Egypt and Neoconservative Hypocrisy
If there’s anyone who has no business lecturing anyone about peaceful regime change, it’s Max Boot. Here he is, oozing condescension as he tells Egyptians that “the tweet is mightier than the sword” (emphasis is mine):
Egypt shows that there is a better way than setting off bombs if you want to change regimes. “People power” protests of the kind we have seen in recent weeks in Cairo and Alexandria have toppled far more rulers in recent decades than all the world’s terrorists and guerrillas combined. East Germany, the Soviet Union, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Lebanon, Georgia, Tunisia, and on and on — the list of countries where popular demonstrations have toppled unpopular regimes is a long one. Now add Egypt to that list.
Really, the lack of self-awareness here is so amazing it could be a skit on Saturday Night Live just as it is, with no rewriting. But Adam Weinstein got there before me:
Professional prognosticator and leading Iraq War cheerleader Max Boot is still telling Arabs what to do, albeit with a liberal-sounding post-Egypt twist:
There is a lesson here for those not too fanatical or deluded to learn it. Put down the bomb, the sniper rifle, whatever weapon you have, and grab a placard, go on Twitter, organize a rally. True, many peaceful protests have been repressed too, as we have seen most recently in Iran; but they offer a much surer road to regime change than does blowing up innocent people.
Fair enough. Unless it comes from Boot, an unreconstructed neocon with a loose grip on factual arguments, who’s written books called Small Wars and the Rise of American Power and War Made New…and whose first hawkish defense of war in Iraq, written for the New York Times in October 2002, was titled “Who Says We Never Strike First?” “We’re going to be called an empire whatever we do,” he wrote the following year in the USA Today. “We might as well be a successful empire.”
As Mideast scholar (and MJ contributor) Juan Cole puts it, “Boot never saw a war he didn’t love, never saw a conquest he didn’t find exhilarating, never saw an occupied land he didn’t think could be handled…Bootism is the disease, not the cure.”