It tells you something about the laws of unintended consequences (something missing from the neocon handbook) that the man they championed as Iraq's "democratic" leader, Nouri al-Maliki, recently went to Beirut to pay his respects to a Hezbollah mullah regarded as a terrorist by the neocon chorus. It also tells you something that the neocon attempt to impose crippling sanctions on Iran is now being undermined by ... large amounts of oil supplies getting to Iran by road via Iraqi Kurdistan.

What has neoconservatism achieved? In Afghanistan, the best possible option is a country dominated by an increasingly Islamist and nuclear-armed Pakistan. In Iraq, the best possible option is a country dominated by Shiites far more aligned with Iran than many Sunni Arab states. And so the upshot of the Bush-Cheney years is an empowerment of both Iran and Pakistan, the two Muslim countries either with or close to nuclear capacity. That is the end result of a policy designed above all to prevent WMDs getting into the hands of terrorists. I mean: you couldn't make this up.

And still they want more war. In fact, they are now angling for American support for Sunni Arab states (and Israel) to launch a war against the Shiite power of Iran. Not content with enmeshing the US in two intractable wars, they actually want America to take sides in the ancient intra-Muslim feud between Shiite and Sunni. Yes, that sounds like something brilliant doesn't it? No unintended consequences could come from diving into that briar patch.

And, remember, nothing in the neoconservative mind exists that can actually take account of flaws in their own thinking. Because neoconservatism is a doctrine, and a doctrine cannot have flaws, just as neocon columnist can never make errors, or account for them.

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