Friday, August 30, 2013

Wall Street Journal: Whack al-Assad and His Family | Infowars

In Mafia don fashion, the Wall Street Journal, on occasion correctly referred to as the War Street Journal, has called for whacking Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, his brother Maher and wife Asma, and apparently his children, Hafez, Zein and Karim.

“Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad,” writes Bret Stephens. “Also, Bashar’s brother and principal henchman, Maher. Also, everyone else in the Assad family with a claim on political power. Also, all of the political symbols of the Assad family’s power, including all of their official or unofficial residences.”

Read the entire article

Syria: The New York Times goes foaming-at-the-mouth Neocon

syria NYT hypocritical headline

And speaking as a Neocon… “amateurs!”

I eagerly await the Times editorial denunciation of the Times op-ed writers.

Can one die of an irony overload?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Return Of The Neocon War Hawks Who Want To Attack Syria Now

Neocons never just fade away. The Weekly Standard has an open letter explaining that blowing up lots of stuff in Syria is a really great idea: The signatories on the letter addressed to President Obama include Senator Joe Lieberman, Bernard-Henri Levy, Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Leon Wieseltier, and many others. The “other people” include Max Boot, Paul Berman, Dr. Clifford D. May, Marty Peretz, and Danielle Pletka. I suppose it’s not literally true that the endorsement of these people means that bombing and/or invading Syria is a bad idea, but… let’s just if there was some way of betting that these people would be wrong, you could be living in your own $32 million apartment complete with $160,000 wine cellar and million-dollar apartments for your many domestic servants. Read the entire article

And the neocon Democracy Builders’ war beat goes on

Here we go again – the ritualistic drumbeat is reaching a frenzied finale preparing Americans for a U.S.-supported bloody overthrow of a sovereign state’s government in the name of spreading democracy; this time, Assad in Syria. The Left and the Right are in a testosterone-driven race to lead the charge; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the “Friends of Syria” conference in Tunisia declared the Assad government illegitimate, while Republican leadership demands “safe passage corridors” for rebels. Since Assad is not using jets, they can’t call it a no-fly zone. Read the entire article

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

U.S. Neocon Hawks Take Flight Over Syria

In an echo of the tactics they used to promote U.S. intervention in the Balkans, Iraq and Libya, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives published a letter Tuesday urging President Barack Obama to go far beyond limited military strikes against Syria in retaliation for its government's alleged use last week of chemical weapons that reportedly killed hundreds of people.

Signed by 66 former government officials and "foreign policy experts" – almost all of them strongly pro-Israel neo-conservatives – the letter, which was released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), called for Washington "and other willing nations [to] consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime" as part of more ambitious strategy to support "moderate" Syrian rebels and dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Any military action should aim to ensure that the government of President Bashar al-Assad will be unable to use chemical weapons and should deter or destroy its "airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants," according to the letter.

Read the entire article

The Neocon March on Damascus

Here we go again. As Americans prepare to march on Washington, Washington is preparing to march on Damascus. As part of the buildup to war, a chorus of liberal hawks and neoconservatives has issued a new manifesto in—where else?—the Weekly Standard calling upon President Obama to engage in regime change in Syria. Just as they demanded military action to topple Saddam Hussein, so they now are insisting upon the removal of Bashar al-Assad.

Yet if anything might be calculated to give Obama pause before he embarks upon a bombing campaign, it should be this truculent letter, whose signatories include Fouad Ajami, Elliott Abrams, Paul Berman, Eliot A. Cohen, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Bernard-Henri Levy, Tim Palwenty, James Traub, Eric Edelman, Karl Rove, Dan Senor, Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier. (At Politico, Dylan Byers astutely notes that the presence of Wieseltier and Peretz should come as no surprise because, "Wieseltier et al. aren't emissaries from the 'new' New Republic, they're stalwarts of the Old Republic. Wieseltier served on the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and Peretz led the magazine's call for military intervention there (he still thinks it was a good idea)." So there you go. The very same crew, by and large, that declared that Iraq could be transformed into a blossoming democracy in 2003. Now it wants to duplicate its roaring success.


Neocon — What does it mean?

