Friday, August 31, 2012

Neocon-CIA Mag Upset at Ron

National Review is outraged that Ron Paul, a man of peace, was honored at the Tampa convention of the war party. Why, why, Ron doesn't buy into their conspiracy theories about big, bad Iran. Worse, he hasn't followed Bill Buckley's order to shun the Birch Society. Why did CIA Bill pronounce that edict? Because Society head Robert Welch called for an end to US aggression against Vietnam. Buckley even went after his brother-in-law Brent Bozell for the same position. Earlier, Buckley had tried to purge Murray Rothbard, John T, Flynn, and other antiwar champions of the Old Right. He even wanted to get rid of Ayn Rand, who was mostly antiwar. The panic now at NR is palpable, because so many young people follow Ron Paul. Pew polls show that the main reason is Ron's antiwar stance. Along with the Fed, the warfare state is also a key reason for our increasing economic troubles, and the terrifying future for kids and the rest of us. It's also behind the US police state, which especially targets the young. Kids are no longer being fooled, and relic paper mags, no matter how bloodthirsty, will not change that.

UPDATE from Kevin Gutzman:

The NR hit on Ron Paul comes from two guys identified in the byline as employed by "Foreign Policy Initiative." The Wikipedia piece on that organization says, in part, " FPI’s Board of Directors consists of Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor."

So, this is just another hit by the Neoconservative Board of Directors through one of their many front groups.

Saudi Arabia: The Neocons’ Once and Future Target

The American removal of Saddam had seemingly led to Iranian and Shiite ascendancy in the Middle East, with the Shiite demographic majority being able to dominate Iraq’s national government, though an autonomous Kurdish region was created, and the Sunnis threatened a civil war. A new pro-Iran Shiite crescent emerged extending from Iraq to Lebanon, as Hezbollah gained power in the latter country. It should be noted that Assad’s Syria, Iran’s principal ally, has been something of an outlier here since its alliance with Iran has been based on national interest, not on religion or ideology. For Syria is a secular nationalist state, and while its politically dominant Alawites are an offshoot from Shiism, they are regarded as heretics by the orthodox Shiites because of their non-Muslim belief in the divinity of Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law.

Sunni rulers in the Gulf, especially the Saudi leadership, viewed the extension of Shiite/Iranian power and influence with much trepidation. This was greatly compounded by the fact that the “Arab spring” induced their own oppressed Shiite population, in the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and in neighboring Bahrain, where they constituted demographic majorities, to engage in protests for greater freedom and a more equitable sharing of the wealth. In February 2011, after weeks of largely Shiite pro-democracy demonstrations against the Bahrain monarchy, Saudi Arabia, at the behest of the Bahraini royal family, intervened militarily, along with troops from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (under the aegis of Gulf Cooperation Council), to effectively crush the protests.

Globalist Stooge and Neocon Takes Swipe at Ron Paul

Jamie Fly has taken a parting shot at Ron Paul. In an article posted on the online version of the National Review – a magazine that has lost about $25 million over 50 years – Fly criticizes an obligatory GOP tribute and send-off following months of sabotage.

“Instead of honoring Paul on the way out, the delegates in Tampa should be cheering his departure. He has left a legacy of extremism and falsehoods that need to be driven from the party, not embraced by it,” Fly writes.

Paul’s “extremism” consists of his adherence to the foreign policy of the founders, notably George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who championed nonintervention in European wars. For neocons like Fly and his cohorts at the Foreign Policy Initiative, the very prospect of not invading small countries – especially Arab and Muslim countries – and engaging in mass murder is not only indefensible, it is abhorrent.

Mr. Fly and his fellows at the neocon “advocacy group” are taking up where the Project for a New American Century and the American Enterprise Institute left off following the so-called Bush era. In fact, the Bush era never really ended. It was seamlessly continued by Barack Obama, albeit with Democrat flourishes.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

RNC: McCain delivers classic neocon foreign policy speech

John McCain sounded like George W. Bush as he delivered a hawkish foreign policy sermon at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, attempting to garner votes via frothy emotional appeal as he tossed around worn platitudes and stale ideas.

McCain espoused the same interventionist gospel that has led to quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan and has forced the U.S. to the brink of financial and spiritual bankruptcy.

John McCain's Neocon Manifesto

It's no secret that John McCain, once a prominent realist, has steadily converted to neoconservatism over the past two decades. He is now the movement's most visible champion, which is to say that McCain has been at the forefront of championing almost every bad idea of the past decade, including serving as a cheerleader for the war in Iraq. Now McCain has issued a neocon manifesto for Mitt Romney in Foreign Policy. Whether Romney would agree with it in practice—as opposed to in his truculent rhetoric—is an open question. But McCain's article, which is measured in tone, demonstrates that he would like to see a reversion to the George W. Bush era, with Romney as the new Dubya—and perhaps himself as its Cheney, serving as defense secretary? If McCain's prescriptions were adopted, however, he would accelerate the very American decline he seeks to avert. In fact, the neocon approach to foreign affairs is what first began the erosion of American power and influence.

