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Robert Kagan

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  The Neocons never cease to amaze me and their latest stunt with Venezuela falls into this bizarre category of events which are both absolutely unthinkable and simultaneously absolutely predictable. This apparent logical contradiction is the direct result of a worldview and mindset which is, I believe, unique to the Neocons: a mix of imperial hubris and infinite arrogance, a complete lack of decency, a total contempt for the rest of mankind, crass ignorance, a narcissist/sociopath's inability to have any kind of empathy or imagine another guy's reaction and, finally, last but most certainly not least, crass stupidity.

Saker, The US aggression against Venezuela as a diagnostic tool Feb 4, 2019

"And you could say in some respects this 'shadow behind the power' that makes money off war, period, no matter who's the belligerent, makes money off that volatility now, especially with computers that are able to assist them in doing so, like currency manipulation, for example, or just general speculation. And they don't care about what they're doing to the real economy, because they're raking in the dough."

Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell

 

If we choose one phase to define Robert Kagan that would be "the second rate". He is a mediocre political scientist (mostly he is a propagandist), who got his position mostly due to nepotism.  He tried to compensate this fundamental deficiency with arrogance. He fares better as a MIC propagandist. Even such an expert in political bullsh*t as Obama admired his skills.

This intellectual mediocrity along with some talent of propagandist and writer actually is the defining feature of neocons intellectual, be it Kagan,, Bill Kristol, or Max Boot. Unable to earn "honest living" (they probably would be a good copywriters) they just discovered (or in case of Kristol and Kagan their parents discovered for them)  that being a MIC lobbyist means money they can never earn elsewhere.

American exceptionalism now confined to Washington and few others regions of the USA. But since those regions control the MSM and forign policy, the world is finding itself more and more contemptuous of the arrogant, hypocritical superpower righteously condemning the other countries as being uncooperative just before begging for their help.

As a political analyst  Robert Kagan is a weakling and like Max Boot would be downgraded to painting house, if MIC support seize to exist. You need also be able to understand things to write about that. This quality is completely absent.  He writes from the preconceived agenda as if trying to mold the world to his dangerous agenda of "full spectrum dominance" at least on paper. 

Kagan was one of the cheerleaders on the disastrous for the USA geopolitical position and prestige war in Iraq and as such should commit hara-kiri. But he does not have any honor, unlike Japanese militarists. He is a typical chickenhawk.  A weakling pretending to be a war dog. 

Kagan was one of the cheerleaders on the disastrous for the USA geopolitical position and prestige war in Iraq and as such should commit hara-kiri. But he does not have any honor, unlike Japanese militarists. He is a typical chickenhawk.  A weakling pretending to be a war dog. 

As for his predictions about the US future and desirable course of foreign policy -- they concentrate on one thing the attempts to preseve global neoliberal empire the the USA established after the dissolution of the USSR, an old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans" is fully applicable. 

He does not understand that the empire became too costly to maintain and the US people are paying for his jingoism with their health and well well-being (and sometimes with lives). But in  reality it does not matter -- he does not care. His loyalty are not for common  Americans ("deplorable" at Hillary called them). They are elsewhere.  Such people typically put Israel first.

In case of Max Boot some explained this shortsightness by the fact that he is a former émigré from Soviet Russia wanted to be "more Catholic than the Pope."  He is so pious about the USA that it creates strong negative reaction. It is also difficlut for an émigré raised within based on deception culture of  fake "refugees" (in reality economic migrants) from Soviet Russia to understand the USA neoliberalism and the genesis of imperial admissions (aka "full spectrum dominance") that arose in late 80th with the weakening and then collapse of the USSR.

In case of Kagan his complete detachment from reality can partially be an be explained by greed (for a historian becoming MIC lobbyist is pretty lucrative in money dimension career move. although it entail complete betrayal of his  academic upbringing and  culture) and the deep provinciality of his worldview.  The fact that  the USA geostrategic position deteriorated due the collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 and economic  rise of the EU, China, Japan and South Korea makes current US policies simply reckless and support for them akin to treason.  Correspondingly the USA military dominance also is challenged despite enormous size of Pentagon budget due to disastrous, neocon inspired wars in Middle East and Afghanistan, the rise of China (and possible alliance of China and Russia, which means the end of the US military supremacy) as well as emergence new nuclear powers such as India and Pakistan as well as (currently weak) attempts by EU to escape the vassal status and create their own army.   Potential diminishing of the role of the dollar as world reserve currency is another  development that somewhat weaken the USA geopolitical position, although the dollar position as the "first among equals" will probably continue for foreseeable  future.  Add to this slipping technological superiority due to transition of high-tech manufacturing to China (the rise of Huawei, which currently the USA is trying  to reverse, is the result of those development)

Along with other neocons Kagan definitely helped to destroy carefully constructed  post WWII order (based on Yalta agreements), but it unclear whether what the USA instead gets is a better deal.  It is definitely created a more dangerous, less predictable geopolitical environment.

All his papers, which are also second rate (which makes him somewhat similar to Max Book, although Max Boot is mostly third rate character, which only in some cases reaches the second rate level) have value only as propaganda booklets for MIC.  He helps them to make money as a lobbyist  and is lavishly paid for his  despicable services.

Wikipedia tells us that Robert Kagan (born September 26, 1958 in Athens, Greece) is a historian, and foreign-policy commentator. He is neither. He is first a foremost MIC lobbyist but several other sleazy characters in Washiton, DC  Like Max Boot this shady character is just yet another MIC wardog -- a well paid MIC lobbyist.  While Kagan is considered to be leading neoconservative, intellectually there is nothing leading in this guy.  All his  papers are filled with banalities and clichés. Her forte is promotion of American exeptionalism and jingoism. Real analysis of the situation in the worlds and attempts to decipher emerging trends, which are sine qua non for any real political analyst are absolution absent. hi mostly tried to fit the world into his brain dead neocon schemes. Valuable insight are "missing in action".  moreover as he spend his life in the USA his papers spell with provincionalism. He does not understand Western Europe, to say nothing about Russia, and China. He views them via simplistic propaganda lenses of WaPo (aka Bezos blog) and his  role of MIC lobbyist.

A co-founder of the neocon Project for the New American Century, Kagan is also is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. So he operates within the limits of  traditional neocon territory.  Concil of forign relations is probably the leading thing tank which is negating any chance for a gradual, phased dismantling of the US neoliberal empire (which after collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 is unsustainable, the question is not if, but when, and how). Creating instead a dynamic in which a sudden collapse becomes more probable.

Unfortunately Kagan has been a foreign policy adviser to US Republican presidential candidates as well as Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, when Clinton was Secretary of State under President Obama (which characterizes Hillary as warmongering neocon  and she  really is such). He writes a monthly column on world affairs for the Washington Post, and is a contributing editor at The New Republic.

Neoconservatism runs  in the whole family as those "historians" really want to inrove their material wellbeing by doubling as lobbists for MIC. Robert Kagan is the son of historian Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University who is viewed  by some people as specialist in the history of the Peloponnesian War. In reality he is a despicable necon, abnd necon can be a good historian by definition.

His brother, Frederick, is a military historian and author is yes another neocon.

Kagan managed to get a BA in history (1980) from Yale (that's community colledge level of education). 

But he is a talalnted jornalist, who as early as 1979 he had been Editor in Chief of the Yale Political Monthly, a periodical that he is credited with reviving.

 He later earned an MPP from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a PhD in American history from American University in Washington, D.C. The latter is  as far from Ivy Scholl universities as one  can get (PhD from American University is a bad joke). so they do not cout. BA in history frim Yale remain his only centifibe education and that's not enough.   He never did any important research, He instantly switch to journalism and propaganda.

Kagan is married to the American diplomat Victoria Nuland, who is cheney protegee and was Amnassodot to NATO. Hshe was State department spowoamn which is dead end position for any diplomant. But somehow Hillary with her feminist incluations appointed her as Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Barack Obama administration. in thsi role Nuland was one of persons responsible to EuroMaydan color revolution in Ukraine (see "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place)

Ideas and career[edit]

In 1983, Robert Kagan was foreign policy advisor to New York Republican Representative Jack Kemp. From 1984–86, under the administration of Ronald Reagan, he was a speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz and a member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff. From 1986–1988 he served in the State Department Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.[8]

 Kagan co-founded the now-defunct Project for the New American Century with William Kristol in 1997.[2][4][9] From 1998 until August, 2010, Kagan was a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was appointed senior fellow in the Center on United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution in September 2010.[10][11][12][13]

During the 2008 presidential campaign he served as foreign policy advisor to John McCain, the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.[14][15]

Kagan also serves on the State Department's Foreign Affairs Policy Board under Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton[16] and John Kerry.[17] He is also a member of the board of directors for The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).[18]

Andrew J. Bacevich referred to Kagan as "the chief neoconservative foreign-policy theorist" in reviewing Kagan's book The Return of history and the end of dreams.[19] A profile in the The Guardian described Kagan as being "uncomfortable" with the 'neocon' title, and stated that "he insists he is 'liberal' and 'progressive' in a distinctly American tradition".[20] In 2008, Kagan wrote an article titled "Neocon Nation: Neoconservatism, c. 1776" for World Affairs, describing the main components of American neoconservatism as a belief in the rectitude of applying US moralism to the world stage, support for the US to act alone, the promotion of American-style liberty and democracy in other countries, the belief in American hegemony,[21] the confidence in US military power, and a distrust of international institutions.[22] Kagan describes his foreign-policy views as "deeply rooted in American history and widely shared by Americans".[23]

In 2006, Kagan wrote that Russia and China are the greatest "challenge liberalism faces today": "Nor do Russia and China welcome the liberal West's efforts to promote liberal politics around the globe, least of all in regions of strategic importance to them. ... Unfortunately, al-Qaeda may not be the only challenge liberalism faces today, or even the greatest."[24]

Writings[edit]

Kagan is a columnist for the Washington Post[8] and a contributing editor at The New Republic and the Weekly Standard. He has also written for the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, World Affairs, and Policy Review.

Regarding Kagan's opinion piece "Problem with Powell" (Washington Post July 23, 2000), scholar Guy Roberts states that "the PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan sought to explain core differences" between the positions of the neoconservatives and those of Colin Powell.[25] In that piece, Kagan wrote


The problem with Powell is his political and strategic judgment. He doesn’t believe the United States should enter conflicts without strong public support, but he also doesn't believe that the public will support anything. That kind of iron logic rules out almost every conceivable post-Cold War intervention.[26]

Clarence Lusane has described Kagan as blaming Powell “for Saddam Hussein remaining in power” in the Washington Post piece.[27]

In a subsequent opinion piece "Spotlight on Colin Powell" (Philadelphia Inquirer, February 12, 2002) Kagan praised Powell for "Articulately defending the new Bush Doctrine" and declaring "his support for "regime change" in Iraq..."[28]

In 2003, Kagan's book, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order, published on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, created something of a sensation through its assertions that Europeans tended to favor peaceful resolutions of international disputes while the United States takes a more "Hobbesian" view in which some kinds of disagreement can only be settled by force, or, as he put it: "Americans are from Mars and Europe is from Venus." New York Times book reviewer, Ivo H. Daalder wrote:


When it comes to setting national priorities, determining threats, defining challenges, and fashioning and implementing foreign and defense policies, the United States and Europe have parted ways, writes Mr. Kagan, concluding, in words already famous in another context, 'Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus.'[29]

Kagan's book, Dangerous Nation: America's Place in the World from its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (2006), argued forcefully against what he considers the widespread misconception that the United States had been isolationist since its inception. It was awarded a Lepgold Prize from Georgetown University.[30]

Kagan's essay "Not Fade Away: The Myth of American Decline" (The New Republic, February 2, 2012)[31] was very positively received by President Obama. Josh Rogin reported in Foreign Policy that the president "spent more than 10 minutes talking about it...going over its arguments paragraph by paragraph."[32] That essay was excerpted from his book, The World America Made (2012).

John Bew and Kagan lectured on March 27, 2014, on Realpolitik and American Exceptionalism at the Library of Congress.[8][33]

Select bibliography[edit]
A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990. (1996) ISBN 978-0-028-74057-7
Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in America's Foreign and Defense Policy, with William Kristol (2000)
Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order. (2003) ISBN 1-4000-4093-0
Dangerous Nation: America's Place in the World from its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. (2006) ISBN 0-375-41105-4
The Return of History and the End of Dreams. (2008) ISBN 978-0-307-26923-2
The World America Made. (2012) ISBN 978-0-307-96131-0
 


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[Mar 22, 2019] I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about authoritarian regimes?!

Mar 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials...

President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.

U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week's meetings between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.

No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump's decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.

Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump's message.

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Kouros , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm

I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!

[Mar 18, 2019] The U.S. Shouldn t Seek New Ideological Confrontations Abroad by Daniel Larison

This MIC prostitute Karan, like his wife Nuland are un-reformable. They just earn their living ing by warmongering. And they will screem like pigs if they are deprived from those money, and do not care one bit how many people will be killed as the result of their policies.
There is no war that those neocon chickenhawks do not like. It's their family racket.
Notable quotes:
"... Kagan's preferred foreign policy requires that there is some global "ideological confrontation" for the U.S. to be engaged in. If there isn't one, it has to be invented. ..."
"... Kagan isn't all that interested in details or accuracy. Those are "beside the point." ..."
"... Kagan doesn't make it explicit in this essay, but his larger goal in all of this is to advocate for a more confrontational foreign policy mobilized against the authoritarian enemies that he has described. He hints at this when he disparages contemporary "realists" ..."
"... realists, non-interventionists, and progressives that see no compelling reason for the U.S. to engage in destructive rivalries with major authoritarian powers in their own backyards. Except for a lame, overused comparison to the 1930s, Kagan doesn't even try to explain why we are wrong to think this. Kagan assumes that such destructive rivalries are both necessary and desirable, and this essay is the latest part of his effort to lay the groundwork for the ideological justification for those rivalries. ..."
"... A recent WSJ article (03/11/19) titled "Russian Gas Plan Divides U.S., Allies" with the subtitle "Washington fears undersea project would make Germany too reliant on Moscow" tells the tale of what the real reasons for America to demonize Russia and Putin. The U.S. leaders fear that the German-Russian pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, will make Europe reliant on Russian energy instead of Europe purchasing it energy from the United States. What gives the U.S. the right to stop one nation from doing commerce with other nations? The answer is "Greed." ..."
"... Kagan is and will until the bitter end defend American hegemony and the ideological mantle will be used as a cover ..."
"... People also forget that US is not a democracy, but a managed Republic, and according to all indicators, it is not even that liberal ..."
"... The fallout from the actions of these "interventionists" is millions are dead in a number of countries. Millions are refugees and thousands of soldiers are dead or maimed. More facts on these war criminals at link below. https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-facts-on-crimes-of-war-criminals.html ..."
"... This Kagan family, with Robert now the lead figure, has done a great deal towards furthering conflicts and violence in the world. It is long past time that they be put in their place, whatever that is, but it will not happen because their Zionist mindset is very well funded. ..."
"... "The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher." We ought to do more than that. He should be muzzled and sent to live in a cave somewhere to repent the consequences of the terrible damage he and other incompetents have done to America. That people like this still have access to the media is almost beyond belief. ..."
Mar 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Brookings Senior Fellow and author Robert Kagan in March 2018. (Brookings Institution/Paul Morigi) Robert Kagan warns us about global authoritarianism:

Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days, the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism. We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview that offers a real alternative to liberalism.

We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview because it isn't one. All authoritarian states share certain things in common, and they may see some of the same things as threats, but there isn't a single worldview that all authoritarian governments subscribe to. There is no one ideology that binds them together. Most of them are nationalistic to one degree or another, but because of that they usually have competing and opposing goals. Treating all authoritarian regimes as part of the same global threat lumps illiberal and majoritarian democracies together with kleptocracies, communist dictatorships, and absolute monarchies. That exaggerates the danger that these regimes pose, and it tries to invent a Cold War-like division between rival camps that doesn't really exist. If the U.S. treats these states as if they are all in league with one another, it will tend to drive together states that would otherwise remain at odds and keep each other at arm's length.

Kagan's preferred foreign policy requires that there is some global "ideological confrontation" for the U.S. to be engaged in. If there isn't one, it has to be invented. His account of the history of the 20th century shows how determined he is to see international politics in terms of grand ideological battles even when there wasn't one. He takes seriously the idea that WWI is one of these struggles: "But for those who fought it, on both sides, it was very much a war between liberalism and authoritarianism." Kagan makes the mistake of treating wartime propaganda descriptions of the war as the real motivation for the war, and he relies on stereotypes of the nations on the other side of the war as well. The world's largest colonial empires were not fighting for "the liberties of Europe" and they certainly weren't fighting for the rights of small nations, as wartime British propaganda would have it, and that became abundantly clear in the post-war settlement. It was primarily a war among empires for supremacy in Europe, and the surviving Allied empires consolidated their hold on their own colonial possessions and gained more. To the extent that Americans genuinely believed that joining the war had something to do with vindicating the cause of democracy, they were quickly disabused of that notion when they saw the fruits of the vindictive settlement that their allies imposed on the losing side.

Kagan admits that there are many differences of regime type that he is trying to collapse into one group:

We have become lost in endless categorizations, viewing each type of non-liberal government as unique and unrelated to the others -- the illiberal democracy, the "liberal" or "liberalizing" autocracy, the "competitive" and "hybrid" authoritarianism. These different categories certainly describe the myriad ways non-liberal societies may be governed. But in the most fundamental way, all of this is beside the point.

In other words, Kagan isn't all that interested in details or accuracy. Those are "beside the point." What matters is dividing up the world into two opposing camps: "Nations are either liberal, meaning that there are permanent institutions and unchanging norms that protect the "unalienable" rights of individuals against all who would infringe on those rights, whether the state or the majority; or they are not liberal." The criteria for qualifying as a liberal nation are extremely demanding. What institutions can honestly be called "permanent" and what norms are ever truly "unchanging"? Judged against this extreme and unreasonable standard, there won't ever be many nations that qualify as liberal, including quite a few that we would normally consider liberal democracies in good standing. That makes it a lot easier for Kagan to exaggerate the power of "resurgent authoritarianism."

Kagan doesn't make it explicit in this essay, but his larger goal in all of this is to advocate for a more confrontational foreign policy mobilized against the authoritarian enemies that he has described. He hints at this when he disparages contemporary "realists" whom he doesn't name or cite:

Just as during the 1930s, when realists such as Robert Taft assured Americans that their lives would be undisturbed by the collapse of democracy in Europe and the triumph of authoritarianism in Asia, so we have realists today insisting that we pull back from confronting the great authoritarian powers rising in Eurasia.

To be much more accurate, there are realists, non-interventionists, and progressives that see no compelling reason for the U.S. to engage in destructive rivalries with major authoritarian powers in their own backyards. Except for a lame, overused comparison to the 1930s, Kagan doesn't even try to explain why we are wrong to think this. Kagan assumes that such destructive rivalries are both necessary and desirable, and this essay is the latest part of his effort to lay the groundwork for the ideological justification for those rivalries.

Kagan's analysis suffers from the problem of mirror-imaging that always plagues ideologues. He assumes that everyone sees the world in starkly ideological categories just as he does, and he thinks that other actors are just as determined to export their ideology as he is. His entire worldview depends on linking great power competition with larger ideological causes, and for almost thirty years there has been no such "ideological confrontation" for Kagan to theorize about. Despite Kagan's insistence to the contrary, there still isn't. He wants the U.S. to take a more confrontational approach to dealing with Russia and China, and in order to sell that today he has to dress it up as something more than the destructive and costly pursuit of hegemony that he has been pushing for decades. The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher.


Minnesota Mary March 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm

A recent WSJ article (03/11/19) titled "Russian Gas Plan Divides U.S., Allies" with the subtitle "Washington fears undersea project would make Germany too reliant on Moscow" tells the tale of what the real reasons for America to demonize Russia and Putin. The U.S. leaders fear that the German-Russian pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, will make Europe reliant on Russian energy instead of Europe purchasing it energy from the United States. What gives the U.S. the right to stop one nation from doing commerce with other nations? The answer is "Greed."

All wars are predicated on lies, and all wars are fought for economic reasons and not the so called humanitarian reasons that are fed to the people.

Kouros , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:41 pm
Always insightful indeed: Kagan is and will until the bitter end defend American hegemony and the ideological mantle will be used as a cover (Mel Gibson screaming "Freedom!" in Bravehart; killing the babies and stealing the incubators!).

People also forget that US is not a democracy, but a managed Republic, and according to all indicators, it is not even that liberal

So better save this post because you are still young and in 30 years from now you will be able to re-post it and just change a couple of names

JR , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm
Ironically he seems in the same (lack of) weight class (intellectually) as Pompeo.
Stephen J. , says: March 17, 2019 at 5:22 pm
You write:

"The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed."

--

Right on the mark. The fallout from the actions of these "interventionists" is millions are dead in a number of countries. Millions are refugees and thousands of soldiers are dead or maimed. More facts on these war criminals at link below.
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-facts-on-crimes-of-war-criminals.html

Taras 77 , says: March 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm
Thanks much for this, Mr Larison.

Anytime, anywhere, anyone comes out and destroys kagan's Zionist globalist babble as you have done, it is a very commendable exercise for the good of mankind and America.

This Kagan family, with Robert now the lead figure, has done a great deal towards furthering conflicts and violence in the world. It is long past time that they be put in their place, whatever that is, but it will not happen because their Zionist mindset is very well funded.

Your article does a public service.

prolegomenon to any future foreign policy , says: March 18, 2019 at 2:27 am
"The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher."

We ought to do more than that. He should be muzzled and sent to live in a cave somewhere to repent the consequences of the terrible damage he and other incompetents have done to America. That people like this still have access to the media is almost beyond belief.

[Feb 05, 2019] The neocon s strategy

Highly recommended!
1) continue to control the "prestige" outlets: academia, newspapers, major publishers,
2) censor the huge online platforms like Twitter and YouTube,
3) confine the samizdat to small-scale blogs and independent websites,
4) crush any sort of opposition smearing it using anti-Semimuticm chanrge (to keep the opposition confined to online ghettos).
5. ifrnore the rest
It's not going to work, though.
Notable quotes:
"... 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." ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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). ..."
"... 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 : ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
Dec 28, 2018 | www.rightweb.irc-online.org
Bill 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.

