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.

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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. You should note that in my previous comment I said that Wikipedia mentions more than one of Ahmadinejad’s statements. But that’s not even particularly relevant, because the fact remains that A. has indeed flirted with Holocuast denial. There are interviews, etc. all over the internet, including ones in which the translator is supplied by the Iranian side, in which A. clearly does this.

    If it makes you feel good to pick and choose only the facts that you think support your argument, fine. I certainly don’t care what opinion you hold. I’m merely — foolishly — attempting to point you in the direction of the truth. Taking account of reality is what will make people listen to your views. Otherwise you’re just some monomaniac tapping away in your mother’s basement, or wherever you may be.

  2. Actually, Harrison, you chose to ignore that I said that I don’t agree with any holocaust denier. That includes Ahmadinejad.

    It still does not obscure the obvious fact that by focusing solely on a single part of Ahmadinejad’s statements, you become part of AIPAC’s echo chamber.

  3. Now you’re shifting your ground. It’s swell to know that you don’t agree with any Holocaust denier, but that wasn’t the point under discussion. Your contention, as I understood it, was that A. has not flirted with Holocaust denial. That was the point at issue, as far as I’m concerned. If you accept that A. has indeed flirted with Holocaust denial, then there’s no argument. If that’s always been your position, and I misunderstood you, then we needn’t waste any more time.

    So, please clarify your position for us. Has Ahmadinehad flirted with Holocaust denial, or made statements that reasonable people could interpret as such, or not? And please don’t hide behind the “Zionist strategy” argument. Let’s accept for the moment that there is such a strategy to paint A. in a bad light. Let’s just concede that point to you. But tell us, please, has Ahmadinejad made statements that reasonable people could interpret as flirting with Holocaust denial, or not?

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