McCain, of course, does not see it that way. His argument can be boiled down to a simple argument: President Obama is personally culpable for everything that has gone wrong with America in recent years. In mismanaging the economy, he is sapping the ability of America to lead around the world. Add to that the projected cuts to defense spending, his failure to cater to allies, his eagerness to truckle to Vladimir Putin and—well, you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saudi Arabia: The Neocons’ Once and Future Target

The American removal of Saddam had seemingly led to Iranian and Shiite ascendancy in the Middle East, with the Shiite demographic majority being able to dominate Iraq’s national government, though an autonomous Kurdish region was created, and the Sunnis threatened a civil war. A new pro-Iran Shiite crescent emerged extending from Iraq to Lebanon, as Hezbollah gained power in the latter country. It should be noted that Assad’s Syria, Iran’s principal ally, has been something of an outlier here since its alliance with Iran has been based on national interest, not on religion or ideology. For Syria is a secular nationalist state, and while its politically dominant Alawites are an offshoot from Shiism, they are regarded as heretics by the orthodox Shiites because of their non-Muslim belief in the divinity of Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law.

Sunni rulers in the Gulf, especially the Saudi leadership, viewed the extension of Shiite/Iranian power and influence with much trepidation. This was greatly compounded by the fact that the “Arab spring” induced their own oppressed Shiite population, in the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and in neighboring Bahrain, where they constituted demographic majorities, to engage in protests for greater freedom and a more equitable sharing of the wealth. In February 2011, after weeks of largely Shiite pro-democracy demonstrations against the Bahrain monarchy, Saudi Arabia, at the behest of the Bahraini royal family, intervened militarily, along with troops from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (under the aegis of Gulf Cooperation Council), to effectively crush the protests.

The Coming War Between Realists and Neocons

This past May, Colin Powell appeared on the Morning Joe show to plug his latest book, It Worked for Me. One thing that did not appear to be working for Powell that day, however, was Mitt Romney's candidacy for the U.S. presidency. Losing his customary cool, Powell, one of the last realist grandees in the Republican Party (along with Brent Scowcroft, George Shultz, and Henry Kissinger), expressed his vexation with Romney's proclivity for encircling himself with neocon advisors, not to mention declaring Russia America's No. 1 geopolitical enemy. "C'mon, Mitt, think!" Powell said.

Since then, however, Romney has expressed few thoughts that would suggest he is cogitating along Powell's lines. Rather, as he prepares to accept the Republican nomination in Tampa, Florida, Romney will likely denounce President Barack Obama in his acceptance speech as a supine and feckless leader abroad as well as at home, further bolstering the belief that he has been captured by the neocons. Bereft of any real ideas about foreign policy, Romney, like George W. Bush, has become a vessel for some of the most retrograde ideas about foreign affairs that a Republican candidate has ever advanced. Whether the issue is Israel or China, Romney, who has cloaked himself in the mantle of Ronald Reagan, repeatedly espouses truculent stances that would likely mire America in new conflicts. He has declared that he would brand China a currency manipulator, stated in June on Fox News Radio that Russia remains a "geopolitical foe," and pandered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And though Romney advisor and prominent neocon Elliott Abrams is arguing that a congressional resolution authorizing force against Iran would be a neat idea, Romney himself says that the president doesn't need any such authorization, but can just go for it. As the Nation warned in May, "a comprehensive review of his statements during the primary and his choice of advisers suggests a return to the hawkish, unilateral interventionism of the George W. Bush administration should he win the White House in November."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Times: Neocon Power, Despite Few Voters in Favor, Lives On!

Bill Marsh in the Times has a large graphic-style spread on the factions of the GOP — generally a less ideologically diverse party than it was a decade ago. I don’t want to dispute here the relative weight he gives to “Main Street Voters” as opposed to Tea Partyists and the Christian Right. He is correct I think in depicting libertarians as a smaller, less loyal faction, but still a sizeable part of a potential GOP coalition.

What fascinated me was the slot given to neoconservatives. In the graphic, they didn’t even rate a real elephant, just a dotted outline of one. Marsh writes:

Neoconservatives, advocates of a hawkish foreign policy, took a beating in 2006 amidst broad opposition to the Iraq war. Their constituency has largely disappeared, but the agenda lives: Mitt Romney is offering an updated version to an electorate now less focused on foreign policy.

Will Neocons ‘Tip Their Hand’ In Tampa, Or Remain In The Shadows?