It's official.  "Neocon" is now used by people who have no idea what the word means. Somebody who considers himself a libertarian just called me a "neocon" because I questioned Bradley Manning's motives.  Some of the sillier people among libertarians and liberals basically consider anybody who disagrees with them a neocon. If you show any respect for morality, religion, patriotism, or anything that can be considered traditional, these jokers will call you "neocon," which is pretty laughable, considering that neocons have zero respect for tradition and are themselves just a branch of Trotskyism. They themselves are liberals, albeit tricky ones, more deceitful than usual.  Well, if you encounter such types, just give them this URL and tell them to look at the picture.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The truth about Putin through neocon glasses

The government seems to exert pressure on the media in the Russian Federation, but at least there, the media represent a genuine 4th Estate. In the US, the media and the government are a virtual monolith. In addition, Obama is now exerting unprecedented influence over the media, as illustrated by the charges brought against James Rosen.

Solzhenitsyn, in the last speech he gave at Harvard, said that while in Russia, the government controls the media, in the US, the media and the government work hand in hand. That is why it was his last speech.
Read the entire article

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Neocon: Rand Paul May Have to Treat His Father the Way Obama Treated Jeremiah Wright

Neocons can't stand that Ron Paul is a man of principle. They are desperate to see Rand distance himself from his father. Jonathan Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine writes:
[U]nfortunately for his son, the elder Paul has not retired from public life, meaning that his statements and associations are bound to raise awkward questions for his son.[...]

Should Rand be held accountable for his father’s views? In the abstract, the answer to that must be no. Rand Paul is entitled to live his own life and must be held responsible for what he does and says, not what his relatives do.
Read the entire article

Friday, August 23, 2013

Frank Rich on the National Circus: Even Neocons Disagree on Mideast Intervention

This has been another historically terrible week for the remnants of the Arab Spring. In Egypt, the military-appointed government released the totalitarian former president Hosni Mubarak from prison to house arrest even as it continues to hold Mubarak’s democratically chosen successor, Mohamed Morsi. In Syria, rebels reported that the government had attacked them with chemical weapons. With the exception of Libya, the Obama administration has remained on the sidelines during the Middle East upheavals of the last two years. Is it time for the U.S. to get more involved?

It’s easy to say we should get more involved, and almost everyone does. But there is zero agreement as to how, and you can’t act on an impulse as opposed to a plan. Do we add serious support to the Syrian rebels — assuming, no doubt correctly, that Assad’s government is indeed guilty of the latest round of slaughter — and risk empowering our Islamist enemies? (It was particularly galling to hear John McCain say this week that such an intervention would come at “very little cost” — essentially the same prediction he made about the war in Iraq.) Do we stand up against the murderous military regime in Egypt and call its coup by its rightful name, a coup? It’s morally the right thing to do — but it also means going against the express lobbying of our ally Israel, which abhors the Muslim Brotherhood and wants the generals to stay in place. It’s a measure of how little American consensus there is about these and other questions that both political parties are divided on what to do and how to do it.

Read the entire article

Neocon Kristol: Big Republican Replacement for Obamacare Coming

Don't get too excited about Republican calls for defunding Obamacare. It's not about killing therole for government in healthcare and replacing it with free market healthcare, it's about a Obamacare being replaced with Republicare. It's going to be announced next year.

Neocon Bill Krsitol spilled the beans, yesterday, about the plan on CNN:


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The neoconservative split over Egypt

Remember the neocons? They were the powerful and controversial group of thinkers who argued that the promotion of democracy in the Middle East was the key to winning the “war on terror”. The influence of the neocons peaked during the Bush administration, when they became vocal advocates for the invasion of Iraq.
Many of the critics of the neocons always argued that all this talk of “democracy” was simply a hypocritical mask for the promotion of US or Israeli interests. So I was interested to see how leading neocon thinkers have reacted to the coup in Egypt and the assault on the Muslim Brotherhood. Have they kept the democratic faith, or have they gone along with the military?
The answer seems to be that leading neocon thinkers have gone in different directions. Robert Kagan, author of “Of Paradise and Power”, is outraged by the coup. He is co-chair of a think-tank working group on Egypt that has issued a statement demanding that the US cut off aid to the Egyptian military. The statement reads, in part:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Is Rand Paul Going Neocon on Iran?

Two years ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), after giving a foreign policy speech at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Service, said, "Iran has a large undercurrent of people who like the West. They like our music, our culture, our literature, and so I think we can influence people in those ways. I'd rather do that than go to war with Iran."

This statement was lauded by those--including myself--who seek a diplomatic solution with Iran.

Less than a year later, in March 2012, Sen. Paul put his money where his mouth is by standing up to his colleagues in Senate. He attempted to block a non-binding resolution that he felt would give the President carte blanche to preemptively attack Iran.

