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|Boot ... is a member, like myself (albeit a half-generation older), of the Soviet emigre community. Well, that explains so much, really:
you’d be hard-pressed to find a more reactionary bloc in all of American politics.
The greater the hawkishness, the greater the ignorance.
Max Blumenthal, sited from Zero Hedge
In his volume Cultural Insurrections, Kevin MacDonald has accurately described neoconservatism as “a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel.”Kevin MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilizations, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, The Occidental Press, 2007, p. 122. The proof of the neocons’ crypto-Israelism is their U.S. foreign policy:
Laurent Guyénot, The Unz Review. Apr 8, 2019
Max Boot is a representative of so called "immigrant neocon class":
turcopolier , 25 April 2019 at 08:25 AMZakariah is an interesting example of the immigrant neocon class. Khalilzad is another. Sebastian Gorka and Varney are others. They like the US, but, if only it were more aggressive, less federal.
Khalizad told me once that you WASP types have no idea of the real uses of power. Etc.
Intellectually Max Boot is a loud mouth nothing. I wonder how he managed to graduate from a prestigious university (but Pompeo also managed to graduate from one; so it might be something wrong with those universities as a part of crapification of the US university system).
He might be able to work as a copywriter, but not above that.
And it is important to understadn that neocon didn't "get it wrong." They are cynical leaches and understood that this is wrong perfectly. It's all about money for MIC which as lobbyists of MIC is their first priority. That's why they lied the American people into several wars. Which BTW means that formally all of them are are war criminals. They should be tried for war crimes, but probably never would.
MIC lobbyists like Max Boot understand perfectly well, and early in life, from which side their bread is buttered. That's third only chance into "upper class society". They are, in reality, far from real ideological warriors and have no convictions. In essence, they are hired guns of MIC. War dogs. If people like Max Boot aren’t dangerous to America and much of the world, then no one is.
If we apply Nuremberg principles to his activities, it it should looks like Max Boot is a war criminal:
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
- (a) Crimes against peace:
- (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
- (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
- (b) War crimes:
- Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
- (c) Crimes against humanity:
- Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.
In addition to being paid lobbyist of MIC, he is a pretty mediocre, superficial writer, Boot was another dope-with-a-thesaurus like George F. Will, with added militarist bloodthirst." as one commenter to Crooked Timber blogs characterized him. Tucker Carlson aptly told Boot to pick up a decent job for his level of qualification, such as painting houses. https://youtu.be/I2QJ_tp_Rto That the upper limit of his abilities, as his analysis is extremely superficial, completely detached from reality and overloaded with neocon platitudes.
In case of Max Boot some explained this shortsightness by the fact that he is a former émigré from Soviet Russia wanted to be "more Catholic than the Pope." He is so pious about the USA that it creates strong negative reaction. It is also difficlut for an émigré raised within based on deception culture of fake "refugees" (in reality economic migrants) from Soviet Russia to understand the USA neoliberalism and the genesis of imperial admissions (aka "full spectrum dominance") that arose in late 80th with the weakening and subsequent collapse of the USSR.
For his "flexibility" and sucking to MIC Boot was awarded the status as media-touted professional talking head in all neoliberal MSM channels. For all the time I was watching his blabbing, he has never to my knowledge said anything interesting.
Like other neocons he probably should commit harakiri after Iraq war debacle. But such guys are despicable cowards. Unlike Japanese militarists, they have no honor.
Daniel Larrison aptly described the mentality on neocons using Iran saber-rattling as a telling example:
Only Iran hawks have ever claimed that Iran was capable of “taking over” the entire region, and they were completely wrong when they said that. Now they’re fantasizing about regime collapse, and their analysis is just as bad as before.
Iran hawks will always overstate Iranian power for the sake of fear-mongering, and then they will make equally unfounded claims about Iran’s internal weaknesses to lend support to their plans for regime change. The same people will insist that Iran is “on the march” and then in the next breath pretend that their government is a shaky house of cards that just needs a nudge to come tumbling down.
They invariably sound the alarm about Iranian “expansionism” when Iran has relatively less regional influence and then boast about Iranian isolation when most other countries are happy to do business with them.
The reality is that Iran hawks are always missing the mark in both directions: they exaggerate the threat from Iran because it makes it easier to sell aggressive policies against them, and they exaggerate the fragility of the regime because it makes regime change seem relatively easy to achieve.
Mr. Boot views on foreign policy gleaned from his endless media appearances are clearly neoconservative. He is an unrepentant war monger. He tried to hide his warmongering under the pretence of protecting individualism, relatively free trade, relatively unregulated markets, and simple and straightforward laws and jurisprudence that apply to everyone equally. But in reality he is all about Washington consensus and subduing countries to the US empire. Like many emigrants he tried to be more catholic than the Pope.
Another thing that should never be forgotten about Mt. Boot is that he supported George W. Bush's pointless and stupid Iraq War. The estimated number of human deaths caused by it is between one and one million and a half. The national debt we accumulated to have that war is in the trillions. Number of crippled young people who were evacuated from Iraq and survived their wounds and head trauma is also large. Reports about the end of the war in Iraq routinely describe the toll on the U.S. military as 4,487 dead, and 32,226 wounded. The death count is probably accurate. But the wounded figure wildly understates the number of American serviceman who have come back from Iraq less than whole. The real number is most probably in hundred thousands. How Many U.S. Soldiers Were Wounded in Iraq Guess Again. HuffPost
No-one can support George W. Bush, oppose Donald Trump, and be taken seriously. Maybe if President Trump messes up, launches a catastrophic invasion of another Mid-Eastern country, and/or if the economy crashes to an extent on par with the Great Recession, the case could be made that he is worse than Bush II. But until then, no way.