This article will attempt to focus greater attention on an area of the current presidential campaign that has received very little notice and virtually no campaign advertising (which drives public opinion and the overall campaign debate): Foreign Policy and a Nuclear Iran. I believe, that with the upcoming Republican Convention (Hurricane Isaac permitting), we may well see an effort by Republicans to “change the subject” away from the Medicare and Abortion debates of late that have provided them little traction in the polls, which mostly show President Obama with a narrow nationwide lead and – electorally – in the nine swing states thought crucial in deciding the presidency in 2012.

I believe that Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Paul Ryan may well become a central player in this campaign strategy shift and, more ominously, is slated to become a major Neocon player in a Romney Administration and possibly a succeeding Ryan Presidency in eight years. I note here and now that regardless of who wins the presidency in 2012, the prospects of yet another war in the Mideast within the next year are great…as a percentage proposition I would say perhaps 75-25 that a military conflict with Iran may be inevitable. Frightened yet? I know I am. I hope you will stay with me while I outline my concerns in this complex area of foreign intrigue and the rather sordid cast of “usual suspects” I attempt to shine a brighter light on. But first,…

Robert Kagan, neocon listened to by both presidential candidates

The top three - John McCain, William Kristol and Condoleezza Rice - are no great surprise.

But No. 4, Robert Kagan, deserves a closer look.

As Foreign Affairs points out, Kagan is one of the few intellectuals who has entry with both parties. He was an adviser to the McCain campaign in 2008. Now he is advising Mitt Romney while his wife, Victoria Nuland, is spokesperson for President Obama’s State Department.

After the New Republic published an essay in which Kagan disputed the “myth of American decline,” Obama cited him repeatedly.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why the Neocon Clamor For Intervention in Syria Is About Israeli Regional Dominance

As fighting in Syria continues to rage, the Obama administration's wait-and-see approach to the conflict is coming under increasing assault. Not coincidentally, the advocates for US intervention in Syria are represented by a coalition of the same strange bedfellows that pushed for an invasion of Iraq a decade ago: neoconservatives and liberal hawks. And, like the Iraqi misadventure, their calls are guided by misconceptions, a lack of understanding of the region and a blurring of US, global political and Israeli interests.

The calls are having some effect , as President Obama recently threatened intervention for the first time, citing as his red line the Syrian government's possible use of chemical weapons in the fighting. The crucial question is why the interventionists, who do not have a track record of humanitarian compassion but rather one for cynical rhetoric that couches larger geopolitical goals in the language of humanitarianism, are determined to see a U.S. presence in Syria.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

On foreign policy, an enigma

When reporters are writing stories and don’t yet have a necessary piece of information, they sometimes write “TK,” meaning “to come.” I feel that way about Mitt Romney’s foreign policy. Other than his support for Israel and rhetorical shots at Russia and China, it’s a mystery what Romney thinks about major international issues and where he would take the country.

Is Romney a neoconservative who has an idealistic vision of America transforming the world through military power and advocacy of democracy? You get that impression from some of his speeches and position papers, and from the role of such neocons as Dan Senor among his close advisers.

Paul Ryan, Randian? No, just another neocon

Rand would regard our current government as an unjust, rights-violating, bloated monstrosity. It is a monster Paul Ryan helped create. Ryan may admire Ayn Rand. He may quote F. A. Hayek in interviews. Yet his voting record is right out of the neocon playbook.

Rand opposed government bailouts and subsidies. Yaron Brooks, director the Ayn Rand Institute, said the bailouts were “national socialism of the financial markets.” In contrast, Ryan voted for the bank bailouts. He broke with party leadership and the majority of his fellow republicans by voting for the auto bailouts. He supported TARP.

Risking Nuclear Armageddon

Irresponsible leaders risk the unthinkable. Media scoundrels cheerlead mindlessly. So do neocon think tanks. Ordinary people are more concerned about mundane trivia than survival.

Nero didn't fiddle while Rome burned. The violin wasn't invented for another 1,500 years. Today's officials go where earlier ones wouldn't dare. They risk regional or global disaster. War on Syria and/or Iran may ignite more than leaders bargain for.

Imagine blowing up the world to control it. Imagine forces able to stop it staying sidelined. Imagine the unimaginable. Imagine it before it's too late to matter.

World War II weapons were toys compared to today's. Before war ended, tens of millions died. Estimates range from 50 - 70 million. No one knows for sure. Preventing war would have saved them. Hoped for never again became perpetual conflicts.

Libertarians: You Cannot Vote for Mitt Romney

Voting for Mitt Romney could result in a massive military buildup. Mitt wants to increase spending on the military by an amazing 2.1 trillion in the next decade.

It is my opinion that Mitt Romney is firmly in the camp of the Neocons who will invite confrontation with Russia over the missile shield. The Neocons labor under the false delusion that the US is the only remaining superpower.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Potshots from Left and Right Target Romney's Foreign Policy Team

When Mitt Romney's campaign unveiled his team of foreign policy advisers, the political left unloaded.

