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|A particularly loathsome sort of politician is one who dodges his country's wars when of military age, and then wants
to send others to die in later wars.
Fred Reed Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com
In his volume Cultural Insurrections, Kevin MacDonald has accurately described neoconservatism as “a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel.”Kevin MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilizations, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, The Occidental Press, 2007, p. 122. The proof of the neocons’ crypto-Israelism is their U.S. foreign policy:
Laurent Guyénot, The Unz Review. Apr 8, 2019
William Kristol (born December 23, 1952) is an staunch warmonger, neocon and a chickenhawk. He was the founder and was editor-at-large of the defunct political magazine The Weekly Standard. MIC also keeps him as a political commentator on several networks. Probably is upported by CIA as a part of of the their stable of "Mockingbird" journalists.
Like other neocon he should be viewed as a lobbyist of MIC. He also is a supporter of Israel aggressive policies in the Middle East.
In the past he was a vocal supporter of the Iraq war. As such he is a war criminal. But unlike Japanese militarist he has not honor and he did not commit harakiri after the war turned into the disaster for the USA.
He is argent promoter of Neocons Credibility Scam
Kristol was a vocal supporter of the "Never Trum" movement. Although he pretended to be a Republican in the past, Kristol opposed Donald Trump from the very beginning of the election campaign and has criticized what he calls the "Trumpified Republican Party."
In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan, which puts them into uber-neocon category -- the same category to which Dick Cheney belongs.
Kristol is associated with a several conservative think tanks. He is a member of the board of trustees for the free-market Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. He is also one of the three board members of Keep America Safe, a think tank co-founded by Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame, and serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Susan B. Anthony List.
He was an editor of Weekly standard, the magazine which recently folded. See the analysis of this event in The Weekly Standard A Record of Failed Regime Change by Jacob Heilbrunn
"... No such glasnost ever took place in the pages of the Standard whose reputation has become indelibly wedded to its cheerleading for the calamitous 2003 Iraq War. The neocons had confused the Soviet Union's forfeiting of the cold war with American triumphalism, seizing upon its peaceful conclusion to search for new monsters to destroy abroad, whenever and wherever they could. The Standard itself constantly published taradiddles about the Middle East and Islam. Stephen F. Hayes, its last editor, lauded for his "integrity and courage" in the Trump era by David Brooks, wrote a phantasmagoric book called The Connection: How al Qaeda's Connection With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America , not to mention reverential biographies of Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. ..."
"... For his part, Kristol co-wrote a book with Lawrence F. Kaplan called The War Over Iraq that supported a worldwide crusade for democracy. Far from spreading democracy, the Iraq War ended up not only spreading chaos in the Middle East, but also enabling the rise of Trump. As Carlos Lozada recently observed in The Washington Post , "The Never Trumpers hold everyone culpable for the appeal of Trumpism except, in any worthwhile way, themselves." ..."
"... For most neocons, however, journalism has never been more than a Leninist means to an end -- to form an intellectual vanguard. For it is political influence that the neocons crave. In his memoir, Boot proudly recounts that he served as an adviser to Senator Marco Rubio as well as to Mitt Romney during his run for the presidency in 2012. Kristol worked to destroy the 1993 Clinton Healthcare bill and sought to mold first Dan Quayle, then Sarah Palin, into his political homunculi. During the 2016 primary, he desperately cast about for a viable candidate to oppose Donald Trump and incurred much ridicule when he floated the name of David French, a writer for the National Review . ..."
"... Kristol, Podhoretz, Boot, and others belong to a second generation of neocons that never drifted away from the Democrats toward the Republican Party. Instead, they were right from the beginning. While some have begun to duplicate the odyssey in reverse that neocon elder Norman Podhoretz chronicled in memoirs such as Breaking Ranks and Ex-Friends , many seem simply politically adrift, like Russian exiles stranded in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution pining for the ancien régime . ..."
"... For his part, Kristol refused to concede that the GOP was irredeemably tainted by Trump. He acknowledged, "there are recessive genes in the GOP. They were always there and a lot of us didn't want to look too closely. There was a shining moment when the Bill Buckley conservatives came together with the neoconservatives and with Ronald Reagan," but "that went away quickly." Explaining his backing for Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate in 2008, he said: "The instinct I had was you had to have a more populist flavor That would be a way to incorporate populist discontent." He concluded, "It will be very different if this ends up being a parenthesis or this is an inflection point where it becomes the culmination, or end point. That's a very different story We're less doomed than what some people say as a party and a movement." ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | nytimes.com
From Donald Trump The Russian Poodle - The New York Times
In 1972, President Richard Nixon's White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related "dirty tricks," such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans - and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.
Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats' digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia's president, saying, "Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin."
In Watergate, the break-in didn't affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don't know for sure. There were other factors, but it's possible that Russia's theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump's victory.
The CIA says it has "high confidence" that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.
Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the CIA and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America's intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.
Let's be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It's not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the CIA is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog - a Russian poodle.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush's poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.
Frankly, it's mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from CIA officials to a local union leader in Indiana.
Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.
Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it's notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia's "Order of Friendship."
Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia's interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?
Tillerson's closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump's other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Anne MendozaFebruary 15, 2019 at 2:10 amSo why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 amJust like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."Stephen J. , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.
There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.
You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland."
-- -- -
There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:
"They Speak "
"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017.
They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves
They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell
Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country
Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty
Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free
Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V.
Others have written books and others are retired from public office
And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice
They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes
And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design?
There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today
When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say
Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war
Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure
And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation
Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations
The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law?
Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw?
Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"?
When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?
There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived
Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive
The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak
If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak
"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019
[More info on all of this at link below]
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Sid , February 15, 2019 at 7:27 pmThe goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales.
These two hucksters are not experts on the product itself, but rather experts at selling the product.
Pres. Eisenhower, a genuine "authority on armed conflict", warned us of such peddlers.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Bmc February 17, 2019 at 1:16 amWhy would Max Boot and Bill Kristol want to conquer the middle east in order to spread Americanism while at the same time having nothing but disdain for actual Americans themselves?
Hmm (strokes beard)
Hmmmmm (strokes beard more rapidly)
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (tears out beard furiously without abandon)
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Renov8 February 16, 2019 at 8:01 amWouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them.
