"More important, neocons have been discredited for ideological reasons. Most of the recent mistakes can be traced back not just to flawed execution but to flawed thinking. The neocons argued that democracy might be an antidote to the Middle East's problems: but democracy proved too delicate a plant. They claimed that the assertion of American power might wipe out “Vietnam syndrome”: but it has ended up making America more reluctant to intervene abroad. They talked about linking American power with American ideals: but it turned out, at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, that power can corrupt those ideals.
"The tragedy of neoconservatism is that the movement began as a critique of the arrogance of power. Early neocons warned that government schemes to improve the world might well end up making it worse. They also argued that social engineers are always plagued by the law of unintended consequences. The neocons have not only messed up American foreign policy by forgetting their founders' insights. They may also have put a stake through the heart of their own movement."