Friday, March 24, 2006

Neoconservatism and Democracy

Commentary by Martin Kelly
February 25, 2005

One of the more sickening sights of recent weeks was witnessed during the President’s State of the Union address.

In alleged ‘solidarity’ with the Iraqis, a group of congressman had dyed their fingers blue, mimicking the mark of death put on Iraqi voters, and waved them in the air right on cue.

This is the moral equivalent of well-fed, affluent Western academics and teenagers proclaiming their support for the oppression of Fidel Castro while wearing the image of the murderous Ernesto Guevara; a poseur’s act, purely ideological, completely free of personal risk and ultimately as disrespectful to those Iraqis who braved savage harm by going to vote as the Che-wearers are of those Cubans who suffer under the boot of a vicious old man to whom the neoconservatives are happy to turn blind eyes, thus spitting in those of Bush’s most loyal supporters, those without whom neither he nor his brother would hold office, the Cuban-American Republicans of Miami-Dade.

Democracy, say the neoconservatives, is an end in itself; but this view is heavily qualified. A more accurate question for the neocons to answer would be, ‘When is a democracy not a democracy?’

Their answer would be brief, and telling.

When it’s in Spain.

For nearly a year, the neoconservative fascists of the American Enterprise Institute, the ‘National Review Online’ ‘Townhall’ and the ‘Washington Times’ have insulted and slimed the Spanish people for their rejection of the liar Jose Maria Aznar, and his lying lie in the immediate aftermath of the Madrid train bombings last March that the Basque terrorists ETA were responsible. If all you ever read is the hatred and bile of the right-wing thug Tony Blankley, who has maliciously called for Seymour Hersh to be prosecuted for treason, then you’ll believe that the people who conquered vast swathes of the New World are a bunch of wimps and Euro-wussies.

But of the two democracies, Spain and Iraq, which will endure? Which will ultimately survive in the cauldron of history?

My money’s on Spain.

On the weekend of February 20, the Spanish went to the polls again in a referendum to determine whether the country will ratify the policy document laughingly called the ‘EU Constitution’.

The good news for the democrats is that, although the document will be ratified and the Spanish are now at the head of the queue for more Euro-integration, turnout was low.

Spain is therefore getting back to normal, and starting to once again exhibit the diffidence to the doings of politicians that should be the hallmark of all successful and peaceful societies.

This diffidence makes it easier for peoples’ to detach themselves from the grand plans and failed schemes of those who seek to lead them. When, however, a diffident people is raised to outrage, their retribution on those who break their trust, as Aznar callously did, is swift, and all they need do to bring down giants is to put a mark in a box.

When the Spanish have had enough of being Europeans, they’ll go back to being Spanish without skipping a beat. After all, these are the people whose land was the testing ground for the Junkers and the Stuka, the people who survived Guernica and 40 years of Franco, and who as recently as 1981 faced the prospect of a military coup.

The Spanish will get by. The Iraqis won’t, a great pity and entirely the fault of the neocons, addled by their ideology and lusting for their places in history. Boy, will they get them.

As those who are sufficiently interested in such matters are always reminded, there ain’t much democracy in the Islamic Middle East. The reason for this, of course, is staring right us in the face – Islam. Islam is an ideology just as much as a faith. Like any ideology, it can’t suffer challenge so its opponents have got to go. Even in Turkey, the most avowedly secular of Islamic nations, the military have had to step into the political breach several times over the course of the country’s modern history in order to prevent Islamist groups taking power. The current Prime Minister was often fond of saying that the minarets should be their bayonets and the mosques their barracks.

Whoa there, Slim! Step AWAY from the prayer-mat!

But the Iraqi elections have consolidated power in the hands of the religious majority, the Shia Muslims. One of the more depressing consequences of having gorged oneself on an intellectual diet of David Horowitz mixed with Srjda Trifkovic is that one becomes aware of the existence of words like ‘Taqqiya’.

‘Taqqiya’, roughly translated as duplicity, is, according to Trifkovic, an Islamic duty, to push the Islamist agenda forward in the public square by gaining influence and then using it to establish Sharia law. The neoconservatives, of course, have done precisely the same thing for their agenda – I used to call myself a neoconservative, but I was just a wee toy Scottish neocon, MacNeo if you like (even the Republic of Ireland has its own wee toy neocon, an O’Neo, Mark Dooley of the ‘Sunday Independent’), while the really big beasts in their jungle probably number fewer than 100 and all of them hold or have held prominent positions in Republican White Houses, the think tanks or the media. This group holds a disproportionately massive public influence in relation to its numbers.

The Islamists will do precisely the same thing in Iraq as the neos have done in America. And we have walked blind into this nightmare, this hell on earth that we are making for other people.

The purpose of democracy is to enable all to be included in the decisions that affect them. Soon, the Iraqis will have no voice, their women will be forced to wear the veil, their hands will be amputated for petty infractions, and crowds will gather to watch them be beheaded and hanged. Iraq may join Iran’s new alliance with Syria, the security of Israel could be fatally compromised and the deaths of all those Iraqis, Americans, Brits and others who’ve been killed in this war for the last two years will be utterly meaningless.

In the meantime, the Spanish will just keep going about their business, being democrats, doing their thing.
And some prominent poseurs will have great snaps for their albums. But blood stains deeper than ink.