Sunday, March 31, 2013

Feeling the wrath of the Israel lobby, ‘WSJ’ neocon virtually accuses some advocates of dual loyalty

Many people have sent me this Bret Stephens column in the Wall Street Journal five days back in which Stephens, a neoconservative and ardent supporter of Israel, reports that he was disinvited that day from a speaking gig at an unnamed pro-Israel organization because he wrote that Jonathan Pollard should not be freed.
I was abruptly disinvited from delivering a keynote to a charitable pro-Israel organization for the sin of opposing, in my last column, the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. 
And that was just the icing on the blizzard of opprobrium—"scurrilous," "unbelievable," "arrogant and callous," "it is anti-Semitic not to free him," and so on—that piled into my inbox from people whose most fervent political identity is their support for Israel.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Aiding & Abetting The Neocon Nutcases

As disastrous as Obama is, when you compare him to the Neocons, he's actually more restrained. That's not saying much...It's like comparing a D student to an F student so that's as far as the compliment goes.

Naturally, if Obama is not going to light up the entire Earth, the neocons will not be happy.

Their man, Mitt 'I'll attack everyone' Romney, they must wait. And now for the next four years, we're in for countless scribbles on how Obama is weak internationally, how he's gutting the military, how nuclear Israel (that is armed-to-the-teeth) can't defend itself...blah...blah...blah...

The neocons will cherish every vote come 2016...You can feel the determination in the GOP. They're putting out ridiculous reports on how being more welcoming will garner more votes, and how they need to create a database of African-American and Hispanic leaders.
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Marco Rubio embraces neoconservatism in University of Louisville speech

Rubio made the case for American military might around the world, vowing that the U.S cannot “retreat” from international conflicts, must encourage democracy and continue spending money overseas aimed at bolstering the country’s image.

Rubio’s remarks come just as Paul has been trying to clamp down on federal dollars spent on foreign aid and as the Kentucky freshman has been pushing for a “less aggressive” American role in the world — as the two prospective 2016 rivals continue to lay out competing visions of the GOP’s future.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Obama’s Retreat to Neocon Strategies

With Syria and Iran, President Barack Obama faces getting mired in two wars that could set the entire Middle East aflame, and perhaps the rest of the Islamic world, too.

Such an outcome would be in part due to Mr. Obama’s Middle Eastern policy, and the willingness of the current U.S. Congress to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive posture toward Iran. The lobbying effort in the U.S. by hard-line, pro-Israel interests is a pivotal factor here we cannot ignore.

In his first presidential visit to Israel last week, Mr. Obama gave every assurance to its citizens that the United States will stand by Israel. Fair enough, but which Israel? Since Mr. Obama became president, Israeli settlers on the West Bank increased from 500,000 to 560,000.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

CPAC: From GOP Fringe Group to Neocon Powerhouse

This year an estimated 8,000-10,000 participants converged on the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). That’s a far cry from the several hundred folks—including this writer—who attended the 1979 CPAC meeting, back in the days CPAC was still considered a bit too “extreme” for the tastes of most Republicans.

But make no mistake about it: Even then, CPAC organizers (largely GOP loyalists) were certain to ban from their podium those conservatives who dared venture into verboten territory. This included those who talked about the Federal Reserve System, Zionist power or the influence of pressure groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Iraq 10 Years Later (3): Why the Neocon Theory behind the War Failed

In short, it was the ‘fiasco’ execution of the Iraq war that turned so many against it, not the original premise. That is why neocons still get air-time on the right and aren’t repentant; they don’t feel that they have been intellectually disproven. That is also why Drezner is correct to note how many people thought the war was at least not a bad idea before it actually occurred.

