David Kirkpatrick

July 17, 2010

The Tea Party is …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:21 pm

… to 60s vintage hippies as the neocon movement was to post-WWII pinkos.

June 17, 2009

Protests continue in Iran

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:39 pm

From all accounts the ongoing election protests in Iran are relatively peaceful. I’ve read some accounts that make the situation out to be a game of reverse chicken where the first side to go openly violent will end up the loser. At this point I think it’s pretty clear the previous status quo has lost. Regardless the outcome, the legitimacy of the post-1979 government is either significantly reduced or possibly gone altogether.

From the link:

The protesters marched silently down a major thoroughfare, some holding photographs of the main opposition candidate in Friday’s vote, Mir Hussein Moussavi. Others lifted their bare hands high in the air, signifying their support for Mr. Moussavi with green ribbons tied around their wrists or holding their fingers in a victory sign.

The scope and description of the demonstration was provided by participants who were reached by telephone, as well as photographs taken participants and journalists despite warnings by the authorities against reporting on the event. All accredited in Iran have been ordered to remain in their offices.

It was the fifth day of unrest since election officials declared a landslide victory for the incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This bit from the same link strikes me as patently ridiculous:

The Iranian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents American interests in Tehran, to complain of “interventionist” statements by American officials, state-run media reported.

If anything the White House is playing this very smoothly and not providing any fuel for “Great Satan influence” rhetoric from the Iranian government.

Of course some on the neocon right don’t see things quite like anyone else.

To wit (from a Robert Kagan op-ed):

It’s not that Obama preferred a victory by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He probably would have been happy to do business with Mir Hossein Mousavi, even if there was little reason to believe Mousavi would have pursued a different approach to the nuclear issue. But once Mousavi lost, however fairly or unfairly, Obama objectively had no use for him or his followers. If Obama appears to lend support to the Iranian opposition in any way, he will appear hostile to the regime, which is precisely what he hoped to avoid.

Obama’s policy now requires getting past the election controversies quickly so that he can soon begin negotiations with the reelected Ahmadinejad government.

And with this line of fantasy the neocons fade a little deeper back into history ready to be mothballed in think tanks for another 35 or so years.

Kagan’s outrageous op-ed was immediately countered by the blogosphere.

Here’s Matt Duss:

But I have to say, Mr. Kagan, your op-ed this morning is really beneath you. You can’t actually believe that President Obama is “siding with the Iranian regime” against the Iranian people, or that Obama’s outreach to Iran depends upon keeping hardliners in power, can you? You’re far too intelligent to buy the brutishly simplistic “realism” that you attempt to hang upon President Obama’s approach. These sorts of claims are better left to your friend and occasional co-author Bill Kristol, who uses his series of valuable journalistic perches (with which he inexplicably continues to be gifted) to launch an endless stream of comically transparent bad faith arguments. You’re better than that. You’re the smart neocon.

I wish the best of luck to the people of Iran. People who deserve the modern society denied them for many years. I’m disappointed, but no surprised, the neocon, pro-Israel right would attempt to inject U.S. politics into a situation that belongs to one Middle East nation, and one nation alone, at this time.

February 24, 2009

Richard Perle — a bit confused …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:37 pm

… or a smoke-blowin’ ass monkey? You be the judge.

I’ve always found it amazing that once he bailed on the Bush 43 regime he’s gone somewhat unchallenged when making wild statements that could be generously called “truth challenged.”

From the link:

The “people who wound up in important positions” were key neoconservatives like Douglas Feith, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and others, who had been openly calling for regime change in Iraq since the late 1990s and who used their positions in the Bush administration to make the case for war after 9/11, aided by a chorus of sympathetic pundits at places like the American Enterprise Institute, and the Weekly Standard. The neocons were hardly some secret cabal or conspiracy, as they were making their case loudly and in public, and no serious scholar claims that they “bamboozled” Bush and Cheney into a war. Rather, numerous accounts have documented that they had been openly pushing for war since 1998 and they continued to do so after 9/11. As neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan later admitted, he and his fellow neoconservatives were successful in part because they had a “ready-made approach to the world” that seemed to provide an answer to the challenges the U.S. faced after 9/11.

The bottom line is simple: Richard Perle is lying. What is disturbing about this case is is not that a former official is trying to falsify the record in such a brazen fashion; Perle is hardly the first policymaker to kick up dust about his record and he certainly won’t be the last. The real cause for concern is that there are hardly any consequences for the critical role that Perle and the neoconservatives played for their pivotal role in causing one of the great foreign policy disasters in American history. If somebody can help engineer a foolish war and remain a respected Washington insider — as is the case with Perle — what harm is likely to befall them if they lie about it later?

(Hat tip — Cato-at-Liberty)