Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What’s Become of the Neoconservative Movement?

Douglas Feith was Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for President George W. Bush until August 2005. He says he’s “one of the very few people who was actually an official in the administration who will admit to having been a neoconservative.”

The reason someone like Feith “admits” to being a neocon instead of proclaiming it can be boiled down to one word: Iraq. It wasn’t always that way. Immediately after 9/11, President Bush was looking for a new approach to fight what he saw as a new type of war.

“What the president saw was the necessity to do everything reasonable to prevent the next attack,” Feith said. “And I think that was really the radical departure from past practice regarding terrorism.”

Neoconservatism provided a framework for that radical departure. Preventing the next attack meant not just going after terrorists, but transforming those parts of the world that produce them – “draining the swamp,” as then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it.

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