Thursday, March 17, 2011

Neocons’ Goal: Iran by Way of Libya

Although the neocons had initially been rather cool toward the popular uprisings in the Middle East which threatened regimes friendly to the U.S. and Israel, such as Mubarak’s in Egypt, they have reverted to their militant regime change stance toward Gaddafi ’s regime in Libya. In espousing this interventionist position, they are not as conspicuous as they had been regarding Iraq and Iran, when they had stood in the vanguard, but are only one component of a popular mainstream cause, which unites many otherwise disparate groups. Nonetheless, they are a vital players who apparently look to involvement in Libya as a chance to renew their now-stalled effort to reconfigure the Middle East in the interests of Israel (whose interests, they allege, coincide with those of the United States). [See Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal,]

The Libyan uprising has captivated the minds of many mainstream American liberals who simply advocate military intervention there for humanitarian reasons, a position harkening back to the widespread liberal support for U.S. intervention against Serbia over Kosovo. Thus, we see such liberals as Senator John Kerry and Bill Clinton advocating a no-fly zone over the country to prevent Gaddafi from using his airpower. And while some of these liberals have been hawks on the Middle East and thus not much different from the neoconservatives (and often called neoliberals), such as the staff of The New Republic magazine, support for U.S. involvement in a no-fly zone also includes numerous opponents of the war on Iraq. For example, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote in his article “The Case for a No Fly Zone”: “I was a strong opponent of the Iraq war, but this feels different. We would not have to send any ground troops to Libya, and a no-fly zone would be executed at the request of Libyan rebel forces and at the ‘demand’ of six Arab countries in the gulf. The Arab League may endorse the no-fly zone as well, and, ideally, Egypt and Tunisia would contribute bases and planes or perhaps provide search-and-rescue capabilities.” [New York Times, March 9, 2011, March 9, 2011]

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