[Jan 25, 2019] The 'Springtime for Strongmen' and the Myth of Retrenchment by Daniel Larison

If you have neither talent, nor education, but you have family connections you can always became political commentator in the USA.
Notable quotes:
"... Kagan's argument would be slightly more persuasive if the U.S. were pursuing a policy of global retrenchment. Since that isn't happening, his explanation doesn't make any sense. ..."
"... Middle-class voters in many democratic states started rejecting mass democracy more than a decade ago and more because they were opposed to the empowerment of poorer voters, and that was already happening when Bush was still prattling about the "freedom agenda." ..."
"... It is essential to Kagan's larger case for a hyperactivist U.S. foreign policy that liberal democracy around the world and U.S. activism are inextricably intertwined ..."
"... The biggest problem with Kagan's story is that it mostly ignores the political conditions in the countries where authoritarian strongmen are consolidating power and in the countries where they have been losing it. U.S. support for many authoritarian rulers is undesirable and should be ended, but it doesn't account for the intensifying repression in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. ..."
"... Kagan rarely if ever makes any sense! This is standard for all neo/zio cons. The all important narrative does not rely upon facts, as a matter of course, facts and truth usually get in the way. ..."
"... Thank you Daniel Larison for your quick rebuttal to the ilk like Kagan, Boot, Applebaum and Rubin. Their dangerous ideas keep floating out in the policy sphere, and it's an admittedly mundane task to fact-check their writing each time some publications allow these hucksters to spread their bad ideas. Also, you deserve some type of prize for being the only writer who consistently focuses on the horrors in Yemen. ..."
"... Kagan will make up any story to keep American military engaged, mostly in the Middle East. Aside from the changes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are aimed at repressing homegrown religious nationalism, the wave of so-called anti-democractic movements in Europe are responces to popular sentiments of national identity. ..."
Jan 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
makes a very questionable claim about U.S. foreign policy:

Autocracy flourished in 2018 because when Washington pursues a so-called realist policy of global retrenchment, it looks for dictators it thinks it can rely on.

Kagan's argument would be slightly more persuasive if the U.S. were pursuing a policy of global retrenchment. Since that isn't happening, his explanation doesn't make any sense. The argument would also be a little stronger if the U.S. didn't look for dictators it thinks it can rely on at all times . If the U.S. isn't retrenching, and if the U.S. is always in the market for cooperative authoritarian rulers, those things can't be major reasons why authoritarian governments have been gaining ground in recent years.

There has been an increase in illiberal democracies, one-party states, and authoritarian regimes over the last 10-15 years, and most of that has happened in the wake of the economic and political shocks caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

Middle-class voters in many democratic states started rejecting mass democracy more than a decade ago and more because they were opposed to the empowerment of poorer voters, and that was already happening when Bush was still prattling about the "freedom agenda."

Kagan is eager to tie the fortunes of liberal democracy around the world to the extent of U.S. involvement abroad, but the former doesn't actually depend on the latter. He has to fall back on the myth of "global retrenchment" by the U.S. when no such thing has happened, because he needs that to be true to account for the growth of authoritarianism (or what he anachronistically insists on calling autocracy). It is essential to Kagan's larger case for a hyperactivist U.S. foreign policy that liberal democracy around the world and U.S. activism are inextricably intertwined, but they aren't. Kagan's analysis doesn't hold up because authoritarianism may wax or wane in various places around the world no matter what the U.S. is or isn't doing abroad, and those changes are almost entirely beyond our control.

The biggest problem with Kagan's story is that it mostly ignores the political conditions in the countries where authoritarian strongmen are consolidating power and in the countries where they have been losing it. U.S. support for many authoritarian rulers is undesirable and should be ended, but it doesn't account for the intensifying repression in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The U.S. has backed the Egyptian dictatorship and Saudi monarchy for decades, so that doesn't tell us why the Sisi dictatorship and Mohammed bin Salman's de facto rule are so much more repressive and abusive than their predecessors'. That intensifying repression is one of the reasons why the U.S. should stop supporting these regimes, but we shouldn't assume that the repression will lessen once our support is withdrawn. Ethiopia is a recent counterexample to the trend of growing authoritarianism, and the reasons for that are internal to Ethiopia.

Kagan is so determined to lay the "springtime for strongmen" at the door of the "so-called realist policy of global retrenchment" that he isn't paying attention to local causes for these political changes that have little or nothing to do with us. That may be useful for promoting his alarmism about the return of "the jungle," but his explanation for why these things have been happening is based on a fantasy.


Sid Finster January 23, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Boy, I so am glad that the United States never ever would countenance a strongman, a tyrant, a theocrat, like, say, in Saudi Arabia.

Our principles! Principles! are just too important.

Oh wait .

Taras 77 , says: January 23, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Kagan rarely if ever makes any sense! This is standard for all neo/zio cons. The all important narrative does not rely upon facts, as a matter of course, facts and truth usually get in the way.
Xanadu , says: January 23, 2019 at 4:37 pm
Thank you Daniel Larison for your quick rebuttal to the ilk like Kagan, Boot, Applebaum and Rubin. Their dangerous ideas keep floating out in the policy sphere, and it's an admittedly mundane task to fact-check their writing each time some publications allow these hucksters to spread their bad ideas. Also, you deserve some type of prize for being the only writer who consistently focuses on the horrors in Yemen.
Lobman , says: January 23, 2019 at 4:42 pm
Kagan will make up any story to keep American military engaged, mostly in the Middle East. Aside from the changes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are aimed at repressing homegrown religious nationalism, the wave of so-called anti-democractic movements in Europe are responces to popular sentiments of national identity.

The justifications for military engagement by the neocons are obvious and comic, while the cowardly writers who give them their patina of legitimacy are laughable and probably more dangerous.

[Jan 13, 2019] Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists by Doug Bandow

Notable quotes:
"... Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Newly-inaugurated Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists Newly-inaugurated Senator has been promoted to standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain.

No surprise: Senator Mitt Romney does not like President Donald Trump, as he recently explained in The Washington Post . But what, one wonders, was the former GOP presidential candidate thinking two years ago when he supped with the man he now claims to deplore while seeking an appointment as secretary of state?

Much of Romney's complaint is over manners. Yes, the president is a boor. Most people, including many of Trump's supporters, recognize that. Trump won not because of his etiquette but because of what he stood for -- and against.

Romney also defended The Blob, Washington's bipartisan foreign policy establishment. In his article attacking the president, he offered the usual vacuous bromides that characterize the interventionist consensus, which poses as internationalism but with plenty of bombing raids, illegal occupations, and nation-building. Most importantly, this perspective presumes permanent American domination, irrespective of cost.

Romney wrote: "America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed." Indeed, "The world needs American leadership, and it is in America's interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world -- and an America -- with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace."

In fact, Romney appears more committed to dependence on allies than American leadership. For him, these are two sides of the same coin. The only alternative he sees to Washington in control is the bad guys leading.

Related is Romney's apparent belief that foreign policy is fixed, irrespective of circumstance: the very same U.S.-dominated alliances created in 1950 are needed today. Although America's friends have raced ahead economically, politically, even militarily, Washington must forever treat them as helpless derelicts. For instance, Russia, a weakened declining power, faces the U.S. and Europe -- which together have more than 20 times its GDP. Yet Romney sees Moscow as the greatest threat facing America. It is 1945 all over again.

Romney's most important omission is Iraq. After the war there turned bad, he remained silent about his support for it. The Iraq disaster is an important reason why Trump won and other Republicans, including Romney, lost. In 2008, Americans rejected John McCain, the very symbol of promiscuous war-making. Four years later, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for leaving Iraq too soon, by which the Republican nominee probably meant leaving at any time. In saying he would keep more troops in Iraq, he ignored the fact that the Iraqis had refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement with the Bush administration.

Romney also failed to mention Afghanistan, both as a presidential candidate in 2012 and senator in 2019. After all, what good can be said for entering the 18th year of nation-building in a region of little strategic interest? As for Syria, last November, Romney predictably denounced as "recklessness in the extreme" exiting a multi-sided civil war in a country never important to America.

Whose Side is Mitt Romney On? Robert Kagan's Jungle Book of Forever War

Now Romney is being touted as the new standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain. Bloomberg columnist Hal Brands theorized that Romney was attempting to "position himself as heir to John McCain as the congressional conscience of U.S. diplomacy" (defined as advocating policies designed to prolifically kill and destroy).

Towards this effort, Romney is articulating "a renewed Republican internationalism based on opposition to aggressive authoritarian regimes." Brands celebrates Romney's Russophobia, saying he "deserves credit for being anti-Russia before being anti-Russia was cool." No hint that the U.S. might have contributed to Moscow's hostility through the aggressive "internationalism" of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama -- violating commitments not to expand NATO, dismantling Moscow's Slavic friend Serbia, and encouraging violent regime change against an elected government that neighbored Russia. After all, equivalent Russian intervention in Mexico would have triggered an extremely hostile reaction in Washington.

Neoconservative Max Boot lauded Romney for throwing "down the gauntlet to President Trump." Indeed, argued Boot, "it now falls upon Romney to champion the cause of principled conservatism in Washington." Boot hoped the freshman senator would lead a general opposition and seemed especially pleased at Romney's support for the interventionist status quo.

Yet the passion-less Romney is a poor substitute for the perennially angry McCain. It is difficult to imagine Romney leading Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman on another apocalyptic ride, demanding that death and destruction be visited upon an enemy du jour. Indeed, Romney admitted as much, complained The New York Times , which noted that he said he "would only speak out against Mr. Trump on issues of 'great significance,' which means not much."

Worse, Romney is a typical denizen of Washington and lacks any connection to the disastrous consequences of his policies. Give McCain credit: he and his sons served in the military. Not Romney. He received four deferments during the Vietnam War, explaining that he "had other plans." This sounds eerily like Dick Cheney, who said his five deferments reflected "other priorities."

Moreover, none of Romney's five sons served. That is, of course, their prerogative. But their decision further insulated Romney from any consequences of his policies. His response to questions about their lack of service: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." Did Romney believe working for him was as dangerous as fighting Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah? Or that his personal interest in winning the election was as important as the nation winning a war?

My friend William Smith at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University argued that Romney's article "is another clear sign that the bipartisan political establishment is largely oblivious to the terrible tragedy of wartime casualties disproportionately inflicted on certain communities." Candidate Trump did particularly well in states that so suffered. Complained Smith: "What is astonishing is that, after all this tragedy, Romney offers only cliched neoconservative bromides to the many heartbroken communities across the nation."

However, The Blob, which dominates foreign policy under both parties, poses an even larger problem. These policymakers consider permanent war to be America's natural condition. They seek to suppress dissident views to ensure united support for permanent war. Anyone who hesitates to back every proposed new intervention is demonized and marginalized.

The favorite technique, recently employed by Frederick Kagan in The Hill, is to call opponents, irrespective of their actual positions, "isolationists." Thus did Kagan urge left and right "internationalists" -- meaning military interventionists -- to work together to defend "the principle that the United States must remain actively engaged in the world," by which he meant warring without end on multiple countries.

Exclaimed Kagan: "The isolationists who have condemned the United States involvement in the Middle East and the rest of the world for decades are about to get their wish. We will witness what the world looks like when left to its own devices."

Egads. Imagine what might have happened had the U.S. not intervened in the Lebanese Civil War, armed Turkey to kill tens of thousands of Kurds and destroy thousands of Kurdish villages, invaded Iraq and triggered sectarian conflict, fostered civil war in Libya and the chaos that followed, supported decades of violent occupation over millions of Palestinians by Israel, backed murderous Saudi Arabia in Bahrain and Yemen, supported a coup against Iran's democratically elected government and a brutal invasion backed by chemical weapons against Iran's Islamist regime, actively underwritten tyranny across the Middle East, and tried to sort out the Syrian Civil War. Something bad might have happened.

Yeah.

In Syria, Kagan views as "isolationist" the withdrawal of an illegal military deployment that risks violent confrontation with Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia over minor stakes. In contrast, "internationalism" means war everywhere all the time, especially in a country like Syria.

Trump, complained Kagan, is leaving "Afghanistan for no clear reason whatsoever." No reason other than Washington long ago having achieved its objective of degrading and displacing al-Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda. And eventually having recognized, after more than 17 years passed, trillions of dollars were spent, and thousands of lives were lost, that using force to create a liberal democracy in Central Asia is a fool's errand. Why leave, indeed?

It has oft been recognized that Donald Trump is a flawed vehicle to achieve almost any foreign policy end. However, he still possesses far more common sense than Mitt Romney. It is time to rescue "internationalism" from those who love humanity so much that they would destroy the world in order to save it.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire . MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Attack of the Pork Hawks Does It Really Matter If North Korea Denuclearizes? Hide 20 comments 20 Responses to Mitt Romney, Commander of the Fake Internationalists

EliteCommInc. January 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

"No reason other than Washington long ago having achieved its objective of degrading and displacing al-Qaeda and punishing the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda."

One should avoid the back pedal here. the Taliban did not host Al Quaeda in the manner your reference suggests.

John_M , , January 9, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I truly voted against Romney when he ran for president because of his omnidirectional belligerence. I also didn't like his vulture capitalism style (and I did technical due diligence for venture capital activities as a side line).

I don't see that he has gotten any wiser.

Own Goal , , January 10, 2019 at 2:22 am
Romney just guaranteed that he won't get the nomination. Amazing, really, stupid and gratuitous.

He could at the least have shown a little "growth" in the direction of populist disgust with the wasteful, reckless, failed wars, not to mention concerns about the growth of government and corporate mass surveillance of the public, and the continuing unholy collaboration between Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Washington in ripping off taxpayers and importing cheap labor to take American jobs.

Not Mitt. He seems to think he's running for president of our utterly discredited, pseudo-meritocratic "Establishment".

steve mckinney , , January 10, 2019 at 2:48 am
Let's all thank the knuckle-headed Utahns for delivering another unimaginative empty suit to the Nation's State House. Sure, Trump is often a boor, and unmistakably human, but give me a man-child with conviction and Devil-may-care determination over a dapper dolt whose ideas are contrived platitudes and whose passion is a Macbeth-like obsession with stature and power any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Well written Mr. Bandow! Keep fighting the good fight.
polistra , , January 10, 2019 at 4:10 am
I get the sense that the "isolationist" line doesn't work any more. It was a commonly used rhetorical weapon 10 years ago, and it effectively silenced opposition. Now it's not used much, and it seems to be ignored or derided when it is used. Most Americans understand now that maintaining and expanding an empire is destroying us.
Aunt Lila , , January 10, 2019 at 7:44 am
You really don't get Romney, do you. Who are you to decided what anyone sees or feels. Do you think you could use the word seems like a professional journalist. I don't construe
Romney that way. You SEEM to put words in his mouth and thought in his head. Please be professional.
Dan Green , , January 10, 2019 at 8:12 am
My take is Mitt see's himself as a Gerald Ford calming effect, for this 4 year disruption, the Swamp battles with. The Deep state needs an impeachment win and soon. With that said it will be ever difficult for the Beltway to change Americans perception , they don't trust the government.
Kolya Krassotkin , , January 10, 2019 at 10:23 am
For someone so smart Romney should realize that Americans will reject him (again), when he takes up the mantle of McCain (again) as quickly as they did the last time. But that he fails to realize that substance trumps form, which is why 67 million Americans voted for the President, demonstrates what a shallow narcisst and sociopath he is. I mean, it's okay to rob your neighbor so long as you say "please" and "thank you," isn't it?
Stephen J. , , January 10, 2019 at 11:31 am
The writer states: "Now Romney is being touted as the new standard-bearer for the bipartisan War Party, filling in for John McCain."

I believe The "War Party" are:
"The Maniacs of Militarism"

The maniacs of militarism are creating wars
Countries are bombed by warmongering whores
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries too
Are hell holes of the earth, "The work," of this insane crew

Enabled by politicians in positions of power
These well dressed war criminals hide and cower
The generals salute their political masters
Then the brainwashed obey these bemedaled disasters

Cities are destroyed and reduced to rubble
Where are the perpetrators that created all this trouble?
They are residing in luxury and given fancy titles
War crimes trials are needed, and are so vital

But this is not happening: the system is corrupted
And these evil beings, by some are worshiped
Blood-soaked villains that never do the fighting
They are the "experts" that do the inciting

They are the producers of death and destruction
Others are profiteers of all the bloody actions
Missiles, bombs and horrendous weapons
There is no end to the endless aggression

Millions are dead, and millions are homeless
Millions are refugees, and all this is atrocious
Once they had jobs, families, and homes as well
Then their countries were bombed by the agents from hell

Setting the world on fire is what these war arsonists do
The money for their depredations comes from me and you
They have made us all accessories to their criminal acts
Our Taxes are the blood money and that is a fact

Will the people ever say: "We have had enough"?
And put all these villains in secure handcuffs
Then lock them up in maximum security prisons
Then, we can say "goodbye" to the maniacs of militarism
[more info at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-maniacs-of-militarism.html
-- --
And:
"More War "

More war is needed to keep armies trained and employed
More wars are needed so that countries can be destroyed
More killing, bombing, destruction and death
More of this is needed until the victims have nothing left
[read more at link below]

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/08/more-war.html

prodigalson , , January 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm
Romney is such an empty suit i'm not sure if he isn't weakening his position just by virtue that, he Romney, supports it.

Does this guy inspire anyone to any emotion other than revulsion? Along with Hillary, they both strike me both as elites who want to become president, not from any actual passions or desires, but because they've run out of other things to add to their C.V.

The only thing I can say with certainty that Mitt Romney believes in, is Mitt Romney. So I'm intensely skeptical that ANYONE in America, aside from the most firebrand resistance types, are going to take anything coming out of this corporate drone's mouth with any seriousness. And even for the resistance types the support would equally follow a labrador retriever, just so long as it opposed Trump, so Mitt doesn't even have that thin thread of loyatly going for him.

I guess that leaves him with the neocons as BFFs. They're welcome to each other.

One Guy , , January 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Why are we ragging on Romney? Is it because he had the audacity to criticize Trump? Shouldn't we wait until he actually does something bad before ragging on him? Has he lied 6,000 times in the last few years, for example? Did he refuse to rake the forests?
Mike Clements , , January 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm
Such trashing of Romney becomes a real challenge for me.

I can't decide if it's the fevered imaginings or the straw man arguments that disappoint me the most.

Tim , , January 10, 2019 at 3:34 pm
I think Romney is simply miffed that the boorish Trump became president and he did not and sadly, he may be running for president again. I think someone used the word revulsion about Romney. I approve. It's ironic the boorish Trump isn't nearly as revolting as the urbane Mitt.
Jeeves , , January 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm
@Mike Clements
For me it's the straw man arguments that are most egregious. As an Arizonan, I knew John McCain, and Romney is no McCain (whose like we will never see again, if we're lucky).

Just to single out one objection to Mr. Bandow's argument: Romney didn't refer to the SOFA, which supposedly required Obama to abandon Iraq, for the very good reason that Leon Panetta, who should know, has said that Obama, with plenty of time to do it, made no effort whatsoever to re-negotiate the SOFA 2011 deadline. Panetta regrets this and so do I.

fabian , , January 10, 2019 at 4:34 pm
Romney is the epitome of the decay of the USA. Further, he shows the complete inability of the Republican party to choose the correct casting. After Bush and Iraq they propose McPain. After the Great Financial Crisis they propose Mittens. It's akin to cast Dany de Vito to play Casanova. When Trump is gone, this party is finished.
Kolya Krassotkin , , January 10, 2019 at 5:06 pm
I approve. It's ironic the boorish Trump isn't nearly as revolting as the urbane Mitt.

That Americans are revolted more by Romney than by Trump, in fact, speaks well for them. All morally mature folk should be repelled more by a polite, urbane, well-scrubbed pirate, who made his fortune destroying people's lives and wealth than by a loud-talking, crude womanizer, who creates wealth and, in fact, shows his concern for the people below him more than the polite, charming, well-bred pirate.

Bacon , , January 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm
As I understand it, Romney's saying we need more Middle East wars, more Wall Street bailouts, and more immigrants.

I think we already knew that Romney wants those things. It's why we don't want Romney.

Also, it's its unnecessary to counter Kagan's arguments. He's not taken seriously any more. Too many bad and wrong judgments about important things.

rta , , January 11, 2019 at 10:09 am
@Jeeves, Obama would have stayed in Iraq if the Iraqi's had allowed us to continue to kill with impunity. Thankfully, they said no. And why on earth would you regret us not negotiating a new SOFA?
kswc , , January 11, 2019 at 11:24 am
Mitt Romney is the Republican's answer to the Democrat's John Kerry.
WorkingClass , , January 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm
If Utah has a problem with Trump they could have elected a Democrat.

Romney is obsolete. Never Trump Republicans are sinking in a tar pit. Romney cannot be nominated much less elected even if Trump does not run. He can help with the impeachment of Trump if it comes to that. But again, a Democrat would be more useful.

[Dec 15, 2018] Robert Kagan s Jungle Book of Forever War

One problem with this fat warmonger (and his wife Victoria Nuland) is that nether he not his children were ever forced to take M16 and fight for the policies he promotes. In other words he is a typical chickenhawk, a lobbyist of MIC on good salary. In some way this fat pig bellicosity is aside effect of abolishing universal draft. He also probably was not a fighter and never was severely beaten by super fighters in school or university. A typical nice Jewish kid.
Attempt to build global neoliberal empire reserving for the USA dominant position ("Full spectrum dominance") cost dear to the common Americans and now it is clear that this initiative of neocons and their paymasters (financial oligarchy and military industrial complex -- the neoliberal elite in other words) failed.
Kagan might be a talented propagandist of "full spectrum dominance" neoconservative policies, but it is important to understand that intellectually he is a lightweight: he believes his own propaganda.
From comments: "When one sees Pompeo's lips move about a new American world order, it is Kagan talking with his neo con war mongering."
Notable quotes:
"... Call a spade a spade: This guy has been part of and feeding the political class with the arguments to continue performing the 'Crime of Aggression' and doing that as part of preserving US primacy doesn't excuse him from the 'Crime of Aggression' part of the ICC mandate. Most of those guys are very much aware of that as demonstrated by Bolton's attack on the ICC. ..."
"... The Obama administration's point person for the overthrow of an elected government in Ukraine was Victoria Nuland, Kagan's wife. Even as the administration's duplicity was intercepted by the recording of her discussing who the U.S. would install as the new leaders, it would be interesting to hear the pillow talk of these two. ..."
"... The theory they embrace is that of an American New World Order, and a bipartisan practice of economic and military Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet to enforce that hegemony against the democratic aspirations of others – and to maintain support domestically for it, necessarily against democratic accountability for war to the American people. ..."
"... "the willingness to apply that power, with all the pain and the suffering, the uncertainties and the errors, the failures and follies, the immorality and brutality, the lost lives and the lost treasure." One can feel his depraved, almost prurient, excitement at the wretchedness he would inflict. ..."
"... Skip the geopolitical arguments. What I see in the photo is an obviously well-fed desk jockey from the Swamp exhorting us to waste yet more blood and treasure on his grandiose political vision. ..."
"... Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. ..."
"... warmongers are opportunists, and democrats are as supportive of war efforts as GOP. This guy is a traitor of the people of this country, period. ..."
"... One should understand that committing to trillions of dollars in military spending each decade pretty much eliminates any possibility of true liberalism spreading. ..."
"... When one sees pompeo's lips move about a new American world order, it is kagan talking with his neo con war mongering. ..."
Dec 15, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Today, Kagan is an influential scholar at the Brookings Institution, a columnist at The Washington Post , and a member of the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Despite being known as a neoconservative, his appeal spans party and ideological divides. Indeed, Kagan's 2016 support for Hillary Clinton showed his willingness to cross these divides himself in terms of electoral loyalties.

