Manuel L. Quezon III tackled this atypical subject tonight on ANC's The Explainer TV show with fellow Inquirer columnist Ms. Patricia Evangelista. He does a good job introducing a topic that is not exactly commonplace in Philippine television. I'm glad MLQ3 brought up the case of Paul Wolfowitz who, as a young foreign policy adviser on East Asian Affairs under then President Ronald Reagan in 1986, was one of the early neoconservative policy thinkers within the US government who effectively questioned US support for fascist dictators, monarchs and autocrats during the Cold War. It was reportedly Mr. Wolfowitz who convinced Pres. Ronald Reagan to tell Ferdinand Marcos in 1986: "Mr. President, it's time to cut and cut cleanly."
Neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz is arguably an unsung hero of the Edsa 1 People Power Revolution, perhaps as much responsible for the its bloodless outcome as Cardinal Sin! For what if he had not prevailed and Reagan told Marcos in Feburary 1986 that the US would support him no matter what? There might've been a massacre instead of a miracle! I have some reflections on that historic event in The Paradox of People Power and the role of Paul Wolfowitz. By the way, I supported the decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein because I saw it as a belated but welcome revocation of the long-standing US policy during the Cold War of supporting fascist dictatorships like that of Ferdinand Marcos. (I always knew that America was better than that!)
The core of neoconservative thinking espoused by Paul Wolfowitz is surprisingly simple and direct and "fundamentalist" in the best sense of the word: Democracy is the solution to the problems of most nations, most of the time. Supporting dictatorships, monarchies and other repressive regimes has not in the long run guaranteed US national security. (Consider that most of the Sept. 11 attackers were Saudis.) Indeed, during the Cold War and in that respect, there was little difference between America and the USSR who both "support the son-of-a-bitch as long as it's OUR son-of-a-bitch".
Francis Fukuyama (The End of History) and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations) make cameo appearances in MLQ3's discussion, successively on the idea that the trend towards democratization will transform the world but that a clash of civilizations will be engendered by cultural and religious differences.
THE CALIPHATE AND ISLAMOFASCISM I think that Ms. Patricia Evangelista's own considerable talents at speaking and writing, once recognized in the British Isles, may have been underutilized on the Explainer tonight since her role in this segment was basically to read some choice screeds from Osama bin Laden. But MLQ3 seemed quite the neocon himself pronouncing and broadcasting an original neoconservative neologism that I personally dislike but can no longer be avoided in present lexicon: Islamofascism. Ugly but accurate, like Nazi Fascism or Baathist Dictatorship. I'm not sure MLQ3 was endeared to jihadist-lovers tonight as he put OBL's words through Ms. Evangelista, whose fair speech could not disguise the venom of their content, and justifies the term Islamofascism. Al Qaeda's radical version of "Islam" seeks to reunite all the disparate "Muslim lands" under the old theocratic caliphate, (last seen as the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s). And definitely no Separation of Mosque and State!
However less in stature he happens to be in the liberal academic or book publishing world, I guess I still like George W. Bush's formulation yesterday on the Fifth Anniversary of 9/11 during a televised address: "It's not so much a clash of civilizations, as much as a clash FOR civilization."
Unlike paleoliberals (my antonym for neoconservative) Bush rhetorically denies that there is any cultural or moral equivalence between Islamic theocracy and Western democracy. For the US President and neoconservatives in general, it is not a competition among equal cultures that are only different in superficial aspects. It is a struggle between two radically disparate views about how human societies ought to be organized and what freedoms every individual must be guaranteed. Only democracy -- with it guaranteed freedom of expression and religion -- has proven capable of creating the conditions for peoples of different religions to live together in peace and prosperity and religious toleration. By contrast Al Qaeda and the radical Islamists are out to exterminate all the kuffar, claiming it's Allah's orders, and are dreaming of a Global Islamic Fundamentalist Republic, where even the paleoliberals, (especially the paleoliberals) could not possibly be happy.