Friday, August 22, 2014

Behind Obama’s ‘Chaotic’ Foreign Policy

So, we have Obama covertly arming Syrian rebels, many of whom were interchangeable with Islamic jihadists, but then sending the U.S. military back into Iraq to fight some of these same extremists who spilled back into Iraq, the country where they got their start after President George W. Bush’s neocon-inspired invasion.

We also have Obama spending years ratcheting up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program – despite Iran’s repeated offers to accept limits that would guarantee no military applications – and now finding that he needs Iran’s help to broker political changes in Iraq.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bill Clinton’s “Neocon-inspired Decisions” Triggered Three Major Crises in our Times

An eye-popping new book has alleged that U.S. President Bill Clinton had his White House phones tapped in real time, for the benefit of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The book also reveals how the Israeli Prime Minister could have used taped conversations of the American president regarding Mr. Clinton’s 1990s sexual scandal in the White House, to exert pressure on him to release from prison a convicted Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, who had been arrested in 1985, for espionage against the United States. In fact, the Israeli surveillance activities in the United States may be very widespread.
I suspect that such illegal activities and the fact that an American president (and other members of the U.S. administration) could have been placed under electronic surveillance and could have been potentially blackmailed by a foreign country will not go down well with ordinary patriotic Americans, if this becomes widely known. This comes after it has been discovered that theCIA, which works closely in tandem with the Israeli Mossad, has been illegally and unconstitutionally spying on U.S. senators.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hillary Clinton’s neocon moment

Is it not a thing of wonderment that the two leading families of the Party of the Poor and Down-and-Out are ending the summer in Martha’s Vineyard? Both the Obamas and the Clintons are renting spacious mansions, probably from Wall Streeters, on that enchanted isle and playing golf and tennis, and — who knows — croquet, just like the Rockefellers or Vanderbilts. Yet do not expect them to be dining together in the moonlight. In fact, relations between them have turned downright hostile.
Hillary Clinton this week has made it all but final. She is a neoconservative, a genuine, 24-carat, neoconservative. She has all the credentials. Back in the 1970s, Irving Kristol, the official godfather of neoconservatism, defined a neoconservative as a liberal who has been mugged by reality. By that definition, a mere believer in muscular foreign policy pronouncements is no neoconservative. Perhaps he or she is a hawk, but not a neoconservative. To be a true neocon, one has to have once been a liberal — preferably a Trotskyite — and to have come to one’s conversion in fits and starts. Well, Mrs. Clinton certainly fills the bill, complete with fits and starts.
Read the entire article

HILLARY CLINTON THE NEOCON, ANTI-OBAMA

With U.S. president Barack Obama‘s approval rating at record lows, presumed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is doing her best to put some distance between herself and an increasingly unpopular administration.
The only problem? She’s running from the arms of Obama – whose foreign policy she (mis)managed from 2009-2013 – and into the arms of the warmongering neoconservatives like U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
Read the entire article

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Neocons to Obama: No half-measures

The neocons have a message for President Barack Obama: Don’t screw this up.

Former Bush administration officials and other hawkish voices of the Bush era say the Democratic president deserves credit for signing off on airstrikes against an Islamist extremist group on the march in Iraq. But they fear Obama will let his reluctance toward military engagement in the region keep him from striking a death blow against a group of militants with strong anti-Western views.

They also worry his actions now may be too little, too late.


Read the entire article

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Naked Catholic Neocon

Artur Rosman interviews Patrick Deneen, a Catholic and professor at the University of Notre Dame, about the neoconservative Catholic imagination. It’s a meaty, if far too brief, interview, one that allows Deneen to launch a terrific line about what he considers to be the inconsistency of Catholic neocons stressing the Church’s line on faith and morals, but exempting economics from its authority:
What is more striking to me is the way that many Catholics of the stripe we are discussing are strenuous in their insistence that, on the one hand, the public square should not be stripped of religion and morality, but that the Market should have a wardrobe like that of Lady Godiva.
Source 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Did Hillary Clinton Just Join the Neocons on Iran Policy?

Did Hillary Clinton just throw in with the neoconservatives and the Israel lobby on the key sticking point in the Iran-P5+1 talks—namely, whether and how much Iran may enrich uranium on its own soil? In her appearance yesterday on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS program on CNN, it sure looks like it. Unless she misspoke, she said explicitly that she favors the idea of “so little enrichment or no enrichment,” a view that outright contradicts the position of the White House and the State Department, who’ve long ago agreed that Iran can maintain a civilian enrichment program to produce fuel for its current nuclear reactors and for a planned expansion of its nuclear program in the future.