With the ongoing internet reformation we are experiencing, its a lot easier for the masses to see the bigger picture, the parties involved and the corrupt characters playing the puppet strings for the media.
Glad to see these shysters exposed for what they are propagandists.
Feb 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They're happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there's no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans.
Max Boot is living proof that it's happening in America.
Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."
None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.
Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled "The Case for American Empire."
"The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation." In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.
"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote. "To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt."
In retrospect, Boot's words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.
Things haven't gone as planned. What's remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.
In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was "less than two years" from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot's list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.
"If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family," Boot wrote.
Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal , Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.
"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote. "Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action."
In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn't that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. "The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones," he wrote in the Los Angeles Times . When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there's less political backlash at home.
American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. "Qaddafi Must Go," Boot declared in The Weekly Standard . In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. "The only way this crisis will end -- the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya -- is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won't suffice."
In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times , Boot laid out "Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now."
Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would "diminish Iran's influence" in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot's advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran's most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted "with little risk."
Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that "it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes." He didn't seem worried.
Listed in one place, Boot's many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. ("I'll invade you!!!") Republicans in Washington didn't find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.
Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.
As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was "hard to imagine" the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as "cheerleaders" for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.
Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict."
It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. "We should never have been in Iraq," Trump announced, his voice rising. "We have destabilized the Middle East."
Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none."
Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.
Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.
Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave. Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.
Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character.
Bill Kristol is probably the most influential Republican strategist of the post-Reagan era. Born in 1954, Kristol was the second child of the writer Irving Kristol, one of the founders of neoconservatism.
The neoconservatism of Irving Kristol and his friends was jarring to the ossified liberal establishment of the time, but in retrospect it was basically a centrist philosophy: pragmatic, tolerant of a limited welfare state, not rigidly ideological. By the time Bill Kristol got done with it 40 years later, neoconservatism was something else entirely.
Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf."
After the September 11 attacks, Kristol found a new opening to start a war with Iraq. In November 2001, he and Robert Kagan wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard alleging that Saddam Hussein hosted a training camp for Al Qaeda fighters where terrorists had trained to hijack planes. They suggested that Mohammad Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was actively collaborating with Saddam's intelligence services. On the basis of no evidence, they accused Iraq of fomenting the anthrax attacks on American politicians and news outlets.
Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump.
Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump.
Before long he was ranting about the people who elected Trump. At an American Enterprise Institute panel event in February 2017, Kristol made the case for why immigrants are more impressive than native-born Americans. "Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever." Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."
In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would "take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings" who supported Trump.
By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all.
Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox News 's Tucker Carlson Tonight and author of Ship of Fools: How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Simon & Schuster). This excerpt is taken from that book.
Patrick Constantine February 14, 2019 at 10:50 pmTrump isn't the only one hated by useless establishment Republicans – with essays like this so will Tucker. Thanks for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings. I wish Trump all the time was like he was at that debate in S Carolina where he said what every American knows: the Iraq invasion was stupid and we should not have done it!Anne Mendoza , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:10 amSo why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.polistra , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:54 amWell, the headline pretty much answers its own question if you know the purpose of Experts. In any subject matter from science to economics to politics, Experts are paid to be wrong. Nobody has to be paid to observe reality accurately with his own senses and rational mind. Every living creature does that all the time. It's the basic requirement of survival.snake charmer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:49 am
Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay.""The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.""Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:55 am
In other words, if we had only squandered even more blood and treasure, why, everything would have been fine.
Why do so many true believers end up with some variation on the true believer's wheeze: "Communism didn't fail ! It was never tried!" Then again one can't be sure that Boot is a true believer. He might be a treacherous snake trying to use American power to advance a foreign agenda.This is an Exocet missile of an article. Both hulls compromised, taking water. Nice.John S , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 amThis is beautiful, Boot has been rewarded for every horrible failure...Tom Gorman , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:36 amMr. Carlson,Dawg , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:29 am
Max Boot has indeed been an advocate of overseas intervention, but you fail to point out that he has recanted his support of the Iraq War. In his 2018 book "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I left the American Right," he states:
". . . I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it (The Iraq War) was all a big mistake. Saddam Hussein was heinous, but Iraq was better off under his tyrannical rule than the chaos that followed. I regret advocating the invasion and feel guilty about all the lives lost. It was a chastening lesson in the limits of American power."
I'm glad to see that Boot, along with yourself and other Republicans, realize that American use of force must have a clear objective with reasonable chance of success. I suggest you send this article to John Bolton. I'm not sure he agrees with you.Great article, Mr. Tucker. I hope folks also read Mearsheimer & Walt on the Iraq War. From chapter 8 of their book: http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.htmlDavid LeRoy Newland , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:34 amExcellent article. It's a shame that the Bush era GOP took Boot and Kristol seriously. That poor judgment led Bush to make the kinds of mistakes that gave Democrats the opening they needed to gain power, which in turn led them to make even more harmful mistakes.Collin , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:55 amBeing against the Iraq 2 I find this populist arguing very 'eye-rolling' as you were pimping this war to death back in the day. (In fact I remember Jon Stewart being one of the few 'pundits' that questioned the war in 2003 & 2004.) And has dovish as Trump as been, his administration is still filled with Hawks and if you are concerned about wars then maybe use your TV show for instead of whining for past mistakes:John In Michigan , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:59 am
1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)
2) Like it or not, Venezuela is starting down the steps of mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)
3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.I find it amazing that Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"yet never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces, nor even heard a shot fired in anger. He is proof that academic credentials do not automatically confer "expertise."Packard Day , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:26 amAny war, anytime, any place, and cause just so long as American boys and girls can be in the middle of it.Joshua Xanadu , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:46 am
Welcome to the American NeoCon movement, recently joined by Republican Never Trumpers, elected Democrats, and a host of far too many underemployed Beltway Generals & Admirals.From a reformed Leftist, thank you Tucker for calling out the stank from the Republicans. The detailed compilation of lowlights from Max Boot and Bill Kristol (don't forget Robert Kagan!) should be etched in the minds of the now pro-war Democratic Party establishment.Taras 77 , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:57 amBeing a neocon war monger means that you will never have to say you are sorry. The press will give them a pass every single time.Paul Reidinger , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:07 am
It is all about Israel-being wrong 100% of the time means it is all good because it was in the service of Israel.Yet another reason not to read the Washington Post.Anja Mast , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:13 amTucker!!! When did you start writing for TAC?!?!Joe , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:14 am
I laughed out loud while reading this, and continued laughing through to the end, until I saw who had the audacity to tell the truth about these utter incompetent failures (who have failed upwards for more than a decade now) who call themselves "foreign policy experts." Yeah -- "experts" at being so moronically wrong that you really start wondering if perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions, which always seem to do made for the benifit of the nameless nation.
