The Irony of Neo-Con Theory

Reality can be hard on theorists – just ask that gaggle of neoconservative geniuses who designed and pushed George W.'s invasion of Iraq.

The theory propounded by Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Bush's other "Big-Thinker" war hawks (none of whom have ever actually been in a war) was that crushing Saddam Hussein would cause the flowering of a pro-American democracy in Iraq. In the glorious vision of these theorists, grateful Iraqis would shower American troops with rose petals, Halliburton would quickly rebuild the country's infrastructure, U.S. corporations would install a pure capitalist economy, and our troops would be home by summer, having turned over power to a secular government, largely handpicked by Bushites.

Of course, the reality is that our troops are still mired there, showered with bombs and bullets rather than roses. The economy is a wreck, and far from becoming a Mideastern bastion of American empire, Iraq has become an incubator for anti-American terrorists.

But the greatest embarrassment for neo-con theorists is that the recent elections in Iraq produced the exact opposite of what they assumed. The theory was that secular Iraqi politicians long allied with the CIA would win, giving Bush & Co. an Arab ally to counter the Muslim theocracy in neighboring Iran. In theory, thus Americanized Iraq could then be counted on to side with the U.S. on everything from Mideast oil prices to Israeli policy.

But – oops – the candidates of the neo-cons got skunked! The election was won by a religious slate handpicked by Iraq's top Shiite Muslim leader. Moreover, the two parties that now control three-fourths of the new government's legislative seats have long standing and very close ties not to us – but to that Islamic republic right next door in Iran.

One of the greatest ironies of Bush's war is that it has created a new ally for Iran, the very country that the neo-cons want to attack next.

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