As a writer and public intellectual, Kagan has skillfully crafted historical narratives and strategic assessments supporting his overarching neoconservative vision for U.S. foreign policy. His 1996 Foreign Affairs article with Bill Kristol, " Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy ," still resonates today as a concise hallmark statement of that approach to America's role in the world. With a long list of prominent books and articles following in that vein, it is little wonder that Andrew Bacevich called him "the chief foreign policy theorist of the neoconservative movement."

Kagan's newest book, The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World , fits nicely into his corpus. It is a spirited defense of the "American-led liberal world order" by one of its most cogent and articulate advocates. It is part curated history, part philippic for his preferred strategic vision for the United States. In this small volume, Kagan argues that the enlightened order America created after World War II has allowed for much progress in the world. But this order is not natural, and its great benefits have been "made possible by the protection afforded liberalism within the geographical and geopolitical space created by American power." To Kagan, this liberal order is "fragile and impermanent," requiring constant care by its architect and beneficiary, the United States. He sees the liberal order as being "like a garden, artificial and forever threatened by the forces of nature." Thus "preserving it requires a persistent, unending struggle against the vines and weeds that are constantly working to undermine it from within and overwhelm it from without." Otherwise, the jungle will "grow back and engulf us all."

The problem with the book is its reliance on some questionable historical and contemporary assessments, not to mention that it fails to really make the case for the necessity and desirability of the liberal order in today's world.

Kagan begins The Jungle Grows Back by noting that the last 70 years of peace, prosperity, and the expansion of democracy and respect for individual rights have been an exception to the historical norm. Far from being the natural course or inevitable, this progress required something special and unique: that a liberal democratic country like the United States, with so many geopolitical and economic advantages, rose to international prominence after World War II. Not only that, but, as Kagan argues, American leaders were willing to use their great power at this special moment in history to act differently and to create a new and unique world order.

Rather than merely defend its narrow national interests, the United States created a liberal international order that it would take responsibility for upholding and protecting. Kagan argues that this approach wasn't, as some might argue, directed at the Soviet Union or anyone else in particular (though he admits the rise of the Soviet threat made it easier for Americans to accept it even as the strategy became more difficult to implement). Instead, "its chief purpose was to prevent a return to the economic, political, and strategic circumstances that had given rise to the last war." Thus, Kagan believes this internationalist approach was rooted in a realism about the nature of geopolitics in the 20th century and a realization that the world was a jungle that required "meeting power with greater power." American leaders had learned from World War II that they had to adopt a new approach to the world, one that created, in Dean Acheson's words, "an environment for freedom." To do otherwise would be to let disorder reign or for others to order the international system to the detriment of American interests and values.


JR December 14, 2018 at 12:35 am

Call a spade a spade: This guy has been part of and feeding the political class with the arguments to continue performing the 'Crime of Aggression' and doing that as part of preserving US primacy doesn't excuse him from the 'Crime of Aggression' part of the ICC mandate. Most of those guys are very much aware of that as demonstrated by Bolton's attack on the ICC.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/what-is-john-boltons-bully-pulpit-attack-on-the-international-criminal-court-really-about

Fran Macadam , says: December 14, 2018 at 1:59 am
"Despite being known as a neoconservative, his appeal spans party and ideological divides. Indeed, Kagan's 2016 support for Hillary Clinton showed his willingness to cross these divides himself in terms of electoral loyalties."

The Obama administration's point person for the overthrow of an elected government in Ukraine was Victoria Nuland, Kagan's wife. Even as the administration's duplicity was intercepted by the recording of her discussing who the U.S. would install as the new leaders, it would be interesting to hear the pillow talk of these two.

The theory they embrace is that of an American New World Order, and a bipartisan practice of economic and military Full Spectrum Dominance of the planet to enforce that hegemony against the democratic aspirations of others – and to maintain support domestically for it, necessarily against democratic accountability for war to the American people.

Given that the liberal cultural order in the Homeland is so quickly degrading, the imposition of it internationally is likely to become increasingly infected by poor judgment as well as resistance to it increasing.

It used to be in popular entertainment that the villains were interested in ruling the world, madmen with megalomania. That enemy is now within.

Daniel Good , says: December 14, 2018 at 5:55 am
"the willingness to apply that power, with all the pain and the suffering, the uncertainties and the errors, the failures and follies, the immorality and brutality, the lost lives and the lost treasure." One can feel his depraved, almost prurient, excitement at the wretchedness he would inflict.
Lawrence Coleman , says: December 14, 2018 at 6:23 am
Skip the geopolitical arguments. What I see in the photo is an obviously well-fed desk jockey from the Swamp exhorting us to waste yet more blood and treasure on his grandiose political vision.
Sid Finster , says: December 14, 2018 at 11:23 am
"Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

In an interview with Gilbert in Göring's jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946)

david , says: December 14, 2018 at 12:28 pm
"Indeed, Kagan's 2016 support for Hillary Clinton showed his willingness to cross these divides himself in terms of electoral loyalties."

It is probably due to the fact that most people at that time thought Clinton was going to win. So his support for Clinton proved 2 things: warmongers are opportunists, and democrats are as supportive of war efforts as GOP. This guy is a traitor of the people of this country, period.

balconesfault , says: December 14, 2018 at 12:59 pm
One should understand that committing to trillions of dollars in military spending each decade pretty much eliminates any possibility of true liberalism spreading.
balconesfault , says: December 14, 2018 at 1:01 pm
@Wayne

"The same containment strategy appears to be what the Iraq War was about: contain the Iranian Muslim Revolution from not spilling over from Iraq into US ally nations: "

Had there never been an Iraq War – Muslim revolution could never have spilled over from Iraq to any other nations – because Saddam wasn't going to allow any Muslim revolution from happening within his borders.

WorkingClass , says: December 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm
..to his emergence in the post-Cold War era as arguably the leading intellectual advocate for a foreign policy of "benevolent global hegemony" -- what scholars call "primacy."

An "intellectual" war monger? A "benevolent" Imperialist? ...

S , says: December 14, 2018 at 3:39 pm
Wayne Lusvardi,

"The same containment strategy appears to be what the Iraq War was about: contain the Iranian Muslim Revolution from not spilling over from Iraq into US ally nations: Saudi, UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan. Afghanistan is just another buffer country to fight the Iranian stealth war."

I presume that history started in 2003 and that you have never heard of Saddam Hussein (the guy who fought a long war with Iran aided by the US) or the Sunni Taliban who ruled Afghanistan and were opposed to Shia Iran. Except for the fraud and deceit done by the neocon controlled US regime of the time, these illegal wars would not have been possible. Pick up some real history books for a change. Don't learn about the Soviet Union from the Pravda.

Taras 77 , says: December 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm
When one sees pompeo's lips move about a new American world order, it is kagan talking with his neo con war mongering.

[Mar 17, 2017] Chickenhawks from Kagan family

Notable quotes:
"... "The Warrior Kagan Family", that must have been Greenwald's big joke, I hope. Those people give a meaning to the name chickenhawks, they would not know from which end a gun fires, but they certainly know how to get millions killed by others. ..."
"... Their money ensures that their aggressive writings still get published in the usual Deep State media. I particularly liked a touch of light humor by Mr Parry: "There was also hope that a President Hillary Clinton would recognize how sympatico the liberal hawks and the neocons were by promoting Robert Kagan's neocon wife, Victoria Nuland, to Secretary of State." ..."
"... What is troublesome is with the Kagan's screaming out, 'watch the Russians, beware of the Russians' and with the 24/7 MSM alarm bells going off over Russia, will the Trump Adminstration need to craft their foreign policy around the likes of these Russia Haters? ..."
"... The common denominator is profit and increased market share fueled by greed ..Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the average USA investor who fuels the stock market looking for the best return on his/her money. ..."
"... After finding this early warning essay by Cartalucci I have often wondered that if our MSM were to have scooped this kind of news regarding the travels of Senator John McCain would the tragedy of Benghazi have never happened. ..."
"... http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/john-mccain-founding-father-of.html ..."
"... Plus this article adds insight to how the Deep State operates. McCain should be the one held for high treason, but as things are that will never happen. The more you may learn the more you may find that Donald Trump seems to be less of a problem than we all know. Now that isn't an endorsement of Trump, as much as it is a heads up to notice who all is behind the curtain. ..."
"... I recommend reading the latest blog by Moon of Alabama and enlightened comments. You will get further details on what the Kagans' plans are – what they would have done for sure under their L'Amour Toujours, Clinton as President. ..."
"... I read that moonofalabama, b is always right on. In fact b and Robert Parry are excellent examples of how 'small' is good. http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/15/us-expands-defacto-syrian-invasion/ The above article by Tony Cartalucci is along the same lines as moonofalabama. ..."
"... Excellent point – how to quickly recognise psychopaths: "psychopathy is the habit of using emotionally loaded language in tones which betray no actual connection to the content". A large proportion of our politicians fit the description. ..."
"... "I noted two years ago in an article entitled "A Family Business of Perpetual War": "Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so America can meet these new security threats. This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks." ..."
"... "the so-called "#Resistance" to Trump's presidency and President Obama's unprecedented use of his intelligence agencies to paint Trump as a Russian "Manchurian candidate" gave new hope to the neocons and their agenda. It has taken them a few months to reorganize and regroup but they now see hope in pressuring Trump so hard regarding Russia that he will have little choice but to buy into their belligerent schemes. As often is the case, the Family Kagan has charted the course of action – batter Republicans into joining the all-out Russia-bashing and then persuade a softened Trump to launch a full-scale invasion of Syria. In this endeavor, the Kagans have Democrats and liberals as the foot soldiers." ..."
"... For instance, Robert's brother Frederick works at the American Enterprise Institute, which has long benefited from the largesse of the Military-Industrial Complex, and his wife Kimberly runs her own think tank called the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). ..."
"... Andrew Bacevich referred to Kagan as "the chief neoconservative foreign-policy theorist" in reviewing Kagan's book The Return of history and the end of dreams.[21] ..."
"... Here's Andrew Bacevich's 2014 piece on the Kagans: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues ..."
"... But Mr Parry, I think it will also be interesting to examine the 'Vault 7' disclosure with regards to this Russia bashing. If the CIA has the ability to put out any email or documentation without a trail as to its origin, the Kagans could be shown as the charlatans they are if it was the CIA who meddled with the US election. ..."
"... "The US military will try to take Raqqa from ISIS with the help of the Kurds in coordination with Syrian government forces. The Syrian government will also destroy al Qaeda in Idleb. The chance that Trump will pick up on any of these neo-con plans is practically zero. But who knows?" ..."
"... On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show, Friedman demanded that the Russia hacking allegations be treated as a casus belli: "That was a 9/11 scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor scale event." Both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 led to wars. ..."
"... It's just reported on Global Research that Russia has absorbed 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees since the US 2014 coup and Europe 900,000 more, according to a Kremlin parliamentarian in February. Thanks to Victoria Nuland! ..."
"... Far too much money which MIC wants play with. ..and as Admiral Thomas Moorer commented, " No American President can stand up to Israel " ..."
"... the virulent fixation on Russia is out of control. ..."
Mar 17, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Bart in Virginia March 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

It's not the Family Kagan, but rather as Glenn Greenwald dubbed them, The Warrior Kagan Family with a trade mark sign as suffix.

I'll bet Victoria resigned from State, seeing her future there granting visas in Baku.

Thanks, Robert, I haven't had a Kagan fix in quite a while!

Kiza , March 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm

"The Warrior Kagan Family", that must have been Greenwald's big joke, I hope. Those people give a meaning to the name chickenhawks, they would not know from which end a gun fires, but they certainly know how to get millions killed by others.

As to Mr Parry, calling them the American neocon royalty, it certainly is some foul-mouth royalty, telling another Zio servant EU to get f'ed.

Thank you Robert Parry for a great article, just like Bart I was wondering what happened to the cookie distributing "royalty" after the Clinton fail. It is not surprising that they are now learning to manipulate outcomes from the opposition. Their money ensures that their aggressive writings still get published in the usual Deep State media. I particularly liked a touch of light humor by Mr Parry: "There was also hope that a President Hillary Clinton would recognize how sympatico the liberal hawks and the neocons were by promoting Robert Kagan's neocon wife, Victoria Nuland, to Secretary of State."

Between the Clinton liberals and the Ziocons C'est une Affaire d'Amour Toujours , as Pepé Le Pew likes to say.

Skip Edwards , March 15, 2017 at 11:28 pm

"The Warrior Kagan Family", that must have been Greenwald's big joke, I hope. Those people give a meaning to the name chickenhawks, they would not know from which end a gun fires, but they certainly know how to get millions killed by others.

I learned how to laugh again; and, at the expense of all those despicable Kagen's.

Joe Tedesky , March 15, 2017 at 11:49 pm

KIza there is good news inside Robert Parry's article if you look for it. One good thing is that Hillary isn't the president, and if she were one could only imagine what her and the Kagan's would be up to right now. The other piece of good news, is that the Kagan's are writing op-eds and not working for the Trump Adminstration.

Now I have read somewhere where the U.S. is working with Russia, and that for the most part for now has to be done on the low key. Of course with news being 'fake' and all of that, who's to know?

What is troublesome is with the Kagan's screaming out, 'watch the Russians, beware of the Russians' and with the 24/7 MSM alarm bells going off over Russia, will the Trump Adminstration need to craft their foreign policy around the likes of these Russia Haters?

Cheney and Rumsfeld developed 'the Continuity of Government Program' and I'm wondering if that cast of characters could seep into the mix of things? Plus don't forget the ever reliable CIA So with all of that working against you, one could only wonder if Ghandi and Jesus could do much better up against this evil array of villains.

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 12:10 am

Here is something worth reading Tony Cartalucci explains the Deep State, and goes on to talk about how it may be defeated. Here's a hint, the world will not be run by the New World Order.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/03/exposing-real-deep-state.html

John , March 16, 2017 at 11:28 am

Very good link, Joe!! The common denominator is profit and increased market share fueled by greed ..Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the average USA investor who fuels the stock market looking for the best return on his/her money. I would not look for much altruistic behavioral changes in human nature Greed is still the preferred method of operation .and firmly in control ..

Common Tater , March 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

Joe T.
Excellent article, thanks!

D5-5 , March 16, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Joe, many thanks for this powerful link on the deep state, and its explanation of the multi-polar conditions needed, and as happening, plus the link you supplied below related to what's going on in Syria, also clear and helpful.

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

I'm glad that you all found the link to be informative. I am posting another link to a Tony Cartalucci article that got my attention of his work a few years ago, and ever since I look forward to reading his reporting.

This link is interesting for the fact that the original article was published March 2012 which was somewhere in the neighborhood of six months before the deadly attack took place in Benghazi. After finding this early warning essay by Cartalucci I have often wondered that if our MSM were to have scooped this kind of news regarding the travels of Senator John McCain would the tragedy of Benghazi have never happened.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/03/john-mccain-founding-father-of.html

Plus this article adds insight to how the Deep State operates. McCain should be the one held for high treason, but as things are that will never happen. The more you may learn the more you may find that Donald Trump seems to be less of a problem than we all know. Now that isn't an endorsement of Trump, as much as it is a heads up to notice who all is behind the curtain.

Curious , March 16, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Thanks for the two links Joe. I didn't think it was possible for me to dislike McCain more than I already did, but I was wrong. I did like Senator Pauls' comment about McCain today however. He basically said McCain is a perfect example of why we should have term limits in the Senate, which is so true.

Kiza , March 16, 2017 at 12:24 am

Oh no, I did not mean that it is bad news this is why I wrote that the Kagans are learning to spew hate from the opposition not from the government. Like D5-5, I recommend reading the latest blog by Moon of Alabama and enlightened comments. You will get further details on what the Kagans' plans are – what they would have done for sure under their L'Amour Toujours, Clinton as President.

As to Jesus, he self-sacrificed himself to show the way out of human predicament. Jesus was fighting against such ideologues of hate and moneychangers as the Kagans, who are an exemplar of the mad-gleaming-eye-greedy-finger types so well known in the old Europe. Just observe the first photo to the article: she looks like she would murder just about any baby in the world to take her sweet candy.

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 1:08 am

I read that moonofalabama, b is always right on. In fact b and Robert Parry are excellent examples of how 'small' is good.

http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/15/us-expands-defacto-syrian-invasion/

The above article by Tony Cartalucci is along the same lines as moonofalabama.

At this stage of the game the best that I can put forward with, is we got to take one day at a time, in order to make sense of whatever the real news is going on inside Syria. From one article to another it's hard to tell who's fighting, or going to fight who. With the atmosphere here in America I'm waiting for an arrest to be made if you talk favorably about Russia, or Putin. Seriously, our MSM cable news networks are going hells bells on this Russian hacking, Russian tampering with our democracy, Russia has a puppet in the White House, Russia _______fill in the blank. We have gone totally nuts this time, and it looks like we are going to stay that way for awhile.

I always like to ponder the politics that would have prevailed during the time of Jesus. If you get a grasp on that then Jesus really stands out better for what he was preaching too, and preaching against. I'm sure Herod or Ceasar had their Kagan's around in their day, and who knows how discreetly those ancient Kagan's could have whispered vile and nasty ideas of war and conquest into their leaders head. When it's all about power and money it's easy to lose ones head, or so they say. Let's all hope the Kagan's amount to be nothing more than sore losers.

Peter Loeb , March 16, 2017 at 6:13 am

WITH MCCAIN AS HELPER

A good comment Joe Tedesky.

As to Syria, we already have invaded and already plan more (see Defense Appropriation). Of interest would be Putin's response on the ground.

(When Netanyahu went to Moskow to ask for help in getting Syria to reign in Iran, he was referred to the sovereign government of Syria! Is the current (and future) US invasion of the sovereign state of Syria at the invitation of the Syrian Government??

Ans: No! See UN Charter on aggression, I think it is Article 4(2) if memory serves. Besides the current administration wants to make all its sins of commission such as drones done by the CIA Which is to say covert and not accountable to anyone (such as DOD, White House etc.).Our invasion will evidently be
accountable to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

I am certain Moscow has a plan, a response (diplomatic or otherwise).

Donald Trump likes war and being "Commander-in-Chief". All countries involved in war are always absolutely persuaded that their victory will be quick, easy etc.It also helps(??) the US economy as all wars have for hundreds of years. No one will oppose more money for defense. I have already contacted my Mass. Senators in regard to funds for the invasion of Syria as well as my Congressional Representative. (I expect little support. All lawgivers are dependent on AIPAC support )

--Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 10:15 am

Except for Desert Storm every war has lasted long past it's end date, and even one could argue over Desert Storm if you add in the time of occupation or establishing no fly zones to how long we have been there.

I'm not all that sure yet that Trump likes war. There are times he stresses peace, after he rally's the people around a powerful military speech. Now, what I do worry about is the people around him. NIkki Haley just recently in a NBC interview said how we should never trust Russia. Wow, and she is our UN ambassador. So much for statesmanship and diplomacy.

As far as our CIA goes they are going to get everyone on this planet killed. It's long overdue to crunch the CIA down to being an information gatherer and stop with the convert intrigue. If we factor in stability and the quality of human life, then tell me about the one CIA operation which has been a success. The CIA's interference, and trashing of foreign government sovereignty is a disgrace, and should I add be prosecuted as a war crime in the highest order. If Trump could shred the CIA into a thousand pieces then I say, do it Mr President.

The real problem we face while attempting to establish the Yinon Plan, is that we will finally either partner with Russia somehow over something, or end up fighting Russia and possibly not fight them through proxies. I don't see either Russia or the U.S. using nukes on each other at first, but I would be praying for the poor souls in places such as Iran, Yemen, or places like that. And while we are at it North and South Korea, and once again Japan would most likely be countries well inside the lines of being in jeopardy.

Russia, and China, should be our natural allies, but there's nothing natural about our country's foreign policy when world hegemony overrides man's human nature to life in peace.

John , March 16, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Joe,

The other piece of good news is that they are actually starting to walk back the Russia hacked the election an we can prove it nonsense. Read Glenn Greenwald's latest piece at The Intercept. At long last sir have they actually some human decency? Nah!!!

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Thanks John I will be sure to read Greenwald's article, but you know we in America need a bogey man .so if not Russia then who?

Dominic Pukallus , March 16, 2017 at 4:43 am

Concerning the foul-mouthing, I was disturbed to hear such strong talk (at least to this earthy soul) in such a delicate voice. To me a sign of psychopathy is the habit of using emotionally loaded language in tones which betray no actual connection to the content. Another is causing the killing of no small amount of people with a large amount of apparent unconcern, but then again that's a net which would drag an alarming amount of people from corridors of power. Perhaps the majority of these have mastered the art of matching tone and content in their requirement to at least appear Human to their subjects.

Kiza , March 16, 2017 at 6:00 am

Excellent point – how to quickly recognise psychopaths: "psychopathy is the habit of using emotionally loaded language in tones which betray no actual connection to the content". A large proportion of our politicians fit the description. Thank you.

Nastarana , March 16, 2017 at 10:34 am

Kiza, Please don't forget that is a "sign of psychopathy". There are other kinds of derangement in which the unfortunate sufferers are prone to the use of inappropriate body language and verbal tone, but are not necessarily a danger to others. As for the Kagans, I consider them to be criminals, plain and simple.

Anon , March 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

I am waiting to see the male ballerina "foot soldiers" demanding transgender bathrooms in the trenches.

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Anon in 1919 Max Sennett was way ahead of you. You might get a kick out of watching Sennett's movie called 'Yankee Doodle in Berlin'. It is a story about an American soldier dressed as a woman going behind enemy lines to entice the Kaiser. Also notice the slanted propaganda of the way American Hollywood film producers were characterizing the Germans. We are all but a product of who came before us I'm sad to say .but hey enjoy the silent flick anyway.

https://archive.org/details/YankeeDoodleInBerlin

Oh and with all due respect let's at least give a salute to Chelsea Manning.

BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS , March 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

BART IN VIRGINIA!!

Are you really "Bart" as in short for "Bartholomew"!!!!

Parry, thank you for a GREAT article.

Early on you pegged them:

"Back pontificating on prominent op-ed pages, the Family Kagan now is pushing for an expanded U.S. military invasion of Syria and baiting Republicans for not joining more enthusiastically in the anti-Russian witch hunt over Moscow's alleged help in electing Donald Trump."

Then skillfully reminding us: "I noted two years ago in an article entitled "A Family Business of Perpetual War": "Neoconservative pundit Robert Kagan and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, run a remarkable family business: she has sparked a hot war in Ukraine and helped launch Cold War II with Russia and he steps in to demand that Congress jack up military spending so America can meet these new security threats. This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks."

Your conclusion is actually overly optimistic:

"the so-called "#Resistance" to Trump's presidency and President Obama's unprecedented use of his intelligence agencies to paint Trump as a Russian "Manchurian candidate" gave new hope to the neocons and their agenda. It has taken them a few months to reorganize and regroup but they now see hope in pressuring Trump so hard regarding Russia that he will have little choice but to buy into their belligerent schemes. As often is the case, the Family Kagan has charted the course of action – batter Republicans into joining the all-out Russia-bashing and then persuade a softened Trump to launch a full-scale invasion of Syria. In this endeavor, the Kagans have Democrats and liberals as the foot soldiers."

