I used to be fascinated with neoconservatism because I couldn’t understand how such a whacky “philosophy” had acquired so much influence. Now I think I know the answer. Neoconservatism is a lot like libertarianism: it’s a fringe ideology that is more visible than it should be because various wealthy have embraced it (Koch brothers, Marty Peretz), it has aims that certain powerful lobbies support (Chamber of Commerce, AIPAC), and because its mythology has a natural appeal to the sociopaths and narcissists who rule us (Galtian supermen, noble lies). It’s not a perfect analogy, because libertarians are disorganized and completely inept politically, whereas neoconservatives have run a tight, politically astute ship.
I continue to be fascinated by Ahmed Chalabi, because he’s such a transparently deceptive slimeball and because it amuses me that neocons think his math PhD and three published math papers (I will grant that one of them is in a good journal) prove that he is a “mathematical genius”.
Today, Chalabi is essentially an Iranian agent of some kind and happy about the Iraq War:
Chalabi offered some mild criticism of the lack of human rights in Iran and some similarly cautious support of democratic protest in Tehran. As for the Arab Spring, he was emphatic in his support. “Iraq was the first country to go through the process,” he said. “The Arab people will long remember that.”
“We thank U.S. troops for liberating Iraq, and we say goodbye to them, and good luck,” Chalabi concluded.
So that’s how it ends — not with a bang or a whimper, either, but with a smooth valedictory from the man whom history will record as the secret instigator of the Iraq war, for which he has no apologies and, seemingly, no regrets.
David Ignatius, who wrote the above after interviewing Chalabi, treats it as a given that any sane person would have regrets and apologies over having supported the Iraq War. Yes the editorial board of his own newspaper has exactly the same view as Chalabi, that the Iraq War was a great success that we should all be proud of.