Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and now Ukraine... The neocon's mission to spread 'benevolent' US hegemony to distant corners of the world tears apart another country
This article originally appeared at LewRockwell.com
Neocons deny having a political philosophy, but this is a ruse. They have core beliefs and ideas that guide their policies. See here for one analysis.
Their philosophy, among other things, has this warmongering element:
“In other words, the United States should wage war in order to combat creeping nihilism. In the revealing words of Kristol and Kagan, ‘The remoralization of America at home ultimately requires the remoralization of American foreign policy.’ Going to war, sacrificing both treasure and blood in order to bring ‘democracy’ to strangers—this is a mission worthy of a great nation.”
This mission, put into practice in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and now Ukraine, has failed. Democracy has not been brought to these nations. Death, destruction, refugees, chaos, instability, continual strife, civil wars and increased terrorism have all been the results of implementing this one facet of neocon political philosophy.
The neocons told the world precisely what they were after and how to get it. When the U.S. government followed their theories, utter failure resulted. This means that neocon political theory must be utterly wrong. The outcomes it expected didn’t happen. In fact, we observe very nearly the opposite of their projections.
One summary of neocon theory appears in the mission statement of Keep America Safe, formed by Elizabeth Cheney and William Kristol:
“Keep America Safe will make the case for an unapologetic approach to fighting terrorism around the world, for victory in the wars this country fights, for democracy and human rights, and for a strong American military that is needed in the dangerous world in which we live.”
These policies actions were supposed to result in benevolent American hegemony. Neocon theory calls for American hegemony, based on the idea that such hegemony is benevolent. This presumes that nations subjected to such hegemony find it beneficial and to their liking.
We know that these ideas have failed in country after country. They must be wrong ideas. What’s wrong with them?
Neocon theory treats foreign peoples as if they could be manipulated like robots or puppets. It doesn’t take into account their systems, cultures, histories and their natural responses to having their countries invaded. It doesn’t take into account their divisions. It ignores the reasons for their existing political system and equilibrium among competing forces.
The neocons act as if they think that American force and know-how somehow overcome all the political, social, economic, moral, cultural, language, tribal, ethnic and religious issues present in these foreign lands. This is a completely wrong idea.
Neocon theory ignores the methods, mainly warfare and subversion, by which hegemony is imposed. It assumes that invasions and subversion are done in such ways that the affected nations have no cause for complaint. This assumption is completely false.
A war begun by the U.S. in some foreign land is assumed to create hordes of surviving people in the affected country who are gratified by having been “freed” by American applications of force. These people are assumed to be homogeneous enough to install a stable democracy. The people are assumed to be democrats-in-waiting who get together to form a democratic government that is superior to the previous regime. These assumptions are all utterly wrong.
The theory completely overlooks the destruction initiated by the U.S. that goes on to create the new political environment. This destruction and errors of American administration are assumed to have negligible affects on the behavior and psychology of this newborn people. This assumption is wrong.
The foreign peoples are assumed to share certain values that form a stable basis for a new state. This has never been the case in any country in which the U.S. has intervened.
The neocons believe that a number of the new leaders of the nation who have been educated in western universities will be lauded by their peoples and form a new government that will command the respect and loyalty of their peoples. This does not happen. This is another false assumption.
The new leaders chosen and blessed by the U.S. are presumed to have values that are American political values. This is usually not the case, but even if it is the case, the assumption that the peoples of these countries are going to fall all over themselves to support their puppet leaders and the American system of values and government is a false assumption.
The neocons believe that arms can be distributed into friendly hands and kept there, so that select local forces will support the new state or bring it about. This assumption has been proven false.
The neocons believe that if American force do not create the democracy and the rights, then American money and advice will. This has never been the case. Instead, vast waste, debt, mismanagement and corruption ensue.
This is not an exhaustive list of fallacies, errors and faults in neocon thinking. It hardly scratches the surface. It doesn’t delve into other and deeper faults and limitations of their philosophy. But this is enough to suggest that neocon policies have failed because the theories and assumptions they are based upon are utterly false to reality.
There are other rival and complementary theories concerning neocon policies. There is the theory that neocons have a strong Zionist component that has supported Israeli aims of creating chaos in certain Middle Eastern nations. This theory has evident support, but it doesn’t explain the full range of policies and countries in which the U.S. has intervened. It doesn’t explain the full range of persons who are neocon supporters. Nevertheless, this has been a significant factor as has been the influence of AIPAC and Israel. This theory of Zionist sympathy doesn’t explain the methods chosen in intervening in so many countries and it doesn’t explain the size and scope of the resources committed. A very large amount of American force, wealth and energy has gone into trying to build democracies and/or states sympathetic to U.S. aims and influences. If the production of chaos had been the goal, it could have been achieved much more easily.
A related theory has it that the neocons always wanted the chaos that has been produced. They lied. This is a very implausible theory. For each intervention, there can be found many neocon statements from diverse pundits and officials in support, pointing out what would be accomplished and saying that the results would be rather easy to achieve. It is implausible to believe that all were programmed to lie about their intentions, hopes and forecasts. Furthermore, in specific cases we see that instability occurred only after various errors were made or various difficulties encountered that go back to the false assumptions outlined above. Americans tried very hard to achieve success in these lands. They failed because they were operating with false assumptions about the peoples and lands involved.
Ukraine is the latest example of neocon failure. There is abundant evidence that the intent of American intervention was to bring Ukraine into the American fold — benevolent hegemony. Democratization and removal of corruption have been two of the aims. There is strong evidence that these attempts have mushroomed into a confrontation between West and East. Was this planned by neocons all along? It’s very doubtful. They thought they’d gain Iraq at low cost and easily and they thought the same about Ukraine. They assumed away the many issues that relate back to divided peoples in these countries.
This neocon failure to gain Ukraine easily doesn’t imply that neocons will not now attempt to take advantage of this East-West confrontation to weaken and ensnare Russia, to demonize Russia and to ramp up a proxy war with Russia. The neocons are opportunistic. However, if the analysis above is correct about the false assumptions that neocons habitually make as they implement their philosophy, what we can expect is that they will misjudge Russia. They will ignore the uniquely Russian traditions, strengths and reactions to American pressures. They will treat the Russians like robots or as beings who merely calculate costs and can be induced to behave as instructed in order to remove sanctions. The neocon policies applied to Russia will produce perverse results on a larger scale than ever.