Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Return of the neocons: This time, they’re attacking Hagel

The nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel is under attack on several grounds, including being insufficiently pro-Israel. But the shockingly candid full neoconservative version of the attack I heard last night on TV was much more fundamental: Hagel should not be the leader of the Pentagon because he prefers to stay out of wars and may not believe that the United States should run the world.

After a brief heyday during the George W. Bush administration, the foreign policy orientation dubbed “neoconservatism” has largely slipped into the background. The neocons were the geniuses behind the Iraq war and the larger idea that U.S. military power could, should and would turn the Mideast into a happier, more peaceful sea of pro-Western democracy. After it turned out that U.S. troops didn’t have a cakewalk in Iraq, weren’t greeted with candy and flowers, and that the war was sold on cooked intelligence, neoconservatism piped down for a few years.

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