That said though, the primary geopolitical lesson is probably just the banal, Waltian observation that some ideas are simply too ambitious to see through even if they’re intellectually defensible. Iraq is a perfect example of why realism counsels prudence. Even if the neocon analysis was right – which is disputable, especially in the wake of Arab Spring – to follow through on it would have required, 1) a wholesale COIN/nation-building re-making of the military, especially the army, in the face of painful lessons to the contrary from the Vietnam War and disinterest in that re-making almost everywhere in DoD; and 2) enduring US public support for long-term nation-building, which the US electorate has never before supported like that. In fact, the US public is known for the opposite – casualty-shyness that regularly puts a political limit on the US use of force. Yet even were both of those in place, trying to remake a foreign society is still extraordinarily difficult. Nonetheless, with mixed tools and tepid public public support, we tried something super-difficult. It’s not surprising, then, that it ended so poorly. Hence, today’s ‘leading from behind’ is not a bad choice after all.

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Aiding & Abetting The Neocon Nutcases?

Picture the GOP as a group of gangsters plotting to hit a jewelry store:
  • The guy drawing up the maps is The Chairman. Armed with the pretense of knowledge, he puts together the plans.
  • He is joined by a bunch of impatient nutcases who are constantly pacing the room. They can care less about plans or consequences. They just want to start smashing windows and breaking things -- they're the Neocons.
  • Finally, there are the dopes running for coffee and watching out the window for cops. These are the Liberty Guys. They don't really support what the others are up to, but aspire to one day "take over" the whole operation. The Liberty Guys think that if they were in charge, they'd be able to steer the nutcases away from robbing jewelry stores. Yes, they're definitely dreamers, but they're useful dreamers; so the others keep 'em around. Plus, they also make perfect fall guys for when everything falls apart.
Neocons aren't playing nice for the hell of it....They want to win.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The neocon shibboleth

“Thanks for the column today re the Iraq war. All for naught. Can you believe that Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are still claiming to be right in selling the war to the nation?”

Yes. The neocons learned nothing from Iraq. That’s why they went after Chuck Hagel so vehemently when Obama nominated him for Defense Secretary. He is a Republican, a war hero — but he came to see the folly of Iraq, and for that they can never forgive him. They remain devoted to the idea that democracy and American interests should be promoted agressively worldwide, by military force if necessary.

Learning nothing from the $6 trillion fiasco is a shibboleth among neocons, a badge of honor. Here’s neocon hawk Richard Perle on NPR:

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Neo-Con War Addiction Threatens Our Future

William Kristol knows what is wrong with the United States. As he wrote recently in the flagship magazine of the neo-conservatives, the Weekly Standard, the problem with the US is that we seem to have lost our appetite for war. According to Kristol, the troubles that have befallen us in the 20th century have all been the result of these periodic bouts of war-weariness, a kind of virus that we catch from time to time.

He claims because of the US “drawdown” in Europe after World War II, Stalin subjugated Eastern Europe. Because of war weariness the United States stopped bombing Southeast Asia in the 1970s, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. War weariness through the 1990s led to Rwanda, Milosevic, and the rise of the Taliban. It was our fault for not fighting on! According to Kristol, our failure to act as the policeman of the world is why we were attacked on September 11, 2001. Of the 1990s, he wrote, “[t]hat decade of not policing the world ended with 9/11.”

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The bulk of what passes for “the right” these days consists of, not conservatives, and certainly notlibertarians, but neoconservatives.  In varying degrees, virtually every mainstream politician, journalist, and commentator deemed to be on the right is a neoconservative. In fact, the same can be said for many Republican voters.
So, how do you know if you are a neocon?
You just might be a neocon if: 
You take offense at the very mention of the word “neoconservatism,” perhaps even going so far as to treat it as an anti-Jewish epithet.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Iraq 10 Years Later (2): What was the Neocon Theory behind the War?

