Monday, February 28, 2011

how IS the dopamine hegemony at gunpoint project going?

antiwar | Remember those heady days of the neocons’ triumphalism, when Glenn Reynolds and his fellow laptop bombardiers were proclaiming the victory of "Democracy, whiskey, sexy" in Iraq? Today the society that is emerging from the bloodstained rubble of Iraq’s cities is far from democratic, in the liberal sense, and as for whiskey and "sexy" – well, you can just forget it.

Neither democracy, nor a culture that respects human rights, can be exported at gunpoint: that is one of the lessons of the Iraq war. The neoconservative ideologues who told us otherwise weren’t just wrong: they were lying, as usual.

Their goal wasn’t democracy, or anything remotely resembling it: their strategy was simply to smash up the existing Iraqi state, and atomize the region into small, squabbling splinter-states, all the better to dominate them and make the world safe for Israel. Now that their job is done in Iraq, they’re moving on to the next victims: Iran, Syria, and on into Central Asia. Or so they think.

The great Arab Awakening, however, may very well short-circuit their plans: if and when this powerful populist movement takes down the Iranian mullahs and the Ba’athist gerontocracy in Damascus, Washington may find it harder to pursue its Israel-centric policy with impunity.