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Robert Kagan

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Robert Kagan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Kagan (born September 26, 1958 in Athens, Greece) is an American historian, author, columnist, and foreign-policy commentator. Kagan is often characterized as a leading neoconservative, but prefers to call himself a "liberal interventionist".[1]

A co-founder of the neocon Project for the New American Century,[2][3][4] he is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[5] Kagan has been a foreign policy adviser to U.S. Republican presidential candidates as well as Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, when Clinton was Secretary of State under President Obama. He writes a monthly column on world affairs for the Washington Post, and is a contributing editor at The New Republic.

Robert Kagan is the son of historian Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University and a specialist in the history of the Peloponnesian War. His brother, Frederick, is a military historian and author. Kagan has a BA in history (1980) from Yale, where in 1979 he had been Editor in Chief of the Yale Political Monthly, a periodical that he is credited with reviving.[6] 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.

Kagan is married to the American diplomat Victoria Nuland,[7] who serves as Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs in the Barack Obama administration.

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 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.