So hurrah for you!!! Let the truth set us all free! Praise the Lord & Sing Songs of Praise to his Name!!!! Literally that's how great it is to hear the pure & unvarnished TRUTH spoken out loud in this publication!
I hope you get such awesome feedback that you are asked to continue to bless us with more truths! Thank you! You totally made my day!
And thank you for your service to this country, where it used to be considered patriotic to speak the truth honestly & plainly!Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Simple, leaders like Trump keep them around, e.g. Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.David Biddington , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 amJohn Bolton and Eliot Abrams on Team Trump, gearing up with Bibi to attack Iran is of no concern to sir?George Crosley , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote.Frank Goodpasture III , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
To which the reader might reasonably reply, "What do you mean we , Paleface?"
When I see Max Boot or Bill Kristol in uniform, carrying a rifle, and trudging with their platoon along the dusty roads of the Middle East, I'll begin to pay attention to their bleats and jeremiads.
Until that day, I'll continue to view them as a pair of droning, dull-as-ditchwater members of the 45th Word-processing Brigade. (Company motto: "Let's you and him fight!")It is my understanding that HRC led the charge to overthrow and hang Gaddafi in spite of a reluctant Obama administration. Did Boot, in fact, influence her?marku52 , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am"Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."" Unintentional irony, one must presume. Still it is astonishing that it took someone as addled as DJT to point out the obvious–Invading Iraq was a massive mistake.Jimmy Lewis , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:41 am
Where were the rest of the "adults"Boot, Kristal, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should all be in jail for war crimes.jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 amJust like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."Allen , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.
There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.
You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!These Chairborne Rangers in Washington know nothing about war. They are the flip side of the radical Dems. "Hey, we lost in 2016. Let's do MORE of what made us lose in the first place!"D , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:53 pmWould've been nice if you wrote this about Bolton, Adams, Pompeo, Pence, or any of the other sundry neocon lunatics in the Trump administration.J Thomsen , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm
Nonetheless, always good to see a takedown of Boot and Kristol.The GOP is as much an enemy to the Trump revolution as the left. The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and their pet constituents.Joe from Pa , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Trump should have stuck it out on the shutdown until those federal workers left. I think it was called RIF wherein after 30 days, he could dump the lot of em.
THE GOP IS NOT THE PARTY OF LESS GOVERNMENT. That's there motto for busy conservatives who don't have the time or inclination to monitor both sides of the swamp.
THEY ALL HAVE GILLS . we need to starve em out.Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot?sanford sklansky , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
What's going on in Yemen?Funny how when liberals said it was wrong to be in Iraq they were vilified. Yes some conservatives changed their minds. Trump however is all over the map when it comes to wars. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176527/
Jan 22, 2019 | www.nybooks.com
In April 2016, I attended a fortieth anniversary gala dinner in Washington, D.C., held by the Ethics and Public Policy Center at the St. Regis Hotel to honor House Speaker Paul Ryan. The master of ceremonies was William Kristol. Kristol noted that Donald Trump, who won the New York Republican primary that night to the dismay of the attendees who audibly groaned at the news, had described him as "dopey," the editor of a "slightly failing magazine," and "very embarrassed to even walk down the street" thanks to his refusal to endorse Trump. Kristol said, "It's been a tough two or three months of rehabilitation for me." After the audience stopped laughing, Kristol concluded: "This should be a Trump-free evening so that's enough Trump."
It hasn't worked out that way. Instead, Kristol watched helplessly as Trump denounced the Iraq War as a fraud and trumpeted an America First doctrine that repudiated the neocon crusading foreign policy doctrine. This past Friday, the saga of the neocons took a fresh and unexpected turn with the demise of The Weekly Standard . Launched as a "redoubt of conservatism" by Kristol, Fred Barnes, and John Podhoretz, with the backing of the Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the Standard , The New Yorker noted in May 1995 , "will become the nation's only weekly journal of conservative opinion yet it will rely for editorial inspiration on a liberal model: The New Republic . Just as Herbert Croly began The New Republic , in 1914, to conduct the intellectual debate at the climax of the Progressive Era, The Standard appears at the dawn of a conservative one."
That was then. Now Colorado billionaire Philip F. Anschutz, who bought the magazine from Murdoch in 2007, has decided to pull the plug, in part over the brickbats the Standard lobbed at Trump. If so, his move has pleased the president. On Saturday, Trump tweeted : "The pathetic and dishonest Weekly Standard, run by failed prognosticator Bill Kristol (who, like many others, never had a clue), is flat broke and out of business. Too bad. May it rest in peace!"
Even as Trump gloats over Anschutz's move, however, a chorus of neocons is indicting Anschutz for willfully ending a golden age of journalism. Alfred Kazin observed in A Lifetime Burning in Every Moment , "Jews on the American scene. The neoconservatives have made it right with the boss their grandfathers used to picket." But New York Times columnist David Brooks echoed Commentary editor John Podhoretz in angrily accusing Anschutz of, in effect, committing murder and behaving like a "run-of-the-mill arrogant billionaire," On Monday, Podhoretz went on to deem Representative Steve King a "disgusting liar and a stain on American public life" for assenting with Trump's claims about the Standard . Meanwhile, Max Boot, the author of The Corrosion of Conservatism , wrote in The Washington Post , "I devoutly hope a new Standard will arise to lead the Republican Party out of the moral and political oblivion to which the president is consigning it."