Instead, the Deep State is preparing to begin getting rid of Trump on June 1st:

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/video-on-june-1st-the-deep-state-will-move-to-overthrow-trump-there-is-a-secret-agenda-to-allow-a-crisis-and-get-rid-of-the-president_03142017

IF you the reader haven't read my "The Deep State Versus President Trump" it is time (on Amazon for only $12.95 or less).

Parry, I will immediately post this EXCELLENT article on Facebook. Because my wife and I are living "by the skin of our teeth" on social security, I can't make a donation, but I will send in an article on why the Deep State wants Trump gone as a pro bono contribution. Hope you think it is worthy of publication.

Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy (ethics, public policy) and Religion (books: "On the Buddha": "On Gandhi"; and "Why Christians and World-Peace Advocates Voted for President Donald Trump"), Northeastern University, Boston, MA-and the only Ph.D. in philosophy among the thousands that I and my mentor Professor Samuel Gorovitz know who voted for and supports Trump [no, Sam was and is opposed to our POTUS].

dineesh , March 15, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Who is behind them rascals?

evelync , March 15, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Good question! And I don't know the answer, but I googled the question and FWIW depending on the reliability of the writers of the articles, here's what I found:

"A Family Business

There's also a family-business aspect to these wars and confrontations, since the Kagans collectively serve not just to start conflicts but to profit from grateful military contractors who kick back a share of the money to the think tanks that employ the Kagans.

For instance, Robert's brother Frederick works at the American Enterprise Institute, which has long benefited from the largesse of the Military-Industrial Complex, and his wife Kimberly runs her own think tank called the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to ISW's annual reports, its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by a host of national security contractors, including major ones like General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provided training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA's venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplied software to US military intelligence in Afghanistan.

Since its founding in 2007, ISW has focused mostly on wars in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, including closely cooperating with Gen. David Petraeus when he commanded US forces in those countries. However, more recently, ISW has begun reporting extensively on the civil war in Ukraine. [See "Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War."]

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-26/meet-kagans-seeking-war-end-world

from wikipedia:

"In 1983, Robert Kagan was foreign policy advisor to New York Republican Representative Jack Kemp. From 1984–86, under the administration of Ronald Reagan, he was a speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz and a member of the United States Department of State Policy Planning Staff. From 1986–1988 he served in the State Department Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.[10]

In 1997, Kagan co-founded the now-defunct neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century with William Kristol.[3][5][11] Through the work of the PNAC, Kagan was a strong advocate of the Iraq war.

From 1998 until August, 2010, Kagan was a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was appointed senior fellow in the Center on United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution in September 2010.[12][13][14][15] He is also a member of the board of directors for the neoconservative think tank The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).[16]

During the 2008 presidential campaign he served as foreign policy advisor to John McCain, the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.[17][18]

Since 2011, Kagan has also served on the 25-member State Department's Foreign Affairs Policy Board under Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton[19] and John Kerry.[20]

Andrew Bacevich referred to Kagan as "the chief neoconservative foreign-policy theorist" in reviewing Kagan's book The Return of history and the end of dreams.[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kagan

also check out the footnotes from the wiki article ..

Here's Andrew Bacevich's 2014 piece on the Kagans: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/duplicity-ideologues

Bottom line, though, it seems like the Kagans have been at the center of Washington policy think for decades and decades and therefore fit neatly within the comfort zone of powerful people who carry out U.S. foreign policy – Republicans and Democrats.
That's who we are, apparently ..
I recently saw Wally Shawn's play in NYC – 'Evening at the Talk House', an amazing play about who we are – or have become .
https://www.timeout.com/newyork/blog/theater-review-evening-at-the-talk-house-is-wallace-shawns-political-party-trick-021617
http://www.vulture.com/2017/02/theater-evening-at-the-talk-house-and-escaped-alone.html

Bill Bodden , March 15, 2017 at 11:26 pm

Thank you for your research and report

jaycee , March 15, 2017 at 9:28 pm

It's not too difficult to identify the think-tanks the Kagans belong to or run. These organizations have web sites, and the web sites usually list who the funders are. That's the information you seek.

For example, the Institute for the Study of War is supported by the likes of General Dynamics, CACI, Microsoft, Centerra, Capital Bank, etc.

Diana , March 16, 2017 at 7:02 am

Robbie Martin has produced a three-part documentary on them rascals called "A Very Heavy Agenda." It's well worth watching, but it's expensive the box set of the three DVDs costs $50.00. I opted for the Vimeo version, where each part can be purchased for $6.99 or rented for $2.99. You can watch the trailers and learn more at http://averyheavyagenda.com .

Diana , March 16, 2017 at 8:10 am

You can find the Vimeo versions at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/averyheavyagenda . Watch the trailer for Part 3 and you will see that it refers to Robert Parry's "Family Kagan" article.

Sam , March 16, 2017 at 7:03 am

The ME warmongers are largely zionist Jews, including the Kagan/Nulands and the 2003 Iraq War II sponsors SecDef Wolfowitz and his Israeli spy operatives Perl, Feith, and Wurmser installed at CIA/DIA/NSA offices to select known-bad "intelligence" to incite war. The Kochs are of course complicit. Any who aren't zionist Jews are after their stolen US funds to Israel, fed to stink tanks and political bribe donations.

The war in Iraq was such a success that the US was forced out having ensured the pro-Iran government it most feared, having built AlQaeda from a CIA proxy to a regional and then a worldwide enemy, and having guaranteed the violent Sunni uprising now called IS. Read Bamford's Pretext for War. Don't we need more of those wars.

BART GRUZALSKI PROF. EMERITUS , March 16, 2017 at 9:29 am

dineesh,

This is a reply to your (lost in the undergrowth): MORE RASCALS, in fact, THE ENTIRE DEEP STATE.

dineesh's question: Who is behind those rascals.

D5-5 , March 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm

Take a look at Moon of Alabama on this Kagan rehash. The comments in response to the analysis also recommended. Posted today.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/03/third-times-the-charm-the-neocons-want-another-sunni-insurgency.html

Sally Snyder , March 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm

As shown in this article, the United States is using ammunition in Syria that is adding to the already significant problems that Syrians are facing:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/02/the-united-states-and-cancer-of-warfare.html

Apparently, the lessons taught in Iraq have been forgotten.

Scott , March 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm

A lesson can be had only by those willing to learn. Democrats just lost over 900 seats across state and federal offices and even that proved not to be a teachable moment.

Curious , March 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm

What a disturbing headline. I had hoped they would have been neutered after the Hillary defeat.

But Mr Parry, I think it will also be interesting to examine the 'Vault 7' disclosure with regards to this Russia bashing. If the CIA has the ability to put out any email or documentation without a trail as to its origin, the Kagans could be shown as the charlatans they are if it was the CIA who meddled with the US election. It would shake their entire platform of blaming Russia to the core. It is difficult enough as it is to tell the originator of many internal docs leaked to the public, so the blame game is false as it is. I would welcome more release of the CIA vault 7 if only to show how often the CIA is involved in internal US politics and "homeland" situations. This meddling is supposedly against the law.

One could only hope.

Tannenhouser , March 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Not only that .A 'democrats' views are so symbiotic to a kagans shows they play for the same team while occasionally wearing different color jersey's. Curious indeed . I share your hope.

Jonathan , March 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

In connection with the legality of CIA meddling in internal affairs, and the Trump wire-tapping charge, Scott Ritter has made what seems to be a rather good point in a recent article published in Truthdig. The article digs a little deeper into the matter and comes up with a surprising and quite optimistic conclusion.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/trumps_wiretapping_charge_could_contain_some_explosive_truth_20170314

D5-5 , March 15, 2017 at 8:32 pm

As b says, analyst at Moon of Alabama (he's German by the way) on this topic, "The US military will try to take Raqqa from ISIS with the help of the Kurds in coordination with Syrian government forces. The Syrian government will also destroy al Qaeda in Idleb. The chance that Trump will pick up on any of these neo-con plans is practically zero. But who knows?"

He also finds the Kaganista notions on a THIRD try at raising "the moderates" to get rid of Assad "drinking the kool aid."

My question is how does this troop infusion, made problematical as Assad has not okayed it, calling it illegal, and which includes 2500 "tip of the spear" paratroopers in Kuwait, move the situation on, additional to (or beyond) the goal of cleaning out ISIS? To what, why? Suppose ISIS defeated (replaced in how long by another ISIS unless the political/economic situation changes for the sunnis) then what? Trump does an Obama and the US leaves again? Or cuts a deal with the neocons on pipeline projects etc?

LJ , March 15, 2017 at 9:01 pm

I read that article. The Qatar Turkey Pipeline was one of the hoped for outcomes of the Regime Change in Syria . This was problematic for Russia and will remain so. If the USA>NATO>EU thought that they could bring Turkey into the fold with this pipeline it might make sense but right now this is very unlikely.

Personally I do not think Trump and Tillerson would go for World War .Do not forget that China is allied with Russia on this and they see Syria as very important to the completion of One Belt One Road'. Israel's role in the region and in Syria should not be forgotten ever. They are anxious about the Golan and Russia and they always want the USA to attack Iran. So does Saudi Arabia and you may have noticed the Saudi Foreign Minister dropping a comment a couple days ago that this planned action against Hezbollah and Iran is very much on the table.

There are many heads on the chopping block right now not just Assad's, enemies and allies also. The Planners cannot control the outcome in Turkey (We played our card already), in Iraq, in Syria or in Lebanon. WE are not liked. All the USA can do at this point is destroy, we can never win hearts and minds in the Middle East.. Can of Worms.

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 1:23 am

I think the biggest worry is to hope that whoever loses can bear the cost of loss. This Syrian war I don't think at this point is as much about ISIS as it is about land. Land for pipelines mostly, but land for a whole host of other reasons as well. Sunni, Shia, and Kurds, are the predominant people who are fighting for space, but so are countries like Turkey, Saudi's, and the Israeli's in the Golan Heights. So stretching pipelines, and building new one road infrastrutures need land oh and let's not forget the Shia Crescent and Iran. This area is so messed up I'm not that sure even the winner will have won much more than a big headache.

Enjoyed reading both of your comments, and thought I'd make some noise to accompany your conversation.

MEexpert , March 16, 2017 at 2:41 am

Joe, both the Syrian and Iraq wars now have two purposes. First is to prevent the dreaded "Shia Crescent," and the second is to protect Israel. The latest surge in Iraq and Syria by the US forces is to keep the perpetual wars going by creating "Sunni" zones in Iraq and Syria. When the Iraqi Army and the Shia militias were battling the ISIS, there were no US boots on the ground. Same thing in Syria. Consider the timing of this surge. ISIS is almost routed in Iraq and Syria and all of a sudden Trump sends ground forces to help mop up the remnants of ISIS.

The real purpose is not to clean up ISIS but to prevent the government forces to establish rule in Mosul. Saudi Arabia wants that part to remain Sunni. This way Iran doesn't win. The US wants to divide Iraq in three parts, Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish, as has been her plan all along. Similarly, in Syria, if Assad wins the whole of Syria is under his rule. By inserting herself in the war, the US wants to set up a Sunni section on behalf of Saudi Arabia and Israel, to be a thorn in Assad's side and a Kurdish side to punish Erdogan for his behavior and keep him occupied. The wars will continue in the Middle East, the Military-Industrial Complex will continue to sell weapons and Israel will be worry free.

What I don't understand is why is US so against the Shias. I can understand Israel's position. Israel got her rear end kicked twice by a tiny Hezbollah force but why US. It can't be just to please Israel or is it? So much bloodshed just for that.

Sam , March 16, 2017 at 7:13 am

The US is involved solely to get political campaign funds from Israel stolen from US "aid".

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 10:25 am

Going back to the old communist days and Nassar the U.S. sided with Israel. That was back at a time when we Americans were exposed to the propaganda that Israeli's were like us Americans, and all Arabs were crazy. We were fine with Iran as long as we had the Shad there to protect our interest. The Iran Hostage event was excellent PR to demonize Iran for over a forty year period, and life goes on.

You and I along with many others here believe now is a great time to hit the Middle East reset button .now how do we convince our country's leadership to do that, is the question.

John P , March 16, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Good article and I think you hit the nails on the heads MEexpert. Your final paragraph, I think the U.S. wants a stable ally in the region and they believe Israel fills that roll, even though I see little common interest in eithers ambitions, one for stability the other for annexations. Perhaps the U.S. politicians hold their noses and hope.

Sam , March 16, 2017 at 7:21 am

The Qatar-Turkey pipeline concept tried to break the "Shiite crescent" of Iran/Iraq/Syria/Lebanon and compete with the southern Russia-Turkey pipeline; otherwise they would not be seeking war near pipelines that could more easily have coexisted.

MEexpert , March 16, 2017 at 2:57 am

"Suppose ISIS defeated (replaced in how long by another ISIS unless the political/economic situation changes for the sunnis) then what?"

Why such concern about the Sunnis? In Iraq only 20% population is Sunni. Yet Saddam, a Sunni, ruled more that 60% Shias for 35 years and other Sunni rulers before that. There was no concern for their feelings or their safety by Papa Bush in 1991 or after that when Saddam gassed the Shias and the Kurds. Bahrain, on the other hand, at one time was 90% Shia with a Sunni ruler, thanks to the British. The Emir of Bahrain has been systematically stripping the Shias of their citizenship and importing Sunnis from other countries and giving them Citizenship by recruiting them into the Bahraini Armed Forces. Even when the uprising started in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia moved in there to put the uprising down, all US did was to send down the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs to reassure the Emir of Bahrain and to make sure that the 5th fleet was safe.

D5-5 , March 16, 2017 at 1:02 pm

@ ME Expert:

Thank you for your comments! I'm looking at the above responses, including the additional link on Syria from Joe, which provides historical perspective also, in terms of US establishing a presence in eastern Syria to be "a thorn in Assad's side" as you say, and continue to push for regional control allied with Israel and Saudi Arabia, et al.

On your question why such concern about the Sunnis, here's my impression, which could be too simple.

With the conquest of Iraq and Bremer's releasing the 400,000 military, a highly Shia favored sort of revenge government program fell into place, favoring Shias and leading to problems for Sunnis (including high unemployment) that led on to the creation of ISIS. If similar economic and political problems are not dealt with, wiping out this iteration of ISIS could lead to another version of it. I also have the impression the potential number of these dissatisfied, as potential recruits, could number in many millions (not sure how many). I don't intend to take a position favoring Sunnis, but am trying to understand the complexity of the grievances of whomever. As part of this, my understanding is that many members of ISIS are not head-chopping maniacs but joined as ISIS was the only available opposing force.

On your question why is the US so against the Shias, my impression is they haven't been against the Shias in Iraq, while simultaneously (and shortsightedly) exercising no influence on fair governance of Iraq following the 03 invasion, and this favoritism favored the Shias there and stirred Sunni resistance. But, I'm thinking, the animosity toward Shias elsewhere is related to alignments in the region, toward dominating the entire region, including taking down Syria and Iran. So it's not so much animosity toward Shias per se as it is to regime change uncooperative rulers, whether in Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, with their Shia populations (and lately of course throw in Russia). At stake is pipelines of various sorts, and water rights, and overall in terms of globalism and full spectrum dominance taking over the entire middle east region.

I welcome being straightened out on where I'm correct or too simplistic. Thanks again.

D5-5 , March 16, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Meant to say INcorrect or too simplistic!

LJ , March 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm

The politics of divide and conquer can create strange bedfellows. There is deep routed historical enmity between the Sunnis and Shiites to begin with. Search Twelver. The US has allies and enemies, Bottom line, Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil and Israel has a lot of political power through it's representatives in the USA especially but also in Britain and France. The Iranians were our friends too after the USA overthrow their Democratic Government in 1953 and installed the Shah and the CIA set up ZAVAK to protect him. It worked until he got weak. . Iran's enmity with the USA and Israel is well supported by facts . So is Hezbollah's enmity as is the enmity of Palestinians living in camps in stateless exile in Lebanon and elsewhere. . We don't necessarily hate Shias. It's policy. A fun fact to know and tell is that the Saudis pump oil from under the feet of the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia. who have live near the Persian Gulf since they were Persians and Zoroastrians. Also The US 5th Fleet is stationed in Bahrain courtesy of a treaty with the Sunni Rulers of the 90% Shiite nation. Yemen in the same story. Policy is a reason why during the Bush years the USA began referring to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf. So too, When I was young Yemen was not unified. It will never be. Houthis are being oppressed in a genocidal manner right now with US backing because House of Saud sits on the Thrown of Damocles . That is why the King of Saudi Arabia is on a worldwide tour shaking hands with Xi in China yesterday. etc.,,,, ad nauseum

Joe Tedesky , March 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm

I wouldn't argue with any of you who are commenting here on this thread, because I agree with all of you. I would like to point out that when Iraq fell the Shia (Shiites) became the popular ruling segment of Iraq, and then came General David Petraeus. The Sunni Awakening has had profound ramifications on what we are up against now, if we should be up against anything at all since most of what we are dealing with is U.S. inspired. The ultimate goal was to descale Iraq away from Iranian influence, and this social engineering by the U.S. could not have been a bigger mistake than what it's turned out to be. Now we are turning Yemen into our new Cambodia, and this will also turn out to be an even bigger mistake unless better minds prevail inside of our White House (if the Oval Office even has the deciding decision on this). Take a look at a map and see where Iran is, and then see where we are positioning ourselves. My thoughts are that Iran is the final goal, and until Iran is brought down, done of us will get a good nights sleep hoping to wake up to a peaceful world. Also don't take that last sentence of mine to be an endorsement to attack Iran. I am more than happy to let Iran be Iran.

https://warontherocks.com/2016/11/waking-up-to-the-truth-about-the-sunni-awakening/

If we wish to end war, then let's quit fighting them!

MEexpert , March 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm

I agree Iran is the real target. The Afghan and Iraq wars were less against Al-Qaeda, since there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but more against Iran. George Bush wanted to establish bases around Iran. In addition to these two countries, he wanted to establish one more in Turkmenistan. US already had a base in Turkey. Turkmenistan refused to allow any US base. Turkey refused the use of Turkish base to launch an attack on Iran. US got bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq. So the attack on Iran never came. Mind you, the largest US base in Iraq is near the Iran border.

The dismantling of the Iraqi army wasn't the only thing Paul Bremer did wrong. He gave veto power to the minority Kurds and Sunnis. That is the reason for the non-functional Iraqi government. Nothing gets done. The Kurds are taking advantage of this situation and with the help of US are consolidating their territorial position. Saudi Arabia doesn't want another Shia government as its neighbor and so keeps the sectarian war going adding to the instability of the government.

D5-5 , March 16, 2017 at 7:56 pm

I keep trying to post a link to The Saker for Feb 7 this year, and it keeps disappearing. Easy to find, however. His analysis on what war with Iran would mean is excellent. "US vs Iran a war of apples vs. oranges."

LJ , March 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Pence seems to be on board already as are McCain and Graham.I agree we can't can't on the Pelosi, Feinstein, Schumer's Liberal wing of the Democrats here. Maybe the Trump's Generals will save us? Yeah right. The House of Representatives ? Not likely . Strange days indeed .,

CitizenOne , March 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

I was not aware of the Kagan's role and I thank you for doing the due diligence on outlining how this family is intertwined with recent misadventures. But also it is kind of picking at Nits. This is a smallish operation. It does not compare to the decades long operation of Cheney to privatize the DOD, teach his corporate buddies a Halliburton how to cash in, dream of further cashing in himself with PNAC and the Carlyle Group, gin up a war, destabilize the middle east and get a pass from the media. Cheney and Bush ignored all of the warnings from the FBI and the CIA that Saudi terrorists were planning an attack which would instantly make the Carlyle Group the wealthiest private equity firm on the planet.

I agree it is all planned. Planned well in advance. The goal is to become rich by creating a war or wars.

I realize it is aimed at a microscopic part of the picture but fails to connect the dots of Kagan and PNAC and 9/11. Cheney's own admission that short of "A New Pearl Harbor" Americans would not likely go along with his dreams of launching preemptive wars reveal a naked desire to become rich along with his buddies over at the Carlyle Group which snatched up defense stocks when the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR was disintegrating. While the rest of the World was celebrating the possibility of future peace with Russia, The PNAC folks were buying up stock in the defense industry and were dreaming of a war. which they created by ignoring all of the signs that 9/11 was underway. I get that they felt some future democratic branch of the government would botch an opportunity to create a fake enemy in Iraq and would fail to launch a war.

But the facts are the whole thing was avoidable and was pushed with a mountain of lies which the major media simply regurgitated leading us to war.

It doesn't end there. While we are now busy banning millions of people from coming to America because they might be terrorists, the real terrorists from abroad and here at home with Islamic ties were all known by the authorities. Yet they did nothing to stop them and instead have used their failures as excuses to create chaos which they hope will lead to more violence.

How does a guy who went to the FBI and confessed was delusional and heard voices in his head trying to convert him to an ISIS terrorist then be allowed to board an airplane with a gun?

How was the underpants bomber allowed on a plane when his parents called the US Consulate to inform US officials that their son was getting on that plane with a bomb. Yet we let this person on a plane. Why has the media never investigated this failure?

It is failure after failure with gross incompetence from federal authorities charged with our security that has led to terrorist acts and not the failure to keep millions of people from traveling here.

The Boston Marathon bombers were singled out to US intelligence agencies by none other than the Russians that they were terrorists but we let them in. No investigation of that but banning entire nations is an option we have now tried twice. What about the failure of intelligence to flag two people who were singled out as terrorists?

There is a much bigger story here.

The US government and intelligence agencies have obviously allowed terrorist attacks to happen. This has happened time and time again and yet the media focuses on the terrorists time and time again while ignoring and under reporting the backstory of how we just let it happen.

It can be rationalized by a reasoned argument that we must allow some attacks to focus our efforts on thwarting even bigger attacks like nuclear attacks but there has been no action by the government to actually improve security so what is the point.

The meaningless act of taking ones shoes off at an airport is only not copied by forcing us to all strip down to our underpants based on a similar event to the shoe bomber because people would not tolerate being forced to take off all their clothes.

Now since an FAA test of airport security revealed that guns were not detected 95% of the time we are all preparing for pat downs. Nobody is examining the reason that 95% of the time somebody with a gun in their baggage gets through security which is supposedly equipped with machines that can spot guns. Where is the investigation of the machines since they fail so often?

There are all sorts of similar stories which all conclude that we are faced with a rational reason that our government needs to allow some terrorist action to happen which in turn turns our state increasingly toward a militaristic police state.

What I have a problem with is that we are more likely to be attacked by known terrorists and that nobody seems to be concerned with. I guess that allowing terrorist attacks provides the political concurrence to launch trillion dollar wars against other nations all for profit and put spy cupcakes in our refrigerators. Watch out! There's a camera just below the icing on the cupcake! Don't eat it!

We can't just ignore home grown terrorists like the shooters in California who, while on a watch list, were allowed to purchase weapons or the crazy guy who told FBI ISIS was inside his head to board an airplane with a gun and do nothing to investigate these intelligence failures and instead use them to seek Apple to grant access to all our information on smartphones and order travel bans for millions of people while justifying turning our TVs into Big Brother.

We can't ignore the obvious windfalls of Cheney and his pals at the Carlyle group to grow rich by allowing terrorists to kill thousands of people.

