Well, that didn’t take long. 

A little over a month ago, the grand conservative collective was criticizing Barack Obama for his insufficient rhetorical support of the Iranian people in their brave fight for democracy, whiskey and (though less so than Lebanon) sexy.  

Where were his magic American words that would sweep aside the ruling regime just like Reagan brought down the USSR?  How could the protesters possibly carry on without Obama providing the oratorical version of the “hang in there” poster? 

Obama’s reticence was nothing less than clear evidence of The Left’s affinity for dictators, dhimmitude and lack of regard for the plight of those poor Iranians – the wogs the right love so much.

From pundit and politician, blogger and radio personality, we were subjected to an ostentatious parade of green-tinted moral superiority based on the right’s supposed solidarity with the Iranian people, while the terror loving, despot-coddling Left remained silent.

For example, the Mustache of Wrongness* had this to say:

…[Y]ou know what’s worst of all about this, looking at President Obama, is not only that he’s being timid, he’s being disingenuous. The real reason that he won’t speak out has nothing to do with this argument that we don’t want to meddle. […]

[Obama] is abandoning the people in the streets and not providing any possibility of concrete assistance to them.

Abandoning them in the streets?  Providing no possibility of concrete assistance?  What cruelty! What callousness!  What brutality!  What…a difference a month makes. 

Now with the protest chest thumpery fading into the distance, and with the sheen off the preen, Bolton is impatiently tapping his foot, perturbed at Obama’s lack of urgency in unleashing a massive bombing campaign on…the Iranian people.  Love hurts I guess.

But then, this “faster, please” call to set Iran ablaze has been the default setting for Bolton and the right for many years.  It was only the protests that gave the warmongers a chance to come up for air – resurfacing and reinventing themselves as the only faction with compassion and concern for the towel-heads.

Therein lies one of the neatest tricks of neoconservatism (aka modern Republican foreign policy).  Despite its reflexive bellicosity and its rank bigotry, regardless of its “war is always the answer” framework, its adherents get to cover themselves in a veneer of ersatz piety. 

Recall, it was the Left that defended Saddam Hussein while the right was concerned with Saddam’s human rights abuses (which the right ignored when Saddam was slaughtering Iranians, natch).  The Left wanted Saddam to stay in power, but the Right wanted to “shock and awe” the Iraqi people to a better life.  So it is that those that called for a war that has lead to such an unthinkable amount of suffering get to pretend they have the best interests of the targets at heart.

Now, too, the right gets to demagogue the left with its self-righteous bluster about freedom, democracy and common struggle with the Iranian people…while fueling up the bombers and drawing up the battle plans.