It's an unlikely prospect. The most provocative and inventive writing on the right about Trump doesn't come from the neocons -- who are essentially Johnny-come-latelies in their criticisms of the GOP -- but from publications such as The American Conservative , American Affairs, or even National Review . In The American Conservative , Daniel Larison pillories the Trump administration for its recklessly high military budget -- something no neocon would aver -- and for repudiating the Iran nuclear deal, while William Ruger deems neocon historian Robert Kagan's latest book, The Jungle Grows Back , a recipe for "forever war."
At the same time, in The American Conservative 's latest issue , the historian Robert W. Merry declares that Trump will be a one-term president, partly because his foreign policy stands repudiate his campaign promises. His point is well-taken. It's ironic that the Standard has imploded at the very moment when the neocons' nemesis, Trump, has stolen their lunch money with an aggressively militarist foreign policy that is pro-Israel, hostile to Iran and China, and disdainful of the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and other international institutions. The only thing missing from the Trump program is the patina of democracy promotion. Perhaps the neocons have become a victim of their own success; in Merry's words:
Trump himself has already reversed his campaign stance regarding the country's foreign policy, having installed Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and John Bolton as national security adviser -- men who personify the prevailing establishment outlook of hegemonic liberalism. Thus, because of Trump's political and leadership shortcomings, Trump voters will see their hopes of a new direction for America trampled and thwarted.
Julius Krein, the editor of American Affairs , disavowed his support for Trump after the Charlottesville demonstrations in The New York Times , but his journal continues to publish lengthy essays taking aim at neoliberal economic doctrines and includes well-known authors on the left such as John B. Judis . And in National Review , Michael Brendan Dougherty is attempting to formulate a populist approach toward workers and education. In a December 17 cover story , he politely acknowledges that the "Trump presidency is not what conservatives would have designed for themselves" but suggests "conservatives should allow themselves to see that America's great middle class was the vessel for its previous electoral victories and the preservation of the American order."
No such glasnost ever took place in the pages of the Standard whose reputation has become indelibly wedded to its cheerleading for the calamitous 2003 Iraq War. The neocons had confused the Soviet Union's forfeiting of the cold war with American triumphalism, seizing upon its peaceful conclusion to search for new monsters to destroy abroad, whenever and wherever they could. The Standard itself constantly published taradiddles about the Middle East and Islam. Stephen F. Hayes, its last editor, lauded for his "integrity and courage" in the Trump era by David Brooks, wrote a phantasmagoric book called The Connection: How al Qaeda's Connection With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America , not to mention reverential biographies of Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz.
For his part, Kristol co-wrote a book with Lawrence F. Kaplan called The War Over Iraq that supported a worldwide crusade for democracy. Far from spreading democracy, the Iraq War ended up not only spreading chaos in the Middle East, but also enabling the rise of Trump. As Carlos Lozada recently observed in The Washington Post , "The Never Trumpers hold everyone culpable for the appeal of Trumpism except, in any worthwhile way, themselves."
Indeed, it would be difficult to point to any significant essays that the Standard has published in recent years. Many of the more prominent neocons who originally wrote for it have moved on to more mainstream outlets. The Washington Post , whose editorial page championed the Iraq War, has become a kind of bulletin board for Never Trumpers, including Max Boot, a regular on CNN and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Jennifer Rubin, a former contributor to Human Events , Commentary , and the Standard . Both Bari Weiss and Bret Stephens decamped from The Wall Street Journal for higher profile jobs at The New York Times . Robert Kagan has long since left the Standard and the Project for the New American Century behind to become a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. David Frum, who regularly wrote for the Standard and was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is a staff writer at The Atlantic .
For most neocons, however, journalism has never been more than a Leninist means to an end -- to form an intellectual vanguard. For it is political influence that the neocons crave. In his memoir, Boot proudly recounts that he served as an adviser to Senator Marco Rubio as well as to Mitt Romney during his run for the presidency in 2012. Kristol worked to destroy the 1993 Clinton Healthcare bill and sought to mold first Dan Quayle, then Sarah Palin, into his political homunculi. During the 2016 primary, he desperately cast about for a viable candidate to oppose Donald Trump and incurred much ridicule when he floated the name of David French, a writer for the National Review .
Kristol, Podhoretz, Boot, and others belong to a second generation of neocons that never drifted away from the Democrats toward the Republican Party. Instead, they were right from the beginning. While some have begun to duplicate the odyssey in reverse that neocon elder Norman Podhoretz chronicled in memoirs such as Breaking Ranks and Ex-Friends , many seem simply politically adrift, like Russian exiles stranded in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution pining for the ancien régime .
A conference attended by about a hundred people last week at the Niskanen Center , a small think tank located near Capitol Hill, offered a timely reminder of their losses. The conference was not, as one might have expected in the past, held at the American Enterprise Institute, whose senior vice president, Danielle Pletka, has suggested that fears of climate change may be overblown, or the Heritage Foundation. Rather, it is the Niskanen Center that has become the unofficial headquarters of what amounts to a rebel alliance of Democrats and Republicans united against Trump. Over the past year, they have met on Tuesday mornings for off-the-record events under the auspices of a group called the Meeting of the Concerned, whose members include George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne, and David Frum. In November, the group released a formal statement in support of Special Counsel Robert Mueller that was signed by Mickey Edwards, the former chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, and Kristol, among others.
The conference, which opened with moderate Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan reminding the attendees that his father, a congressman, had helped kickstart the impeachment hearings against Richard M. Nixon, was titled "Starting Over: the Center-Right After Trump." But Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Mona Charen, the author of a book about liberals during the cold war titled Useful Idiots , and Peter Wehner, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, grappled uneasily with the historical legacy of the GOP and its implications for Trump's rise.
The center's president, Jerry Taylor, suggested, "There was a time not that long ago when you all had the commanding heights of the world of conservative public intellectuals. Today, that's not the case. You've have been displaced." Rubin was incredulous. "Displaced, displaced!" she expostulated. Then she went on to blame the GOP. "Intellectuals don't do well in a nativist, know-nothing party," said Rubin. "The party is not going to accept public intellectuals in the way it did."
For his part, Kristol refused to concede that the GOP was irredeemably tainted by Trump. He acknowledged, "there are recessive genes in the GOP. They were always there and a lot of us didn't want to look too closely. There was a shining moment when the Bill Buckley conservatives came together with the neoconservatives and with Ronald Reagan," but "that went away quickly." Explaining his backing for Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate in 2008, he said: "The instinct I had was you had to have a more populist flavor That would be a way to incorporate populist discontent." He concluded, "It will be very different if this ends up being a parenthesis or this is an inflection point where it becomes the culmination, or end point. That's a very different story We're less doomed than what some people say as a party and a movement."
