By Manar Shorbagy
Al Monitor, August 2, 2012
Neoconservative ideology emerged in the late 1960s and was influential during the time of former President Ronald Regan. It later came to dominate foreign policy during the years of George W. Bush. Neoconservatives firmly believe that the US becoming the greatest world power was an unprecedented event. However, in their view, the US must secure this position before the emergence of rival powers. The goal of the neoconservative movement is to take over the world and turn this historic moment into a century of complete US hegemony over the world. In order to achieve this, the US has to increase its military budget.
With this increase in budget, the United States could expand its military influence worldwide. The Middle East is of great interest to neoconservatives due to its strategic importance and their particular interest in Israel. The only way to dominate the world is through controlling this region and redrawing the map of the Middle East. What is required is a new Middle East that does not include any force that will resist US hegemony or its interests in the region. These interests go hand-in-hand with those of Israel, in particular the interests of the Israeli right wing.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq was the first step on the path to controlling the region. According to their plan, the second step will be launching a war on Lebanon and Syria, followed by Iran, and then dividing Saudi Arabia. They are currently seeking to manipulate Egypt, which they consider to be their grand prize, to serve US interests. With this step we will witness the collapse of the resistance that was opposing US interests, which will in turn lead to an Israeli settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The US failure in Iraq, alongside Obama’s rise to power, led to a delay in the neoconservative plan, yet they are still determined to see it through. Yet neoconservative rhetoric concerning propagating democracy actually opposes their known stance that was discussed by a number of the movement’s leading figures. One neoconservative official once said that his country [US] “did not do anything wrong that necessitates an apology,” when it supported the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines or similar authoritarian regimes around the world.
The United States differentiates between different “types of evil” in the world. It is willing to support a dictatorship if that helps to sustain US interests!
US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has surrounded himself with prominent neoconservatives, officials who were responsible for drafting the policies of George W. Bush. Romney’s foreign policy ideas are exact replicas of Bush’s policies. During last week’s speech, Romney openly discussed the importance of the “American century” and adopted the neoconservative vision of the world by deeming it a “dangerous, destructive and chaotic” place that requires the intervention of the US and its military. Romney also adopts Bush’s rhetoric pertaining to Egypt. The main issue here is Egypt’s relationship with Israel and shaping the role of Egypt under the cloak of supporting democracy.
In his speech, Romney vowed that his country “will not stand by” regarding the outcome of recent revolutions in the Middle East, namely imposing conditions on US and international aid to Egypt. Romney utilized the disagreement between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu to accuse the former of insulting Israel and having a penchant for “lecturing Israeli leaders.” It is worth noting that the Israeli defense minister has said that Obama’s support for Israel’s security is “unmatched by any previous administration.” Following these statements regarding Israel, Romney paid a visit to the country in an attempt to gain the votes of Israeli settlers who have US citizenship. The question is: Is the world prepared for another four years of George W. Bush’s rule?