In October, I was able--along with another fellow Iranian-American from Kentucky--to meet with one of Sen. Paul's senior staff members.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I’m Sick and Tired of Neocons

Justin, you’re also an expert on the Neo-Conservatives, one of my least favorite ideological groupings.  Tell us about the Neo-Conservatives and the lost legacy of the conservative movement.

RAIMONDO:  Well, what happened is that during the Cold War — conservatives used to be like Bob Taft, anti-interventionists for small government at home because they realized that you couldn’t have an empire and a republic, limited government at the same time.  But that died out after McCarthyism.  And the fervent anti-Communism of so many people on the right logically led — as Murray pointed out in his great book The Betrayal of the American Right, logically led to warmongering.  Because if we’re out to root out the Commies on the home front, then what’s to stop us from doing it abroad?  So naturally — perhaps not so naturally — what happened was that a lot of ex-Communists, ex-Trotskyites and right-wing Social Democrats jumped on the conservative bandwagon early on, like James Burnham, for example, who was one of the founding editors of National Review.  And Bill Buckley gathered these people around him.  They soon took over the conservative movement and so the conservative movement became the militaristic bunch of nut jobs that we see today.  Their big dream, as Murray pointed out, was to nuke the Soviet Union.  And they made speeches to their followers saying, yes, we’re going to nuke the Soviet Union; it’s going to be great.  Of course, the Soviet Union failed, like Mises predicted that it would, without any nuking being necessary.

So all these right-wing Social Democrats originally started in the Democratic Party and they were grouped around “Scoop” Jackson, the Democrat from Boeing, as we used to call him –

Read the entire article

Neocon Princelings Kristol, Kagan Split on Egypt

It’s a remarkable moment when the two arguably most influential neocons of their generation disagree so clearly about something as fundamental to US Middle East policy, Israel and democracy promotion. They not only co-founded PNAC and the FPI; in 1996, they also co-authored “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy” in Foreign Affairs, which among other things, advocated “benevolent global hegemony” as the role that Washington should play in the post-Cold War era. But they now appear to have a fundamental disagreement about how that benevolence should be exercised in a strategically significant nation which is also important to Israel’s security.
Of course, this disagreement highlights once again the fact that democracy promotion is not a core principle of neoconservatism. It also suggests that the movement itself is becoming increasingly incoherent from an ideological point of view. Granted, Kagan considers himself a strategic thinker on the order of a Kissinger or Brzezinski, while Kristol is much more caught up in day-to-day Republican politics and consistently appears to align his views on the Middle East with those of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Likud-led Israeli Government. But what is especially interesting at this moment is the fact that Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham — both leaders of what could be called the neoconservative faction of the Republican Party — are moving into Kagan’s camp.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Neocon Scholar: Keep Bloodying The Brotherhood

When Barack Obama finally reacted Thursday to the violent crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that, a day earlier, saw more than 600 killed, he used cagey language that seemed to deny that the U.S. had a relationship with one side of the quickly evolving crisis: the military government. Obama elided any mention of the billions of dollars the U.S. provided over decades to Egypt's military, which, since a coup against the Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi early last month, rules the country. It is precisely this aid which led the Washington Post editorial board to declare Obama "complicit" in the military's brutal attack against the Brotherhood.

Some on the American right, however, exhibit none of Obama's evasiveness. They've been frank about American support for Egypt's military, even as its government led what Reuters writer David Rohde pointed out was "the largest massacre of protesters since the 1989 Tiananmen Square." The National Review called in an editorial for the U.S. to keep supporting the Egyptian military government is at "war" with the Muslim Brotherhood. Today in Commentary, neocon scholar Michael Rubin wrote this rather incredible conclusion to his call for Egypt to continue its crackdown—and for America to support it—no matter the human cost:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Think Again: Neoconservatism on the Decline (And Ted Cruz and Rand Paul on the upswing)

In a column titled "The Neocon Revival," David Brooks argues that "Neocons came in for a lot of criticism during the Iraq war, but neoconservatism was primarily a domestic policy movement." He goes on to contrast the good sense and cheer of old-fashioned neocons with the current crop of conservative crazies.

It's a curious viewpoint. One of Brooks's earliest columns for the Times argued that anyone who even used the term "neocon" was engaging in anti-Semitic subterfuge. That was when Brooks was an enthusiast for the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- an idea that had its genesis in various neoconservative organs and organizations, some of which appeared to be just as concerned with perceived threats to Israel as they were with with imaginary "weapons of mass destruction" or phony connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Neocons vs. Non-Interventionists: Let the Games Begin!

the intraparty fight among Republicans over foreign policy escalated further this week when former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that it was time to take stock of failed U.S. military interventions over the past decade, and acknowledge key anti-interventionist critics as important voices within the party.

