Friday, May 31, 2013

The Neocon Yawp

The neocon hawks are squawking again. But perhaps that's a mischaracterization. The word “again” implies there had been a cessation in their lustful exhortations for ever-increasing levels of death and destruction to be wrought by United States government military power. There hasn't been. Instead, their latest screed cable news battlefield is simply more focused, and it is none other than our Nobel Peace Prize-winning President who finds himself in the crosshairs.

On May 23rd, President Obama dared to posit a diminution of the “war on terror” that has been waged for over a decade. When he did, he stepped timidly off the grain of sand that delimits the bounds of permissible discourse regarding U.S. foreign policy. That kind of independence and “lack of resolve” was too much for the war machine cheerleaders. After all, Obama's milquetoast plan could lead to other, more radical ideas reserved for madmen and others with enough sense to recognize the horrible and nefarious consequences of perpetual war.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

If A Neocon Is Happy With Obama, You Shouldn't Be

President Obama gave a national security speech this afternoon. It appears that many are latching onto the following statement from the speech:
"This war, like all wars, must end."
He was referring to the War on Terror, and supposedly the statement shows that a different approach or tone is being taken than that of George W. Bush.

I don't buy it for a second.

I immediately thought of the slick one, who in one of his State of The Union addresses said:
"The era of big government is over."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bill Kristol's Empire of Death

Non-interventionists can learn a great deal by observing when the differing factions of the neo-conservative enterprise take to exposing each other.

Take the Left-neocon New Republic, a magazine that hemorrhages money at such a rate that it literally had a hard time being given away until Facebook kid mega-millionaire Chris Hughes decided to snatch it up with pocket change as a child's toy. Hughes was a deep-pockets campaign supporter of the hyper-interventionist Obama, and in his new "serious" publishing toy no-doubt sees endless opportunities to feature "serious" writers on the faux Left to explain to us barbarians how wonderful the next deadly "humanitarian intervention" is turning out to be.

Nevertheless, the New Republic today features an enormously instructive graphic explaining to its readers "Bill Kristol's Galactic Empire." In this colorful chart we see the endless projects and think tanks and publications and "emergency committees" and "liberation committees" that count Bill Kristol as either a very influential member or leader. No doubt each of these comes with a healthy paycheck for Kristol.
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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Failed Neocon Attempt to Destroy an American Anti-war Group

The war over war with Iran has many battlefronts. Inside Washington, the battle line is between a small coalition of peace and security, non-proliferation and religious groups opposing war and favoring a peaceful solution to the stand off with Iran, and a well-funded war machine comprising neoconservative organizations who believe war with Iran should have started years ago.

A central organization within the anti-war coalition is the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the largest Iranian-American grassroots organization. NIAC has been at the forefront of opposing war, favoring diplomacy and opposing broad sanctions that only hurt the Iranian people, while, at the same time, rebuking Tehran's horrible human rights record.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Benghazi: A new nadir for neocon nuttiness

When I attended a conference of conservatives outside Washington recently, I talked with a number of retired special-operations officers. They were devoted to exposing the bureaucratic bungling that led to the deaths of two Navy SEALs in Libya last Sept. 11.

I could see their point. The military has been badly served by the civilian leadership during the full 12 years of the so-called "War On Terror."

But when it comes to Benghazi, just what are all those members of Congress yammering on about?

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Price of Peace

The Heritage Foundation, which has been a bulwark of the War Party since its inception in 1973, has an annual budget of $82.4 million: much of this is spent lobbying on behalf of larger military appropriations and US military intervention worldwide. The American Enterprise Institute (otherwise known as Neocon Central) has an annual budget in excess of $30 million: an influential Washington actor during the Bush II years, AEI has been the locus of neoconservative influence in the foreign policy realm, offering a quasi-academic perch to virtually every neocon known to man in between their stints in government. These two mega-giants are complemented by a brace of neocon foundations, thinktanks, and ad hoc front groups, such as the Hudson Institute ($12.2 million), the Foreign Policy Initiative ($1.6 million), the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies ($8 million), JINSA ($3.3 million) and a host of others whose combined budget is more than a match for the oldest, most well-established peace groups.

Standing behind the War Party are some of the biggest corporate donors around: Martin-Marietta, Lockheed, General Electric, all the big military contractors, and the biggest (and most bailed-out) banks. This is not to mention the big neocon foundations: the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as well as smaller right-wing nonprofits such as Carthage, Earhart, and Castle Rock.

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Time to tell US diplomats who is boss here

The content of the recent speech by the US ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J Sison to the Foreign Journalists’ Association in Colombo on the “next steps” for US engagement with Sri Lanka is typical of the forceful and uncivilised approach to diplomacy being practiced by US state department officials whose career rise roughly coincides with the neocon capture of the US government and the Armed Forces.

