting “terrorism” after the collapse of the USSR. Sounds to me like this commentator has Old-School Conservatism confused with Neo-Conservatism, of which he belongs to the latter and not at all to the former.

Furthermore, I think his “Don’t Tread on Me” avatar photo is mildly ironic. He doesn’t want the government to tread on him inside America, but he’s OK with the government treading on people everywhere else in the world? His photo should instead read “Don’t Tread on Me… Tread on Them!” This represents the worst schizophrenia that exists within Modern conservatism: claiming to not trust government intervention at home, but trusting and even trumpeting government intervention abroad. How does that make any sense? If the government can’t be trusted at home, they can’t be trusted abroad. It’s that simple. That concept apparently escapes people like this.

Usually I avoid commenting this stuff, because I recognize it’s a losing proposition. On a neo-conservative website like Instapundit, people lap up this garbage like warm milk and do not like to be challenged. Well, I was moved by the idiocy of this guy’s comment. I decided to give the reading public a taste of some consistent opposition. My comment, as posted below, echoes a lot of the sentiments I previously discussed: (I’m “sibbie”, btw):

comment

Surprisingly, my comment wasn’t reported and blocked, as often happens to challenges against neoconservatism on Instapundit. In fact, I garnered 3 “likes”. Whoopee. As you can see, though, at least one reader was upset with my harsh words for Neoconservatives. This comment really bedazzled me with it’s stupidity in three major ways:

1) He begins by trying to invoke a connection between 9/11 and Iraq. This is a major fallacy still floating around in Neo-Conservative circles: that Saddam Hussein was facilitating Al-Qaeda. News Flash: There has never been a proven connection between 9/11, Al-Qaeda, and Saddam Hussein. Former CIA Director of Intelligence George Tenet himself admitted “We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period.” It’s quite a leap to make: from invading Iraq, to suddenly fighting Islamists on the street of Manhattan. Alarmist, much? So in the world according to this guy, we risk fighting Islamists on the streets of our own cities unless we sniff out and invade any and every country across the world that Islamic militants might be hiding out in. That necessitates an invasion of every nation in Africa, the Mid-East, Asia, and Europe. Sounds like a great plan.

2) He defends Bush by claiming that Iraq was “working” in 2008… “not working great, but working”. What the hell does that even mean? Car bombings everyday, regular kidnappings and beheadings, endemic corruption within the US-built government… none of that sounds like “working” to me. It sounds more like “tragic farce”. And “working” for who, exactly? Defense Contractors like Blackwater? It was certainly working for them. They made buttloads of money. It was “working” for the Shi’ite Muslim minority, who was artificially placed in power by the US government. It “worked” for Big Oil, until the new government nationalized the oil industry and booted them out for the most part. And now, we can see that the invasion of Iraq “worked” for Islamist groups like ISIS; they had little to no influence in Saddam-era Iraq. Now that we got Saddam out of the way, they’re about to conquer the whole damn country. But was Iraq working for the US taxpayer? I say, “no”. The Iraq War was nothing but an immoral waste of money. It never worked for the people actually footing the bill.

3) Like the previous guy I lambasted, this fella’s avatar pic is highly ironic. He is wrapping himself in the mantle of anti-taxation Conservatism. What a load of baloney. How does this guy think that the US government gets people to pay for military adventures? By asking them to voluntarily donate? Of course not! It’s the IRS who extorts the money from taxpayers to fund the military. How can this guy claim to hate the IRS, when they’re the ones who makes his beloved wars possible? His avatar pic should instead be “IRS” with a heart around it, because he secretly, maybe subconsciously, loves the IRS. Without them, his aggressive foreign agenda would not be possible.

Neo-Conservatives suffer from wild schizophrenia. One the one hand, they drape themselves in the mantle of the Founding Fathers and supposed small-government position. On the other hand, they drape themselves in the mantle of Progressive liberal Woodrow Wilson and his “world police” foreign mentality. What they do not understand is that “small government” means small government across the board, not just in the things they dislike. A small government at home should be complemented by a small government abroad. Unless Neo-Conservatives figure this out, they’re no better principally speaking than even the most progressive of liberals.

 

 

 

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