If we are going to spill blood in preparation for war, then we need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to prevent it and especially not to seek to become rich from it. We also need to protect our privacy.

So now it comes down to making Russia the new enemy. We have to reinvent an old enemy to justify further reasons for keeping America strong. But we spend ten times the money on our National Defense than the Russians do. Where does that line up with weakness? How do we just invent some myth that there are liberators working abroad in Ukraine and Syria to justify military spending just like we invented Vietnam? Has Vietnam attacked us recently? I think not. Is Syria a serious player in the international terrorism game? I think not.

Here is a suggestion. Apply all that money used to create advanced defensive capability into an industry aimed at real security.

Destabilizing the whole World to get rich is a bad idea. Getting rich by providing the means of nonmilitary industry aimed at enhancing security is a good idea. Easy money is a crime. Earning it the hard way is an honest living.

Time for the easy money folks to be sidelined and for the people interested in long term survival to hold power.

Bruce Walker , March 16, 2017 at 9:36 am

Anyone in the USA who can say they are not aware of the Kagan clan no nothing and should not be writing such a long comment. Go back to sleep.

CitizenOne , March 16, 2017 at 7:48 pm

That would be spelled: knows nothing
Perhaps you should wake up, learn to spell, and spend more than a lazy moment trolling me. If you have something intelligent to say we are all waiting with baited breath.

CitizenOne , March 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Well I guess I have to forgive Bruce Walker for not being a very good speller.

That would be : bated breath.

My bad.

geoff , March 15, 2017 at 10:07 pm

kagans never fail to excite. a package of madness on my monitor and how the hell did they get to screw things up. oh!! scuse me yes, hillary whatsaname!!!

Brad N , March 15, 2017 at 10:15 pm

The picture painted here is actually rather dismal when one considers the long term consequences of having such nonsense going on. Trump as possible savior from a war with Russia is a really hard pill to swallow. Very hard indeed, it is worth repeating. I have no confidence in his consistency at all. As for this article, I wish I could find fault with the analysis presented here. Sadly, I cannot.

Chris Jonsson , March 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm

War, Inc. A family owned and operated corporation.

TheSkepticalCynic , March 15, 2017 at 10:39 pm

Fuck the Kagans

LJ , March 15, 2017 at 10:43 pm

But they might multiply!

Fran Macadam , March 15, 2017 at 10:42 pm

"Despite his overall unfitness for the presidency, Trump defeated Clinton,"

I greatly appreciate Mr. Parry's reporting and insights. However, I believe that the determination of fitness for the Presidency is determined by the voters and democracy determines who is qualified.

Sam , March 16, 2017 at 7:35 am

If only we had a democracy, Fran. But in fact elections and mass media are controlled by money, and our Constitution has no protection of these tools of democracy from money power, because there were no businesses then larger than plantations and small ships that would be small businesses today. We do not have a democracy now.

Bill Bodden , March 15, 2017 at 10:44 pm

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show, Friedman demanded that the Russia hacking allegations be treated as a casus belli: "That was a 9/11 scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor scale event." Both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 led to wars.

This quote suggests it is time to send a team of men with a strait-jacket into the New York Times to cart this nutcase off to the loony bin. Come to think of it, maybe they should take several strait-jackets with them and clean out the editorial staff.

Gregory Herr , March 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm

It's absolutely asinine isn't it?! I'll have to take a look, but I'll bet there wasn't a snicker or even a raised eyebrow when Friedman (the oh-so-serious-in-the-know hushed-toned Friedman who reveled in promoting the Iraq killing field) spittled his brain drool. He really should be referred. At the very least, he should have been called out for his absurdity before being excused at the next commercial break.

It's amazing how people like Kagan & Friedman can straight-face their farcical musings about Russian "interference". It's funny too how they can go on about the integrity and reliability of democratic processes when it is precisely the compromise of such that Wikileaks revealed. As noted by Mr. Parry:

" by all accounts, the WikiLeaks-released emails were real and revealed wrongdoing by leading Democrats, such as the Democratic National Committee's tilting of the primaries against Sen. Bernie Sanders and in favor of Clinton. The emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta disclosed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from voters, as well as some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation. In other words, the WikiLeaks' releases helped inform American voters about abuses to the U.S. democratic process. The emails were not "disinformation" or "fake news." They were real news."

So much for real news in this country. And my God Mr. Kagan, Trump doesn't necessarily have faith in the findings or motives of the "intelligence community". I wonder why.

I hope the Kagans find their karma. Oh, and that weasel Friedman too.

Bill Bodden , March 15, 2017 at 10:48 pm

Given the wars the Kagans have helped promote and the consequences of these wars, surely there is some crime they could be charged with.

MEexpert , March 16, 2017 at 11:29 pm

We wish.

F. G. Sanford , March 15, 2017 at 11:21 pm

The desperation with which neocons are baiting for a new Cold War suggests that there is something much bigger than "election hacking" that needs covering up. Profit motives aside, the cost-benefit ratio looks more like a ploy to stay out of jail. Not that anyone in the "deep state" ever faces penalties for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, but it must be a nagging thought to anyone familiar with Julius Streicher and Alfred Rosenberg.

Jessica K , March 16, 2017 at 12:11 am

Institute for the Study of War, that says it all! I remember when Dennis Kucinich as Representative from Ohio introduced a bill to create a Department of Peace. It didn't go very far.

I also did not know about Frederick and Kimberly Kagan. How many more of these Kagans can be spawned?

Thanks for a good warning, Robert Parry. These people must dream of war at night. I hope Trump and Tillerson are wary of them.

Eric Bischoff , March 16, 2017 at 9:11 am

"How many more of these Kagans can be spawned?"

Yes and how many more Devos and Princes can we afford as well. Or how many Bushes, Clintons or Trumps!

Sr. Gibbonk , March 16, 2017 at 1:10 am

Ah yes, The Project for a New American Century manifesto: primary authors Robert Kagan and William Kristol on behalf of the neocon cabal and the European colonial Zionist project. Another demonstration that narrow, selfish interests, greed and the thirst for power drive this world. And all the while there are two great storms brewing on the horizon, each capable of driving our's and the majority of this earth's species to extinction. One, perhaps the most imminent, is the very real possibility of nuclear annihilation which is being spearheaded by the reckless ideologues and predatory capitalist deep state demagogues in their quest for Full Spectrum Dominance of global affairs. Even if the dire specter of nuclear holocaust is somehow avoided the global corporate world's avaricious, boundless appetite for short term profits, especially through fossil fuel extraction, will make the worst predictions of climate change inevitable: ecological collapse and along with it the collapse not only of nation states but of the human capacity to reason. How will the great nuclear powers, flailing like dinosaurs during the Permian-Triassic extinction - also known as The Great Dying - not then Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds?

Stygg , March 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm

FWIW, dinosaurs did not yet exist by the end of the Permian.

Eric Downey , March 16, 2017 at 3:15 am

Robert Parry thank you, and please continue your hard work. Our best hope for peace lies with Trump, Bannon, Tillerson and the Generals. It sounds crazy (and it is!) but they are well suited because they are aligned with a good chunk of the vocal electorate. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) proposed a bill Stop Arming Terrorists Act, and it has a companion in the Senate, sponsored by Rand Paul:
https://www.mintpressnews.com/rand-paul-joins-tulsi-gabbard-calling-congress-stop-funding-isis-al-qaeda/225868/

This is an informed electorate taking action. Parry is doing his job by informing us. Our job is to support H.R.608 and S.532.

Gary , March 16, 2017 at 5:05 am

There are so many in Washington who deserve to be tried for crimes against humanity that it is difficult to know where one would start. Actually, come to think of it, the Kagan family would be a great place to start! Then of course we'd have to move on to Bill and Hillary and another highly deserving couple Samantha Powers and hubby Cass Sustien of "cognitive infiltration" fame. Apparently psychopaths do find each other quite attractive, though who knows how many homicidal fantasies these particular spouses might actually harbor toward each other??

Seema Gillani , March 16, 2017 at 7:00 am

Trump has been neutralised to become a puppet of deep state. The world should expect the war business as usual.

Geoffrey de Galles , March 16, 2017 at 7:44 am

If I were the Kagans with as loaded an agenda as they share in the worldwide assertion of American exceptionalism, then I would consider the POTUS's Achilles heel to be Jared Kushner and his wife; and, in a more or less gentle and subtle way, would endeavour first to establish a relationship with them as a means of gradually bringing the pater familias around to my bellicose and imperialistic way of thinking. Myself, I consider the Kagans (among many others) to be the true enemy of the people. But that's my concern - viz., with trying to anticipate and out-think the enemy. So best watch out in that direction.

fudmier , March 16, 2017 at 8:00 am

The problem here is lack of ideal structure to for the concerned to become involved with
No one has outlined the ideal America as seen from the point of everyday Americans..
these 340,000,000 millions have no idea what to be for and against because they have
no structure and no purpose .. seems to me developing that structure (culture, education,
health care, voting rights, financial security, infra structure, and the like).
Developing the structure is a first step to mounting the support Trump needs to make the right decisions..
Trump himself lacks that structure.. Once the structure becomes a household word everyone knows the
right decision they might agree to disagree on its implementation but the result intended is in plain view.

Bryan Hemming , March 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

Why would the Russians need to undermine democracy in the United States when the Democratic and Republican party machines are doing such a marvellous job of it by themselves?

Del Spurlock , March 16, 2017 at 8:51 am

EXCEPTIONAL

Donald Kagan
Spawned a tribe
Of tinhorn
Warriors

Practice war he
Said to them
Make men
Sacrifice
Their reason and
Their rectitude
Their dreams of paradise.

Make them fear
The empty space
Filled with conjured devils
Make them sacrifice their young
To save god's holy settlers.

Make Obama toe their line
Add John Lewis too
Watch Black leaders
Act so dumb
And crap on King to Boot.

Roberto , March 16, 2017 at 9:01 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXspsfoPX50

Roberto , March 16, 2017 at 8:57 am

The title should be, "How To Turn Unemployment Into A Great Day At The Gallows."

Eric Bischoff , March 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

Aren't there laws that the Kagan family are breaking? Seems to me we should start with them and arrest them for the lies that took the Bush regime into the Middle East wars and definitely for the Ukraine coup. They are financing and spreading terrorism therefore the money and the financiers behind these war think tanks are also guilty. This goes all the way to the Koch Brothers and they should be arrested as well! Why are we, the peace crusaders, on the defensive. We need to go on the offensive. Enough already!

Dan Kuhn , March 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

As P T barnum said " Theres a sucker born every minute". The real question is ; Are the American people going to get suckered into a war with Russia and or China? Given their past record of seriously questioning the propaganda put out by the Kagans et all i am not too hopeful over this present push to what will be a catastrophic war.

LJ , March 16, 2017 at 2:26 pm

It's all talk. We can't beat the Taliban or the Viet Cong or the Mexican and Central American drug Gangs on the ground if it comes to that. Russia? China? That's funny. This is to justify perpetuation of the status quo in this nation. We the People can't be allowed to pick up our heads and gaze at reality. We need to be preoccupied with the BS. Political Correctness has done it's job now we have to spend a bunch of money on imaginary threats so billionaires and bankers can get richer and we can all pretend that they matter and that this is fair and justified and Democracy in action , We need idiotic Generals in charge and tough talking politicians too. Obfuscation, whatever word or combination of words you like . It's fascistic crap. We the People didn't want more war in Syria under Obama . Nothing has changed , next time it won't matter if 90% of calls to Congressional offices are against a war. This is what Eisenhower said would happen back in 1958 though the entrenchment of the Military Industrial Financial Cyber Intelligence Complex.

exiled off mainstreet , March 16, 2017 at 10:26 am

Rather than being extolled and given mainstream platforms to exercise their baleful interests, the Kagans should face some sort of legal accountability as professional war criminals.

Stiv , March 16, 2017 at 11:42 am

Jesus Christ. Yea yea yea. Same old same old. In searching for a sign of light after the elections, the best I was able to do is " well at least Nuland won't be Secretary of State". But to go on and on and on

Isn't there more important stuff going on? How about the "Hard diplomacy" Trumpistas are spouting about?

It's been funny .in a sick way to see Trump and administration figures using the same language as Parry and his hangers on. "McCarthyism", "Deep State" are used every other paragraph.

It's been noted a marked shift towards the Trump administration talking points in commentary here at Consortium "news". Even the "fake news" debacle is furthered here.

And not in the right direction.

My question .When does the news start, Robert?

D5-5 , March 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm

You know it's possible you're so angry you're not really paying attention. It you think there's been a "marked shift towards Trump administration talking points in commentary here" you're not really reading what's here, just swiftly glancing and stamping your foot with irritation. Why don't you provide a little news yourself instead of your same old same old bitching all the time?

MEexpert , March 16, 2017 at 11:53 pm

Here is that link to Saker's article:

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/u-s-against-iran-a-war-of-apples-vs-oranges/

Gregory Herr , March 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm

So your grasp of what has "importance" is not aligned with CN and the thrust of its commentary. I think you've made that clear on several ad nauseam occasions.
I should think that if this site was about reiterating Trump Administration talking points, we'd have the "hard diplomacy" thing covered by now. If you are concerned about what Mr. Parry publishes, submit articles on what you think is important. If you are concerned about the level or direction of commentary here, contribute with something substantive.

LJ , March 16, 2017 at 10:18 pm

Well, the Trump team players even Donald himself need to defend themselves for their own reasons. I think most commenters here are a little worried and rightly so for their own reasons, I personally do not like the vilification of all things Russian and the obvious McCarthy like tactics that have been going on calling for a witch hunt, a special prosecutor on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations. Democrats aren't calling out for justice they want to geld Trump but Pense would be even worse. Maybe it's time tobelieve in Democracy at some level.

John , March 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm

The Kagans are simply supplying a strategy to further a growing agenda ..The average USA citizen's strategy is complacency and their agenda is simply to do nothing ..This is why the 1% rule over the 99% ..

Jessica K , March 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm

Tony Cartaluccu's article on The Deep State is excellent, thank you, Joe. The multipolar world he speaks of, which Putin often refers to, is what the neocon imperialists such as the Kagans don't want, but they're getting it, anyway. Since the days of the Iraq War, many great alternative journalists, such as this website, have exposed and continue to expose the facts behind deep state propaganda so these folks can't dominate as they used to. The USA doesn't look so good to a lot of nations after the disasters created by the regime change proxy wars. Despite the badmouthing of Putin and Russia in the US, many other countries aren't signing on to that attitude, from what I've read. I have just read that China wants to help rebuild Syria, since Syria is an important geographic route on their One Belt, One Road project. If the US can't recognize it can't remain top dog forever and that it's a multipolar world, it might find itself isolated.

Dag , March 16, 2017 at 1:23 pm

The Kagans should be in prison for all the crimes they've enabled, all the lives they've destroyed.

Airman Sparky , March 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Robert Parry & Glenn Greenwald are at the top of my short list of real-life, courageous, truth-telling heroes but, for today, Kiza reigns supreme with her tour de force:"Between the Clinton liberals and the Ziocons C'est une Affaire d'Amour Toujours, as Pepé Le Pew likes to say."
Massive props, Zika, for referencing Pepe, HRC, & neocons in a single sentence

Ted , March 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

OK, I get it about the Kagans, but I still don't trust Putin.

Jessica K , March 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

So then, Ted, why don't you move to Russia so that you can do an objective evaluation of the country and under Putin? Of course, Russian is not an easy language to learn! It's just reported on Global Research that Russia has absorbed 2.5 million Ukrainian refugees since the US 2014 coup and Europe 900,000 more, according to a Kremlin parliamentarian in February. Thanks to Victoria Nuland!

Ted , March 16, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Hmm that's a response I would expect at TheBlaze – knee-jerk and black-and-white. Perhaps I should learn Russian. Are you offering to teach me, comrade?

J'hon Doe II , March 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm

UK/US is the Last Empire and Trump is an 'angel-of-death'.
Nothing good can or will from his spurious administration .

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2016/11/09/20161111_trump1.jpg

Brad Isherwood , March 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm

The PNAC psychopaths did their part in 911. The conquer 7 Nations in 5 years for Israel has been delayed.

The MIC has Al qeada,ISIS. ..even Muslim Brotherhood, ..all over the place, to give the MIC years and years. ..even another decade or more war pleasuring. Trump kicked huge gift to the Military. ..before the Ides of March arrived.

The Saudi/Qatar block have invested multi millions in regime change Assad. The trained Mercs forces, logistics, weapons. posture against Iran, and the dream of Pipelines.

Erdogan the Mad Caliph is the receiver of the Terrorists from Saudi or Libya and other, the reciever of the pipelines.
Israel will not give back the Golan .wants Hezbollah gone from near its Safe Zone.

Far too much money which MIC wants play with. ..and as Admiral Thomas Moorer commented, " No American President can stand up to Israel "

US boots going back into Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Iraq, going into Syria, media bleating about US needs go back to Libya and fix that mess.

Trump is where on his supposed non intervention promises? The John McCain and Deep State media rush against Russia with lies like WMD Iraq. Is this Deja Vu

Jessica K , March 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm

Ted, my comment was sarcastic because you did not back up your opinion with any facts. The situation is getting very sticky with now Canada's Foreign Minister getting into the smearfest. Freeland just pulled out the Crimean Tatars as being victims of Russian aggression, and I, knowing nothing about the issue, had to start digging, which began with US articles supporting brutalization by Russia, some from 2016. Digging out further are some articles that this is not the case, Tatars supported going with Russia as Crimeans voted. All which supports that propaganda is rife, is there a free press anymore, and the virulent fixation on Russia is out of control. And my position is that some politicians are willing to take us to extinction to get their way, while we have a planet with many problems we should be addressing.

[Sep 10, 2016] Donald Trump and the Danger of the Imperial Presidency

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post. ..."
"... If undertaken in earnest, the exercise will prove uncomfortable. The establishment centrists who oppose Trump worry, as they should, that he will violate the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, yet few spoke up when Michael Bloomberg presided over a secret program that profiled and spied on Muslim American students, sowing mistrust while generating zero counterterrorism leads. ..."
"... The establishment centrists who denounced Edward Snowden would have to admit that, if Trump is half as bad as they fear, Americans will be better served knowing the scope and capabilities of NSA surveillance than living in ignorance of it. Some will be forced to admit to themselves that they hope the military remains sprinkled with whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning to speak out against serious abuses. ..."
"... For 16 years or more, establishment centrists have been complicit in a historically reckless trend. Come 2017, it may place Donald Trump at a big table, much like the one on The Apprentice ..."
May 24, 2016 | www.theatlantic.com

End the Imperial Presidency Before It's Too Late

Why aren't the critics comparing Donald Trump to a fascist acknowledging that the office he seeks is too powerful?

Wake up, establishment centrists: Donald Trump is coming!

After the Vietnam War and Watergate and the spying scandals uncovered by the Church Committee and the Nixon Administration cronies who nearly firebombed the Brookings Institution, Americans were briefly inclined to rein in executive power-a rebuke to Richard Nixon's claim that "if the president does it, that means it's not illegal." Powerful committees were created to oversee misconduct-prone spy agencies. The War Powers Resolution revived a legislative check on warmaking. "In 34 years," Vice President Dick Cheney would lament to ABC News in a January 2002 interview, "I have repeatedly seen an erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United States to do his job. I feel an obligation... to pass on our offices in better shape than we found them to our successors."

The Bush Administration aggressively moved to expand executive power, drawing on the dubious legal maneuvering of David Addington, John Yoo, and their enablers. Starting in 2005, the junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, would repeatedly insist that Bush's assertions of executive power violated the Constitution. Nonetheless, Obama inherited a newly powerful executive branch, just as Cheney had hoped. And rather than dismantle it, Obama spent two terms lending the imprimatur of centrist, establishment bipartisanship to Cheney's vision.

Now, Donald Trump is coming.

Civil libertarians have long warned the partisans who trusted Bush and Obama, and the establishment centrists who couldn't imagine anyone in the White House besides an Al Gore or John Kerry or John McCain or Mitt Romney, that they were underestimating both the seriousness of civil liberties abuses under Bush and Obama and the likelihood of even less responsible leaders wreaking havoc in the White House.

Three years ago, in " All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama ," I warned that "more and more, we're counting on having angels in office and making ourselves vulnerable to devils," and that come January, 2017, an unknown person would enter the Oval Office and inherit all of these precedents:

Now, Donald Trump is coming. And many establishment centrists are professing alarm. There is nothing more establishment than Robert Kagan, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, writing an op-ed in the Washington Post. He begins by observing that if Trump wins, his coalition will include tens of millions of Americans.

"Imagine the power he would wield then," Kagan wrote . "In addition to all that comes from being the leader of a mass following, he would also have the immense powers of the American presidency at his command: the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Who would dare to oppose him then? Certainly not a Republican Party that laid down before him even when he was comparatively weak. And is a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today, than he has been his whole life? Does vast power un-corrupt?"

Kagan's article seemed well-received and widely shared among establishment centrists.

Yet neither he nor most others who share his fears have yet acknowledged their bygone failures of imagination, or granted that civil libertarians were right: The establishment has permitted the American presidency to get dangerously powerful.

While writing or sharing articles that compare Trump to Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco, few if any have called on Obama or Congress to act now " to tyrant-proof the White House ." However much they fear Trump, however rhetorically maximalist they are in warning against his elevation, even the prospect of him controlling the entire apparatus of the national security state is not enough to cause them to rethink their reckless embrace of what Gene Healy calls " The Cult of the Presidency ," a centrist religion that persisted across the Bush administration's torture chambers and the Obama administration's unlawful War in Libya.

With a reality-TV bully is on the doorstep of the White House, still they hesitate to urge reform to a branch of government they've long regarded as more than co-equal.

They needn't wait for the Nixon-era abuses to replay themselves as farce or worse to change course. Their inaction is irresponsible. Just as the conservative movement is duty bound to grapple with its role in a populist demagogue seizing control of the Republican Party, establishment centrists ought to grapple with the implicit blessing they've given to the extraordinary powers Trump would inherit, and that even the less-risky choice, Hillary Clinton, would likely abuse.

If undertaken in earnest, the exercise will prove uncomfortable. The establishment centrists who oppose Trump worry, as they should, that he will violate the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, yet few spoke up when Michael Bloomberg presided over a secret program that profiled and spied on Muslim American students, sowing mistrust while generating zero counterterrorism leads.

The establishment centrists who denounced Edward Snowden would have to admit that, if Trump is half as bad as they fear, Americans will be better served knowing the scope and capabilities of NSA surveillance than living in ignorance of it. Some will be forced to admit to themselves that they hope the military remains sprinkled with whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning to speak out against serious abuses.

For 16 years or more, establishment centrists have been complicit in a historically reckless trend. Come 2017, it may place Donald Trump at a big table, much like the one on The Apprentice , where he'll decide not which B-list celebrity to fire, but which humans to kill. Establishment centrists could work to strip the presidency of that power.

Instead they do nothing.

