Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is it the End of History for Neonservatives?

As Heather writes below, Peter Beinart has a very interesting piece up at the Daily Beast on the death of neoconservativism. His basic argument is that the Obama administration’s success at decimating al Qaeda leadership through counterterrorism operations rather than democracy promotion and nation building is evidence that the ideology is broken. Combine this with the culture of limits that is dominating Washington and the national debate, the ideology that rejects limits is not likely to survive. While, I wish this were the case, I think Beinart’s focus on post-9/11 neoconservatives ignores the movement’s ability to hype threats and reinvent the boogeyman.

Beinart writes:

“Today, by contrast, it is increasingly obvious that the real successor to German fascism and Soviet communism is not Al Qaeda, whose mud-hut totalitarianism repels the vast majority of Muslims. It is China’s authoritarian capitalism, the first nondemocratic ideology since the 1930s to challenge the idea that democracy is the political system best able to promote shared prosperity. And not only is Al Qaeda sliding into irrelevance, its demise is being hastened by exactly the narrowly targeted policies that neoconservatives derided.”


Here are some Pollyanna quotes and lies from the hoodwinked mainstream media as well as Dick (Darth Vader) Cheney, regarding the Iraq war, which deserve to be reviewed and remembered in light of the release next week of Cheney’s memoir ~ In My Time : Allen L Roland

In light of the release next week of Dick Cheney’s memoir, In My Time, we must never forget that Cheney tried to justify illegally attacking Iraq on March 20, 2003 by using intelligence that the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee later labeled “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.“

Here’s a great example of this unindicted scoundrel at work ~ “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beinart Pronounces Neoconservatism Dead

It’s hard to keep track of how many times neoconservatism has been pronounced dead by critics. At the Daily Beast, Peter Beinart pens the latest eulogy:

And not only is al-Qaeda sliding into irrelevance, its demise is being hastened by exactly the narrowly targeted policies that neoconservatives derided.

The Obama administration is destroying al-Qaeda not by remaking Afghanistan—a project that looks increasingly far-fetched—but through intelligence cooperation and drone strikes. And while political change—and maybe even democracy—is indeed coming to the Middle East, it is coming because younger Muslims are fed up with corruption and dictatorship, not because of anything done by the Fourth Infantry Division.

American Spectator Dead Wrong on Ron Paul

In My Time Lies And Quotes From Cheney And Neocon Pundits

Here are some Pollyanna quotes and lies from the hoodwinked mainstream media as well as Dick (Darth Vader) Cheney, regarding the Iraq war, which deserve to be reviewed and remembered in light of the release next week of Cheney’s memoir ~ In My Time

In light of the release next week of Dick Cheney’s memoir, In My Time, we must never forget that Cheney tried to justify illegally attacking Iraq on March 20, 2003 by using intelligence that the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee later labeled “unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Return of the Smear Brigade

As the crisis of the American empire lurches into its final stages, and conservatives begin to question the costs of imperialism, the neoconservative counterattack is going into overdrive. When prominent conservatives rose to say, “Cuts in the defense budget are not ‘off the table,’” the neocons began to worry that their formerly iron grip on the “conservative” brand is beginning to slip. As more Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail began sounding like the staunchly anti-interventionist Ron Paul, the neocons went on offense: Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin decreed that such proposals “are not an option,” and various members of the Kagan clan went on to point out that cutting back on a “defense” budget nearly equal to that of all other nations on earth combined would seriously imperil the nation’s very survival.

This attempt to prevent the USS Perpetual War from sinking into the ocean of government debt is not succeeding, in part because of the weak arguments advanced by the spend-more-on-defense crowd – do they really expect that conservative Republicans are going to agree with Robert Kagan that “it doesn’t make fiscal sense to cut the defense budget when everyone is scrambling for measures to stimulate the economy”? A generally unstated but important part is because of who is making these arguments.

Ron Paul Interview On Fox News Sunday: Talks Fema, Libya, Mises & More

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Neocon Twins McCain and Graham Sad About Troubling Lack of Airstrikes In Libya In February and March

Because of the reflexive “everything Obama does is wrong” strategy for Republican control of government, you have a spectacle where the President intervened in a foreign country and led to an apparent change in regime, and according to Lindsey Graham and John McCain the real problem was that we didn’t commit more resources into Libya back in February and March:

This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud. We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict. Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.