So far, though, his efforts at regime change in Washington have proven as illusory as his dreams of transforming Iraq into a democracy overnight.
December 18, 2018, 7:00 am
Dec 28, 2018 | www.rightweb.irc-online.orgBill Kristol watches Star Wars movies, he roots for the Galactic Empire. The leading neocon recently caused a social media disturbance in the Force when he tweeted this predilection for the Dark Side following the debut of the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens .
Kristol sees the Empire as basically a galaxy-wide extrapolation of what he has long wanted the US to have over the Earth: what he has termed, "benevolent global hegemony."
Kristol, founder and editor of neocon flagship magazine The Weekly Standard, responded to scandalized critics by linking to a 2002 essay from the Standard's blog that justifies even the worst of Darth Vader's atrocities. In " The Case for the Empire ," Jonathan V. Last made a Kristolian argument that you can't make a "benevolent hegemony" omelet without breaking a few eggs.
And what if those broken eggs are civilians, like Luke Skywalker's uncle and aunt who were gunned down by Imperial Stormtroopers in their home on the Middle Eastern-looking arid planet of Tatooine (filmed on location in Tunisia)? Well, as Last sincerely argued, Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru hid Luke and harbored the fugitive droids R2D2 and C3P0; so they were "traitors" who were aiding the rebellion and deserved to be field-executed.
A year after Kristol published Last's essay, large numbers of civilians were killed by American Imperial Stormtroopers in their actual Middle Eastern arid homeland of Iraq, thanks largely in part to the direct influence of neocons like Kristol and Last.
That war was similarly justified in part by the false allegation that Iraq ruler Saddam Hussein was harboring and aiding terrorist enemies of the empire like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The civilian-slaughtering siege of Fallujah , one of the most brutal episodes of the war, was also specifically justified by the false allegation that the town was harboring Zarqawi.
In reality Hussein had put a death warrant out on Zarqawi, who was hiding from Iraq's security forces under the protective aegis of the US Air Force in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. It was only after the Empire precipitated the chaotic collapse of Iraq that Zarqawi's outfit was able to thrive and evolve into Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). And after the Empire precipitated the chaotic collapse of Syria, AQI further mutated into Syrian al-Qaeda (which has conquered much of Syria) and ISIS (which has conquered much of Syria and Iraq).
And what if the "benevolent hegemony" omelet requires the breaking of "eggs" the size of whole worlds, like how high Imperial officer Wilhuff Tarkin used the Death Star to obliterate the planet Alderaan? Well, as Last sincerely argued, even Alderaan likely deserved its fate, since it may have been, "a front for Rebel activity or at least home to many more spies and insurgents " Last contended that Princess Leia was probably lying when she told the Death Star's commander that the planet had "no weapons."
While Last was writing his apologia for global genocide, his fellow neocons were baselessly arguing that Saddam Hussein was similarly lying about Iraq not having a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program. Primarily on that basis, the obliteration of an entire country began the following year.
And a year after that, President Bush performed a slapstick comedy act about his failure to find Iraqi WMDs for a black-tie dinner for radio and television correspondents. The media hacks in his audience, who had obsequiously helped the neocon-dominated Bush administration lie the country into war, rocked with laughter as thousands of corpses moldered in Iraq and Arlington. A more sickening display of imperial decadence and degradation has not been seen perhaps since the gladiatorial audiences of Imperial Rome. This is the hegemonic "benevolence" and "national greatness" that Kristol pines for.
"Benevolent global hegemony" was coined by Kristol and fellow neocon Robert Kagan in their 1996 Foreign Affairs article " Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy ." In that essay, Kristol and Kagan sought to inoculate both the conservative movement and US foreign policy against the isolationism of Pat Buchanan.
The Soviet menace had recently disappeared, and the Cold War along with it. The neocons were terrified that the American public would therefore jump at the chance to lay their imperial burdens down. Kristol and Kagan urged their readers to resist that temptation, and to instead capitalize on America's new peerless preeminence by making it a big-spending, hyper-active, busybody globo-cop. The newfound predominance must become dominance wherever and whenever possible. That way, any future near-peer competitors would be nipped in the bud, and the new "unipolar moment" would last forever.
What made this neocon dream seem within reach was the indifference of post-Soviet Russia. The year after the Berlin Wall fell, the Persian Gulf War against Iraq was the debut "police action" of unipolar "Team America, World Police." Paul Wolfowitz , the neocon and Iraq War architect, considered it a successful trial run. As Wesley Clark, former Nato Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, recalled :
"In 1991, [Wolfowitz] was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy -- the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center. ( )
And I said, "Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm."
And he said: "Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn't But one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the region -- in the Middle East -- and the Soviets won't stop us. And we've got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes -- Syria, Iran, Iraq -- before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."
The 1996 "Neo-Reaganite" article was part of a surge of neocon literary activity in the mid-90s. It was in 1995 that Kristol and John Podhoretz founded The Weekly Standard with funding from right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Also in 1996, David Wurmser wrote a strategy document for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Titled, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," it was co-signed by Wurmser's fellow neocons and future Iraq War architects Richard Perle and Douglas Feith . "A Clean Break" called for regime change in Iraq as a "means" of "weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria." Syria itself was a target because it "challenges Israel on Lebanese soil." It primarily does this by, along with Iran, supporting the paramilitary group Hezbollah, which arose in the 80s out of the local resistance to the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and which continually foils Israel's ambitions in that country.
Later that same year, Wurmser wrote another strategy document, this time for circulation in American and European halls of power, titled "Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant."
In "A Clean Break," Wurmser had framed regime change in Iraq and Syria in terms of Israeli regional ambitions. In "Coping," Wurmser adjusted his message for its broader Western audience by recasting the very same policies in a Cold War framework.
