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But I think I'll have to re-read it to get all the details. With a pen and paper to jot down all the names and connections.

I think readability would be enhanced greatly if this diary were split in three parts: One about the ideological foundations of neoconservatism, one about how Chalabi exploited the Bay of Pigs Syndrome to snooker the US intelligence agencies and one about Litvinenko et al. Possibly also a fourth part about the "flex players" and "private security contractors" - no, let's not mince words here, private militias operating outside the rule of law - that have sprung up in The West(TM) in the last few decades.

As an aside, I am not sure that I agree with the conclusion that the neocons are ideologically motivated. It seems to me that a simpler explanation which would also fit all available information is that they are simply sociopathic thugs motivated by personal enrichment and power. When people make naked grabs for power and wealth, I don't think you need any ideology to explain their behaviour.

And the lobotomisation of the intelligence community, while consistent with ideological motivations is also consistent with a consolidation of personal power: By filling up the CIA with apparatchiks, they rendered a formerly quasi-independent power centre subservient to them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jun 10th, 2008 at 03:25:53 AM EST
I agree with much of Jake says, but would like to clarify one point.

I was not saying that the neocons are motivated by ideology.  And I certainly would not disagree with the suggestion that will-to-power is a very important part of what drives them (although I think this is not simply a matter of personal and group will-to-power, but also relates to a vision of a global order based upon unquestioned American dominance, with Israel and the U.K. as junior partners.)

My quarrel is simply with any view of the neoconservatives as clear-eyed realists.  I think ideology really does circumscribe the perceptions both of the American neocons, and of their European (particularly, but not exclusively) British fellow travellers.

Precisely because of this, the very great skill of the neocons in manipulating the United States political system -- and also the British -- generates results which are deeply counter-productive even in terms of their own objectives.

Precisely because the neocons' perceptions were distorted by ideology, they bought the snake oil which Chalabi sold them about the supposedly secular Shia providing the basis for a new U.S.- and Israel- friendly Iraq, which would be a dagger pointed at the heart of the clerical regime in Iran.

In fact, the result was a massive strengthening of that regime -- and this may have been a result which Iranian intelligence anticipated, and sought through Chalabi to achieve.  The strategic position both of the United States, and of Israel, has been massively weakened.

And now, the U.S. and Israel find themselves caught between the devil of accepting that if the Iranians do want to construct a nuclear capability, they may very well be unable to do anything about it -- and the deep blue sea of an attack on Iran whose results are incalculable.

At the same time, however strong AIPAC may appear to be, beneath the surface American support for Israel is beginning to come into question -- with the issue of 'dual loyalty' quite patently hovering in the background.

I completely accept that, in putting so many threads together, I made my diary both excessively long, and difficult to follow.  This may have been a mistake.  But I did so because I thought the different threads illuminated each other -- in part because the issue of ideologically-generated misconception is central to all of them.

The Litvinenko/Scaramella disinformation machine has managed to manipulate the British elite, with as much success as Chalabi manipulated the American -- precisely because people will persist in seeing Russian politics in terms of simplistic ideologically-generated visions, just as they saw Iraqi politics.

by djhabakkuk (david daught habakkuk at o two daught co daught uk) on Tue Jun 10th, 2008 at 08:56:00 AM EST
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My quarrel is simply with any view of the neoconservatives as clear-eyed realists.  I think ideology really does circumscribe the perceptions both of the American neocons, and of their European (particularly, but not exclusively) British fellow travellers.

Ah, sorry. I most certainly didn't mean to imply that they were realists or in any way clear-eyed. What I intended to suggest was that they view the world in terms of those who follow their orders and those who do not. Those who follow their orders unquestioningly are allies - those who do not are evil.

If this is indeed the case, then it is consistent with the political purge of the intelligence agencies - after all, anyone who doesn't tell them what they want to hear is not toeing the line and is thus ipso facto an enemy. It would also make them extremely susceptible to the kind of snake-oil salesman who tells them what they want to hear.

Want to invade Iraq? Find someone who will tell you that the Iraqis will welcome you as liberators. Want to do nothing about global warming? Find an "expert" who will tell you that action is unnecessary. Want to make tax downsizings that massively benefit rich fatcats at the expense of society? Find a Friedmanite. And, of course, dismiss all who present dissenting views as public enemies, rivals and cowards.

That they are motivated by ideology is certainly one possibility. That they are complete control freaks who are unable to tell the difference between honest disagreement and attempts to undercut their authority (or between honest agreement and sycophancy) is most definitely another.

Precisely because of this, the very great skill of the neocons in manipulating the United States political system -- and also the British -- generates results which are deeply counter-productive even in terms of their own objectives.

Counterproductive if the objective is to ensure US hegemony? Sure. Counterproductive if the objective is to line the pockets of BushCo? I am not so sure.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jun 11th, 2008 at 03:07:34 AM EST
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