The Nation magazine dubbed it "Romney's Neocon War Cabinet," noting firebreathing former UN ambassador John Bolton, columnist Robert Kagan and former Bush-Cheney official and neoconservative tutor Eliot Cohen. The take from left-leaning blog Daily Kos: "Knuckle-Dragging Ultrahawks Dominate Mitt Romney's Foreign Policy Team." And a web video by New Orleans music publisher Louie Ludwig -- "These Guys" -- ran through a rogue's gallery of former Bush-Cheney team members who, the video implies, brought us the Iraq War. "So what happened to these guys?" intones the Tony Soprano sound-alike narrator. "They work for this guy," a.k.a. Romney.

Even some Republicans voiced alarm about the roster. "...[S]ome of them are quite far to the right," former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Morning Joe. "And sometimes they might be in a position to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second thought." Powell cited Romney's assertion in March that Russia was "our number one geopolitical foe." Retorted Powell, "Come on, Mitt, think. That's simply not the case."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It’s “Worth Nuclear War” to Save the Dollar

“Both parties are driven by the neoconservatives (“neocons”) who believe that American hegemony over the world is worth nuclear war to accomplish,” states former Asst. Secretary of Treasury and Reagonics architect Paul Craig Roberts in his latest blog post of Aug. 20.

In his post, titled, Amerika’s Future is Death, the 73-year-old former Washington elite-turned-willful-outcast warns readers of fantastic tales circulating American culture, which are meant to serve as an explanation for the economic and social chaos swirling violently within the U.S., including talk of secret Bilderberg meetings, covert plans for a New World Order, and accusations of a crazy cabal of neocons hellbent on sparking a full-blown WWIII.

Romney's Neocon foreign policy advisers want a war with Iran 'on day one'

One of the things that ought to give anyone pause about Willard "Mittens" Romney is that he has surrounded himself with the Neoconservative war mongers from George W. Bush's presidency who gave us the bogus intelligence for an unnecessary war in Iraq that cost us so much in American lives and treasure. Not to mention set this country on a dark course to illegal torture and rendition as if we are the old Soviet Union.

These guys ought to be on trial for war crimes before a Nuremberg Tribunal-style court, not walking around free to peddle their "American Century" Pax Americana Empire wet dreams to Tea-Publican candidates for president.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Report From Iron Mountain: Peace Would Be All Hell

Early in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, protagonist Winston Smith writes in his diary, “I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.”

Sixty-four years later, neocon think-tank warriors bristling with the bravery of being out of range are realizing their dreams of perpetual war; fruition of their world-conquest manifesto, Project for the New American Century1. For humanity it’s all translating into a nightmare with no waking up.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Neocon's View on Whether Israel will Attack Iran

Michael Ledeen, a neoconservative historian and long-time Iran hawk who joined the hardline Foundation for Defense of Democracies after leaving the American Enterprise Institute in 2008, summarizes Israel’s strategy with the United States and Iran:

…Israel does not want to do it. For as long as I can remember, the Israelis have been trying to get U.S. to do it, because they have long believed that Iran was so big that only a big country could successfully take on the mullahs in a direct confrontation. So Israel’s Iran policy has been to convince us to do whatever the Israelis think is best. And while they’re willing to do their part, they are very reluctant to take on the entire burden.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Do neocon Republicans want to win Ron Paul supporters the same way they do by bombing sovereign nations?

Similar to Democrats, neocon Republicans believe the best way to win friendship among sovereign nations is to bomb, invade and occupy them until they like us. Will the same methods chicken-hawks use to win friends around the world also work to gain friendship and respect among the libertarian faction of the GOP that supports Ron Paul, by marginalizing, insulting and cheating them? Or is Romney so great and well liked that Republicans have no need for Ron Paul supporters?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paul Ryan: Realist or Neocon?

The issue of Paul Ryan's foreign-policy views is starting to attract some attention among the pundit class. Andrew Sullivan asked yesterday, "Is Paul Ryan A Neocon?" It's a fair question. Whether it is a difficult one to answer is another matter.

To be sure, Ryan does not have any real foreign-policy record. But reasonable inferences can be made from several of his statements. Brett Stephens, for example, devoted his Wall Street Journal column yesterday to suggesting that Ryan issued nothing less than a "neocon manifesto" in a speech to the Alexander Hamilton Society. He noted that Ryan declared that a belief in "universal rights" leads inevitably to the rejection of what he termed "moral relativism." Ryan added, "It causes you to recoil at the idea of persistent moral indifference toward any nation that stifles and denies liberty, no matter how friendly and accommodating its rulers are to American interests." It would be interesting to know exactly which society Ryan is alluding to—what right-wing or left-wing authoritarian country is "accommodating" itself to American interests? Does Ryan mean Pakistan—a grudging ally at best? Egypt? Or Saudi Arabia?