Wurmser characterized regime change in Iraq and Syria (both ruled by Baathist regimes) as " expediting the chaotic collapse " of secular-Arab nationalism in general, and Baathism in particular. He concurred with King Hussein of Jordan that, "the phenomenon of Baathism," was, from the very beginning, "an agent of foreign, namely Soviet policy." Of course King Hussein was a bit biased on the matter, since his own Hashemite royal family once ruled both Iraq and Syria. Wurmser argued that:
" the battle over Iraq represents a desperate attempt by residual Soviet bloc allies in the Middle East to block the extension into the Middle East of the impending collapse that the rest of the Soviet bloc faced in 1989."
Wurmser further derided Baathism in Iraq and Syria as an ideology in a state of "crumbling descent and missing its Soviet patron" and "no more than a Cold War enemy relic on probation."
Wurmser advised the West to put this anachronistic adversary out of its misery, and to thus, in Kristolian fashion, press America's Cold War victory on toward its final culmination. Baathism should be supplanted by what he called the "Hashemite option." After their chaotic collapse, Iraq and Syria would be Hashemite possessions once again. Both would be dominated by the royal house of Jordan, which in turn, happens to be dominated by the US and Israel.
Wurmser stressed that demolishing Baathism must be the foremost priority in the region. Secular-Arab nationalism should be given no quarter, not even, he added, for the sake of stemming the tide of Islamic fundamentalism.
Thus we see one of the major reasons why the neocons were such avid anti-Soviets during the Cold War. It is not just that, as post-Trotskyites, the neocons resented Joseph Stalin for having Leon Trotsky assassinated in Mexico with an ice pick. The Israel-first neocons' main beef with the Soviets was that, in various disputes and conflicts involving Israel, Russia sided with secular-Arab nationalist regimes from 1953 onward.
The neocons used to be Democrats in the big-government, Cold Warrior mold of Harry Truman and Henry "Scoop" Jackson. After the Vietnam War and the rise of the anti-war New Left, the Democratic Party's commitment to the Cold War waned, so the neocons switched to the Republicans in disgust.
According to investigative reporter Jim Lobe, the neocons got their first taste of power within the Reagan administration, in which positions were held by neocons such as Wolfowitz, Perle, Elliot Abrams , and Michael Ledeen . They were especially influential during Reagan's first term of saber-rattling, clandestine warfare, and profligate defense spending, which Kristol and Kagan remembered so fondly in their "Neo-Reaganite" manifesto.
It was then that the neocons helped establish the "Reagan Doctrine." According to neocon columnist Charles Krauthammer , who coined the term in 1985, the Reagan Doctrine was characterized by support for anti-communist (in reality often simply anti-leftist) forces around the whole world.
Since the support was clandestine, the Reagan administration was able to bypass the "Vietnam Syndrome" and project power in spite of the public's continuing war weariness. (It was left to Reagan's successor, the first President Bush, to announce following his "splendid little" Gulf War that, "by God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all!")
Operating covertly, the Reaganites could also use any anti-communist group they found useful, no matter how ruthless and ugly: from Contra death squads in Nicaragua to the Islamic fundamentalist mujahideen in Afghanistan. Abrams and Ledeen were both involved in the Iran-Contra affair, and Abrams was convicted (though later pardoned) on related criminal charges.
Kristol's "Neo-Reaganite" co-author Robert Kagan gave the doctrine an even wider and more ambitious interpretation in his book A Twilight Struggle :
"The Reagan Doctrine has been widely understood to mean only support for anticommunist guerrillas fighting pro-Soviet regimes, but from the first the doctrine had a broader meaning. Support for anticommunist guerrillas was the logical outgrowth, not the origin, of a policy of supporting democratic reform or revolution everywhere, in countries ruled by right-wing dictators as well as by communist parties."
As this description makes plain, neocon policy, from the 1980s to today, has been every bit as fanatical, crusading, and world-revolutionary as Red Communism was in the neocon propaganda of yesteryear, and that Islam is in the neocon propaganda of today.
The neocons credit Reagan's early belligerence with the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union. But in reality, war is the health of the State, and Cold War was the health of Soviet State . The Soviets long used the American menace to frighten the Russian people into rallying around the State for protection.
After the neocons lost clout within the Reagan administration to "realists" like George Schultz, the later Reagan-Thatcher-Gorbachev detente began. It was only after that detente lifted the Russian siege atmosphere and quieted existential nuclear nightmares that the Russian people felt secure enough to demand a changing of the guard.
In 1983, the same year that the first Star Wars trilogy ended, Reagan vilified Soviet Russia in language that Star Wars fans could understand by dubbing it "the Evil Empire." Years later, having, in Kristol's words, "defeated the evil empire," the neocons that Reagan first lifted to power began clamoring for a "neo-Reaganite" global hegemony. And a few years after that, those same neocons began pointing to the sci-fi Galactic Empire that Reagan implicitly compared to the Soviets as a lovely model for America!
Fast-forward to return to the neocon literary flowering of the mid-90s. In 1997, the year after writing "Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy" together, Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan co-founded The Project for a New American Century (PNAC). The 20th century is often called "the American century," largely due to it being a century of war and American "victories" in those wars: the two World Wars and the Cold War. The neocons sought to ensure that through the never-ending exercise of military might, the American global hegemony achieved through those wars would last another hundred years, and that the 21st century too would be "American."
The organization's founding statement of principles called for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity" and reads like an executive summary of the founding duo's "Neo-Reaganite" essay. It was signed by neocons such as Wolfowitz, Abrams, Norman Podhoretz and Frank Gaffney ; by future Bush administration officials such as Dick Cheney , Donald Rumsfeld , Lewis "Scooter" Libby ; and by other neocon allies, such as Jeb Bush.
Although PNAC called for interventions ranging from Serbia (to roll back Russian influence in Europe) to Taiwan (to roll back Chinese influence in Asia), its chief concern was to kick off the restructuring of the Middle East envisioned in "A Clean Break" and "Coping" by advocating its first step: regime change in Iraq.
The most high-profile parts of this effort were two "open letters" published in 1998, one in January addressed to President Bill Clinton , and another in May addressed to leaders of Congress . As with its statement of principles, PNAC was able to garner signatures for these letters from a wide range of political luminaries, including neocons (like Perle), neocon allies (like John Bolton ), and other non-neocons (like James Woolsey and Robert Zoellick).
The open letters characterized Iraq as "a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War," and buttressed this ridiculous claim with the now familiar allegations of Saddam building a WMD program.