Gingrich told the Washington Times in an interview he still considers himself a neoconservative, but said that “at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take a deep breath to ask if our strategies in the Middle East have succeeded.” Questioning the approach of exporting democracy through the barrel of a gun, Gingrich went on, “I think it would be healthy to go back and war-game what alternative strategies would have been better, and I like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul because they are talking about this.”

Friday, August 09, 2013

Tom Cotton’s Run for Senate in Arkansas Makes Him the New Neocon Darling

In their quest to retake the U.S. Senate—or at least gain ground and jam a thumb in Harry Reid’s eye—Republicans found reason to rejoice this week when Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas’s Fourth District officially announced his candidacy to unseat Democrat Mark Pryor.

Even setting aside Pryor’s handicap as the lone remaining Dem in the congressional delegation of a state that’s fast trending red and that really really doesn’t like President Obama, Cotton is a genuinely impressive political specimen. The lanky, whip-smart 37-year-old has a CV that is, as GOP strategist Ralph Reed puts it, “out of central casting”: two degrees from Harvard (undergrad and law), a stint at the Claremont Graduate University (including a Publius fellowship in conservative political thought at the Claremont Institute), a federal clerkship, a turn at the crème de la crème consultancy McKinsey & Co., plus—and here’s where it gets almost too good to be true—an Army stint that featured tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He left the service with the rank of captain and, among other decorations, a Bronze Star. “He’s a star,” asserts Reed.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Newt Gingrich sees major Mideast mistakes, rethinks his neocon views on intervention

Mr. Gingrich said it is time for Republicans to heed some of the anti-interventionist ideas offered by the libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, tea party favorite and foreign policy skeptic.

“I think it would be healthy to go back and war-game what alternative strategies would have been better, and I like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul because they are talking about this,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Read the entire article

“What Neocon Revival?”: The Illusion Of GOP Ideological Diversity

It’s a bit startling to see the New York Times‘ David Brooks pen a column headlined “The Neocon Revival,” which speaks confidently about “neoconservatism” as an internally consistent perspective on public life that once dominated the conservative movement and the Republican Party (and apparently should again!). In 2004, the self-same David Brooks contributed an essay to a book entitled The Neocon Reader that suggested the very label was more or less an anti-Semitic slur (“If you ever read a sentence that starts with ‘Neocons believe,’ there is a 99.44 per cent chance everything else in that sentence will be untrue.”).

If Brooks is now giving us all permission to talk about neoconservatism without raising a presumption of ethnic or partisan poison, I’d argue that his brief manifesto is curiously detached from both the historical and contemporary realities of conservatism and of the Republican Party. Brooks is right that “neoconservatism” (a term actually popularized by democratic socialist Michael Harrington to refer to thinkers and doers who were largely still on the ideological Left and/or affiliated with the Democratic Party) was originally “about” domestic as much as international policy. Its most recent identification with George W. Bush’s foreign policies, or with post-Bush advocates of an aggressive internationalism and often of Islamophobia, is hardly an accident, but also isn’t the whole story.

Read the entire article

Gingrich: Neocon Support for Paul, Cruz?

Mr. Gingrich said it is time for Republicans to heed some of the anti-interventionist ideas offered by the libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, tea party favorite and foreign policy skeptic.

“I think it would be healthy to go back and war-game what alternative strategies would have been better, and I like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul because they are talking about this,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Read the entire article

Monday, August 05, 2013

Newt Gingrich Rethinks Stance On U.S. Military Interventions

“I am a neoconservative. But at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take deep breath to ask if our strategies in Middle East have succeeded,” Gingrich said. “It may be that our capacity to export democracy is a lot more limited than we thought."

Gingrich told the Washington Times that he no longer believes interventionist policies are effective.

“I think we really need a discussion on what is an effective policy against radical Islam since it’s hard to argue that our policies of last 12 years have effective,” he said.

