E.D. Kain sums up neoconservatism:
The Islamic world is nothing like the Western world. We have few, if any, of the same values and virtually no historical commonality save our shared, centuries-old conflict with one another. The Islamic world, by and large, has none of the laws or customs necessary to develop an organic democratic society the way Western nations have. Therefore, the only way to achieve peace with the Islamic world is for them to adopt our notions of plurality, democracy, and humanism. They won’t do this on their own because of their lack of shared values, and so it follows that we must intervene on their behalf to impose these values, and fashion democracies for them in our image.
But not in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Gaza (where an actual free election that gave Hamas power was rewarded by a blockade!). And then we patiently listened as neocons told us that the Palestinians are too dysfunctional a people ever to have democratic rights or their own state, but that the the ancient sectarian warfare of Iraq can be transformed in a few years! As Kain remarks:
One would think the fallacy here too apparent, and yet it has shaped much of our foreign policy in regards to the region for the past three decades.
I took neoconservatism seriously for a long time, because it offered an interesting critique of what's wrong with the Middle East, and seemed to have the only coherent strategic answer to the savagery of 9/11. I now realize that the answer - the permanent occupation of Iraq - was absurdly utopian and only made feasible by exploiting the psychic trauma of that dreadful day. The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right. That's the conclusion I've been forced to these last few years. And to insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival that Israelis have been slowly forced into. Cheney saw America as Netanyahu sees Israel: a country built for permanent war and the "tough, mean, dirty, nasty business" of waging it (with a few war crimes to keep the enemy on their toes).
But America is not Israel. America might support Israel, might have a special relationship with Israel. But America is not Israel. And once that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology collapses.