Thanks in large part to PNAC's pressure, regime change in Iraq became official US policy in October when Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. (Notice the Clinton-friendly "humanitarian interventionist" name in spite of the policy's conservative fear-mongering origins.)
After the Supreme Court delivered George W. Bush the presidency, the neocons were back in the imperial saddle again in 2001: just in time to make their projected "New American Century" of "Neo-Reaganite Global Hegemony" a reality. The first order of business, of course, was Iraq.
But some pesky national security officials weren't getting with the program and kept trying to distract the administration with concerns about some Osama bin Laden character and his Al Qaeda outfit. Apparently they were laboring under some pedestrian notion that their job was to protect the American people and not to conquer the world.
For example, when National Security Council counterterrorism "czar" Richard Clarke was frantically sounding the alarm over an imminent terrorist attack on America,Wolfowitz was uncomprehending. As Clarke recalled, the then Deputy Defense Secretary objected :
"I just don't understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man, bin Laden."
Clarke informed him that:
"We are talking about a network of terrorist organizations called al-Qaeda, that happens to be led by bin Laden, and we are talking about that network because it and it alone poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States."
This simply did not fit in the agenda-driven neocon worldview of Wolfowitz, who responded:
"Well, there are others that do as well, at least as much. Iraqi terrorism for example."
And as Peter Beinhart recently wrote :
"During that same time period [in 2001], the CIA was raising alarms too. According to Kurt Eichenwald, a former New York Times reporter given access to the Daily Briefs prepared by the intelligence agencies for President Bush in the spring and summer of 2001, the CIA told the White House by May 1 that 'a group presently in the United States' was planning a terrorist attack. On June 22, the Daily Brief warned that al-Qaeda strikes might be 'imminent.'
But the same Defense Department officials who discounted Clarke's warnings pushed back against the CIA's. According to Eichenwald's sources , 'the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.'
By the time Clarke and the CIA got the Bush administration's attention, it was already too late to follow any of the clear leads that might have been followed to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
The terrorist attacks by Sunni Islamic fundamentalists mostly from the Saudi Kingdom hardly fit the neocon agenda of targeting the secular-Arab nationalist regimes of Iraq and Syria and the Shiite Republic of Iran: especially since all three of the latter were mortal enemies of bin Laden types.
But the attackers were, like Iraqis, some kind of Muslims from the general area of the Middle East. And that was good enough for government work in the American idiocracy. After a youth consumed with state-compelled drudgery, most Americans are so stupid and incurious that such a meaningless relationship, enhanced with some fabricated "intelligence," was more than enough to stampede the spooked American herd into supporting the Iraq War.
As Benjamin Netanyahu once said , "America is a thing you can move very easily."
Whether steering the country into war would be easy or not, it was all neocon hands on deck. At the Pentagon there was Wolfowitz and Perle, with Perle-admirer Rumsfeld as SecDef. Feith was also at Defense, where he set up two new offices for the special purpose of spinning "intelligence" yarn to tie Saddam with al-Qaeda and to weave fanciful pictures of secret Iraqi WMD programs.
Wurmser himself labored in one of these offices, followed by stints at State aiding neocon-ally Bolton and in the Vice President's office aiding neocon-ally Cheney along with Scooter Libby.
Iran-Contra convict Abrams was at the National Security Council aiding Condoleezza Rice. And Kristol and Kagan continued to lead the charge in the media and think tank worlds.
And they pulled it off. Wurmser finally got his "chaotic collapse" in Iraq. And Kristol finally had his invincible, irresistible, hyper-active hegemony looming over the world like a Death Star.
The post-9/11 pretense-dropping American Empire even had Dick Cheney with his Emperor Palpatine snarl preparing Americans to accept torture by saying:
"We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will."
The Iraq War ended up backfiring on the neocons. It installed a new regime in Baghdad that was no more favorable toward Israel and far more favorable toward Israel's enemies Iran and Syria. But the important thing was that Kristol's Death Star was launched and in orbit. As long as it was still in proactive mode, there was nothing the neocons could not fix with its awful power.
This seemed true even during the Obama presidency. On top of Iraq and Afghanistan, under Obama the American Death Star has demolished Yemen and Somalia. It also demolished both Syria and Libya, where it continues the Wurmsurite project of precipitating the chaotic collapse of secular-Arab nationalism. Islamic terror groups including al-Qaeda and ISIS are thriving in that chaos, but the American Death Star to this day has adhered to Wurmser's de-prioritization of the Islamist threat.
As Yoda said, "Fear is the path to the Dark Side." The neocons have been able to use the fear generated by a massive Islamic fundamentalist terror attack to pursue their blood-soaked vendetta against secular-Arab nationalists, even to the benefit of the very Islamic fundamentalists who attacked us, because even after 12 years Americans are still too bigoted and oblivious to distinguish between the two groups.
Furthermore, Obama has gone beyond Wurmser's regional ambitions and has fulfilled Kristol's busybody dreams of global hegemony to a much greater extent than Bush ever did. To appease generals and arms merchants worried about his prospective pull-outs from the Iraqi and Afghan theaters, Obama launched both an imperial "pivot" to Asia and a stealth invasion of Africa. The pull-outs were aborted, but the continental "pivots" remain. Thus Obama's pretenses as a peace President helped to make his regime the most ambitiously imperialistic and globe-spanning that history has ever seen.
But the neocons may have overdone it with their Death Star shooting spree, because another great power now seems determined to put a stop to it. And who is foiling the neocons' Evil Empire? Why none other than the original "Evil Empire": the neocons' old nemesis Russia.
In 2013, Russia's Putin diplomatically frustrated the neocons' attempt to deliver the coup de grâce to the Syrian regime with a US air war. Shortly afterward, Robert Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland yanked Ukraine out of Russia's sphere of influence by engineering a bloody coup in Kiev. Putin countered by bloodlessly annexing the Ukrainian province of Crimea. A proxy war followed between the US-armed and Western-financed junta in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
The US continued to intervene in Syria, heavily sponsoring an insurgency dominated by extremists including al-Qaeda and ISIS. But recently, Russia decided to intervene militarily. Suddenly, Wolfowitz's lesson from the Gulf War was up in smoke. The neocons cannot militarily do whatever they want in the Middle East and trust that Russia will stand idly by. Suddenly the arrogant Wolfowitz/Wurmser dream of crumbling then cleaning up "old Soviet client regimes" and "Cold War enemy relics" had gone poof. Putin decided that Syria would be one "Cold War relic" turned terrorist playground too many.