[Aug 23, 2016] Are the Clintons Israeli Agents by Philip Giraldi

I think to the extent Israel elite interests are congruent with interests of the US neocons Clinton is pro-Israel. If they stray, she can change. The key here are interests of global corporations and neoliberal globalization. As such Israel is just a pawn in a big game.
Notable quotes:
"... So who is guilty of putting the interests of a foreign government ahead of those of the United States? I know there are advocates for any number of foreign states running around loose in Washington but the friends of Israel in government and the media come immediately to mind largely because there are so many of them, they are very much in-your-face and they are both extremely well-funded and very successful. Now deceased former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, often referred to as the congressman and senator from Israel. And there are many more: Chuck Schumer, Chuck Grassley, Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez, Tom Cotton, Mark Kirk, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, Brad Sherman, Ileana-Ros Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to name only a few in the Congress. All are major recipients of Israel related PAC money and all are reliable defenders of Israel no matter what Benjamin Netanyahu does and no matter how it effects the United States. ..."
"... And then there are the Clintons. One only has to go back to Bill's one-sided pro-Israeli diplomacy at Camp David in 2000 to discern how the game was played. And then there was the widely condemned January 2001 last minute pardon of Mossad agent Marc Rich, whose wife Denise was a major contributor to the Clintons, to realize that there was always a deference to Israeli interests particularly when money was involved ..."
"... Trump's crime, per Morell, is that he is disloyal to the United States because he is not sufficiently hostile to the evil Vladimir Putin, which somehow means that he is being manipulated by the clever Russian. Trump has indeed called for a positive working relationship with Putin to accomplish, among other objectives, the crushing of ISIS. And he is otherwise in favor of leaving Bashar al-Assad of Syria alone while also being disinclined to get involved in any additional military interventions in the Middle East or elsewhere, which pretty much makes him the antithesis of the Clintonian foreign policy promoted by Morell. ..."
"... The leading individual foreign donor to the Clinton Foundation between 1999 and 2014 was Ukrainian Viktor Pinchuk, who "directed between $10 and $25 million" to its Global Initiative, has let the Clintons use his private jet, attended Bill's Hollywood 65 th birthday celebration and hosted daughter Chelsea and her husband on a trip to Ukraine. Pinchuk is a Jewish oligarch married to the daughter of notoriously corrupt former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. He is very closely tied to Israel, a supporter of regime change in his country, who was simultaneously donating money and also lobbying in Washington while Hillary was Secretary of State and promoting a similar agenda as part of her $5 billion program to "democratize" Ukraine. Clinton arranged a dozen meetings with substantive State Department officers for Pinchuk. ..."
"... Clinton supported Israel's actions in the 2014 Gaza War, which killed more than 500 children, describing them as an appropriate response to a situation that was provoked by Hamas. On the campaign trail recently husband Bill disingenuously defended Hillary's position on Gaza, saying that "Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools…" placing all the blame for the large number of civilian casualties on the Palestinians, not on the Israelis. When the media began to report on the plight of the civilians trapped in Gaza Hillary dismissed the impending humanitarian catastrophe, saying "They're trapped by their leadership, unfortunately." ..."
"... Earlier, as a Senator from New York, Hillary supported Israel's building of the separation barrier on Palestinian land and cheer-led a crowd at a pro-Israel rally that praised Israel's 2006 devastation of Lebanon and Gaza. She nonsensically characterized and justified the bombing campaign as "efforts to send messages to Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians, to the Iranians – to all who seek death and domination instead of life and freedom…" More than nine hundred civilians died in the onslaught and when a vote came up subsequently in Congress to stop the supply of cluster bombs to countries that use them on civilians Hillary voted against the bill together with 69 other pro-Israel senators. ..."
"... Hillary enjoys a particularly close relationship with Netanyahu, writing in November , "I would also invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House in my first month in office." She has worked diligently to "reaffirm the unbreakable bond with Israel – and Benjamin Netanyahu." She has boasted of her being one of the promoters of annual increases in aid to Israel while she was in the Senate and Secretary of State and takes credit for repeatedly using America's Security Council veto to defend it in the United Nations. ..."
"... o you know how Prince Bandar was coaching G.W. Bush to circumvent the enmity of neocons towards his father? ..."
"... It looks very much like the US public is starting to mirror the Eastern European public under Communism by automatically disregarding government media + there's the added feature of the internet as a new kind of high-powered Samizdat, that clearly worries the Establishment. ..."
Aug 23, 2016 | The Unz Review
On August 5th, Michael Morell, a former acting Director of the CIA, pilloried GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, concluding that he was an "unwitting agent of Russia." Morell, who entitled his New York Times op-ed "I Ran the CIA and now I'm endorsing Hillary Clinton," described the process whereby Trump had been so corrupted. According to Morell, Putin, it seems, as a wily ex-career intelligence officer, is "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities… In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

I have previously observed how incomprehensible the designation of "unwitting agent" used in a sentence together with "recruited" is, but perhaps I should add something more about Morell that might not be clear to the casual reader. Morell was an Agency analyst, not a spy, who spent nearly his entire career in and around Washington. The high point of his CIA experience consisted of briefing George W. Bush on the President's Daily Brief (PDB).

Morell was not trained in the arduous CIA operational tradecraft course which agent recruiters and handlers go through. This means that his understanding of intelligence operations and agents is, to put it politely, derivative. If he had gone through the course he would understand that when you recruit an agent you control him and tell him what to do. The agent might not know whom exactly he is really answering to as in a false flag operation, but he cannot be unwitting.

Morell appears to have a tendency to make promises that others will have to deliver on, but perhaps that's what delegation by senior U.S. government officials is all about. He was also not trained in CIA paramilitary operations, which perhaps should be considered when he drops comments about the desirability of "covertly" killing Russians and Iranians to make a point that they should not oppose U.S. policies in Syria, as he did in a softball interview with Charlie Rose on August 6th.

Morell appears to be oblivious to the possibility that going around assassinating foreigners might be regarded as state sponsored terrorism and could well ignite World War 3. And, as is characteristic of chickenhawks, it is highly unlikely that he was intending that either he or his immediate family should go out and cut the throats or blow the heads off of those foreign devils who seek to derail the Pax Americana. Nor would he expect to be in the firing line when the relatives of those victims seek revenge. Someone else with the proper training would be found to do all that messy stuff and take the consequences.

Be that as it may, Morell was a very senior officer and perhaps we should accept that he might know something that the rest of us have missed, so let's just assume that he kind of misspoke and give him a pass on the "recruited unwitting agent" expression. Instead let's look for other American political figures who just might be either deliberately or inadvertently serving the interests of a foreign government, which is presumably actually what Michael Morell meant to convey regarding Trump. To be sure a well-run McCarthy-esque ferreting out of individuals who just might be disloyal provides an excellent opportunity to undertake a purge of those who either by thought, word or deed might be guilty of unacceptable levels of coziness with foreign interests.

So who is guilty of putting the interests of a foreign government ahead of those of the United States? I know there are advocates for any number of foreign states running around loose in Washington but the friends of Israel in government and the media come immediately to mind largely because there are so many of them, they are very much in-your-face and they are both extremely well-funded and very successful. Now deceased former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, often referred to as the congressman and senator from Israel. And there are many more: Chuck Schumer, Chuck Grassley, Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez, Tom Cotton, Mark Kirk, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, Brad Sherman, Ileana-Ros Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to name only a few in the Congress. All are major recipients of Israel related PAC money and all are reliable defenders of Israel no matter what Benjamin Netanyahu does and no matter how it effects the United States.

And then there are the Clintons. One only has to go back to Bill's one-sided pro-Israeli diplomacy at Camp David in 2000 to discern how the game was played. And then there was the widely condemned January 2001 last minute pardon of Mossad agent Marc Rich, whose wife Denise was a major contributor to the Clintons, to realize that there was always a deference to Israeli interests particularly when money was involved. The only problem is that the Clintons, relying on Morell's formulation, might more reasonably be described as witting agents of Israel rather than unwitting as they have certainly known what they have been doing and have been actively supporting Israeli policies even when damaging to U.S. interests since they first emerged from the primordial political swamps in Arkansas. If one were completely cynical it might be possible to suggest that they understood from the beginning that pandering to Israel and gaining access to Jewish power and money would be a major component in their rise to political prominence. It certainly has worked out that way.

Trump's crime, per Morell, is that he is disloyal to the United States because he is not sufficiently hostile to the evil Vladimir Putin, which somehow means that he is being manipulated by the clever Russian. Trump has indeed called for a positive working relationship with Putin to accomplish, among other objectives, the crushing of ISIS. And he is otherwise in favor of leaving Bashar al-Assad of Syria alone while also being disinclined to get involved in any additional military interventions in the Middle East or elsewhere, which pretty much makes him the antithesis of the Clintonian foreign policy promoted by Morell.

In comparison with the deeply and profoundly corrupt Clintons, Trump's alleged foreign policy perfidy makes him appear to be pretty much a boy scout. To understand the Clintons one might consider the hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it from foreign sources, that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State. And there is the clear email evidence that Hillary exploited her government position to favor both foreign and domestic financial supporters.

The leading individual foreign donor to the Clinton Foundation between 1999 and 2014 was Ukrainian Viktor Pinchuk, who "directed between $10 and $25 million" to its Global Initiative, has let the Clintons use his private jet, attended Bill's Hollywood 65th birthday celebration and hosted daughter Chelsea and her husband on a trip to Ukraine. Pinchuk is a Jewish oligarch married to the daughter of notoriously corrupt former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. He is very closely tied to Israel, a supporter of regime change in his country, who was simultaneously donating money and also lobbying in Washington while Hillary was Secretary of State and promoting a similar agenda as part of her $5 billion program to "democratize" Ukraine. Clinton arranged a dozen meetings with substantive State Department officers for Pinchuk.

Hillary and Bill's predilection for all things Israeli and her promise to do even more in the future is a matter of public record. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz asserted that of all the political candidates in the primaries "Clinton had the longest public record of engagement with Israel, and has spent decades diligently defending the Jewish state." In a speech to AIPAC in March she promised to take the "U.S.-Israel alliance to the next level." Hillary's current principal financial supporter in her presidential run is Haim Saban, an Israeli who has described himself as a "one issue" guy and that issue is Israel.

Hillary Clinton boasts of having "stood with Israel my entire career." Her website promises to maintain "Israel's qualitative military edge to ensure the IDF is equipped to deter and defeat aggression from the full spectrum of threats," "stand up against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS)," and "cut off efforts to unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood outside of the context of negotiations with Israel." In a letter to Haim Saban, Hillary declared that "we need to make countering BDS a priority," which means she is prepared to support laws limiting First Amendment rights in the U.S. in defense of perceived Israeli interests.

As part of the Obama Administration Hillary Clinton at first supported his attempts to pressure Israel over its illegal settlements but has now backed off from that position, only rarely criticizing them as a "problem" but never advocating any steps to persuade Netanyahu to reverse his policy. Notably, she has repeatedly decried terroristic attacks on Israelis but has never acknowledged the brutality of the Israeli occupation of much of the West Bank in spite of the fact that ten Palestinians are killed for each Jewish victim of the ongoing violence.

Clinton supported Israel's actions in the 2014 Gaza War, which killed more than 500 children, describing them as an appropriate response to a situation that was provoked by Hamas. On the campaign trail recently husband Bill disingenuously defended Hillary's position on Gaza, saying that "Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools…" placing all the blame for the large number of civilian casualties on the Palestinians, not on the Israelis. When the media began to report on the plight of the civilians trapped in Gaza Hillary dismissed the impending humanitarian catastrophe, saying "They're trapped by their leadership, unfortunately."

Earlier, as a Senator from New York, Hillary supported Israel's building of the separation barrier on Palestinian land and cheer-led a crowd at a pro-Israel rally that praised Israel's 2006 devastation of Lebanon and Gaza. She nonsensically characterized and justified the bombing campaign as "efforts to send messages to Hamas, Hezbollah, to the Syrians, to the Iranians – to all who seek death and domination instead of life and freedom…" More than nine hundred civilians died in the onslaught and when a vote came up subsequently in Congress to stop the supply of cluster bombs to countries that use them on civilians Hillary voted against the bill together with 69 other pro-Israel senators.

Hillary enjoys a particularly close relationship with Netanyahu, writing in November, "I would also invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House in my first month in office." She has worked diligently to "reaffirm the unbreakable bond with Israel – and Benjamin Netanyahu." She has boasted of her being one of the promoters of annual increases in aid to Israel while she was in the Senate and Secretary of State and takes credit for repeatedly using America's Security Council veto to defend it in the United Nations.

So I think it is pretty clear who is the presidential candidate promoting the interests of a foreign country and it ain't Trump. Hillary would no doubt argue that Israel is a friend and Russia is not, an interesting point of view as Israel is not in fact an ally and has spied on us and copied our military technology to re-export to countries like China. Indeed, the most damaging spy in U.S. history Jonathan Pollard worked for Israel. In spite of all that Israel continues to tap our treasury for billions of dollars a year while still ignoring Washington when requests are made to moderate policies that damage American interests. Against that, what exactly has Moscow done to harm us since the Cold War ended? And who is advocating even more pressure on Russia and increasing the rewards for Israel, presumably in the completely illogical belief that to do so will somehow bring some benefit to the American people? Hillary Clinton.

utu, August 23, 2016 at 4:29 am GMT • 100 Words

Find the true reason why G.H. Bush was not allowed to get the 2nd term. Do you remember his attempt to reign in Yitzhak Shamir when GHB was riding high popularity wave after the Desert Storm? Do you remember anti-Bush Safire and Friedman columns in NYT week after week? Why Ross Perrot was called in? Don't you see similarity with Teddy Rosevelt's run to prevent Taft's reelection and securing Wilson's win? Do you know how Prince Bandar was coaching G.W. Bush to circumvent the enmity of neocons towards his father? Answer these questions and you will know for whom Bill Clinton worked. One more thing, Clinton did not touch Palestinian issue until last several months of his presidency. He did not make G.H. Bush's mistake.

Miro23, August 23, 2016 at 5:45 am GMT • 100 Words

This a straightforward factual article about the Clinton sellout to Israel. So the question may come down to the effectiveness of MSM propaganda.

It looks very much like the US public is starting to mirror the Eastern European public under Communism by automatically disregarding government media + there's the added feature of the internet as a new kind of high-powered Samizdat, that clearly worries the Establishment.

If the script follows through, then there's a good likelihood that the Establishment and their façade players (Clintons, Bush, Romney, McCain etc) are reaching the end of the line, since like in E.Europe, there's a background problem of economic failure and extreme élite/public inequality that can no longer be hidden.

Philip Giraldi, August 23, 2016 at 10:32 am GMT • 100 Words

@hbm

hbm – the FBI concluded that someone working in the White House was MEGA but they decided that they did not necessarily have enough evidence to convince a jury. He is still around and appears in the media. As I would prefer not to get sued I will not name him but he is not a Clinton (though he worked for them as well as for the two Bushes).

[Aug 05, 2016] Government Involvement in 9-11

Notable quotes:
"... PNAC members, and signees to its policy documents, include: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wofowitz, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Scooter Libby, Elliot Abrams, Richard Armitage, William Bennet, William Kristol, and Zalmy Khalilzad - men with their hands deep in the private defense, oil, and multi-national corporate industries poised to make vast sums of money and secure huge tracts of power and influence if PNAC policy evolved into U.S. Government policy. Nine months after they rose to power, and assumed central positions of leadership up and down the spectrum of military, civilian, domestic, and international agencies, they got their 'New Pearl Harbor'. And PNAC policy essentially evolved into the Bush Administration's official agenda. While this alarmingly convenient coincidence does not prove anything in and of itself, it does establish motive. And it certainly would raise the eyebrows of concern from any serious investigator looking into the facts of September 11. ..."
"... In an interview with journalist Alex Jones , Hilton reports that, under the supervision of Strauss, his senior thesis detailed a plan to establish a Presidential Dictatorship using a fabricated 'Pearl Harbor-like incident' as justification. He further states that he, Perle, Wolfowitz, and other students of Strauss discussed an array of different plots and incidents 'like September 11th' and 'flying airplanes into buildings way back in the 60s'. ..."
www.911hardfacts.com
In the summer of 2000, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think tank riddled with soon to be Bush administration officials and advisors, issued a document calling for the radical restructuring of U.S. government and military policies. It advocated the massive expansion of defense spending, the re-invasion of Iraq, the military and economic securing of Afghanistan and Central Asia, increased centralized power and funds for the CIA, FBI, and NSA, among a slew of other policies that would, in the near future, be enacted upon their ascension to power. In the same document, they cite a potential problem with their plan. Referring to the goals of transforming the U.S. and global power structure, the paper states that because of the American Public's slant toward ideas of democracy and freedom, "this process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor." (ibid.)

PNAC members, and signees to its policy documents, include: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wofowitz, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle, John Bolton, Scooter Libby, Elliot Abrams, Richard Armitage, William Bennet, William Kristol, and Zalmy Khalilzad - men with their hands deep in the private defense, oil, and multi-national corporate industries poised to make vast sums of money and secure huge tracts of power and influence if PNAC policy evolved into U.S. Government policy. Nine months after they rose to power, and assumed central positions of leadership up and down the spectrum of military, civilian, domestic, and international agencies, they got their 'New Pearl Harbor'. And PNAC policy essentially evolved into the Bush Administration's official agenda. While this alarmingly convenient coincidence does not prove anything in and of itself, it does establish motive. And it certainly would raise the eyebrows of concern from any serious investigator looking into the facts of September 11.

Another alarming coincidence surrounding PNAC and September 11 has been revealed by attorney Stanley Hilton. Hilton, a graduate of Harvard Law School and former senior advisor and lead counsel for Bob Dole, attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate in the 1960s. He studied under the infamous Leo Strauss, considered by many the father of neo-conservatism. Fellow students and acquaintances of Hilton's at the time included Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. In an interview with journalist Alex Jones, Hilton reports that, under the supervision of Strauss, his senior thesis detailed a plan to establish a Presidential Dictatorship using a fabricated 'Pearl Harbor-like incident' as justification. He further states that he, Perle, Wolfowitz, and other students of Strauss discussed an array of different plots and incidents 'like September 11th' and 'flying airplanes into buildings way back in the 60s'.

In light of these revelations, it is no surprise that Hilton has been trying to blow the whistle on government involvement in 9/11 for years. He has also filed a lawsuit against the government on behalf of a number of victims' families. As a result of his actions, Hilton has been harassed, threatened, burgled, and hounded repeatedly by the authorities.

[Jun 13, 2016] Why Trump Is Panicking

Notable quotes:
"... If Donald Trump, as seems more than likely, prevails in the GOP primary, then a number of neocons may defect to the Clinton campaign. Already Robert Kagan announced in the Washington Post ..."
"... The impulse of the neocons to return to the Democratic Party should not be wholly surprising. In 1972, for example, Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal ..."
"... For its part, neoconservatism has always had a nationalistic streak. But Trump represents everything that the neocons believed that they had purged from the GOP. He represents continuity with the Buchananite wing, the belief that America should tend to its own knitting before launching hopeless wars abroad. When it comes to foreign policy, however, the second generation of neocons such as Kagan does not trace its lineage back to Ohio Senator Robert Taft but to the one that Republicans in the early 1950s reviled: the Truman administration. ..."
The National Interest
Anyone looking for further converts to the Hillary Clinton campaign might do well to look at the Marco Rubio campaign. If Clinton is the leading liberal hawk, Rubio is the foremost neocon candidate. In 2014 National Review published an article about him titled "The neocons return."

Whether it's Cuba or Iran or Russia, he stakes out the most intransigent line: "I disagree with voices in my own party who argue we should not engage at all, who warn we should heed the words of John Quincy Adams not to go 'abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.'" Not surprisingly, he's surrounded himself with neocon advisers, ranging from Max Boot to Jamie Fly to Elliott Abrams.

If Donald Trump, as seems more than likely, prevails in the GOP primary, then a number of neocons may defect to the Clinton campaign. Already Robert Kagan announced in the Washington Post on Thursday that he intends to back Hillary Clinton if Donald Trump receives the GOP nomination. The fact is that the loyalty of the neocons has always been to an ideology of American exceptionalism, not to a particular party.

This is what separates the neocon conversion to Clinton from previous examples of Republicans endorsing Barack Obama. Colin Powell wasn't making an ideological statement. He was making a practical one, based on his distaste for where the GOP was headed. For the neocons this is a much more heartfelt moment. They have invested decades in trying to reshape the GOP into their own image, and were quite successful at it. But now a formidable challenge is taking place as the GOP reverts to its traditional heritage.

The impulse of the neocons to return to the Democratic Party should not be wholly surprising. In 1972, for example, Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, wrote that the fledgling neoconservatives represented "something of a swing group between the two major parties." He was right. The neoconservatives had their home in the Democratic Party in the 1960s. Then they marched rightward, in reaction to the rise of the adversary culture inside the Democratic Party. George McGovern's run for the presidency in 1972, followed by the Jimmy Carter presidency, sent them into the arms of Ronald Reagan and the GOP.

But it wasn't until the George W. Bush presidency that the neocons became the dominant foreign policy force inside the GOP. They promptly proceeded to wreck his presidency by championing the war in Iraq. Today, having wrecked it, they are now threatening to bolt the GOP and support Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump for the presidency.

Something like this scenario is what I predicted in the New York Times in July 2014. Trump wasn't around then as a force inside the GOP. But already it seemed clear that some of the leading neocons such as Kagan were receptive to Clinton. Now, in a Washington Post column, Kagan has gone all in.

He decries Republican obstructionism, antipathy to Obama, and the rise of Trump. The tone is apocalyptic. According to Kagan,

"So what to do now? The Republicans' creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be."

This itself represents a curious case of neocon hyperbole. Kagan is an eloquent writer, but he elides the fact that many of Trump's positions are not all that different from what the GOP has espoused in the past when it comes to domestic issues. It is on foreign affairs where Trump represents a marked shift and it is this that truly troubles the neocon wing.

Trump has made it clear that he's dubious about foreign interventions. He's indicated that he would treat with Russian president Vladimir Putin. His entire foreign policy credo, such as it is, seems to have a Jacksonian pedigree-don't tread on me.

For its part, neoconservatism has always had a nationalistic streak. But Trump represents everything that the neocons believed that they had purged from the GOP. He represents continuity with the Buchananite wing, the belief that America should tend to its own knitting before launching hopeless wars abroad. When it comes to foreign policy, however, the second generation of neocons such as Kagan does not trace its lineage back to Ohio Senator Robert Taft but to the one that Republicans in the early 1950s reviled: the Truman administration.

Here we come full circle. The origins of the neocons are in the Democratic Party. Should Clinton become the Democratic nominee and Trump the Republican one, a number of neocons may make common cause with Clinton. Watch Rubio's ranks first.

Jacob Heilbrunn is editor of the National Interest.

[April 24, 2016] Robert Kagan - Right Web - Institute for Policy Studies

An excellent overview, much better then in Wikipedia.
April 24, 2016 | Institute for Policy Studies
robert-kagan2.jpg

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Robert Kagan is a neoconservative writer and historian based at the Brookings Institution. A longtime proponent of an aggressive, interventionist U.S. foreign policy, Kagan has played an influential role in shaping the neoconservative agenda for more than two decades.

