Aside from “live and let live,” one of the neoconservatives’ most important guiding principles can be found in the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The result of this has been no shortage of misadventures overseas. For example, under “Operation Cyclone,” the United States provided $7.4 billion in direct assistance to Pakistan to facilitate support of the Mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War (1979-1989) with “more than $20 billion in U.S. funds being funneled into the country to train and arm the Afghan resistance groups” with the sale of “non-U.S. arms to Pakistan for destination to Afghanistan being facilitated by Israel.” Similarly, during the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988), President Reagan saw an opportunity to use Iraq against Iran, so he removed Iraq from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in February 1982 and normalized diplomatic relations in 1984 after they had been severed during the Six-Day War (1967). During that time, the United States also guaranteed $5 billion worth of agricultural loans for Iraq in addition to providing arms, intelligence, dual-use technology, and so on. As history has shown us, the United States was rewarded for its efforts with the Gulf War (1990-1991), Afghan War (2001-Present), War on Terror (2001-Present), and Iraq War (2003-Present); all seeing former “allies” turned against Americans.
This mindset has also manifested itself in the broader Culture War, which the average neoconservative sees as an ideological struggle where ideology is wholly separate from the person. To their mind, gender politics is the enemy of women, racial politics is the enemy of non-whites, queer politics is the enemy of LGBT, and so on. Individualism is Ronald Reagan, collectivism is Mikhail Gorbachev, and anyone who has not already embraced neoconservativism is the Mujahideen in need of being rescued from the Soviets. Non-whites do not want to be on welfare with high crime rates, women do not want to be degenerate feminists, Muslims do not want to be Sharia-supporting terrorists… all are actually Constitution-embracing, liberty-loving Americans at heart, but they need to be saved from their common enemy… even if all of the above recognize themselves as being wholly and intrinsically leftists in total opposition to anything seen as right-wing.
Consider that neoconservatives are fond of saying, “Democrats are the real racists,” in an effort to convince non-whites that they should abandon the Left’s “racism of low expectations,” even though it provides material benefits. Despite such efforts by the Republicans, the Democrats averaged 87.2% of the black vote in presidential elections from 1972-2012 and 64.1% of the Central and South American vote from 1980-2012. A subset of this involves Republicans crying out that they love immigration, that the US is “a nation of immigrants,” and so on, but the hundreds of thousands of non-white foreigners that flood into the US legally every year then become Democrats. Republicans have also tried “Democrats are the real sexists,” but women have disproportionately leaned left in every presidential election since 1980 with an average gap of 13.2 points between men and women. In 2016, they even tried “Democrats are the real homophobes” by saying that Hillary Clinton took money from Muslim countries where homosexuals are executed.
Over the last week in Iran, “thousands have taken to streets and public squares calling for an end to the hardline conservative regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,” and things have turned violent with “reports of attacks on government buildings.” Sen. John McCain took to Twitter to say, “For too long, the Iranian people have been oppressed by their government… The U.S. stands with the brave protesters.” Pardes Seleh, a staff writer for Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire, tweeted, “Iranians want a secular government. They want a democracy that promotes science, art, education, culture, music, technology not just for nukes. They want free markets, free speech, and religious liberty.” Kassy Dillon, also of The Daily Wire, shared a similar sentiment: “The women standing up for their freedom in the #IranProtests are heroes and are also examples for what feminism should be.” Christina Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, tweeted, “Women dissidents in today’s Iran are among the bravest human beings in world history.”
One might expect to hear Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren cheering for “secular government” and “feminism,” but here we see neoconservatives espousing both. If you are inclined to giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming this is about Islam, note that none of the above are in favor of deporting Muslims, ending all Muslim immigration, or anything else of the sort. There is a certain element of “Democrats are the real sexists” since the anti-Trump “Women’s March” encouraged American women to wear hijabs while the same liberals are not clamoring to support Iranian women removing theirs, but, more importantly, we are seeing neoconservative thinking on full display. They see the Iranian government as the enemy, so they default to embracing secularists, feminists, LGBT, and anyone else who might oppose the same, and they do so without ever considering that no one involved is friendly to the Western Right.
What does a Christian benefit from Iran being controlled by Cultural Marxists as opposed to Islamic mullahs? Would another secular nation be any more a force for good in the world than an Islamic one? The Left’s racial, gender, and sexual politics have been absolutely disastrous for the West, so why should we be promoting the same anywhere else? Iran becoming a secular, liberal democracy would certainly benefit Israel and large corporations entering a new Iranian market obsessed with materialism, but how does that benefit the cause of traditionalists in the West? Replacing one evil with another is not a victory for good.
In the 1980’s, neoconservatives embraced Muslims to combat Marxists, but the Muslims still opposed the West. In 2017, they are embracing Marxists to combat Muslims, and the Marxists will still oppose the West. The problem with Islamic patriarchy is Islam, not patriarchy. The problem with Islamic concepts of modesty is Islam, not modesty. The problem with Islamic opposition to LGBT is Islam, not the opposition to LGBT. The Marxists may appear to be in opposition to the Islamic mullahs in Iran, but it is because they oppose any notion of patriarchy, modesty, and normalcy. Failing to recognize this only serves to undermine traditional Christianity since the Left frames all tradition as wrong; making neoconservatives useful idiots of the Left. It is time to wake up and reject the Left’s framing of such issues. The enemy of your enemy may not be a friend, and that is certainly true when their “friendship” requires your eventual suicide.