It has happened again. We go through this every four years, and every four years the vast majority of “conservatives” fall for it. This is such a broken record. What did Forrest Gump say: “Stupid is as stupid does”? And wasn’t it P.T. Barnum who said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”? Well, here we go again.

Neocon RINO George H.W. Bush picks “conservative” Dan Quayle. “Conservative” G.W. Bush picks neocon RINO Dick Cheney. Neocon RINO John McCain picks “conservative” Sarah Palin. Now, neocon RINO Mitt Romney picks “conservative” Paul Ryan. As long as there is one “conservative” on the ticket, mushy-headed “conservatives” across the country will go into a gaga, starry-eyed, hypnotic trance in support of the Republican ticket. I’m convinced that if Lucifer, himself, was the GOP Presidential candidate, he would get the support of the Religious Right and Republican “conservatives” as long as he selected a reputed “conservative” to join his ticket. And, by the way, the notable “conservative” wouldn’t think twice about joining such a ticket, either, I’m convinced.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan is Another Big Government Neocon

While conservatives are fired up about the selection of Paul Ryan for VP, primarily because of Romney’s lackluster campaign, I don’t share their enthusiasm. Paul Ryan is another big government neocon. Conservatives are fooling themselves to think otherwise.

I started to call this post, Paul Ryan is Another Big Government Phony, but that’s not correct. He’s openly advocating that his principles really don’t mean anything to him. It’s the conservatives who support him that are the phonies because they make excuses for the stupid things that he does.

One need only look at Ryan’s speech on the House floor in support of the TARP bailout to see that this guy is just another big government neocon.

Calling Netanyahu’s War Cry Bluff

I challenge any Neocons to a debate that they don’t have the balls to declare publicly a definite time table to attack Iran and that they will ensure America’s involvement in such an attack, that they will be at the frontlines facing the Iranians. That come the expiry of the time line, they will fly to Israel to do their duty as combatants and would not be hiding behind the skirts of their wives or mistresses.

I have noticed that western correspondents never cease to hype this Zionist war cry when there are impending financial crisis, to divert the public’s attention and to lull them from focusing on more important issues.

American Presidents (past and future) as well as candidates vying for this “puppet” political post unashamedly prostrate themselves before the Zionist lobby in America as well as the ruling elites in Israel for their approbation.

American neocons and the war in Syria

When it comes to US foreign policy in the Middle East, Israel represents a point of departure for many in the US political establishment. Neoconservative groups have long defined US foreign policy in the region. Their most crucial and unifying concern is Israel’s security and any threat, real or imagined, to Israel’s regional domination.

The neocons clustered through various organisations and think tanks. Most visible among them was the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which included very influential foreign policy individuals. PNAC’s ‘vision’ was seen as the roadmap that guided George W. Bush in his war against Iraq, the sanctions against Iran, and the overall hostile relationship that defined (and continues to define) US foreign policy in the Middle East. Tainted by the disastrous foreign policy, PNAC folded, only to be reinvented two years ago with the advent of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stephens: Paul Ryan's Neocon Manifesto

Last summer, the chairman of the House Budget Committee made a foray into foreign-policy land with a speech to the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington, D.C. About 100 people showed up, and it got next to no coverage. That should now change—and not just because Paul Ryan's views on America's role in the world are no longer a matter of one Wisconsin congressman talking.

Here, in CliffsNotes form, is what the speech tells us about Mr. Ryan. First, that he's an internationalist of the old school; in another day, he would have sat comfortably in the cabinets of Harry Truman, ...

Is Paul Ryan A Neocon?

Over past few months, Ryan has quietly been receiving foreign policy/national sec briefings from Elliott Abrams, Kim & Fred Kagan & others

Max Fisher reviews Ryan's foreign policy record:

Articles about Paul Ryan's foreign policy experience tend to be short, and to mostly talk about anything but. The Wisconsin congressman and now Republican vice presidential candidate has long focused on domestic policy, particularly social programs and the budget. Like Romney, he has little to no record on foreign policy or national security. Oft-quoted political analyst Larry Sabato called him "just a generic Republican on foreign policy" who, also like Romney, has tended to follow the party's lead. His one foreign policy issue seems to be overturning the Cuba embargo, the sort of thing that appeals to foreign policy dorks (like me) but does poorly among the GOP establishment and swing Florida voters, meaning that we will probably not hear much about it during the campaign.

Romney Appoints Realist Robert Zoellick To Policy Team, Risking Neocon Revolt

Mitt Romney seems to have a saboteur inside his campaign. After the controversial appointment of Paul Ryan as vice presidential nominee, he has now hired Bob Zoellick to run his national security transition team. Zoellick’s pragmatic view of foreign policy is wildly different than many members of Romney’s foreign policy team. It’s almost as if someone is trying to pick apart Mitt’s campaign from the inside.