Read the entire article

Saturday, July 26, 2014

RON PAUL: ‘I DON’T BLAME AMERICA, I BLAME NEOCONS’

Facing a tough but respectful grilling on Fox Business’s The Independents over his recent comments on Ukraine and the apparent downing of a Malaysia Air plane, Ron Paul argues that the US government wants to blame Russia for the shoot-down while providing no evidence for its conclusion. Paul points out that the US claim that Russia was to blame for the disaster because they supply weapons to the rebels in east Ukraine is hypocritical because the US has armed oppositionists in Syria who went on to attack the US-backed government in Iraq.
But the best moment was when one of the hosts trotted out the old “aren’t you’re blaming America?” question, which was previously used by the likes of Giuliani and the other neocons over the 9/11 attacks.
Responded Paul to the claim:
That is a misrepresentation of what I say. I don’t blame America. I am America, you are America. I don’t blame you. I blame bad policy. I blame the interventionists. I blame the neoconservatives who preach this stuff, who believe in it like a religion — that they have to promote American goodness even if you have to bomb and kill people.
They say ‘oh Ron Paul blames America therefore he’s a bad guy and we can’t listen to him.’ Well I’ll tell you what: the American people are listening more carefully now than ever before. …Non-intervention is the wave of the future.
Read the entire article

Friday, July 18, 2014

OBAMA & NEOCONS GET BALL ROLLING ON WORLD WAR III

Obama, Hillary Clinton, the State Department, John McCain and others in government have reached the conclusion Russia was behind the deadly attack on a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine. They have reached this conclusion despite the fact the attack occurred less than 24 hours ago and an investigation has yet to begin.
The neocon wing of the establishment is ready to begin the process of blaming Russia and start the process of punitive sanctions.
“I think we could bring this to the U.N. and start the ball rolling,” Stephen Black, a Russia fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, told USA Today. “Not just the Security Council, but the General Assembly, where Russia can’t veto it. There are more economic tools. We did not simply block them from doing dollar-denominated transactions.”

The Human Price of Neocon Havoc

Whether the tragedy is four boys getting blown apart while playing on a beach in Gaza or nearly 300 killed from a suspected missile strike on a Malaysian Airliner over Ukraine or the thousands upon thousands of other innocent victims slaughtered in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other recent war zones, the underlying lesson is that the havoc encouraged by America’s neocons results in horrendous loss of human life.

While clearly other players share in this blame, including the soldiers on the ground and the politicians lacking the courage to compromise, the principal culprits in the bloodshed of the past dozen years have been the neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies who can’t seem to stop stirring up trouble in the name of “democracy” and “human rights.”

Read the entire article

Friday, July 11, 2014

The War Party To Buzzfeed: Don’t Say Neocon

Buzzfeed’s editor in chief Ben Smith would like you to believe that these two approaches define the conservative movement’s divide over foreign policy. The fellow with the vodka bong is what Smith dubs a “freedom conservative,” and his opposite is a “liberty conservative.” This is supposed to be some kind of act of linguistic magnanimity from our good editor — hey, it’s better than ‘teabaggers’ versus ‘warmongers,’ right?

Smith is right that the terms with which the media talks about the right are muddy and often poorly applied. But when he tries to limn the intellectual roots of his new categories, he ends up basically describing the Old Right and the neoconservative movement; the former forged in opposition to the New Deal, and the latter from FDR supporters who were “mugged by reality” (he leaves out their Trotskyite dalliances). This is rather curious, isn’t it? There was once a time when journalists would look into the roots of ideas and attempt to explain how they carry on to today; in the Buzzfeed era, just make an arbitrary distinction we don’t really understand, name both sides something inoffensive, and pretend it’s a paradigm shift.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Are Neocons in Iraq Thinking Like the Banks that Blew up the Global Economy?

For the normally anodyne OilPrice to run an article, Obama Fiddles While Iraq Burns, that is openly frustrated with US conduct suggests that there is considerable consternation in the oil industry about the lack of a coherent policy in Iraq. One school of thought has been that the US wanted a breakup, but history like the dissolution of Yugoslavia shows that they are ugly, bloody affairs that hurt the population and infrastructure. Both are bad for business, such as drilling for and refining oil, which was apparent reason we occupied Iraq in the first place.

