Neoconservatives acting as “Bizarre Cheerleaders” for the “Green Movement”

Recent op-eds and columns by prominent neoconservatives have sought to portray Washington’s hawks as close allies of Iran’s Green Movement. Jack Ross addresses this neoconservative tenet in an article for “Right Web” in which he writes:

During the recent upheavals across the Greater Middle East, the various iterations of the neoconservative line—the optimistic pro-democracy, the paranoid Islamophobic, or the brazen combination of both—have all tended to share a single major fallacy: that the opposition movement in Iran, the so-called Green movement, is a movement that seeks the same goals as neoconservatives and their allies. This central premise presumes a number of unsupportable notions, including that the Green movement seeks to abolish the Islamic Republic, opposes the Iranian nuclear program, and wants to overhaul Iranian foreign policy.

Jack also observes:

Newtonian physics suffices to explain why Iran is poised to fill the vacuum created by an increasingly and inevitably receding U.S. presence in the region. It is also true this has made Iran a natural candidate for American superpower anxiety. Iran is the civilization that invented both chess and backgammon—they know how to play the long game and they have been doing it masterfully for some time. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be crazy, but he is also crazy like a fox. His dalliances with holocaust denial and other affronts to liberal piety would appear to demonstrate that he knows how to play the West, and especially the neocons, like a violin.

Seen in this light, the neoconservative tendency to reject reason and embrace a fabulous version of the Green movement seems a mere byproduct of Iran’s success at making itself into a bête noire of its adversaries in Israel and the West—which may even be a strategic goal of the Islamic Republic. And since much of the U.S. political elite shares this same malady, it allows the Iran opposition fiction to go unchallenged.

Read the rest of Jack’s post here.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. I can’t see how Ahmadinejad’s flirtation with Holocaust denial has done him or his country any good. Rather the reverse, from what I’ve seen.

  2. The official media narrative is that Ahmadinejad denied the Jewish holocaust. But before Harrison swallows Israeli propaganda hook, line and sinker, he might want to check out what some Iran experts are saying about what Ahmadinejad is actually trying to say.

    And let’s not forget how any criticism of Israel in the US is now routinely considered to be proof of anti-Semitism. And Ahmadinejad does offer a lot of valid criticim…

  3. Jon, often makes puerile comments here, he can’t help himself. He even knows better, maybe puerile isn’t right, maybe it’s dementia.

  4. Jack’s post is the clearest statement on the Iranian rhetoric I think I’ve seen. You guys here get a bit in the weeds to allow you a forum to state the reality against the claims you report. Is that “rightweb” the new way you’re gonna attack the various stories coming out of the region?

    A side note, the “profiles” on the side there make it seem like Dan Quayle and others are associates of the site, they might try to better identify those names as the “notorious neo-cons” or somehow more clearly labeled, identified so as not to confuse. After all the words the sophistic neo-cons use I often agree with–democracy for the ME, sure! Freedom agenda? maybe? utter hypocrisy and pandering to the basest elements in people? No way.

  5. Flirtation with Holocaust denial is what I wrote, JOHNH. Flirtation is not the same as consumation. The distinction is important, but shouldn’t require an explanation.

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