My first thoughts on the war’s ten year anniversary are here. There I asked if there was any defensible theory behind the war, anything that might explain why we launched it, because weapons of mass destruction were not really the reason. Paul Wolfowitz notoriously admitted they were just a pretext to rally the country behind the invasion. And it’s hard to argue it was about pre-emption either; Iraq was hardly a looming military threat in 2003. So here’s my guess about the real neoconservative logic. I should say up front, I do not endorse this rationale. I’m just trying to lay it out what I bet neocons were saying to each other in 2002:

The Iraq invasion was to serve two neocon purposes: 1) It was to be a demonstration strike against the Arab states. Islamist anti-western pathologies from the Middle East lead to 9/11, so the Iraq invasion was a warning to Arabs, and Muslims generally, to never to attack the US like that again. As Cheney put it in the film W, ‘don’t ever f— with us again.’ 2) It was to be a hammer strike to break the frozen, dysfunctional Arab political status quo which generated those pathologies; this would force the region toward democracy it would never attain on its own. This thinking was summarized in the widely used expression at the time, ‘drain the swamp.’

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Friday, March 22, 2013

CHQ Readers Oppose Neocon Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Middle East Quagmire

Amid allegations of a chemical weapons attack in Syria, Neocon South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham gave an interview to Foreign Policy magazine demanding that President Obama produce a plan to secure chemical weapon sites in civil war wracked Syria -- even if it means sending in U.S. troops.

According to Foreign Policy magazine’s report of Graham’s comments, he said, "Absolutely, you've got to get on the ground… There is no substitute for securing these weapons. I don't care what it takes. We need partners in the region. But I'm here to say, if the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem."

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

And the Most Outrageous Neocon Iraq War Anniversary Remark Is...

The past week has brought about a ten-years-after review of the Iraq war—particularly an examination of how the Bush-Cheney administration sold the war prior to the invasion launched on March 19, 2003. Pundits and politicians have relived those days—and somberly reconsidered the run-up to the war, the role of the media in enabling the swindle, and the consequences of that military action. MSNBC has aired a documentary based on the book I co-wrote with Michael Isikoff, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War. Showtime featured a documentary on Dick Cheney that centered on the war. The Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University released a study noting that the war cost US taxpayers $2.2 trillion and consumed the lives of 4,488 members of the US armed services and at least 123,000 to 134,000 Iraqi civilians.

One of the most shocking reactions to the anniversary came—perhaps no surprise—from one of the leading neoconservative drum majors for the war, Richard Perle. As a member of the Defense Policy Board advisory committee, Perle, who had been a hawk's-hawk assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan years, began calling for war in Iraq nanoseconds after September 11. He told CNN, "Even if we cannot prove to the standard that we enjoy in our own civil society they are involved, we do know, for example, that Saddam Hussein has ties to Osama bin Laden. That can be documented." In 2002, he suggested a war against Iraq would be a cakewalk: "It isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either." He asserted Saddam was "working feverishly to acquire nuclear weapons." He claimed the post-invasion reconstruction in Iraq would be self-financing. He got everything wrong.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hands across the water: Neocons and European parliament liberals join forces to 'lean on Russia'

While the stress has been on Freedom House, the event's hosts, it also bears mention that a key co-organizer was the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a think tank created by William Kristol and Robert Kagan as successor to the Project for the New American Century, a Neocon incubator which they co-founded in 1997. PNAC had become weighed down by its responsibility for America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq that turned out so badly. Founded in 2009, FPI established a platform for Robert Kagan to re-enter the US domestic political fray on a full-time basis now that he's relocated to Washington from Brussels, in line with wife's diplomatic career, Victoria Nuland.

Throughout his own career, Robert Kagan has been consistent in his anti-Russian positions which go back to the very origins of Neocon thinking in the late 1970s-early 80s. In 2004, he was co-author, with William Kristol, of an open letter condemning Vladimir Putin for the rollback of political freedoms and an imperial foreign policy which attracted signatures from leading American politicians of both parties, including Joe Biden and Michael McFaul. His 2008 book The Return of History, which was effectively a policy paper for the John McCain presidential campaign to which he was chief foreign policy adviser, singled Russia out as a revisionist state following an autocratic path.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Heritage Foundation: Still Neocon Whoring

We had hoped Jim DeMint’s decision to leave the U.S. Senate and take the reins of the Heritage Foundation would result in a shift in that organization’s support for the mindless (and unnecessary) expansion of the American military industrial complex.