This appointment provides some serious insight into how Romney’s foreign policy is about to change. Either that, or we are about to witness a slew of back-room arguments, resignations, and leaks from within his cabinet should he become president in November.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Romney Still a Predictable Neocon

As for neoconservatives and “the base,” I have to protest. Romney didn’t include neoconservatives on his foreign policy team to keep “that part of the base happy.” They aren’t part of “the base.” Neoconservatives are almost entirely movement and party elites, and they are the ones Romney was trying to satisfy. They have little or no representation at the rank-and-file level. If he didn’t have Robert Kagan and the like on his foreign policy team, 90% of Republican voters wouldn’t even notice, but neoconservative activists and pundits in Washington would. His choice of advisers is a statement about how he intends to govern, and the advisers he appears to listen to most often are among the most hawkish. I’m not sure that the Zoellick appointment even qualifies as throwing realists a (very small) bone, since there are indications that no thought was given to the policy implications of the choice. Realists are treating the appointment as a signal that Romney is sending out, but apparently it wasn’t intended as a signal and it doesn’t say anything about the content of Romney’s future foreign policy.

The Marketing of Paul Ryan

Ryan may be a neocon drone, but he’s no Dan Quayle: he realizes, as he put it in his talk to the Hamiltonians, that “our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power.”

Translation: we can’t have an empire, given our present financial straits. So what’s the solution? To any normal American, who never wanted an empire to begin with, the answer is simple: give up the imperial pretensions to “global leadership,” and tend to our own ill-used and leached-out garden. Ryan, however, is a creature of Washington, and this is unthinkable inside the Beltway: it would be a most grievous blow to the self-esteem of these worthies if they had to exchange the imperial purple for a plain republican cloth coat. Why, no Serious Person would even suggest such a thing! So instead of stating the facts, he makes up some of his own:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Neocons, Israel, And The Fragmentation Of Syria

For a short aside, the neoconservative background of Harold Rhode is of considerable relevance, providing further evidence for the much denied neocon support for the fragmentation of Israel's enemies. (The mainstream view is that the neocons are naive idealists whose plans to transform dictatorships into model democracies invariably go awry.) Rhode, a longtime Pentagon official who was a specialist on the Middle East, was closely associated with neocon stalwarts Michael Ledeen, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle. He was also a protégé of Bernhard Lewis, with Lewis dedicating his 2003 book, "The Crisis of Islam," to him. Rhode served as a Middle East specialist for Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy during the administration of George W. Bush, where he was closely involved with the Office of Special Plans, which provided spurious propaganda to promote support for the war on Iraq. Rhode was a participant in the Larry Franklin affair, which involved dealings with Israeli agents, though Rhode was not charged with any crime. Alan Weisman, the author of the biography of Richard Perle, refers to Rhode as an "ardent Zionist" ("Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle," p.146), more pro-Israel than Perle, which takes some doing since the latter has been accused of handing classified material to the Israelis. Rhode is currently a fellow with the ultra-Zionist Gatestone Institute, for which he wrote the above article.

Obviously the very removal of the Assad regime would be a blow against Israel's major enemy, Iran, since Syria is Iran's major ally. Significantly, Assad's Syria has provided a conduit for arms and assistance from Iran to Hezbollah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas, to use against Israel. If Israel and Iran had gone to war, these arms would have posed a significant threat to the Israeli populace. Moreover, a defanged Hezbollah would not be able to oppose Israeli military incursions into south Lebanon or even Syria. A fragmented Syria removes the possible negative ramifications of Assad's removal since it would mean that even if the Islamists should replace Assad in Damascus they would only have a rump Syrian state to control, leaving them too weak to do much damage to Israel and forcing them to focus their attention on the hostile statelets bordering them. Moreover, Israel is purportedly contemplating military action to prevent Assad's chemical weapons from falling into the hands of anti-Israel terrorists. With such a divided country there is no powerful army capable of standing up to an Israeli military incursion.

Friday, August 10, 2012

James Baker slams neocons, praises realists

Former Secretary of State James Baker told Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin on Thursday that Republican realists have outperformed George W. Bush’s neoconservatives when it comes to national security, which is an interesting revelation in light of the fact Mitt Romney has surrounded himself with a hawkish foreign policy team. Baker elaborates:

I know where I am; I think I know where Henry Kissinger and George Shultz are. I think we were all pretty darn successful secretaries of state. I also know something else: I know the American people are tired of paying the cost, in blood and treasure, of these wars that we get into that sometimes do not represent a direct national security threat to the United States.