Some US diplomats in this category who have got promoted to ambassadorial postings are typified by a level of arrogance that borders on stupidity due to the brainwashing they have undergone at the hands of neocon-run diplomacy schools and neocon mentors within the state department - they have been brought up on a world view that the US is ‘the’ rightful, unrivalled emperor of the world, and those who represent that power should ‘manage’ world events like the viceroys of the preceding empire. So they come and present the world with a caricature of the fabled “Ugly American”.

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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Neocon Champ Senator Marco Rubio on Immigration

After winning his Senate seat in 2010 Senator Marco Rubio did not even thank the Tea Party organization for his victory during his acceptance speech. In fact, when asked questions about the Tea Party Senator Rubio tries to distance himself from the Tea Party. Senator Rubio this February said that he backs Carl Rove’s Conservative Victory Project PAC as something worthwhile in order to get more mainstream Republicans elected in districts that a Tea Party candidate would lose during a general election. Why would a person reject the group of people most responsible for their senate victory?

A Self-centered man like Senator Rubio with his eyes on a much larger role for himself in American politics must think of himself as a visionary. Perhaps the presidency is on Senator Rubio’s mind and this requires much more than small government conservatives like those in the Tea Party. Senator Rubio must become a Republican Establishment man and this means that he must be many things to many different people.

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Is There a Neocon Plot to Takedown Hillary and the President?

Check out this report from the Washington Times about neocon John Bolton:
The Benghazi scandal could be the final “hinge point” that brings down the Obama administration, former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton said.

“This could be the hinge point,” he said to Newsmax. “It’s that serious for them.”[...]

His comments came as Congress is readying to hear testimony from several witnesses about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Witness Greg Hicks already has stated publicly that the administration was aware that the attack was terrorist in nature, and not related to protests of a YouTube film about Muslims, as originally stated.
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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Reporter on C-SPAN Eviscerates Viewer Who Calls in with ‘Neocon’ & ‘Greater Good of Israel’ Theory

As most C-SPAN viewers know by now, the network’s callers are a different kind of “special.”
So when someone with a particularly clownish point/theory calls in, it’s not all that “newsworthy.” What is “newsworthy,” however, is when a C-SPAN guest responds to a particularly noxious caller by saying what everyone is thinking.
For instance, watch what happens when The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake comes into contact with a caller who claims U.S. lawmakers have put Israel’s interests ahead of America’s [via the Washington Free Beacon]:

What's Behind Liberal to Neocon Conversions?

In particular, what persuaded Bill Keller? In his op-ed supporting invasion of Iraq, he gave two reasons. One was the influence of Kenneth Pollack. The second was the influence of the Bosnian example. However, neither one of these reasons explains his support of U.S. military interventions. Take the Pollack book that he says provided "intellectual cover". Pollack's assessments were totally wrong. He thought an invasion would find WMD and that it would cost little in terms of money and American lives. He didn't think it would shatter Iraqi society, cause economic havoc, create civil war, and cause millions of refugees, deaths, injuries and disruptions. His entire background was a signal that his views would be totally biased. Only a fool would have believed him or someone with a predisposition to accept the invasion idea. In this particular case, I think Keller exhibited both foolishness (including over-optimism about the results, limited understanding of the history of past interventions, limited understanding of Iraq itself, limited understanding of war, excessive faith in U.S. political leadership, excessive faith in U.S. intelligence agencies, etc.) and a predisposition to accept the morally bankrupt idea of invading a country for its own good and for America's good.

Bosnia was his second reason:

"The president will take us to war with support -- often, I admit, equivocal and patronizing in tone -- from quite a few members of the East Coast liberal media cabal. The I-Can't-Believe-I'm-a-Hawk Club includes op-ed regulars at this newspaper and The Washington Post, the editors of The New Yorker, The New Republic and Slate, columnists in Time and Newsweek. Many of these wary warmongers are baby-boom liberals whose aversion to the deployment of American power was formed by Vietnam but who had a kind of epiphany along the way -- for most of us, in the vicinity of Bosnia."