Apparently not … or at least not yet.

This week the “conservative” think tank offered up a post outlining “6 Things The Next U.S. Budget Should Do.” One of them? “Fully fund national defense.”

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Why Joe Lieberman And A Neocon Think Tank Are Perfect For Each Other

In a bid to lend a patina of “bipartisanship” to its ideas, the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has made former Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) the co-chair of its newest foreign policy initiative. The move has been met with raised eyebrows, as progressives have not considered Joe Lieberman an authentic representative of their foreign policy positions for quite some time, if they ever did in the first place.

Lieberman will co-chair the new “American Internationalism Project” with former Senator John Kyl (R-AZ). As the project is intended to “rebuild and reshape a bipartisan consensus around American global leadership and engagement,” Lieberman’s participation is aimed at blunting the perception that anything coming out of AEI is a dogmatically Republican plan. AEI generally hews to a hardline neoconservative standard on foreign policy; its staff in the area includes former Bush Administration officials John Bolton, Richard Perle, and Marc Thiessen.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Neocons Pushing Hard to Keep Liberty Movement Divided Using Rand?

Anyone else notice some agitators coming out of the woodwork here to insist on purity and trashing Rand? I have had my suspicions of Rand like most of us and still do however with some agitators here now seemingly working over time perhaps we are on the right track? They are scared of us coalescing into a united front with the conservatives and kicking their asses sweeping away the old guard.

Now I know not everyone dissing Rand is an agitator but there are definitely some here trying to stir the pot and keep us as divided as possible. It has only made me want to support him more if nothing else just to spite them.

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The Neocon Dialectic Laid Bare

Kid Kristol, who championed the fearmongering that led to the endless GWOT ("Global War To End All Evil"), now condemns as "fearmongering" Rand Paul's analysis of the unconstitutional consequences of the Bushobama Imperial Presidency.

Fearmongering by us, good. Fearmongering by you, bad.

This is a classic case of the Trotskyite dialectic that the neocons live by. There is no truth, only power. Kristol openly denies the fundamental Aristotelian law of cause and effect -- metaphysics, reality itself -- and substitutes the will to power: Obama, Kristol's "Born-Again Neocon," would never want to kill Americans here at home, you see, so to allege that he might borders on hysteria.
Right, Bill. Prepare the mental hospitals (and, for the rest of us, re-read Cancer Ward).


Neocons and Obamaites Unite Against Rand Paul

The response to Rand Paul’s historic filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan met with rapturous applause from civil libertarians and anti-interventionists on the right and the left – followed by harsh denunciations from Democratic party partisans and their neocon allies. It was a moment when the political landscape redefined itself, traditional categories of “left” and “right” underwent a seismic shift – and the true friends, and enemies, of liberty stood revealed.

Naturally, the neocon-of-neocons, Bill Kristol, wasn’t standing with Rand, not for a minute: “A Republican party that follows the path of Rand Paul will end up as thoroughly defeated at the ballot box as Macbeth was routed on the battlefield of Dunsinane. And as deservedly so.” Really? Will the Republican party be as thoroughly defeated as it was when Kristol and his chosen team of McCain-Palin were thoroughly throttled – or when neocon sock-puppet Mitt Romney was beaten within an inch of the GOP’s life, and basically reduced to a regional party? Kristol, who has been consistently wrong about everything for the past ten years or so, is hardly qualified as a political prophet. Yet he persists, and his methods – and those of his allies on both sides of the left-right divide – were best described by the witches of MacBeth:

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Behold: Neocon Echo Chamber Weighs In On Rand Paul’s Filibuster

Clear divisions in sociopolitical paradigms can be seen on any given day in the “conservative” collective. Let’s have a look at the neocon echo chamber’s response to Rand Paul’s momentous and founder-inspired filibuster which marched on for nearly 13 hours.