The Neocon War Against Robert Zoellick

Jennifer Rubin is the Tiger Mom of the neocon movement. She exhorts her charges forward and reacts ferociously to anyone who threatens her brood. A few years ago, she was in the forefront of the chorus decrying President Obama's selection of Charles Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to head the National Intelligence Council. Freeman had made some sloppy statements about Israel and was vulnerable. A kind of wilding took place in which Freeman was depicted as an implacable anti-Semite. After the Obama administration remained silent, Freeman withdrew, and the neocons had claimed a fresh scalp.

Now Rubin and other conservatives have a new and more formidable target in their sights, one they can denounce but not dislodge. It is Robert Zoellick, the former head of the World Bank whom Mitt Romney has deputed to head his presidential campaign's foreign-affairs unit, the somewhat portentously named "Project Readiness." It seems, however, that neocons are not ready for Zoellick. Instead, he is being accused of delinquency on a number of foreign-affairs issues, including Israel. He is seen as a realist, a reincarnation of the old-establishment GOP that believes in diplomacy first.

Neocons Push for Deeper Syrian Role

The neoconservatives who run the Washington Post continue to beat the drum for more U.S. war in the Middle East, now giving voice to influential neocon pundits demanding that the Obama administration begin lethal aid to Syrian rebels, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Invalid reasons for getting more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war continue to be heard. One of the latest is in a front-page article in the Washington Post, which declares that America “increasingly is being viewed with suspicion and resentment for its failure to offer little more than verbal encouragement to the revolutionaries.”

The Boyz R Back! NeoCon War Cries Over Araby

The neoconservatives are back with a vengeance. While popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and other Arab countries had briefly rendered them irrelevant in the region, Western intervention in Libya signaled a new opportunity. Now Syria promises to usher a full return of neoconservatives into the Middle East fray.

“Washington must stop subcontracting Syria policy to the Turks, Saudis and Qataris. They are clearly part of the anti-Assad effort, but the United States cannot tolerate Syria becoming a proxy state for yet another regional power,” wrote Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (Washington Post, July 20).

Pletka, like many of her peers from neoconservative, pro-Israeli ‘think tanks’, should be a familiar name among Arab reporters, who are also well aware of the level of destruction brought to the Middle East as a result of neoconservative wisdom and policies. Rarely though are such infamous names evoked when the ongoing conflict in Syria is reported - as if the main powers responsible for redrawing the geopolitical maps of the region are suddenly insignificant.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

A New Wave of Less Warlike GOP Politicians Detected

Marco Rubio didn't run on a platform that included getting out of Afghanistan, abolishing the TSA, and opposing the NDAA while appearing with Ron Paul. Ted Cruz did. In an interview with me, Mike Lee criticized the Libya war on substantive as well as constitutional grounds and didn't sound too enthusiastic about our other recent wars. Although Jim DeMint voted for the Iraq war, he was also one of just four Senate Republicans who voted to end its authorization.

Look, these candidates aren't noninterventionists (although a few of them, like Thomas Massie and Kerry Bentivolio, essentially are). But in the not-too-distant past, the most conservative candidates running in a Republican primary would have been without fail the most enthusiastic champions of the Bush Doctrine and dead-enders in support of unpopular foreign wars. The fact that these candidates don't fit that description doesn't necessarily mean they will be cautious on Iran, but it does mean something.

The Neocon and the CIA Drug Lord

Who is David Carlson? Carlson is a repellent neocon Republican party primary candidate for the U. S. Senate in Minnesota who is running a scurrilous attack ad on Fox News against Ron Paul and Kurt Bills (the GOP candidate endorsed by Dr. Paul). This disgraceful ad is replete with one vicious lie after another concerning Ron Paul’s character and beliefs. What is extremely curious about Carlson is the fact that on his campaign website, besides photos of him with Mitt Romney and John McCain, is featured one with the CIA’s Laotian opium drug lord, the late General Vang Pao. What was his connection to Vang Pao? Minnesota voters deserve an answer.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Is Mitt Being Neoconned Into War?

Has Mitt Romney given Israel a blank check for war?

So it seemed from the declaration in Jerusalem by his adviser Dan Senor, who all but flashed Israel a green light for war, signaling the Israelis that, if you go, Mitt’s got your back:

“If Israel has to take action on its own in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision.”

“No option would be excluded. Gov. Romney recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself and that it is right for America to stand with it.”

What does “stand with” Israel, if she launches a surprise attack on Iran, mean? Does it mean the United States will guide Israeli planes to their targets and provide bases on their return? Does it mean U.S. air cover while Israeli planes strike Iran?

This would make America complicit in a preemptive strike and a co-belligerent in the war to follow.

What Senor said comes close to being a U.S. war guarantee for Israel, while leaving the decision as to when the war begins to them.

This country has never done that before.