I’ve discussed with Lambert the difficult of coming up with a coherent rationale for the US stance towards Iraq. The only one I can come up with is that the neocons have convinced themselves that chaos in Iraq creates more options for the US, and as the world’s only superpower, we’ll find a way to take advantage of the situation. Readers of this blog will recognize this is troublingly similar to the way banks generate risk, because it’s profitable for them, even if they break the system

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Next Act of the Neocons

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons — Paul D. Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer III, Douglas J. Feith, Richard N. Perle — are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president Mrs. Clinton would “be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline.” 

Read the entire article

Friday, June 27, 2014

Neocons are going home to the left

Are the neocons going home? By “neocons,” I refer to followers of the hawkish foreign policy school that began to coalesce in the 1970s around New York writers and academics who had rejected their Communist or Socialist lodestar to become vocal anti-Communists. A generation or so later, from Kosovo to Georgia, from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Libya to Syria, from Ukraine and now back to Iraq, they consistently advocate the use of American power, often American troops, to establish and enforce a “liberal world order.”
By “going home,” I mean returning to the Democratic Party.
The question took shape while I was reading a profile in The New York Times about neocon light Robert Kagan — brother of Iraq “surge” architect Frederick Kagan, son of Yale professor Donald Kagan, and husband of State Department diplomat Victoria Nuland. The Times describes Robert Kagan as “the congenial and well-respected scion of one of America’s first families of interventionism.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Chaos In Iraq Is By DESIGN

The Real History of the American Strategy for Iraq and the Middle East

Neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz planned regime change in Iraq more than 20 years ago … in 1991.
But the goal wasn’t just regime change (or oil).  The goal was to break up the country, and to do away with the sovereignty of Iraq as a separate nation.

The Guardian noted in 2003:


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Neocon Surge

Don’t look now, but the latest installment in the decades-old neocon saga is currently taking place. Reviled as serial bunglers and amateurs after the Iraq war went south, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and a host of other neoconservatives are seizing the spotlight to conduct their own very personal war of liberation. They want to free themselves from the rap that they got it all wrong. And so they are going into overdrive to pin the blame for the collapse of Iraq on anyone other than themselves. Only this time, the American people, unlike in 2003, seem primed to ignore them.

Take L. Paul Bremer III, whose move to disband the Iraqi army led to the rise of the insurgency. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he lays all blame for the chaos in Iraq at Obama’s feet, claiming that he squandered the fruits of victory by refusing to keep U.S. troops in Iraq in perpetuity. “The crisis,” Bremer writes, “unfolding in Iraq is heartbreaking especially for those families who lost loved ones there. They gave so much; it is all at risk. It did not need to be this way.” Nor is this all. Echoing Bremer, Max Boot declared in the Weekly Standard that in pulling troops out from Iraq “Obama has helped restart the war.” Even Dick Cheney, emerging from his undisclosed location, teamed up with his daughter Liz to write, with an admirable lack of self-awareness, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.” Yes, that Dick Cheney, the vice-president who predicted in August 2002 that after Saddam’s ouster, “the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.” Of course, in their utopian quest to put “an end to evil,” to quote the ridiculous title of a ridiculous book by David Frum and Richard Perle, the neocons have ended up emboldening the very country they saw as the main threat to America—Iran.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Iraq — Neocon/Liberal Treason

Invading Iraq was insane from the point of view of American interests. The best Iraq could hope for is a rational dictator like Hussein who is tough enough to keep everybody from murdering each other, and who is secular enough to keep the clergy in their place. And, as far as U.S. interests are concerned, that's the best situation we could hope for in Iraq. Nevertheless, American interests don't seem to have been prioritized by our neocon/liberal decision-makers. We destroyed that stability by invading and overthrowing Hussein. Who benefits from an unstable Iraq? Only one I can think of is Israel, which seems to promote unrest and chaos all over the Muslim world, in order to keep any country from getting organized enough to threaten Israel. If so, the mess in Iraq is a feature, not a bug.

Read the entire article 

Neocons Want U.S. Back in Iraq: Here’s Why

“America must always lead,” President Barack Obama told West Point graduates during his May 28 commencement speech.