This isn’t even the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics, it’s the Superman theory, where the neocons re-spin the Earth and pitch the scenario that leads to the most death and destruction.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rick Perry Runs; Rightbloggers Offer Endorsements, Excuses

Not all conservative operatives are rushing to Perry -- not even in his home state; former Texas Congressman Dick Armey is playing it close to the vest, and Ron Paul seems downright hostile.

And at The American Spectator, John Guardiano said Perry's veiled threat to lynch Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke showed he wasn't "disciplined and focused," in contrast to... Michelle Bachmann, whom Guardiano called "a much better and more deliberative presidential candidate." Wicked burn!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It seems pretty clear as one reads through the various articles in neocon online rags such as Commentary, The Weekly Standard and National Review Online, that the neocons still haven’t firmed on backing any particular runner in the race for Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential elections.

They have, however, made it fairly clear who they don’t want - and that’s Ron Paul, the candidate who ran an extremely close second to Michelle Bachmann in the recent Ames straw poll. While Paul’s ideas about ending the wars goes down well with many war-weary Republican – and, indeed, Democrat – voters, it would be a complete anathema for the neocons who see the wars against Islam as essential for the long-term objective of Israel’s expansionist aspirations into the occupied territories and elsewhere.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Neoconservatism Interrupted

You will remember the Obama campaign of 2008. His was a fresh and pleasingly multicultural face and his candidacy, although unexamined by an incurious national media, took pains to present a foreign policy sharply different from either the meliorism of Hillary Clinton​ or the jingoism of John McCain. Barack Obama was unambiguously the peace candidate and it was on that basis that he became our President.

That was then. Once in office, Obama established Ms. Clinton as his Secretary of State, listened long and mindfully to Sen. McCain, and then proceeded to outreach both of them in an intermittently coherent but unmistakably neoconservative assault on the Middle East (however horrified the anti-Israeli Obama would be to know he's acting neoconservatively). Obama amped up the war in Afghanistan, started another one in Libya, helped to topple a staunch U.S. ally in Egypt, and launched "kinetic military actions" against Somalia and Yemen that, to the locals, looked very much like war. All of these initiatives were undertaken in the name of Western democratic values and, unlike the Bush wars, could not be said to have been contaminated by either a thirst for Arab oil or a hunger for Israeli favor. Obama's policy was manifestly propelled by neoconservative impulse, most brightly illuminated in the putsch against Mubarak. In that instance, the U.S. made it clear that it would support any successor regime. Our strategic judgment, ultimately arrived at, was this: better the street mob, any street mob, than the aging autocrat, even a reliably pro-American autocrat. That judgment represented neoconservatism in its distilled form.

Neocon Thinktanker: Why Aren’t We Threatening Military Force In Syria?

Every problem in the Middle East must look like a nail to some neoconservatives because they always want to bring out the big hammer of the U.S. military. That was the case today on Fox News when Jonathan Schanzer, the vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, wondered why President Obama would call for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to “step aside” without holding a threat of military attack over his head:

What I don’t really understand from this administration is its insistence that we take force off the table right now. I think that is the one thing that could coerce the Syrian regime — and could certainly coerce Assad to step down — is the fear of getting involved militarily. I’m not saying we have to follow through on it, but to say it’s off the table means that any threat we put out there won’t be taken seriously.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rick Perry and the Neocons

The only change anyone can believe in in Washington is that nothing ever changes. The choice between Republican and Democrat in 2012 will likely boil down to who will be making what kind of cuts in social programs to support continuous warfare overseas. Only Ron Paul stands out from the pack with his commitment to constitutionalism and nonintervention, but sustained efforts by establishment Republicans and the media to make his candidacy go away render him a long shot at best.