Russia's entry into Syria has thrown all of the neocons' schemes into disarray.
By actually working to destroy Syrian al-Qaeda and ISIS instead of just pretending to, as the US and its allies have, Russia threatens to eliminate the head-chopping bogeymen whose Live Leak-broadcasted brutal antics continually renew in Americans the war-fueling terror of 9/11. And after Putin had taken the US air strike option off the table, al-Qaeda and ISIS were the neocons most powerful tools for bringing down the Syrian regime. And now Russia is threatening to take those toys away too.
If Hezbollah and Iran, with Russia's air cover, manage to help save what is left of Syria from the Salafist psychos, they will be more prestigious in both Syria and Lebanon than ever, and Israel may never be able to dominate its northern neighbors.
The neocons are livid. After the conflicts over Syria and Ukraine in 2013, they had already started ramping up the vilification of Putin. Now the demonization has gone into overdrive.
One offering in this milieu has been an article by Matthew Continetti in the neocon web site he edits, The Washington Free Beacon. Titled " A Reagan Doctrine for the Twenty-First Century ," it obviously aims to be a sequel to Kristol's and Kagan's "Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy." As it turns out, the Russian "Evil Empire" was not defeated after all: only temporarily dormant. And so Continetti's updated Reaganite manifesto is subtitled, "How to confront Vladimir Putin."
The US military may be staggering around the planet like a drunken, bloated colossus. Yet Continetti still dutifully trots out all the Kristolian tropes about the need for military assertiveness (more drunken belligerence), massive defense spending (more bloating), and "a new American century." Reaganism is needed now just as much as in 1996, he avers: in fact, doubly so, for Russia has reemerged as:
" the greatest military and ideological threat to the United States and to the world order it has built over decades as guarantor of international security."
Right, just look at all that security sprouting out of all those bomb craters the US has planted throughout much of the world. Oh wait no, those are terrorists.
Baby-faced Continetti, a Weekly Standard contributor, is quite the apprentice to Sith Lord Kristol, judging from his ardent faith in the "Benevolent Global Hegemony" dogma. In fact, he even shares Lord Kristol's enthusiasm for "Benevolent Galactic Hegemony." It was Continetti who kicked off the recent Star Wars /foreign policy brouhaha when he tweeted:
"I've been rooting for the Empire since 1983"
This elicited a concurring response from Kristol, which is what set Twitter atwitter. Of course the whole thing was likely staged and coordinated between the two neocon operatives.
Unfortunately for the neocons, demonizing Putin over Syria is not nearly as easy as demonizing Putin over Ukraine. With Ukraine, there was a fairly straight-forward (if false) narrative to build of big bully Russia and plucky underdog Ukraine.
However, it's pretty hard to keep a lid on the fact that Russia is attacking al-Qaeda and ISIS, along with any CIA-trained jihadist allies are nearby. And it's inescapably unseemly for the US foreign policy establishment to be so bent out of shape about Russia bombing sworn enemies of the American people, even if it does save some dictator most Americans don't care about one way or the other.
And now that wildly popular wild card Donald Trump is spouting unwelcome common sense to his legions of followers about how standing back and letting Russia bomb anti-American terrorists is better than starting World War III over it. And this is on top of the fact that Trump is deflating Jeb Bush's campaign by throwing shade at his brother's neocon legacy, from the failures over 9/11 to the disastrous decision to regime change Iraq. And the neocon-owned Marco Rubio, who actually adopted "A New American Century" as his campaign slogan, is similarly making no headway against Trump.
And Russia's involvement in Syria just keeps getting worse for the neocons. Washington threatened to withdraw support from the Iraqi government if it accepted help from Russia against ISIS. Iraq accepted Russian help anyway. Baghdad has also sent militias to fight under Russian air cover alongside Syrian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces.
Even Jordan, that favorite proxy force in Israel's dreams of regional dominance, has begun coordinating with Russia, in spite of its billion dollars a year of annual aid from Washington. Et tu Jordan?!
Apparently there aren't enough Federal Reserve notes in Janet Yellen's imagination to pay Iraq and Jordan to tolerate living amid a bin Ladenite maelstrom any longer.
And what is Washington going to do about it if the whole region develops closer ties with Russia? What are the American people going to let them get away with doing about it? A palace coup in Jordan? Expend more blood and treasure to overthrow the very same Iraqi government we already lost much blood and treasure in installing? Start a suicidal hot war with nuclear Russia?
And the neocon's imperial dreams are coming apart at the seams outside of the war zones too. The new Prime Minister of Canada just announced he will pull out of America's war in the Levant. Europe wants to compromise with Russia on both Ukraine and Syria, and this willingness will grow as the refugee crisis it is facing worsens. Obama made a nuclear deal with Iran and initiated detente with Cuba. And worst of all for neocons, the Israeli occupation of Palestine is being de-legitimized by the bourgeoning BDS movement and by images of its own brutality propagating through social media, along with translations of its hateful rhetoric.
The neocons bit off more than they could chew, and their Galactic Empire is falling apart before it could even fully conquer its first planet.
Nearly all empires end due to over-extension. If brave people from Ottawa to Baghdad simply say "enough" within a brief space of time, hopefully this empire can dissolve relatively peacefully like the Soviet Empire did, leaving its host civilization intact, instead of dragging that civilization into oblivion along with it like the Roman Empire did.
But beware, the imperial war party will not go quietly into the night, unless we in their domestic tax base insist that there is no other way. If, in desperation, they start calling for things like more boots on the ground, reinstating the draft, or declaring World War III on Russia and its Middle Eastern allies, we must stand up and say with firm voices something along the lines of the following:
No. You will not have my son for your wars. And we will not surrender any more of our liberty. We will no longer yield to a regime led by a neocon clique that threatens to extinguish the human race. Your power fantasy of universal empire is over. Just let it go. Or, as Anakin finally did when the Emperor came for his son, we will hurl your tyranny into the abyss.
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