It would seem those four words should not prompt much criticism from the president’s conservative critics, who argue his stance on American foreign policy is weakening the country. Essentially, Republican lawmakers have made the same argument: the United States must take a leadership role on the world stage. But congressional Republicans and the Obama administration disagree over the form that leadership should take. “Our allies are looking to America for leadership, but rather than acting boldly and speaking with moral clarity this president’s tenure has been marked more by obfuscation and weakness,” stated Speaker of the House John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, in a response to the defense of his approach to foreign policy Obama gave at West Point.

Read the entire article

The Neo-Con Travel Agency Is Open for Business

How would you like to spend a week in an exotic locale with “The Boss”?

No, not that “Boss,” the other “Boss” – as in the Bruce Springsteen of Neo-Con crooners, the silver-tongued frontman of the rockin’-shockin’-awe-inspiring band that gave America and the world some of the greatest hits on Iraq. Folks, put your hands together for Bill “The Boss” Kristol.

That’s right, America. If you’re planning early for the upcoming holiday season, the travel bugs over at the Weekly Standard invite you to “…study with the boss in Jerusalem this winter at a weeklong seminar” appealingly titled “The Case for Nationalism.”

The Dogs of War Are Yelping Again

There is a saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie.” The only problem with the Iraq War dogs is that they never went to sleep.

Even after the disastrous consequences of their ill conceived — conceived on a lie is a better term — ill planned, ill executed invasion and occupation of what once was the sovereign country of Iraq, they have continued to yelp for the United States to attack other sovereign nations or “militarily intervene” in several instances, among them Iran, Libya, Ukraine, Nigeria and now, Iraq, again.

The Neocon Legacy

David Atkins, The Brutal Neoconservative Legacy in Iraq, pretty much says the same stuff I wrote here. Very basically, Atkins points out that the neocons have continued to justify the invasion of Iraq by claiming that getting rid of Saddam Hussein would be good for America in the long run.
But over a decade after the invasion and with Iraq seemingly entering a disastrous sectarian civil war, it seems abundantly clear that whatever the long-term effects of the invasion may be, the near to mid-term result has been to empower Shi’ite theocrats in Iran, and to radicalize Sunni factions in Iraq. As of this writing, Sunni extremist groups expressly intent on establishing a global caliphate are threatening to overrun Baghdad. The corrupt Shi’ite government of Nouri Al-Maliki is counting on and receiving support from the Ayatollahs in Iran.
Neither of these developments have even a silver lining behind them.

It wasn’t just the invasion, but the gross mismanagement of the occupation/nation building phase that came after pretty much guaranteed that the invasion of Iraq will always be counted as one of the greatest foreign policy bleep-ups of all time. I’d say it’s got Napoleon’s invasion of Russia beat by a mile.

Neocon lunatics are back: Right-wing Wall Street Journal calls for reinvading Iraq

The eight-years-long bloody disaster that was the Iraq War did nothing – absolutely nothing – to persuade its architects, promoters and defenders that military intervention in the region is perhaps not the best idea. With Iraq now falling to pieces as it struggles to contain the advance of the Islamic extremist group ISIS, the same public officials who made the spurious case for war in 2003 and the media outlets that aggressively backed it are once again agitating for armed conflict.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board was one of the Iraq War’s most fervent supporters. (“It will be the nasty weapons and the cheering Iraqis the coalition finds when it liberates the country,” they predicted in February 2003, wrongly.) Now they want the U.S. to go back to war, and they’ve even done the courtesy of drawing up their own battle plans.

The Neocon Left: The “Deputized” Right

What is commonly referred to as “the right” by the so-called “mainstream media” is actually what I prefer to call “the Deputized Right”—a faux right-wing that takes its marching orders from the left.

More specifically, the Deputized Right is actually nothing other than the neoconservative left that the recognizable left permits to exist.

Anyone with any doubts on this score should consider that neither domestically nor internationally do the recognizable left and the Deputized Right fundamentally disagree on a single issue. Rhetorical nods to “limited government” and the like aside, its positions on immigration, the NSA’s massive surveillance apparatus, military adventurism, “gay rights,” “anti-discrimination” laws, government-run health care, government-run education, and every other conceivable topic differ—when they differ—from those of the recognizable left only in degree, never in kind.