The most recent Republican presidential wannabe is Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Having lived in Texas, I know from personal experience that the Texas miracle of employment is based on low wages, no health benefits, and nonexistent protection for the employed, but I will let others who are better qualified than I make that argument. For me the issue is America’s wars and my fading hope that the insanity of multiple overseas conflicts combined with a global war against presumed terrorists everywhere will stop. It will certainly not stop if Perry is elected.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rick Perry: Tea Party Governor, Neocon Candidate

First, Perry’s foreign policy actions as governor. The thing that demonstrates most clearly how Perry’s tendencies as governor reject neoconservative thinking are his actions to win business from Venezuela and China. Neocons would isolate those regimes, especially if the nature of said business carries national security concerns, as oil from Venezuela and communications technologies from China do. As Eli Lake notes (excuse the lengthy block quote; the piece is behind the wall):

Now that he’s running for president, Perry’s has turned to former Bush administration officials and prominent neocons to serve as his advisors, most prominently Donald Rumsfeld, Doug Feith and Dan Blumenthal. For them, it’s Tea Party be damned, especially when it comes to foreign policy. As Rogin’s story quotes an advisor saying, “He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party." That advisor also issued the term “hawk internationalist.” Those comments are directly aimed at the Tea Party wing of the party, led by Ron Paul, who have argued consistently for a decreased American involvement in the world.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Neocons' Undemocratic Domino

The chief reason the George W. Bush administration launched a war in Iraq more than eight years ago sprang from the core tenets of the neoconservatives who pushed for the war. That reason was to use regime change in Iraq as a catalyst for stimulating change throughout the Middle East, moving the region toward what the neocons hoped would be freer and more open politics and economics. In a speech to a friendly audience at the American Enterprise Institute three weeks before the invasion, President Bush described a democratic domino theory, in which Iraq would be the first domino to fall. “A new regime in Iraq,” the president said, “would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region.” Iraq seemed like a promising lead domino because of its size, oil wealth, and centrality to the Arab world. Also—given that selling a major offensive war to the American public solely on the basis of democratization of the Middle East would have been impossible—the fact that Iraq was ruled by a loathsome regime made it possible to sell the war instead with scary stories about dictators giving weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.

Rick Perry's Neocon Friends

No one seriously believes that Republicans will nominate the wild-eyed, certifiable Michele Bachmann for president, and Romney the Robot isn’t setting Tea Party hearts aflutter. So it looks like Rick Perry, the Bible-thumping, secessionist hawk—who’s already assembling a team of neoconservative advisers—will get the nod to challenge President Obama in 2012.

Were Perry to win, his victory—especially if the GOP, as seems likely, conquers the Senate—will speed the United States down the merry path to oblivion at least a couple of decades before the rise of China and India do anyway. Worryingly, Perry might be exactly the know-nothing hawk who decides to use US military power to forestall America’s inevitable decline by force, even if it leads to World War III. Like Tea Party fanatics who courted financial Armageddon by insisting that reneging on US debt obligations wouldn’t be so bad, Perry’s own Tea Party Pentagon, staffed by neoconservatives, might decide the nuclear Armageddon wouldn’t be so bad, either, as long as it makes the world understand how exceptional American exceptionalism is.

Whistling Past the Neocon Graveyard

This morning the Faux News Channel's morning show announced who the three "emerging" top Republican candidates are in light of the results of the Iowa straw poll voting, in which Ron Paul came in second to Bachmann by a mere 152 votes. According to Faux News, the "top three" are: 1. Bachmann; 2; Romney, who did not even participate in the voting; and 3; Rick Perry, who also did not participate in either the debate or the voting.

No mention at all was made of Ron Paul except to lump him in with Gingrich, Santorum, and the other neocon losers as an also-ran. A great deal of time was spent by the three morning show blabbermouths describing how absolutely thrilled they all were over the fact that there was a Sarah Palin siting in Iowa over the weekend.

The neocons, whose top priority is to start another war in Iran, are terrified and panicked over Ron Paul's performance in Iowa, as they should be.

