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. Harrison–attacking the messenger is a standard tactic of the Lobby. “Flirtation with holocaust denial” still falls in the category of attacking the messenger, not listening to it.

  2. It’s only “attacking the messenger” if the messenger is being misrepresented. The fact is that Ahmadinejad has flirted with Holocaust denial, and in doing so has only damaged his and his country’s credibility. He has played into the neocons’ hands.

    Why is it okay to attack the neocons for their words but not Ahmadinejad for his? What it boils down to is that you want to attack only those whom you oppose. I’m willing to attack anybody I think is a rotten soul, irregardless of whether they happen to oppose some of the same things I do. I’ve published articles attacking the neocons and gotten smeared as an anti-semite for it, while you comment on blogs without even giving your full name. So spare me your flawed reasoning and your indignation.

  3. In fact, Harrison, if you had bothered to read the wikipedia article that I attached, you would have seen that Ahmadinejad’s words are commonly mistranslated…and then Ahmadinejad is attacked based on those mistranslations.

    I don’t agree with any Holocaust denier. However, to dismiss anything the man says, much of which is legitimate, based on his alleged Holocaust denial, is in fact attacking the messenger, the standard Israeli propaganda method for stifling discussion.

  4. The Wikipedia article refers to a particular statement of Ahmadinejad’s that became controversial, one that I have heard was indeed mistranslated. I wasn’t referring to that statement. The Wikipedia article mentions, but only in passing, other statements in which A. did indeed question whether the Holocaust occurred, albeit without coming right out and denying the reality. That’s “flirting” with Holocaust denial as far as I’m concerned.

    I’m not sure what’s more pathetic here, a commenter who believes Wikipedia is the repository of all wisdom (at least on this subject), or the fact that I actually engage people who think in this way.

  5. Actually, the Wikipedia article refers to MANY statements (not one) of Ahmadinejad that became controversial. Harrison focuses on the one that is in fact most controversial and most trumpeted by Israeli Firsters to discredit everything Ahmadinejad says. That plays directly into the Zionist strategy of attacking the messenger, not discussing substance.

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