Saturday, June 14, 2014

DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ PROVIDES STAGE FOR BUSH NEOCONS

Douglas Feith, Bush’s Undersecretary of Defense for Policy who supervised the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, has weighed in on Iraq.
“This is the education of Barack Obama, but it’s coming at a very high cost to the Syrian people to the Iraqi people [and] to the American national interest,” he told Politico. “The president didn’t take seriously the warnings of what would happen if we withdrew and he liked the political benefits of being able to say that we’re completely out.”
In other words, he would enjoy the approval of the American people who historically oppose war, especially after it is discovered the wars in question are predicated on lies. For Feith and his neocon buddies, though, this sort of approval is not only irrelevant. It is counterproductive. Feith’s role at the Pentagon was to invent lies and get an invasion of Iraq rolling.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Return of the living (neo-con) dead

Amid much hysteria, the notion has been widely peddled in the United States that President Obama's "new" foreign policy doctrine, announced last week at West Point, rejects neo-cons and neo-liberals and is, essentially, post-imperialist and a demonstration of realpolitik.

Not so fast. Although stepping back from the excesses of the Cheney regime - as in bombing whole nations into "democracy" - the "desire to lead" still crystallizes might is right.

Moreover, "exceptionalism" remains the norm. Now not so blatant, but still implemented via a nasty set of tools, from financial warfare to cyber-war, from National Endowment for Democracy-style promotion of "democracy" to Joint Special Operations Command-driven counter-terrorism, drone war and all shades of shadow wars.

Neoconservatism has wronged the American Right

While the center-right is now associated with endless wars, runaway defense spending, decreased civil liberties in the name of national security, and moral hypocrisy, this is an anomaly.

Once upon a time, our nation’s conservatives stood for non-interventionism, supported a military-industrial complex that served practical goals, emphasized constitutional rights, and were not susceptible to allegations of hypocrisy because they didn’t claim moral superiority.

Read the entire article

Gove accused of using national security council to promote 'neocon' ideas

A former Conservative prisons minister has accused Michael Gove of using Britain's national security council to promote "neocon" ideas that could encourage moderates to move towards Islamist extremism.

Crispin Blunt spoke out after an extraordinary cabinet row broke out between Gove and Theresa May over how to tackle extremism.

The home secretary went public with direct criticisms of the education secretary's handling of the Trojan horse affair – suggesting an internal cabinet tussle over who can be toughest on threats of extremism.

Washington Post Editorial Board Goes Full Neocon

The article reads so much like a neocon hit piece that it may well have been authored by Cheney, Rumsfeld, or any of the cast of characters that plunged America into decade-and-a-half-long wars with no planning to bring any war to an end. The Post's editorial uses the right wing neocon language and accusations with such ease that it would be funny if it weren't so tragic. Terming President Obama's foreign policy - specifically his nagging habit of actually ending wars - a failure, the Post's editorial board skips the president's crowning foreign policy achievements such as the end of Osama bin Laden, reducing the world's nuclear arsenal, and disarming a country of chemical weapons without firing a shot.

So what is their focus? Like I said, that nagging insistence of the President Obama that wars and military actions have a definitive end date is really bugging newspapers that make money covering shock-and-awe entertainment style bombing and selling it as "news." As if to quote George W. Bush and his administration's chickenhawks, the Post editors have termed President Obama's focus on bringing our troops home "cut and run."

Mark Levin: “I despise the neocons! I am not a neocon!”

Speaking with Dan, a self-described young libertarian– Mark Levin insisted that he’s no neocon, and bristled at being so often mistaken for one…
I support a liberty-based ideology…I’m condemned as a neocon. I despise the neocons! I am not a neocon. I am not an interventionist.
You may recall that in February 2013, noted non-interventionist Mark Levin strongly defended Obama’s “right” to execute American citizens without trial…

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How Neocons Constrain Obama’s Message

As American neocons continue to shape the narratives that define the permissible boundaries for U.S. foreign policy thinking, the failure to enforce any meaningful accountability on them for their role in the criminal and disastrous invasion of Iraq has become painfully clear.

In any vibrant democratic system, it would be unthinkable that the neocons and other war hawks who yahooed the United States into Iraq a little more than a decade ago would still be exercising control over how Americans perceive today’s events. Yet, many of the exact same pundits and pols who misled the American people then are still misleading them today.