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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

"Neocon Hangover, Part III"

The Washington Post's editorially bored:

The resumption of sectarian war in Iraq alongside that of Syria would be devastating for the Middle East--and for the interests of the United States. The fragile gains of the Iraq war ... would be wiped out, and committed U.S. enemies such as al-Qaeda and Hezbollah would surge. The situation demands, as [former ambassador Ryan] Crocker put it, “a sustained, high-level diplomatic effort by the United States” in Iraq. But it also makes intervention aimed at ending the war in Syria that much more urgent.
Such is the neocon's hamster wheel. Absent wider intervention in the region--rendered more volatile by our initial intervention in the region--our "fragile gains" may be "wiped out," though the gains were always illusory, never fragile. But let's pretend an Iraqi fragility that's susceptible to the soft persuasion of diplomatic intervention--remember, our gains were regrettably fragile, but real--whose success now hinges on what seems a strong suggestion of military intervention in Syria, which is how we began in Iraq, which promised to infectiously detonate a kind of Jeffersonian Star Trek "Genesis" across the tumultuous Middle East.

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Friday, May 03, 2013

Neocon High Priest McCain On Why We Must Bomb Syria

Senator John McCain warns us that if we do not start bombing Syria, pronto, on behaf of the Islamist extremists who run the insurgency, the average Syrian who is terrorized by these foreign funded fighters will seek us out and...well, do something bad to us. It is the big lie that the neocons peddle that people overseas are just itching for a US bombing campaign or drone strike to "liberate" them:

"The Syrian people are angry and bitter at the United States. I was in a refugee camp in Jordan, and there're thousands of people and kids, and this woman who's a school teacher said, 'Senator McCain, you see these children here. They're going to take revenge on those people who refuse to help them.' They're angry and bitter, and that legacy could last for a long time too, unless we assist them."
-Sen. John McCain

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Last Best Hope For the Neocons?

A while back I did a post focusing on U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who had in turn been profiled by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen of Politico as an exemplar of the obstructionist nature of the House GOP. Since then Cotton has gotten a lot of attention as a potential 2014 opponent of U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, generally considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat thanks to the heavy redward swing of his state in the last few years.

But today we learn from a different Politico writer, Alexander Burns, that Cotton isn’t just a freshman House member who may become a freshman Senator before terribly long: he may be, in fact, the “last, best hope of GOP hawks” in a national political party increasingly inclined to “stand with Rand” against indiscriminate military interventions.

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Another Nail in the Neocon Coffin

The recent opening of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity was a watershed moment in American history. There has never been anything quite like it. Ideologically diverse, the Ron Paul Institute reaches out to all Americans, and indeed to people all over the world, who find the spectrum of foreign-policy opinion in the United States to be unreasonably narrow. Until Ron Paul and his new institute, there was no resolutely anti-interventionist foreign-policy organization to be found.

Neoconservatives have not responded warmly to the announcement of Ron's new institute. Whatever their particular gripes, we can be absolutely certain of the real reason for their unhappiness: they have never faced systematic, organized opposition before.

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Boston Bombings Swing in Israel’s and the NeoCon’s Favor

The Boston bombings have taught us many things, although we have yet to unravel all the details. My heart goes out to those who have been hurt and wounded from the incident.
If there is something that decent Americans have to reflect upon throughout this year would be this: America needs to seriously and collectively reconsider its unconditional allegiance to the Zionist regime in Israel. Decent Americans need to come to grip with what the neoconservative ideology is actually doing.

How to Be a Good Neocon When It Comes to Syria

What do the most hawkish neocons desire in Syria? A full US military presence in the air and on the ground.

In recent days, hawks on the right (and the left) have pumped up the volume in calling for US military action in Syria. Last week, President Barack Obama sent a letter to key members of Congress saying that US intelligence has obtained evidence of "small-scale" use of chemical weapons, presumably by forces associated with the Syrian government. But the White House has noted that the "chain of custody" for these weapons hadn't been confirmed and that further corroboration was needed. The use of any chemical weapons in Syria by government forces would violate the "red line" Obama declared last year.

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The real George W. Bush legacy: The end of neoconservatism

Am I the first to notice that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham bears a striking resemblance to the Mad Hatter in the Disney version of "Alice in Wonderland"? (compare videos below)

I first noticed their similarity a couple of months ago at a panel discussion on national security at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Graham, who is perhaps the leading proponent of the so-called "neo" conservative school of foreign relations, gave this assessment of the perils the United States faces today: "I’ve never seen our friends more afraid or our enemies more emboldened."

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Just Say “NO” To Neocon Demands For War In Syria

President Barack Obama’s foolish statement that the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war would constitute a “red line” and grounds for U.S. military action in that country played directly into the hands of those neocons in Congress who want to see American troops in action in the Middle East again.

In the past few days, Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Saxby Chambliss and (House Intelligence Committee Chairman) Representative Mike Rogers have all demanded that Obama stick with his vow to take action now that strong evidence has surfaced that Syria did indeed cross the “red line” by using chemical weapons against citizens who oppose the Assad regime.

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