Read the entire article

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Last Thing Republicans Need Is a “Neocon Revival”

David Brooks imagines what a “neocon revival” could do for Republicans:
The conservatism that Kristol was referring to is neoconservatism. Neocons came in for a lot of criticism during the Iraq war, but neoconservatism was primarily a domestic policy movement. Conservatism was at its peak when the neocons were dominant and nearly every problem with the Republican Party today could be cured by a neocon revival.
Brooks tries to rehabilitate neocons by mostly ignoring the one thing that now distinguishes them from everyone else on the right, namely their disastrous foreign policy views. He talks about the “peak” of conservatism while failing to mention the ignominious collapse of the political fortunes of both Republicans and movement conservatism when neoconservatives exercised their greatest influence. Thanks in large part to the Iraq war debacle that neoconservatives eagerly demanded, Republicans lost a decades-old advantage on foreign policy that predated the Reagan era, and most conservatives mistakenly wasted eight years supporting a disastrous war because they followed the neoconservatives’ lead. Most neoconservatives defend that war even now, putting them bitterly at odds with the American public in a way that few others are.

Since the failures of “big government conservatism” in the last decade, there is nothing that neoconservatism has to offer today that would ameliorate any major Republican problem.

Neoconservatives’ biggest blind spot and greatest obsession–support for a needlessly aggressive and overly militarized foreign policy–is itself one of those problems, and a “revival” of this would exacerbate the GOP’s woes rather than remedy them. If the GOP is to revive and reform into a competent governing party once more, a neocon revival is the last thing it needs.


David Brooks' Neocon Nostalgia

So David Brooks wants to arouse in us some SELECTIVE NOSTALGIA for neoconservatism.  That’s not surprising, because he once was a “neocon”—or a “national greatness” conservative.

Now the brand “neocon” is both exhausted and discredited.  Too many Americans—liberals, libertarians, and even traditionalist conservatives—think of “neocon” as a synonym for “rights-trampling, lying, promiscuously interventionist scum.”  

Read the entire article

Saturday, August 03, 2013

David Brooks, "The Neocon Revival": Out of Patience

Meanwhile, chaos continues to reign in the Middle East - Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon and Iran - and there is no end in sight. Do you remember how New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Roger Cohen greeted the so-called "Arab Spring"? Well, thanks to an absence of leadership from the Big-O - call it "leadership from behind," "watch and wait" or a natural proclivity for procrastination - the instability continues to spread with potential repercussions for the rest of the world. How many will die in Syria and Egypt this weekend? Will Russia continue to arm Assad and go on flipping Obama the bird? Can Egypt remain financially afloat? Will Israel be forced to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, owing to the failure of the West to constrain the mullahs? Stay tuned.

 Meanwhile, as the world unravels, David Brooks, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Neocon Revival" (, tries to provide some clarity concerning the meaning and virtues of "neoconservatism." Brooks writes:
Read the entire article

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Neocon Revival

They say you can define what kind of conservative a person is by what year they want to go back to. Some conservatives, apparently including some in Senator Rand Paul’s office, want to go back to the 1850s. They believe that Abraham Lincoln helped put us on the path to the leviathan state. Many other conservatives want to go back to the 1890s. They think Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and the other Progressives set us on that course.

But, in the 1980s, when conservatism was at its most politically and intellectually vibrant, the dominant voices in the movement celebrated Lincoln, the Progressive Era and even the New Deal.

Read the entire article

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Neocons and Democracy: Egypt as a Case Study

If one thing has become clear in the wake of last week’s military coup d’etat against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, it’s that democracy promotion is not a core principle of neoconservatism. Unlike protecting Israeli security and preserving its military superiority over any and all possible regional challenges (which is a core neoconservative tenet), democracy promotion is something that neoconservatives disagree among themselves about — a conclusion that is quite inescapable after reviewing the reactions of prominent neoconservatives to last week’s coup in Cairo. Some, most notably Robert Kagan, are clearly committed to democratic governance and see it pretty much as a universal aspiration, just as many liberal internationalists do. An apparent preponderance of neocons, such as Daniel Pipes, the contributors to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and Commentary’s ’Contentions’ blog, on the other hand, are much clearer in their view that democracy may be a universal aspiration, but it can be a disaster in practice, especially when the wrong people get elected, in which case authoritarian rulers and military coups are much to be preferred.

The latter group harkens back to the tradition established by Jeane Kirkpatrick and Elliott Abrams, among others, in the late 1970’s when anti-communist “friendly authoritarians” — no matter their human rights records — were much preferred to left-wingers who claimed to be democrats but whose anti-imperialist, anti-American or pro-Palestinian sympathies were deemed too risky to indulge. These leftists have now been replaced by Islamists as the group we need “friendly authoritarians” (or “friendly militaries”) to keep under control, if not crush altogether.

Read the entire article