Kagan was a cofounder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a now defunct pressure group that helped build Beltway support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In the early years of the Obama administration, he reprised this role as a cofounder of the Foreign Policy Initiative, a PNAC successor group.

He has also served as an adviser to the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a board member of the U.S. Committee on NATO, an "international patron" of the UK-based Henry Jackson Society, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, and a foreign policy adviser to the Republican presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Despite Kagan's GOP bona fides, during the 2016 presidential primaries he described himself as a "former Republican" because of his disappointment over the party's 2016 presidential candidates. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Kagan expressed particular concern about the rise of Donald Trump, whom he called "the most successful demagogue-charlatan in the history of U.S. politics." Blaming the Republican Party for the creation of Trump and the emergence of other disastrous candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz, Kagan wrote in the Post, "For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be."[1]

In 2014, Kagan foreshadowed his endorsement of Hillary Clinton during an interview with the New York Times. "I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," he said. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."[2]

Kagan has also maintained a number of bipartisan affiliations. He has visited the Obama White House, for example, and helped establish a bipartisan civilian advisory board for Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[3] According to one report, "Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute" and has "insisted on maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in muscular Cold War liberalism." Kagan has even shied away from the "neoconservative" label, saying he prefers to be described as a "liberal interventionist."[4]

U.S. Intervention and the "Global Order"

A key theme in Kagan's work concerns the maintenance of the "liberal world order," which as he perceives it amounts to a U.S.-enforced international state system. "In my view, the willingness of the United States to use force and to threaten to use force to defend its interests and the liberal world order has been an essential and unavoidable part of sustaining that world order since the end of World War II," he wrote in a 2014 column for the Washington Post.[5]

Kagan spelled out this view in a long 2014 essay for The New Republic. Entitled "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire," the piece argued that active, forceful U.S. intervention in the affairs of other countries had reshaped the international system for the better. "In the twenty-first century, no less than in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, force remains the ultima ratio," he claimed. "If there has been less aggression, less ethnic cleansing, less territorial conquest over the past 70 years, it is because the United States and its allies have both punished and deterred aggression, have intervened, sometimes, to prevent ethnic cleansing, and have gone to war to reverse territorial conquest."[6]

Kagan warned darkly that if the United States didn't enforce its will on the international system, other powers would. "When Vladimir Putin failed to achieve his goals in Ukraine through political and economic means, he turned to force, because he believed that he could," Kagan wrote. He added: "What might China do were it not hemmed in by a ring of powerful nations backed by the United States? For that matter, what would Japan do if it were much more powerful and much less dependent on the United States for its security? We have not had to find out the answers to these questions, not yet, because American predominance, the American alliance system, and the economic, political, and institutional aspects of the present order, all ultimately dependent on power, have mostly kept the lid closed on this Pandora's box."

Lamenting public war weariness and the Obama administration's reluctance to intervene in Syria and Ukraine, among other venues, Kagan warned that "there is no democratic superpower waiting in the wings to save the world if this democratic superpower falters."[7]

Some liberal hawks and neoconservatives hailed the piece as a rejoinder to the prevailing public skepticism in the United States about the use of force overseas. According to the New York Times, it "struck such a nerve in the White House that many in the foreign policy establishment considered part of Mr. Obama's speech [in June 2014] at West Point outlining a narrower vision for American force in world affairs to be a rebuttal, and the president even invited Mr. Kagan to lunch to compare world views."[8]

However, Kagan's critics argued that he had badly exaggerated the role of the United States in shaping world events throughout the post-World War II period and glossed over many of Washington's more morally dubious policies. Calling Kagan a "polemicist and an ideologue," Andrew Bacevich argued that the piece's central assertions about the benevolence of U.S. foreign policy failed to stand up "to even casual scrutiny." Among other things, Bacevich said Kagan had overlooked Washington's steadfast support for violent, anti-democratic forces in its own sphere of influence, as well as neglected to seriously consider the fallout from catastrophic interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. "If Americans appear disinclined to have a go at overthrowing Syria's Assad or at restoring the Crimea to Ukrainian control, it's due to their common-sense assessment of what U.S. policy in very recent years has produced," Bacevich concluded. "On this subject, astonishingly, Kagan has almost nothing to say."[9]

Writing for the realist National Interest, Jacob Heilbrunn observed that Kagan's 2014 ode to American superpower "is not a novel thesis. Rather, it is Kagan's latest variation on a theme that he has consistently sounded on behalf of American global activism" since at least the 1990s. "Superpowers don't retire," Heilbrunn quipped, "but Robert Kagan should."[10]

Kagan followed on the New Republic essay with a September 2014 Wall Street Journal op-ed titled "America's Dangerous Aversion to Conflict," which bemoaned the "yearning for an escape from the burdens of power and a reprieve from the tragic realities of human existence." He compared the current world order to pre-World War II Europe, writing: "As we head deeper into our version of the 1930s, we may be quite shocked, just as our forebears were, at how quickly things fall apart."[11]

In response, John Heilbrunn of the National Interest wrote: "The military solution that Kagan appears to endorse, first and foremost, is hardly the best ambassador for freedom and democracy. Quite the contrary. … Maybe Kagan should have more confidence in America and its values. For all his disdain for declinism, Kagan, in blaming America first, comes dangerously close to submitting to it himself."[12]

Hawkish Track Record

Kagan hails from a well established neoconservative family. He is the son of the conservative classicist Donald Kagan and the brother of Frederick Kagan, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who helped promote the U.S. "troop surge" in Iraq. His spouse is Victoria Nuland, a veteran diplomat and former deputy national security adviser to Dick Cheney who is often credited as an editor of Kagan's work.[13]

Kagan launched his career in the early 1980s as a foreign policy adviser to Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY), a future vice presidential candidate who was closely associated with the hawkish wing of the Republican Party. Then, after a stint on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, Kagan was appointed by Elliott Abrams in 1985 to head the Office of Public Diplomacy, which was created to push for U.S. support of the anti-communist "Contra" rebels in Nicaragua. (In his 1996 book A Twilight Struggle, which was touted as the "definitive history" of the U.S. anti-Sandinista campaign, Kagan neglected to mention Abrams' subsequent criminal conviction for lying to Congress about the Reagan administration's support for the Contras).[14] Kagan served in the State Department until 1988, leaving the government to become a public scholar.

In 1997, in a bid to press the Clinton administration to pursue a "Reaganite" foreign policy, Kagan and veteran neoconservative activist William Kristol cofounded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Among other hawkish policies, the group played a key role in building elite support for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, issuing an open letter after the 9/11 attacks arguing that the United States should respond by invading Iraq "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack."[15]

Resistance to the movement for war in Iraq from Europe and elsewhere spurred Kagan, who was then based at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to sharpen his theses on U.S. interventionism. In a 2002 article for Policy Review that became the basis for his book Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (2003), Kagan argued, "On the all-important question of power-the efficacy of power, the morality of power, the desirability of power-American and European perspectives are diverging. Europe is turning away from power, or to put it a little differently, it is moving beyond power into a self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation. It is entering a post-historical paradise of peace and relative prosperity, the realization of Kant's 'Perpetual Peace.' The United States, meanwhile, remains mired in history, exercising power in the anarchic Hobbesian world where international laws and rules are unreliable and where true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might."[16]

Of Paradise and Power was widely panned for its support of U.S. unilateralism. Reviewing the book, leftist historian Howard Zinn wrote that "it is part of the corruption of contemporary language that an analysis of American foreign policy by a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace should argue for the right of the United States to use military force, regardless of international law, and international opinion, whenever it unilaterally decides its 'national interest' requires it." Zinn opined that Kagan's book supplies "intellectual justification, superficial as it is, for the bullying and violence of United States foreign policy."[17]

Kagan maintained his support for the Iraq War even after many of his assertions about the conflict-including that it would come to an early close and that the Bush administration's claims about WMDs in the country would be vindicated-proved wildly inaccurate.[18] Instead of walking back his support, however, Kagan called for a troop escalation. "It is precisely the illusion that a political solution is possible in the midst of rampant violence that has gotten us where we are today," he wrote in November 2006. "What's needed in Iraq are not more clever plans but more U.S. troops to provide the security to make any plan workable. Even those seeking a way out of Iraq as soon as possible should understand the need for an immediate surge in U.S. troop levels to provide the stability necessary so that eventual withdrawal will not produce chaos and an implosion of the Iraqi state."[19]

In March 2009, around the time that President Obama announced a plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, Kagan and Kristol launched the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), which liberal blogger Matt Duss dubbed "The Project for the Rehabilitation of Neoconservatism."[20] Among Kagan's early forays on behalf of the group, he promoted the escalation of the war in Afghanistan[21] and criticized the Obama administration for not taking a more confrontational line on Iran.[22]

FPI's platform "is a watered-down version of the bellicose neoconservative program that worked so well over the past decade, producing a disastrous war in Iraq and a deteriorating situation in Central Asia and bringing America's image around the world to new lows," wrote Harvard international relations professor Stephen M. Walt for Foreign Policy. "The new group's modus operandi is likely to be similar to the old Project for a New American Century: bombard Washington with press releases and email alerts, draft open letters to be signed by assorted pundits and former policymakers, and organize conferences intended to advance the group's interventionist agenda."[23]

Kagan has on occasion broken with some of his neoconservative colleagues.

One notable instance occurred in 2013, following a coup in Egypt that toppled the country's elected Muslim Brotherhood government and restored the military to power. While some neoconservatives argued that the Egyptian military would be a more reliable U.S. ally than the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, Kagan argued unequivocally that support for the military's dictatorial rule was short-sighted. It has become "fashionable," Kagan wrote, "to argue that Muslim Arabs are incapable of democracy-this after so many millions of them came out to vote in Egypt, only to see Western democracies do little or nothing when the product of their votes was overthrown." He went on to call for "a complete suspension of all aid to Egypt, especially military aid, until there is a new democratic government, freely elected with the full participation of all parties and groups in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood."[24]

Kagan's critique was notable in part for its direct confrontation with the U.S. "Israel lobby," which largely supported sending aid to Egypt's coup government. "To Israel, which has never supported democracy anywhere in the Middle East except Israel," wrote Kagan, "the presence of a brutal military dictatorship bent on the extermination of Islamism is not only tolerable but desirable." But, he added, "in Egypt, U.S. interests and Israel's perceptions of its own interests sharply diverge. If one believes that any hope for moderation in the Arab world requires finding moderate voices not only among secularists but also among Islamists, America's current strategy in Egypt is producing the opposite result."[25]

Kagan is the author of several books on U.S. interventionism, including A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990 (1996), Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (2003), Dangerous Nation: America's Place in the World from its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (2006), The Return of History and the End of Dreams (2008), and The World America Made (2012).

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Sources

[Jun 13, 2016] Neocon Kagan Endorses Hillary Clinton

[Jun 13, 2016] Why Trump Is Panicking Robert Kagan

[Nov 23, 2015] The Crisis of World Order

[Jul 27, 2015] Meet The Kagans Seeking War To The End Of The World

"...Kagan, who cut his teeth as a propaganda specialist in support of the Reagan administration's brutal Central American policies in the 1980s, is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post's neocon-dominated opinion pages."
Jul 26, 2015 | Zero Hedge
Submitted by Robert Parry, via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

If the neoconservatives have their way again, US ground troops will reoccupy Iraq, the US military will take out Syria's secular government (likely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State take over), and the US Congress will not only kill the Iran nuclear deal but follow that with a massive increase in military spending.

Like spraying lighter fluid on a roaring barbecue, the neocons also want a military escalation in Ukraine to burn the ethnic Russians out of the east, and the neocons dream of spreading the blaze to Moscow with the goal of forcing Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. In other words, more and more fires of Imperial "regime change" abroad even as the last embers of the American Republic die at home.

Much of this "strategy" is personified by a single Washington power couple: arch-neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and an early advocate of the Iraq War, and his wife, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who engineered last year's coup in Ukraine that started a nasty civil war and created a confrontation between nuclear-armed United States and Russia.

Kagan, who cut his teeth as a propaganda specialist in support of the Reagan administration's brutal Central American policies in the 1980s, is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post's neocon-dominated opinion pages.

On Friday, Kagan's column baited the Republican Party to do more than just object to President Barack Obama's Iranian nuclear deal. Kagan called for an all-out commitment to neoconservative goals, including military escalations in the Middle East, belligerence toward Russia and casting aside fiscal discipline in favor of funneling tens of billions of new dollars to the Pentagon.

Kagan also showed how the neocons' world view remains the conventional wisdom of Official Washington despite their disastrous Iraq War. The neocon narrative gets repeated over and over in the mainstream media no matter how delusional it is.

For instance, a sane person might trace the origins of the bloodthirsty Islamic State back to President George W. Bush's neocon-inspired Iraq War when this hyper-violent Sunni movement began as "Al Qaeda in Iraq" blowing up Shiite mosques and instigating sectarian bloodshed. It later expanded into Syria where Sunni militants were seeking the ouster of a secular regime led by Alawites, a Shiite offshoot. Though changing its name to the Islamic State, the movement continued with its trademark brutality.

But Kagan doesn't acknowledge that he and his fellow neocons bear any responsibility for this head-chopping phenomenon. In his neocon narrative, the Islamic State gets blamed on Iran and Syria, even though those governments are leading much of the resistance to the Islamic State and its former colleagues in Al Qaeda, which in Syria backs a separate terrorist organization, the Nusra Front.

But here is how Kagan explains the situation to the Smart People of Official Washington:

Critics of the recent nuclear deal struck between Iran and the United States are entirely right to point out the serious challenge that will now be posed by the Islamic republic. It is an aspiring hegemon in an important region of the world.

It is deeply engaged in a region-wide war that encompasses Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the Gulf States and the Palestinian territories. It subsidizes the murderous but collapsing regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and therefore bears primary responsibility for the growing strength of the Islamic State and other radical jihadist forces in that country and in neighboring Iraq, where it is simultaneously expanding its influence and inflaming sectarian violence.

The Real Hegemon

While ranting about "Iranian hegemony," Kagan called for direct military intervention by the world's true hegemonic power, the United States. He wants the US military to weigh in against Iran on the side of two far more militarily advanced regional powers, Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose combined weapons spending dwarfs Iran's and includes – with Israel – a sophisticated nuclear arsenal.

Yet reality has never had much relationship to neocon ideology. Kagan continued:

Any serious strategy aimed at resisting Iranian hegemony has also required confronting Iran on the several fronts of the Middle East battlefield. In Syria, it has required a determined policy to remove Assad by force, using US air power to provide cover for civilians and create a safe zone for Syrians willing to fight.

In Iraq, it has required using American forces to push back and destroy the forces of the Islamic State so that we would not have to rely, de facto, on Iranian power to do the job. Overall, it has required a greater US military commitment to the region, a reversal of both the perceived and the real withdrawal of American power.

And therefore it has required a reversal of the downward trend in US defense spending, especially the undoing of the sequestration of defense funds, which has made it harder for the military even to think about addressing these challenges, should it be called upon to do so. So the question for Republicans who are rightly warning of the danger posed by Iran is: What have they done to make it possible for the United States to begin to have any strategy for responding?

In Kagan's call for war and more war, we're seeing, again, the consequence of failing to hold neocons accountable after they pushed the country into the illegal and catastrophic Iraq War by selling lies about weapons of mass destruction and telling tales about how easy it would be.

Instead of facing a purge that should have followed the Iraq calamity, the neocons consolidated their power, holding onto key jobs in US foreign policy, ensconcing themselves in influential think tanks, and remaining the go-to experts for mainstream media coverage. Being wrong about Iraq has almost become a badge of honor in the upside-down world of Official Washington.

But we need to unpack the truckload of sophistry that Kagan is peddling. First, it is simply crazy to talk about "Iranian hegemony." That was part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rhetoric before the US Congress on March 3 about Iran "gobbling up" nations – and it has now become a neocon-driven litany, but it is no more real just because it gets repeated endlessly.

For instance, take the Iraq case. It has a Shiite-led government not because Iran invaded Iraq, but because the United States did. After the US military ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, the United States stood up a new government dominated by Shiites who, in turn, sought friendly relations with their co-religionists in Iran, which is entirely understandable and represents no aggression by Iran. Then, after the Islamic State's dramatic military gains across Iraq last summer, the Iraqi government turned to Iran for military assistance, also no surprise.

Back to Iraq

However, leaving aside Kagan's delusional hyperbole about Iran, look at what he's proposing. He wants to return a sizable US occupation force to Iraq, apparently caring little about the US soldiers who were rotated multiple times into the war zone where almost 4,500 died (along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis). Having promoted Iraq War I and having paid no price, Kagan now wants to give us Iraq War II.

But that's not enough. Kagan wants the US military to intervene to make sure the secular government of Syria is overthrown, even though the almost certain winners would be Sunni extremists from the Islamic State or Al Qaeda's Nusra Front. Such a victory could lead to genocides against Syria's Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other minorities. At that point, there would be tremendous pressure for a full-scale US invasion and occupation of Syria, too.

That may be why Kagan wants to throw tens of billions of dollar more into the military-industrial complex, although the true price tag for Kagan's new wars would likely run into the trillions of dollars. Yet, Kagan still isn't satisfied. He wants even more military spending to confront "growing Chinese power, an aggressive Russia and an increasingly hegemonic Iran."

In his conclusion, Kagan mocks the Republicans for not backing up their tough talk: "So, yes, by all means, rail about the [Iran] deal. We all look forward to the hours of floor speeches and campaign speeches that lie ahead. But it will be hard to take Republican criticisms seriously unless they start doing the things that are in their power to do to begin to address the challenge."

While it's true that Kagan is now "just" a neocon ideologue – albeit one with important platforms to present his views – his wife Assistant Secretary of State Nuland shares his foreign policy views and even edits many of his articles. As she told The New York Times last year, "nothing goes out of the house that I don't think is worthy of his talents. Let's put it that way." [See "Obama's True Foreign Policy 'Weakness.'"]

But Nuland is a foreign policy force of her own, considered by some in Washington to be the up-and-coming "star" at the State Department. By organizing the "regime change" in Ukraine – with the violent overthrow of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 – Nuland also earned her spurs as an accomplished neocon.

Nuland has even outdone her husband, who may get "credit" for the Iraq War and the resulting chaos, but Nuland did him one better, instigating Cold War II and reviving hostilities between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States. After all, that's where the really big money will go – toward modernizing nuclear arsenals and ordering top-of-the-line strategic weaponry.

A Family Business

There's also a family-business aspect to these wars and confrontations, since the Kagans collectively serve not just to start conflicts but to profit from grateful military contractors who kick back a share of the money to the think tanks that employ the Kagans.

For instance, Robert's brother Frederick works at the American Enterprise Institute, which has long benefited from the largesse of the Military-Industrial Complex, and his wife Kimberly runs her own think tank called the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

According to ISW's annual reports, its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it was later backed by a host of national security contractors, including major ones like General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provided training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA's venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplied software to US military intelligence in Afghanistan.

Since its founding in 2007, ISW has focused mostly on wars in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, including closely cooperating with Gen. David Petraeus when he commanded US forces in those countries. However, more recently, ISW has begun reporting extensively on the civil war in Ukraine. [See "Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War."]

So, to understand the enduring influence of the neocons – and the Kagan clan, in particular – you have to appreciate the money connections between the business of war and the business of selling war. When the military contractors do well, the think tanks that advocate for heightened global tensions do well, too.

And, it doesn't hurt to have friends and family inside the government making sure that policymakers do their part to give war a chance - and to give peace the old heave-ho.

Latina Lover

Nudelman and the Kagans are minions of the Military Industrial Complex, mouthpieces for hire. Their job is to create wars for profit, enriching their masters.


Bay of Pigs

And what does Donald Trump have to say about these liars and weasels?

greenskeeper carl

While he has been critical ad the Iraq war in general and bush and Obamas handling of it, I doubt he'd go so far as to go after the architects of it. Even though he has gone after the two biggest neocons in the senate, graham and McCain, he didn't call them out for being neocons, he called them out for being douchebags for other reasons.

Doing so would likely turn off a lot of supporters, even if trump himself feels that way. Few politicians have the guts to really 'go there' , Ron Paul was really the only one. Most of trumps supporters are red meat republicans, who while they are, correctly, fed up with all the warfare, they won't go so far as to call it all a 'mistake' since they still buy into the meme that by criticizing that they aren't 'supporting the troops' or are being unpatriotic.

James_Cole

However, leaving aside Kagan's delusional hyperbole about Iran, look at what he's proposing.

If US became allied with Iran instead of saudi arabia the world would be a much better / peaceful place. So long as SA didn't start dropping nukes all over the place.

Iran hasn't started any wars, recently had a female mathematician win the fields medal & is right now fighting ISIS. SA starts wars frequently, was home to most of the 9/11 hijackers + al qaeda + almost certainly funds ISIS to some extent & is stuck in the 15th century. Why the fuck is SA the bff in the ME & not Iran?? They both have oil.

US should just admit a few past mistakes in Iran and then bring them back into the fold. You can do it US&A! For the good of humanity :)

cowdogg

Much more ambitious than just filling the coffers of the arms industry. The Kagans are Netanyahu's operatives who are doing their best to instigate a US war with both Russia and China. The idea is that all parties will destroy each other and leave little Israel and it's hundreds of nuclear weapons as masters of the earth. It is going to take a while longer to get it going so in the meantime the Kagans will be contented for the US to conquer Iraq and Syria and incorporate them into Greater Israel.

Ignatius

Family business combined with a satanic ideology in service of a profitable crime: war.

Luther van Theses

Lies about Iraq are not confined to "weapons of mass destruction."

1. The Baath regime headed by Saddam Hussein was secular, not "Sunni."

2. There is no evidence that Saddam "oppressed the Shiites."

3. There is no evidence that "Saddam gassed the Kurds."

The Goebbels-method beliefs about Iraq are held all across the political spectrum. As a result, millions of Iraqis die and nobody gives a shit.

Contrarian View

This article should never have been published in ZH. It doesn't meet even the low ZH standards of rigor and intellectual honesty. The idea that the Kagans are representative of all "neocons" is ludicrous to anyone who actually knows any neocons.

The article's assertion that it was the Iraq war that birthed ISIS, rather than Obama's support of Islamic extremism, shows how ignorant the author is.

By William Kristol and Robert Kagan

William Kristol is Editor of The Weekly Standard. Robert Kagan is a Contributing Editor of The Weekly Standard.

See more by William Kristol See more by Robert Kaganclose

From our July/August 1996 Issue

THE TEPID CONSENSUS

In foreign policy, conservatives are adrift. They disdain the Wilsonian multilateralism of the Clinton administration; they are tempted by, but so far have resisted, the neoisolationism of Patrick Buchanan; for now, they lean uncertainly on some version of the conservative realism of Henry Kissinger and his disciples. Thus, in this year's election campaign, they speak vaguely of replacing Clinton's vacillation with a steady, adult foreign policy under Robert Dole. But Clinton has not vacillated that much recently, and Dole was reduced a few weeks ago to asserting, in what was heralded as a major address, that there really are differences in foreign policy between him and the president, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. But the fault is not Dole's; in truth, there has been little attempt to set forth the outlines of a conservative view of the world and America's proper role in it.