Iraq, The Failed Neocon Experiment

Paul Pillar sees Iraq's role in the Arab Spring as the nail in neoconservatism's coffin:

A fatal flaw in the neocon dream was the almost oxymoronic idea that something imposed from the outside by the United States could motivate people in the Middle East to act on behalf of popular sovereignty. As for the country that was supposed to play the role of lead democratic domino, one of the principal trends in recent years in Iraq—besides the continued violence, which has lately had an upsurge—has been the increasing authoritarianism of the regime of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Now we're in a different decade from Bush and his war, and there is a genuine burst of yearning for popular sovereignty in the form of the Arab Spring. And what is the posture of the Iraqi regime toward the Arab Spring, specifically next door in Syria, which is currently the hottest front line in the confrontation between freedom and authoritarianism? Maliki is maintaining a distinctively friendly posture toward the Assad regime, while that regime is gunning down protestors in Syrian cities.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

State Dept funding neocon-Zionist propaganda outfit

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department announced a $200,000 grant to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a Middle East media watchdog closely aligned with U.S. neoconservatives and Israel’s hawkish security establishment and rightist Likud Party. The grant was awarded “to conduct a project that documents anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and Holocaust glorification in the Middle East.” The announcement continues:

This grant will enable MEMRI to expand its efforts to monitor the media, translate materials into ten languages, analyze trends in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and glorification, and increase distribution of materials through its website and other outlets.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rick Perry is the Neocon Warmonger Choice for President

More on the emerging Rick Perry team:

Douglas Feith was Rumsfeld’s deputy undersecretary of defense for policy. He established the Office of Special Plans responsible for inventing the fantastic lies about Iraq that pushed the United States into invading the Arab country previously destroyed by George Bush Senior and further decimated by more than a decade of brutal medieval sanctions that killed over 500,000 children. He is connected to a number of neocon foundations and has long supported the radical Likud party in Israel.

William Luti is the neocon pipeline into the lurid world of death merchants. A retired Navy captain and former Northrop Grumman executive, Luti is linked to neocon foundations and “think tanks.” After working with another “neocon internationalist,” Newt Gingrich (who is also running for president), Luti was taken under Dick Cheney’s wing. He was tight with the neocon “civilians” at the Pentagon during the Bush era. According to former Pentagon staffer Karen Kwiatkowski, Luti acted as the neocon bulldog and enforcer at the Pentagon as he pushed the Office of Special Plans agenda.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Washington’s Blog with an article that shows that our leaders have had a desire to control the Middle East for over a decade. The plan was started by the Bush Neo-cons and continues today with the Obama Neo-cons. Another example of the two parties being interchangeable.

Obama Is Implementing Plans For War Throughout the Middle East Created 10 Years Ago by the Neocons

Rick Perry, ‘Hawk Internationalist’

The idea that the Republican party Establishment was going to tolerate a takeover of their party by a rag-tag bunch of insurgent "tea partiers" was never very convincing, and Rick Perry’s entrance into the race as the "Teastablishment" candidate – to the hosannas of the neocons — should put that delusion to rest.

For months, the media and the Republican mandarins have been anointing one candidate after another as the chief competitor to Mitt Romney, presumed by many to be the frontrunner. First it was Tim Pawlenty, and after he went nowhere fast it was Jon Huntsman, who has about as much chance as Gary Johnson of winning the race. Now it’s Texas Governor Perry who’s going to unite the various Republican factions around a post-Reaganite, post-Bush conservative consensus. The only problem with that is Perry has aroused the ire of Texas conservatives, who noted the Governor’s Texas Transit Corridor highway project made liberal – if you’ll pardon the expression – use of eminent domain. The TTC proposal put him on the other side of the barricades from most Texas conservatives – and also put him at odds with Rep. Ron Paul, another fast-rising GOP presidential contender, who introduced legislation to block federal money for the scheme. I’ll leave it to others to expose Perry’s RINO credentials on domestic issues, and focus instead on his hostility to the Tea Party when it comes to foreign policy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Obama Is Implementing Plans For War Throughout the Middle East Created 10 Years Ago by the Neocons

A Nato plan for a post-Gaddaffi Libya – carving up the country, and giving the richest spoils to the UAE – has been leaked.

The U.S. is already at war in Somalia. As the New York Times noted last month: “U.S. Expands Its Drone War Into Somalia“.

The U.S. is always trying to justify war against Iran (see this, for example) and Lebanon.

What explains these widespread wars throughout the Middle East?

Obama is simply carrying out the Neocons’ war plans created right after 9/11 … if not before.