Kenneth Gardner represents the typical neocon who incorrectly claims to be “conserving” America’s founding principles by self-identifying as a conservative, but obviously hasn’t read, or doesn’t understand, our founders on foreign policy also laid out in Federalist Papers 2-5. Ken had this anti-founding-principles Tweet to share with the class.


RUSH: 'For McCain To Call These Guys Kooks And Wackos Illustrates Exactly What's Wrong.'

Friday, March 08, 2013

Neocon Whores Attack!

Fiscally liberal “neo-conservatives” John McCain and Lindsey Graham attacked their colleague Rand Paul for having the audacity to oppose the use of drone strikes on American citizens.

McCain and Graham – who are nothing but whores for America’s military-industrial complex – derided Paul for filibustering U.S. President Barack Obama’s nomination of John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Paul filibustered Brennan’s nomination for thirteen hours on Wednesday night in protest of the Obama administration’s refusal to rule out the use of drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil.

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Neocon: Rand Paul Filibuster is a Stroke of Political Genius

Justin Raimondo correctly identified Charles Krauthammer as "always in the avant-garde of neocon-dom." Thus, it is instructive that following Rand Paul's useless filibuster, Krauthammer is leading the cheers for Rand. In the clip below, he calls what Rand did (which was nothing) a stroke of political genius and something that will make him a national figure.

Folks, this kind of stuff doesn't happen by accident. Neocons are not out there with lanterns looking for honest and principled men. They are looking for men who will advance the neocon agenda. The sudden support Rand is getting, from every neocon, says to me that chips will be placed on Rand in the 2016 presidential election. They are very comfortable with him, which makes me very uncomfortable.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Even NEOCON websites are fed up with the Bushes

Jeb Bush is considering running for President in 2016. Please spare us. It’s just what the Republicans need. The second Bush barely eked out his 2000 and 2004 wins. It was his policies that created the Obama refrain, “It was Bush’s fault.” And much of it was, although the fault was created long before either Bush got into office. The media will have a field day.

What does Jeb Bush have to offer? He does speak Spanish.

Last month, Jeb Bush said that he would govern like Lyndon Johnson if he were ever elected as President. It would be worse than a Mormon from Massachusetts. I can see the conservative opposition now:

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Even Before ChÁvez’s Demise, Neocon Jackals Began To Sniff Out Opportunity To Influence

The late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez isn’t even in his grave but already the neocon jackals are trying to ensure that the US will influence Venezuela’s political future by suggesting the US make demands of the interim and successive government before the US provides any support.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) produced a paper even before Chávez had actually died. Among their key demands are:
The respect for a constitutional succession;
The adoption of meaningful electoral reforms to ensure a fair campaign environment and a transparent vote count in expected presidential elections; and
The dismantling of Iranian and Hezbollah networks in Venezuela.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Neocon Pundit: The Israel Lobby Wants War With Iran

One of the standard defenses against criticisms of the so-called Israel lobby hinges on portraying its detractors as alleging that Washington's pro-Israel groups are "all-powerful." It's of course a caricature of most critics' position: no doubt some true conspiracy theorists buy into this (and should be ridiculed for it), but the criticisms of pro-Israel groups percolating in Washington don't. Dan Luban, a friend and former colleague, has persuasively described mainstream criticisms of the Israel lobby based only on the very reasonable contentions that the groups have "significant influence on U.S. foreign policy" and that this influence is often "pernicious." I use the term "Israel lobby" advisedly, because that's the term Max Boot used—with skeptical quotes—on Sunday in Commentary to attack the straw-man of a lobby that "insidiously controls American foreign policy." But Boot's post is hilariously off-base: its argument can't even be reconciled with the very information he presents. Let's start with his opening paragraph:

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