Monday, August 06, 2012

The Magical Neocon Crystal Ball

Mighty Uncle Sam, the lone superpower, is going Athenian in his arrogance as he plods on in the Middle East, compounding his catastrophic and criminal actions in Iraq by eyeing Iran and Syria as his next targets. What I don’t understand is how normally clear thinkers such as William Hague can play the role of the chorus, repeating ad nauseam Netanyahu’s ravings about existential threats to Israel, the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power.

Disgracefully, the Western media is echoing the Likudists. If it weren’t for the Israeli lobby in DC, the warmongering Likudists in Tel Aviv, money from the Saudis and Qatar, and the neocon sofa samurai in the American media, any clear-thinking person would realize that courting diplomatic cooperation from Russia and Iran could stop the war in Syria overnight.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Roots Of The Neo-Con Junta

If, as I have suggested, the neocon agenda rests more upon perpetual war than it does on "freedom, democracy and liberty", then it really doesn’t matter if the United States succeeds in its overseas adventures. As stated immediately after 911 by Donald Rumsfeld, this was to be a different kind of war, to be fought on many fronts, and over a long period of time.

The complete vision, as espoused by the Godfather of the Neocon movement Irving Kristol, is for the United States to enter a fascist renaissance of Nationalism, religion, and "a return to old fashioned values."

Friday, August 03, 2012

Mitt Can't Ignore Sarah

So says the always interesting English observer of Republican politics, Tim Stanley. And he's right about Palin being a towering figure in the Republican party, though out of office and unpopular with the GOP establishment. This is due not to her ideology--she's a thoroughgoing warmonger and statist under the neocon thumb of Bill Kristol--but her style and class. Ron Paul, I might note, is hated by the entire establishment, GOP and otherwise, for being the anti-neocon, and for his populism, too.

Rom can't ignore Ron, but Ron can certainly ignore Rom. Mitt is, after all, in all his various incarnations, always Mr. Un-Paul.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Why Romney Insulted the Palestinians

A favorite neocon theme is that the superiority of Western culture explains the world’s wealth disparities, not the accident of natural resources and the aggressive use of military force. Mitt Romney echoed those neocon sentiments in touting Israel and disparaging the Palestinians, reports Robert Parry.

Some pundits are excusing Mitt Romney’s comment about why Palestinians are so much poorer than Israelis as a slip of the tongue caused by a shortage of staff on his overseas trip, but the Republican presidential candidate makes the same point in his book, No Apology, which he claims to have written himself.

Romney insisted that he actually wrote his own book, although he acknowledged assistance and advice from many of America’s leading neoconservatives, including Robert and Frederick Kagan, and from a variety of right-wing think tanks.

Neocon Pressure Group's Latest Salvo: Attacking Obama For Not Visiting Israel While In Office

The neoconservative pressure group Emergency Committee For Israel (ECI) is pulling out all the stops ahead of Mitt Romney’s jaunt to Israel. Their latest salvo: television ads that criticize President Obama for not visiting Israel while in office.

On their website, ECI states what their ad is about: “President Obama is quite a world traveler. But not to Israel. An oversight? Or an indication? According to a front-page story in the Washington Post two weeks ago, Obama has pursued a strategy of putting ‘daylight’ between the U.S. and Israel. He’s traveled to the Middle East multiple times — to accept an award in Saudi Arabia, to give a major speech in Cairo, to hold town hall meetings in Turkey — but never stopped to visit our closest ally in the region.”

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Neoconservative War Criminals In Our Midst

The State Department has an office that hunts German war criminals. Bureaucracies being what they are, the office will exist into next century when any surviving German prison guards will be 200 years old. From time to time the State Department claims to have found a lowly German soldier who was assigned as a prison camp guard. The ancient personage, who had lived in the US for the past 50 or 60 years without doing harm to anyone, is then merciless persecuted, usually on the basis of hearsay. I have never understood what the State Department thinks the alleged prison guard was supposed to have done–freed the prisoners, resign his position?–when Prussian aristocrats, high-ranking German Army generals and Field Marshall and national hero Erwin Rommel were murdered for trying to overthrow Hitler.

What the State Department needs is an office that rounds up American war criminals.

They are in abundance and not hard to find. Indeed, recently 56 of them made themselves public by signing a letter to President Obama demanding that he send in the US Army to complete the destruction of Syria and its people that Washington has begun.


Somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon, a young neocon yearns for the taste of an unfamiliar dish, and it is only a matter of time before this yearning manifests itself on the world stage.

Armed with this powerful new model of foreign relations, I set out to settle an open question in the foreign policy world: Was the war in Afghanistan a good idea? Was the juice worth the squeeze? And what better place to put the War in Afghanistan to the test than The Helmand. Owned by Mahmood Karzai, brother of President Karzai himself, The Helmand is clearly an official bid to earn the succor of wavering foreign policy wonks who now doubt whether Afghanistan deserves a continued U.S. troop presence.