The Right Divides Again

You have the reality-based conservatives, from Frum to Bartlett and Parker. Then you have the unreconstructed neocons - Kristol, Krauthammer et al. Then the realists - Lugar, Gates, Powell. You have the libertarian non-interventionists - the Pauls, Johnson. Then those who might be called Christian nationalists - those who believe we are a sacred nation in a civilizational struggle against Islam and everything should be viewed from that perspective. It looks as if David Horowitz has left the neocons and become an anti-Islam nationalist. So he looks at the eruption in the Middle East and wants the dictators back:

Whatever I wrote about the war in support of the democracy agenda, inside I was never a 100% believer in the idea that democracy could be so easily implanted in so hostile a soil. I wanted to see Saddam toppled and a non-terrorist supporting government in its place. I would have settled for that and a large U.S. military base as well. But I allowed myself to get swept up in the Bush-led enthusiasm for a democratic revolution in the Middle East. I remained on board until the Beirut spring began to wither and got off when election results in Gaza came in and put a Nazi party into power. That spelled the end of my neo-conservative illusions.

It looks like we are headed for the same result in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to win the September elections. The reality is that a totalitarian Islam is the vibrant and increasingly dominant movement in the Arab world. Any elections likely to take place will be on the order of one man, one vote, one time. Neo-conservatives are now cheering on the Obama administration’s reckless intervention in Libya, as though the past ten years have taught them nothing.

Much of this is in flux, of course. But the contradictions of the Bush-Cheney era continue to reverberate. And if you want a classic pragmatic realist conservative in office, in foreign policy, it's hard to beat the Democrat right now. Even if he has just thrown some desert sand in our eyes.