neocons

Gideon Rachman

Remember the neocons? They were the powerful and controversial group of thinkers who argued that the promotion of democracy in the Middle East was the key to winning the “war on terror”. The influence of the neocons peaked during the Bush administration, when they became vocal advocates for the invasion of Iraq.

Many of the critics of the neocons always argued that all this talk of “democracy” was simply a hypocritical mask for the promotion of US or Israeli interests. So I was interested to see how leading neocon thinkers have reacted to the coup in Egypt and the assault on the Muslim Brotherhood. Have they kept the democratic faith, or have they gone along with the military? Read more

Gideon Rachman

The crisis in Israel’s relations with Turkey and Egypt - combined with the anniversary of 9/11 - casts an interesting light on the question of Israel’s relations with the neocons in America. If you remember, at the time of the invasion of Iraq,  one of the most popular conspiracy theories was that US policy was being driven by a cabal of neoconservative thinkers – many of them Jewish – who were accused of acting at the behest of Israel.

There is no doubt that many of the neocons were and are strong supporters of Israel. But there were actually always philosophical differences between important neocon thinkers like Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol, and the Netanyahu government. Above all, they differed on the desireability of democracy in the Arab world. Read more