AIPAC Sends 81 NeoCON Congressmen To Israel

It is disturbing to me how Israel has so much control over our government. It was disturbing for me when so many of our Republican Candidates were going over to Israel to get Benjamin Netanyahu’s apparent blessing. Or when the recently dispatched Glenn Beck went to Israel to find out his next move was. Well now 1/5th of our Congress will be going to Israel for their summer break. With our economy is crashing, our men fighting senseless and endless wars and the fact we are broke, you would think our “representatives” would be visiting troops or out of work people in their districts. No, they are going to where the money and power is, Israel. If you want to know why the system isn’t working for you, look who controls it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fiscal Hawks vs. Defense Hawks

What’s really bothering neocons is that for the first time since 9-11, increased defense spending is no longer an article of faith. They had managed the remarkable political feat of reversing America’s post-Vietnam antipathy towards war, creating a presumption in favor of military engagement, despite the country’s strong non-interventionist intellectual tradition that harkens back to the founding. (Remember George Washington’s warning against foreign entanglements?) They made the idea of America playing global cop intellectually respectable again.

But their open-ended defense agenda is no longer fiscally sustainable. Indeed, fiscal hawks who want to keep a lid on taxes have every reason to question the neocon threat assessment that has wildly exaggerated the danger posed by al Qaeda and Islamist radicalism. With the end of the Cold War, America should have reaped a peace dividend by shuttering its bases in Europe and Asia and allowing allies to foot more of their own defense bill. Instead, defense spending rose from the Reagan-era peak of $574 billion (in 2000 dollars) to $644 billion in order to finance a never-ending war on terror and the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sorry Neocons, Adam Smith Was Not One of You

Defense hawks seem to be hitting Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations like sophomores cramming for an exam. In the last few days, three separate hawks have invoked Smith three separate times to excoriate the potential defense cuts in the phony debt deal.

John Bolton, the Bush-era neocon whose mustache makes everything he says more menacing, pulled a passage from the book that says that “the first duty of the sovereign” is “protecting the society from the violence and invasion” to warn darkly about all the bad things that would befall America if it doesn’t keep pumping about $700 billion a year that it doesn’t have into the Pentagon (even if it just goes down the $700 toilet, presumably). Meanwhile, Brian Stewart of National Review Online and David Frum no longer of the American Enterprise Institute paraded Smith’s statement that “defense is superior to opulence” to suggest that anyone who questioned why America needs to spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined obviously has zero regard for national security.

Nancy Mitford’s Neocon

Was the neoconservative ideology of global-democratic crusades first depicted in the 1951 novel The Blessing, by the English-born but French-resident Nancy Mitford?

Since 9/11, and particularly since the obvious inability of American arms to make Iraq as peace-loving as Iowa—or Libya as laid-back as Louisiana—the question “Who was the first neocon?” has acquired a renewed significance. John Gray, emeritus of the London School of Economics, argues that premonitions of the neocon psyche had already occurred in the Middle Ages.

More recently, Woodrow Wilson and Leo Strauss adumbrated much of the neocon project. Yet however great a game President Wilson talked about the “right to self-determination,” he also insisted—to the anger of young Ho Chi Minh—that for this right the Third World need not apply

Friday, August 05, 2011

Why I Support A Primary Challenge To Barack Obama - And Won't Vote For Him Again

So it came as no surprise to me at all when I began to see that he was indeed a Manchurian Candidate, designed to appear to be a refreshing progressive, but a man with a hidden agenda, largely implemented out of sight, that it is hard to describe as anything other than hard-core neoconservative, in some ways, even more so than his predecessor. Over time, a lot of my progressive friends have slowly come around to recognizing that what I tried to warn them of was true. But alas, it is too late. We were stuck with yet another neoconservative, this one with a winning smile, a slick, smooth manner and a whole lot of political capital to spend on nefarious projects.

