Stupidity, thy name is neo-cons.
Their trademark is to hallucinate about “moderate forces” from South Asia to the Sahel; and, to urge the United States to partner with them to defeat extremism and spread democracy, the rule of law and secularism throughout the solar system. Exemplary is Fred Hiatt’s column in The Washington Post last Monday (“Cozying up to the dictators”).
His neo-conservative exhortation is the spiritual descendant of President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. It was delivered as the United States trotted into the Vietnam War to defeat Communism by partnering with South Vietnamese moderates we were convinced could be summoned into being. The president trumpted: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
More than 50 years later, Kennedy’s imagined moderate partners in Vietnam who would assure the success of liberty are yet to be discovered. Indeed, the United States is now defending a Communist dictatorship there in its maritime disputes with China. We paid a staggering price for our Vietnamese stupidity in lives lost and resources squandered.
In the spirit of Kennedy’s Inaugural, Mr. Hiatt is appalled that President Obama has cruelly refrained from partnering with anonymous “moderates” in Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Iraq to crush extremism and to give birth to secular democracy that has slumbered in these nations since the beginning of recorded history. But the neo-con megaphone is unable to identify even one “moderate” in any of these 11 countries endowed with even a tiny fraction of the courage, wisdom, character, and leadership needed to create the United States. Think of George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Edmund Randolph, John Marshall and Benjamin Franklin, among others.