Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Fractured Neo-Conservatives

There is an interesting split in the neo-conservative community taking place over Egypt.  Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, son of Irving Kristol, and leading neo-con, has come out four-square in support of the Egyptian democracy movement (and against the lunatic ravings of Glenn Beck), while the bombastic neo-con David Horowitz, for example, has criticized Kristol for this.  I've also seen several of the neo-cons on the editorial page of the Washington Post come out against Mubarak and for the democratic protesters.  I also saw it recently on some show with neo-con Elliot Abrams.

Having been a neo-con myself back in the 80s and early 90s, with some familiarity therefore with this community of activists, it seems that the neo-conservative movement is fracturing and perhaps even dissolving.  You first saw it happening with David Brooks of the NYT, who moved to a more centrist and moderate position ideologically several years ago, after having been on the writing staff of Kristol's magazine.

Neo-cons are well-known for being hypersupportive of Israel and its defense, subordinating everything else to that goal.  Others were just Cold War hawks, followers of Sen. Scoop Jackson.  Many of them supported the invasion of Iraq back in the 90s, and were part of the Bush administration planning (and media hyping) for the Iraq invasion in 2003.  Many of them have been calling for war against Iran.

So for them to be supporting the young Egyptian democratic protesters, when Israel for example is so frightened by what's happening in Egypt, puzzles me.  I'll be looking for the explanation of this.

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