Supporting Obama has proven to be an exercise in self-flagellation for those of us who fought against the abuses of the last Republican administration. We progressives need to get over our kneejerk support of anyone with a "Dem" after their name and accept - and act on - the cold, hard, harsh reality that not all Democrats are our friends. And that begins with the neoconservative who is occupying the White House. So our only hope is a primary challenge to Obama. Not that that's likely to succeed. There's nothing democratic about the way the Democratic Party is run - and that's by design, of course.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Kipling for Neocons

English poet, novelist and short story writer Rudyard Kipling has remained peculiarly popular among American conservatives, and his poems and prose are repeatedly unearthed to lend some ruddy Victorian good sense to present day issues. In 2010, former Fox News commentator Glenn Beck used the last two stanzas of the poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” in a video broadcast as a hellfire warning against social progressivism:

That same poem was taken by many economic conservatives as a prophesy of the reckless optimism and lust for fast money that led to the financial crash of 2008. Tom Burroughs, group editor of WealthBriefing, wrote an article entitled “Never Mind Keynes, Wealth Managers Should Read Kipling.” Burroughs singled out the following lines as a wise reprimand for financial imprudence:

The Mass Murderer's Manifesto

Why did he do it? We can answer the question: the massacre was essentially a publicity stunt to attract worldwide attention to the killer’s magnum opus, a 1500-page compendium entitled “2083”. Breivik’s screed is no great work of the human spirit; it is rather a copy-paste hodgepodge of Neocon ravings against Islam and Communism. In any case it does merit a look, if only because so many people were killed in order to make us read it. If this Breivik was a Herostratus, let us see why he burned down the temples of so many lives. Moreover, we must pinpoint where he went wrong.

2083 reveals that a new, vicious strain of political virus has emerged from the genetic engineering labs within the think tanks of the Neocons. The Masters of Discourse have long referred to traditional conservatives as “Nazis” because they oppose unrestricted immigration. They have made much hay of the fact that Nazis once considered Jews to be corrupt, once opposed the weaknesses of homosexuality, and once admired the spirituality of Muslims. The bad guy was supposed to be racist, love Adolf Hitler, hate Jews and gays. He did not have to hate Commies because Communism was a similar totalitarian ideology according to Karl Popper and George Bush. The new strain passed through these filters.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Did the Tea Party Win?

First, there is clearly growing tension between the Tea Party and the national security hawks/neocons. Many Tea Party members exhibited more opposition than did typical Democrats to the Obama administration’s escalation in Afghanistan, war in Libya and the Patriot Act extension, and they have been increasingly vocal about demanding cuts in military spending.

This Tea Party/defense-hawk schism is reflected by a Wall Street Journal op-ed from Bill Kristol and other neocons warning the Tea Party not to resort to “isolationism” (neocon-ese for “opposing endless war”) as a means of deficit-cutting. All of this led another neocon, Eli Lake, to conclude in The New Republic this week: “the G.O.P. foreign policy consensus has collapsed.”

End of the neocon consensus: The GOP field on foreign policy

Beyond Afghanistan, Romney has been hard to pin down to a single school of foreign policy thought. His campaign told me, when I asked about his ambitious statement from 2007, that Romney thinks “the United States should take a leadership role in assembling the donor and technical resources of international partners—both public and private—to advance stability, modernity, and democracy in the Islamic world.” Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Romney continues to have an ideologically eclectic group of official and unofficial advisers. In addition to Reiss and Senor, the others he listens to on foreign policy are former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey; Jim Talent, a former U.S. senator from Missouri; and Cofer Black, the head of the CIA’s counterterrorist center before and after September 11 and later vice chairman of the controversial security contractor company Blackwater. Talent is quite conservative—he said in 2006 that he would have voted to authorize the Iraq war even knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found—while Black is widely viewed in Washington as a sort of anti-terrorist uber-hawk, thanks in part to his portrayal in The Dark Side by Jane Mayer and Bush at War by Bob Woodward. In the latter book, Black is quoted as saying, “When we’re through with them they will have flies walking across their eyeballs.”

BECAUSE THE ISSUES of the moment all revolve around the Middle East—Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Al Qaeda—there has been all too little discussion during the campaign of other key questions, such as the rise of China and the role of economics in foreign policy. On these issues, there is the intriguing possibility that Texas Governor Rick Perry, should he get into the race, could introduce yet another worldview into the already-complex GOP foreign policy mix. As governor of Texas, Perry has been identified with a sort of business-first approach to foreign affairs. This philosophy, too, could in its own way represent a new challenge to the neocon establishment.

Ryan Lee vs Neocons