(continued from the previous post)
Anyway, in the comment thread to Digby's post about another neocon conspircacy theory, Demosthenes hits upon something that I've certainly noticed when debating the hawks:
I don't see this as madness, per se; it's what happens when you eliminate options.
The reason why France and Germany are saying "no" to the invasion of Iraq is because they think the invasion is wrong, that it sets a bad precedent, and that the neocons that are currently running the show are getting too grasping.
The problem, however, is that there is absolutely no way that Den Beste, or Ledeen, or any of the other absolutely reactionary pro-war types would believe this. They don't disbelieve it because they disagree, mind you, but because they simply will not admit that another logical perspective can be held on these issues. They can't; it allows for the possibility of their being wrong, and they simply will not accept that.
When you eliminate that possibility, however, you still have to explain their behavior somehow. In the case of Den Beste, Ledeen, and the rest, they engage in a bizarre Holmesian exercise: they cast around for alternative explanations (no matter how utterly improbable) because they have eliminated the (truthful) option that they believe impossible. In Den Beste's case, it's that "France is supplying WMDs to Iraq" thing. With Ledeen, it's "Europe is trying to bring down the hyperpower".
Yes, both would only be possible if the Europeans are uncommonly stupid (they're closer targets for fundamentalism than the U.S. and are identified with it), and they aren't that stupid. The thing is, though, these conspiracy mongers have no other choice. They've eliminated the truth, and all that's left is conspiracies.