Is such an attempt necessary, or even possible? For the past few years, Americans, from the foreign policy big thinker to the man on the street, have assumed it is not. Rather, this is supposed to be a time for unshouldering the vast responsibilities the United States acquired at the end of the Second World War and for concentrating its energies at home. The collapse of the Soviet Empire has made possible a return to normalcy in American foreign and defense policy, allowing the adoption of a more limited definition of the national interest, with a commensurate reduction in overseas involvement and defense spending.

Republicans and conservatives at first tended to be wary of this new post-Cold War consensus. But they joined it rapidly after 1992, in the wake of the defeat of the quintessential foreign policy president by a candidate who promised to focus like a laser on the domestic economy. Now conservatives tailor their foreign and defense policies to fit the presumed new political reality: an American public that is indifferent, if not hostile, to foreign policy and commitments abroad, more interested in balancing the budget than in leading the world, and more intent on cashing in the peace dividend than on spending to deter and fight future wars. Most conservatives have chosen to acquiesce in rather than challenge this public mood.

In a way, the current situation is reminiscent of the mid-1970s. But Ronald Reagan mounted a bold challenge to the tepid consensus of that era a consensus that favored accommodation to and coexistence with the Soviet Union, accepted the inevitability of America's declining power, and considered any change in the status quo either too frightening or too expensive. Proposing a controversial vision of ideological and strategic victory over the forces of international communism, Reagan called for an end to complacency in the face of the Soviet threat, large increases in defense spending, resistance to communist advances in the Third World, and greater moral clarity and purpose in U.S. foreign policy. He championed American exceptionalism when it was deeply unfashionable. Perhaps most significant, he refused to accept the limits on American power imposed by the domestic political realities that others assumed were fixed.

Many smart people regarded Reagan with scorn or alarm. Liberal Democrats still reeling from the Vietnam War were, of course, appalled by his zealotry. So were many of Reagan's fellow Republicans, especially the Kissingerian realists then dominant in foreign affairs. Reagan declared war on his own party, took on Gerald Ford for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination (primarily over issues of foreign policy), and trained his guns on Kissinger, whose stewardship of U.S. foreign policy, he charged, had coincided precisely with the loss of U.S. military supremacy. Although Reagan lost the battle to unseat Ford, he won the fight at the Republican convention for a platform plank on morality in foreign policy. Ultimately, he succeeded in transforming the Republican party, the conservative movement in America, and, after his election to the presidency in 1980, the country and the world.

BENEVOLENT HEGEMONY

Twenty years later, it is time once again to challenge an indifferent America and a confused American conservatism. Today's lukewarm consensus about America's reduced role in a post-Cold War world is wrong. Conservatives should not accede to it; it is bad for the country and, incidentally, bad for conservatism. Conservatives will not be able to govern America over the long term if they fail to offer a more elevated vision of America's international role.

What should that role be? Benevolent global hegemony. Having defeated the evil empire, the United States enjoys strategic and ideological predominance. The first objective of U.S. foreign policy should be to preserve and enhance that predominance by strengthening America's security, supporting its friends, advancing its interests, and standing up for its principles around the world.

The aspiration to benevolent hegemony might strike some as either hubristic or morally suspect. But a hegemon is nothing more or less than a leader with preponderant influence and authority over all others in its domain. That is America's position in the world today. The leaders of Russia and China understand this. At their April summit meeting, Boris Yeltsin and Jiang Zemin joined in denouncing hegemonism in the post-Cold War world. They meant this as a complaint about the United States. It should be taken as a compliment and a guide to action.

Consider the events of just the past six months, a period that few observers would consider remarkable for its drama on the world stage. In East Asia, the carrier task forces of the U.S. Seventh Fleet helped deter Chinese aggression against democratic Taiwan, and the 35,000 American troops stationed in South Korea helped deter a possible invasion by the rulers in Pyongyang. In Europe, the United States sent 20,000 ground troops to implement a peace agreement in the former Yugoslavia, maintained 100,000 in Western Europe as a symbolic commitment to European stability and security, and intervened diplomatically to prevent the escalation of a conflict between Greece and Turkey. In the Middle East, the United States maintained the deployment of thousands of soldiers and a strong naval presence in the Persian Gulf region to deter possible aggression by Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran, and it mediated in the conflict between Israel and Syria in Lebanon. In the Western Hemisphere, the United States completed the withdrawal of 15,000 soldiers after restoring a semblance of democratic government in Haiti and, almost without public notice, prevented a military coup in Paraguay. In Africa, a U.S. expeditionary force rescued Americans and others trapped in the Liberian civil conflict.

These were just the most visible American actions of the past six months, and just those of a military or diplomatic nature. During the same period, the United States made a thousand decisions in international economic forums, both as a government and as an amalgam of large corporations and individual entrepreneurs, that shaped the lives and fortunes of billions around the globe. America influenced both the external and internal behavior of other countries through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Through the United Nations, it maintained sanctions on rogue states such as Libya, Iran, and Iraq. Through aid programs, the United States tried to shore up friendly democratic regimes in developing nations. The enormous web of the global economic system, with the United States at the center, combined with the pervasive influence of American ideas and culture, allowed Americans to wield influence in many other ways of which they were entirely unconscious. The simple truth of this era was stated last year by a Serb leader trying to explain Slobodan Milosevic's decision to finally seek rapprochement with Washington. As a pragmatist, the Serbian politician said, Milosevic knows that all satellites of the United States are in a better position than those that are not satellites.

And America's allies are in a better position than those who are not its allies. Most of the world's major powers welcome U.S. global involvement and prefer America's benevolent hegemony to the alternatives. Instead of having to compete for dominant global influence with many other powers, therefore, the United States finds both the Europeans and the Japanese -- after the United States, the two most powerful forces in the world -- supportive of its world leadership role. Those who anticipated the dissolution of these alliances once the common threat of the Soviet Union disappeared have been proved wrong. The principal concern of America's allies these days is not that it will be too dominant but that it will withdraw.

Somehow most Americans have failed to notice that they have never had it so good. They have never lived in a world more conducive to their fundamental interests in a liberal international order, the spread of freedom and democratic governance, an international economic system of free-market capitalism and free trade, and the security of Americans not only to live within their own borders but to travel and do business safely and without encumbrance almost anywhere in the world. Americans have taken these remarkable benefits of the post-Cold War era for granted, partly because it has all seemed so easy. Despite misguided warnings of imperial overstretch, the United States has so far exercised its hegemony without any noticeable strain, and it has done so despite the fact that Americans appear to be in a more insular mood than at any time since before the Second World War. The events of the last six months have excited no particular interest among Americans and, indeed, seem to have been regarded with the same routine indifference as breathing and eating.

And that is the problem. The most difficult thing to preserve is that which does not appear to need preserving. The dominant strategic and ideological position the United States now enjoys is the product of foreign policies and defense strategies that are no longer being pursued. Americans have come to take the fruits of their hegemonic power for granted. During the Cold War, the strategies of deterrence and containment worked so well in checking the ambitions of America's adversaries that many American liberals denied that our adversaries had ambitions or even, for that matter, that America had adversaries. Today the lack of a visible threat to U.S. vital interests or to world peace has tempted Americans to absentmindedly dismantle the material and spiritual foundations on which their national well-being has been based. They do not notice that potential challengers are deterred before even contemplating confrontation by their overwhelming power and influence.

The ubiquitous post-Cold War question -- where is the threat? -- is thus misconceived. In a world in which peace and American security depend on American power and the will to use it, the main threat the United States faces now and in the future is its own weakness. American hegemony is the only reliable defense against a breakdown of peace and international order. The appropriate goal of American foreign policy, therefore, is to preserve that hegemony as far into the future as possible. To achieve this goal, the United States needs a neo-Reaganite foreign policy of military supremacy and moral confidence.

THREE IMPERATIVES

Setting forth the broad outlines of such a foreign policy is more important for the moment than deciding the best way to handle all the individual issues that have preoccupied U.S. policymakers and analysts. Whether or not the United States continues to grant most-favored-nation status to China is less important than whether it has an overall strategy for containing, influencing, and ultimately seeking to change the regime in Beijing. Whether NATO expands this year or five years from now is less important than whether NATO remains strong, active, cohesive, and under decisive American leadership. Whether America builds 20 b-2 bombers or 30 is less important than giving its military planners enough money to make intelligent choices that are driven more by strategic than by budget requirements. But it is clear that a neo-Reaganite foreign policy would have several implications.

The defense budget. Republicans declared victory last year when they added $7 billion to President Clinton's defense budget. But the hard truth is that Washington -- now spending about $260 billion per year on defense -- probably needs to spend about $60-$80 billion more each year in order to preserve America's role as global hegemon. The United States currently devotes about three percent of its GNP to defense. U.S. defense planners, who must make guesses about a future that is impossible to predict with confidence, are increasingly being forced to place all their chips on one guess or another. They are being asked to predict whether the future is likely to bring more conflicts like the Gulf War or peacekeeping operations like those in Bosnia and Haiti, or more great power confrontations similar to the Cold War. The best answer to these questions is: who can tell? The odds are that in the coming decades America may face all these kinds of conflict, as well as some that have yet to be imagined.

For the past few years, American military supremacy has been living off a legacy, specifically, the legacy of Ronald Reagan. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell once noted, it was Reagan's military, built in the 1980s to deter the Soviet Union, that won the war against Iraq. No serious analyst of American military capabilities today doubts that the defense budget has been cut much too far to meet America's responsibilities to itself and to world peace. The United States may no longer have the wherewithal to defend against threats to America's vital interests in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, much less to extend America's current global preeminence well into the future.

The current readiness of U.S. forces is in decline, but so is their ability to maintain an advantage in high technology weapons over the coming decades. In the search for some way to meet extensive strategic requirements with inadequate resources, defense planners have engaged in strategic fratricide. Those who favor current readiness have been pitted against those who favor high-tech research and development; those who favor maintaining American forward deployment at bases around the world have been arrayed against those who insist that for the sake of economizing the job be accomplished at long range without bases. The military is forced to choose between army combat divisions and the next generation of bombers, between lift capacities and force projection, between short-range and long-range deterrence. Constructing a military force appropriate to a nation's commitments and its resources is never an easy task, and there are always limits that compel difficult choices. But today's limits are far too severe; the choices they compel are too dramatic; and because military strategy and planning are far from exact sciences, the United States is dangerously cutting its margin for error.

The defense budget crisis is now at hand. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General John Shalikashvili has complained that the weapons procurement budget has been reduced to perilously low levels, and he has understated the problem. Since 1985, the research and development budget has been cut by 57 percent; the procurement budget has been cut 71 percent. Both the Clinton administration and the Republican Congress have achieved budget savings over the next few years by pushing necessary procurement decisions into the next century. The Clinton administration's so-called Bottom-Up Review of U.S. defense strategy has been rightly dismissed by Democrats like Senate Armed Services Committee member Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) as already inadequate to the present and certainly to the future. Both the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office have projected a shortfall of $50 billion to $100 billion over the next five years in funding just for existing force levels and procurement plans.

These shortfalls do not even take into account the development of new weapons, like a missile defense system capable of protecting American territory against missiles launched from rogue states such as North Korea or shielding, say, Los Angeles from nuclear intimidation by the Chinese during the next crisis in the Taiwan Strait. Deployment of such a system could cost more than $10 billion a year.

Add together the needed increases in the procurement budget called for by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the justifiable increases in funding for existing forces to make up the shortfalls identified by the GAO and the CBO, and it becomes obvious that an increase in defense spending by $60 billion to $80 billion is not a radical proposal. It is simply what the United States will require to keep the peace and defend its interests over the coming decades.

If this number sounds like a budget-buster, it should not. Today, defense spending is less than 20 percent of the total federal budget. In 1962, before the Vietnam War, defense spending ran at almost 50 percent of the overall budget. In 1978, before the Carter-Reagan defense buildup, it was about 23 percent. Increases of the size required to pursue a neo-Reaganite foreign policy today would require returning to about that level of defense spending -- still less than one-quarter of the federal budget.

These days, some critics complain about the fact that the United States spends more on defense than the next six major powers combined. But the enormous disparity between U.S. military strength and that of any potential challenger is a good thing for America and the world. After all, America's world role is entirely different from that of the other powers. The more Washington is able to make clear that it is futile to compete with American power, either in size of forces or in technological capabilities, the less chance there is that countries like China or Iran will entertain ambitions of upsetting the present world order. And that means the United States will be able to save money in the long run, for it is much cheaper to deter a war than to fight one. Americans should be glad that their defense capabilities are as great as the next six powers combined. Indeed, they may even want to enshrine this disparity in U.S. defense strategy. Great Britain in the late 19th century maintained a two-power standard for its navy, insisting that at all times the British navy should be as large as the next two naval powers combined, whoever they might be. Perhaps the United States should inaugurate such a two- (or three-, or four-) power standard of its own, which would preserve its military supremacy regardless of the near-term global threats.

Citizen involvement. A gap is growing, meanwhile, between America's professional military, uncomfortable with some of the missions that the new American role requires, and a civilian population increasingly unaware of or indifferent to the importance of its military's efforts abroad. U.S. military leaders harbor justifiable suspicions that while they serve as a kind of foreign legion, doing the hard work of American-style empire management, American civilians at home, preoccupied with the distribution of tax breaks and government benefits, will not come to their support when the going gets tough. Weak political leadership and a poor job of educating the citizenry to the responsibilities of global hegemony have created an increasingly distinct and alienated military culture. Ask any mechanic or mess boy on an aircraft carrier why he is patrolling the oceans, and he can give a more sophisticated explanation of power projection than 99 percent of American college graduates. It is foolish to imagine that the United States can lead the world effectively while the overwhelming majority of the population neither understands nor is involved, in any real way, with its international mission.

The president and other political leaders can take steps to close the growing separation of civilian and military cultures in our society. They can remind civilians of the sacrifices being made by U.S. forces overseas and explain what those sacrifices are for. A clear statement of America's global mission can help the public understand why U.S. troops are deployed overseas and can help reassure military leaders of public support in difficult circumstances. It could also lay the groundwork for reasserting more comprehensive civilian control over the military.

There could be further efforts to involve more citizens in military service. Perhaps the United States has reached the point where a return to the draft is not feasible because of the high degree of professionalization of the military services. But there are other ways to lower the barriers between civilian and military life. Expanded forms of reserve service could give many more Americans experience of the military and an appreciation of military virtues. Conservatives preach that citizenship is not only about rights but also about responsibilities. There is no more profound responsibility than the defense of the nation and its principles.

Moral clarity. Finally, American foreign policy should be informed with a clear moral purpose, based on the understanding that its moral goals and its fundamental national interests are almost always in harmony. The United States achieved its present position of strength not by practicing a foreign policy of live and let live, nor by passively waiting for threats to arise, but by actively promoting American principles of governance abroad -- democracy, free markets, respect for liberty. During the Reagan years, the United States pressed for changes in right-wing and left-wing dictatorships alike, among both friends and foes -- in the Philippines, South Korea, Eastern Europe and even the Soviet Union. The purpose was not Wilsonian idealistic whimsy. The policy of putting pressure on authoritarian and totalitarian regimes had practical aims and, in the end, delivered strategic benefits. Support for American principles around the world can be sustained only by continuing exertion of American influence. Some of that influence comes from the aid provided to friendly regimes that are trying to carry out democratic and free-market reforms. However strong the case for reform of foreign aid programs, they deserve to be maintained as a useful way of exerting American influence abroad. And sometimes exerting that influence means not just supporting U.S. friends and gently pressuring other nations, but actively pursuing policies -- in Iran, Cuba, or China, for instance -- intended ultimately to bring about a change of regime. In any case, the United States should not blindly do business with every nation, no matter its regime. Armand Hammerism should not be a tenet of conservative foreign policy.

FROM NSC-68 TO 1996

This sweeping, neo-Reaganite foreign policy agenda may seem ambitious for these tepid times. Politicians in both parties will protest that the American people will not support the burdens of such a policy. There are two answers to this criticism.

First, it is already clear that, on the present course, Washington will find it increasingly impossible to fulfill even the less ambitious foreign policies of the realists, including the defense of so-called vital interests in Europe and Asia. Without a broad, sustaining foreign policy vision, the American people will be inclined to withdraw from the world and will lose sight of their abiding interest in vigorous world leadership. Without a sense of mission, they will seek deeper and deeper cuts in the defense and foreign affairs budgets and gradually decimate the tools of U.S. hegemony.

Consider what has happened in only the past few years. Ronald Reagan's exceptionalist appeal did not survive the presidency of George Bush, where self-proclaimed pragmatists like James Baker found it easier to justify the Gulf War to the American people in terms of jobs than as a defense of a world order shaped to suit American interests and principles. Then, having discarded the overarching Reaganite vision that had sustained a globally active foreign policy through the last decade of the Cold War, the Bush administration in 1992 saw its own prodigious foreign policy successes swept into the dustbin by Clinton political adviser James Carville's campaign logic: It's the economy, stupid. By the time conservatives took their seats as the congressional opposition in 1993, they had abandoned not only Reaganism but to some degree foreign policy itself.

Now the common wisdom holds that Dole's solid victory over Buchanan in the primaries constituted a triumphant reassertion of conservative internationalism over neoisolationism. But the common wisdom may prove wrong. On the stump during the Republican primaries this year, what little passion and energy there was on foreign policy issues came from Buchanan and his followers. Over the past four years Buchanan's fiery America First rhetoric has filled the vacuum among conservatives created by the abandonment of Reagan's very different kind of patriotic mission. It is now an open question how long the beleaguered conservative realists will be able to resist the combined assault of Buchanan's isolationism of the heart and the Republican budget hawks on Capitol Hill.

History also shows, however, that the American people can be summoned to meet the challenges of global leadership if statesmen make the case loudly, cogently, and persistently. As troubles arise and the need to act becomes clear, those who have laid the foundation for a necessary shift in policy have a chance to lead Americans onto a new course. In 1950, Paul Nitze and other Truman administration officials drafted the famous planning document NSC-68, a call for an all-out effort to meet the Soviet challenge that included a full-scale ideological confrontation and massive increases in defense spending. At first, their proposals languished. President Truman, worried about angering a hostile, budget-conscious Congress and an American public which was enjoying an era of peace and prosperity, for months refused to approve the defense spending proposals. It took the North Korean invasion of South Korea to allow the administration to rally support for the prescriptions of NSC-68. Before the Korean War, American politicians were fighting over whether the defense budget ought to be $15 billion or $16 billion; most believed more defense spending would bankrupt the nation. The next year, the defense budget was over $50 billion.

A similar sequence of events unfolded in the 1970s. When Reagan and the Scoop Jackson Democrats began sounding the alarm about the Soviet danger, the American public was not ready to listen. Then came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the seizure of American hostages in Iran. By the time Jimmy Carter professed to have learned more about the Soviet Union than he had ever known before, Reagan and his fellow conservatives in both parties had laid the intellectual foundation for the military buildup of the 1980s.

AN ELEVATED PATRIOTISM

In theory, either party could lay the groundwork for a neo-Reaganite foreign policy over the next decade. The Democrats, after all, led the nation to assume its new global responsibilities in the late 1940s and early 1950s under President Truman and Secretary of State Dean Acheson. It is unlikely, however, that they are prepared to pursue such a course today. Republicans may have lost their way in the last few years, but the Democrats are still recovering from their post-Vietnam trauma of two decades ago. President Clinton has proved a better manager of foreign policy than many expected, but he has not been up to the larger task of preparing and inspiring the nation to embrace the role of global leadership. He, too, has tailored his internationalist activism to fit the constraints of a popular mood that White House pollsters believe is disinclined to sacrifice blood and treasure in the name of overseas commitments. His Pentagon officials talk more about exit strategies than about national objectives. His administration has promised global leadership on the cheap, refusing to seek the levels of defense spending needed to meet the broad goals it claims to want to achieve in the world. Even Clinton's boldest overseas adventures, in Bosnia and Haiti, have come only after strenuous and prolonged efforts to avoid intervention.

Republicans are surely the genuine heirs to the Reagan tradition. The 1994 election is often said to have represented one last victory for Ronald Reagan's domestic agenda. But Reagan's earlier successes rested as much on foreign as on domestic policy. Over the long term, victory for American conservatives depends on recapturing the spirit of Reagan's foreign policy as well.

Indeed, American conservatism cannot govern by domestic policy alone. In the 1990s conservatives have built their agenda on two pillars of Reaganism: relimiting government to curtail the most intrusive and counterproductive aspects of the modern welfare state, and reversing the widespread collapse of morals and standards in American society. But it is hard to imagine conservatives achieving a lasting political realignment in this country without the third pillar: a coherent set of foreign policy principles that at least bear some resemblance to those propounded by Reagan. The remoralization of America at home ultimately requires the remoralization of American foreign policy. For both follow from Americans belief that the principles of the Declaration of Independence are not merely the choices of a particular culture but are universal, enduring, self-evident truths. That has been, after all, the main point of the conservatives war against a relativistic multiculturalism. For conservatives to preach the importance of upholding the core elements of the Western tradition at home, but to profess indifference to the fate of American principles abroad, is an inconsistency that cannot help but gnaw at the heart of conservatism.

Conservatives these days succumb easily to the charming old metaphor of the United States as a city on a hill. They hark back, as George Kennan did in these pages not long ago, to the admonition of John Quincy Adams that America ought not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. But why not? The alternative is to leave monsters on the loose, ravaging and pillaging to their hearts' content, as Americans stand by and watch. What may have been wise counsel in 1823, when America was a small, isolated power in a world of European giants, is no longer so, when America is the giant. Because America has the capacity to contain or destroy many of the world's monsters, most of which can be found without much searching, and because the responsibility for the peace and security of the international order rests so heavily on America's shoulders, a policy of sitting atop a hill and leading by example becomes in practice a policy of cowardice and dishonor.

And more is at stake than honor. Without a broader, more enlightened understanding of America's interests, conservatism will too easily degenerate into the pinched nationalism of Buchanan's America First, where the appeal to narrow self-interest masks a deeper form of self-loathing. A true conservatism of the heart ought to emphasize both personal and national responsibility, relish the opportunity for national engagement, embrace the possibility of national greatness, and restore a sense of the heroic, which has been sorely lacking from American foreign policy -- and from American conservatism -- in recent years. George Kennan was right 50 years ago in his famous X article: the American people ought to feel a certain gratitude to a Providence, which by providing [them] with this implacable challenge, has made their entire security as a nation dependent on pulling themselves together and accepting the responsibilities of moral and political leadership that history plainly intended them to bear. This is as true today -- if less obviously so -- as it was at the beginning of the Cold War.

A neo-Reaganite foreign policy would be good for conservatives, good for America, and good for the world. It is worth recalling that the most successful Republican presidents of this century, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, both inspired Americans to assume cheerfully the new international responsibilities that went with increased power and influence. Both celebrated American exceptionalism. Both made Americans proud of their leading role in world affairs. Deprived of the support of an elevated patriotism, bereft of the ability to appeal to national honor, conservatives will ultimately fail in their effort to govern America. And Americans will fail in their responsibility to lead the world.

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Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D


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Last modified: March, 23, 2019