One definition of "cuckservative" is a conservative who sold hismself out, having bought into all of the key premises of the neoliberalism and/or Neoconservatism, Such people usually sympathize to Clinton wing of Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals"). The phrase is similar to "Republican In Name Only" (RINO) which is also applicable to neoconservatives.
The term also is used about people who change their views promoting one set of values during election circle and enother after their candidate was elected (or not elected) to the office.
Mr. Boot and a neocon and a cuckservative.
Jan 23, 2020 | newrepublic.com
There was a time not so long ago, before President Donald Trump's surprise decision early this year to liquidate the Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, when it appeared that America's neoconservatives were floundering. The president was itching to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan. He was staging exuberant photo-ops with a beaming Kim Jong Un. He was reportedly willing to hold talks with the president of Iran, while clearly preferring trade wars to hot ones.
Indeed, this past summer, Trump's anti-interventionist supporters in the conservative media were riding high. When he refrained from attacking Iran in June after it shot down an American drone, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared , "Donald Trump was elected president precisely to keep us out of disaster like war with Iran." Carlson went on to condemn the hawks in Trump's Cabinet and their allies, who he claimed were egging the president on -- familiar names to anyone who has followed the decades-long neoconservative project of aggressively using military force to topple unfriendly regimes and project American power over the globe. "So how did we get so close to starting [a war]?" he asked. "One of [the hawks'] key allies is the national security adviser of the United States. John Bolton is an old friend of Bill Kristol's. Together they helped plan the Iraq War."
By the time Trump met with Kim in late June, becoming the first sitting president to set foot on North Korean soil, Bolton was on the outs. Carlson was on the president's North Korean junket, while Trump's national security adviser was in Mongolia. "John Bolton is absolutely a hawk," Trump told NBC in June. "If it was up to him, he'd take on the whole world at one time, OK?" In September, Bolton was fired.
The standard-bearer of the Republican Party had made clear his distaste for the neocons' belligerent approach to global affairs, much to the neocons' own entitled chagrin. As recently as December, Bolton, now outside the tent pissing in, was hammering Trump for "bluffing" through an announcement that the administration wanted North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. "The idea that we are somehow exerting maximum pressure on North Korea is just unfortunately not true," Bolton told Axios . Then Trump ordered the drone strike on Soleimani, drastically escalating a simmering conflict between Iran and the United States. All of a sudden the roles were reversed, with Bolton praising the president and asserting that Soleimani's death was " the first step to regime change in Tehran ." A chorus of neocons rushed to second his praise: Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA officer and prominent Never Trumper, lauded Trump's intestinal fortitude, while Representative Liz Cheney hailed Trump's "decisive action." It was Carlson who was left sputtering about the forever wars. "Washington has wanted war with Iran for decades," Carlson said . "They still want it now. Let's hope they haven't finally gotten it."
Neoconservatism as a foreign policy ideology has been badly discredited over the last two decades, thanks to the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in the blinding flash of one drone strike, neoconservatism was easily able to reinsert itself in the national conversation. It now appears that Trump intends to make Soleimani's killing -- which has nearly drawn the U.S. into yet another conflict in the Middle East and, in typical neoconservative fashion, ended up backfiring and undercutting American goals in the region -- a central part of his 2020 reelection bid .
The anti-interventionist right is freaking out. Writing in American Greatness, Matthew Boose declared , "[T]he Trump movement, which was generated out of opposition to the foreign policy blob and its endless wars, was revealed this week to have been co-opted to a great extent by neoconservatives seeking regime change." James Antle, the editor of The American Conservative, a publication founded in 2002 to oppose the Iraq War, asked , "Did Trump betray the anti-war right?"In the blinding flash of one drone strike, neoconservatism was easily able to reinsert itself in the national conversation.
Their concerns are not unmerited. The neocons are starting to realize that Trump's presidency, at least when it comes to foreign policy, is no less vulnerable to hijacking than those of previous Republican presidents, including the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. The leading hawks inside and outside the administration shaping its approach to Iran include Robert O'Brien, Bolton's disciple and successor as national security adviser; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook; Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; David Wurmser, a former adviser to Bolton; and Senators Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton. Perhaps no one better exemplifies the neocon ethos better than Cotton, a Kristol protégé who soaked up the teachings of the political philosopher Leo Strauss while studying at Harvard. Others who have been baying for conflict with Iran include Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now Trump's personal lawyer and partner in Ukrainian crime. In June 2018, Giuliani went to Paris to address the National Council of Resistance of Iran, whose parent organization is the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MeK. Giuliani, who has been on the payroll of the MeK for years, demanded -- what else? -- regime change.
The fresh charge into battle of what Sidney Blumenthal once aptly referred to as an ideological light brigade brings to mind Hobbes's observation in Leviathan : "All men that are ambitious of military command are inclined to continue the causes of war; and to stir up trouble and sedition; for there is no honor military but by war; nor any such hope to mend an ill game, as by causing a new shuffle." The neocons, it appears, have caused a new shuffle.
Donald Trump has not dragged us into war with Iran (yet). But the killing of Soleimani revealed that the neocon military-intellectual complex is very much still intact, with the ability to spring back to life from a state of suspended animation in an instant. Its hawkish tendencies remain widely prevalent not only in the Republican Party but also in the media, the think-tank universe, and in the liberal-hawk precincts of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the influence and reach of the anti-war right remains nascent; even if this contingent has popular support, it doesn't enjoy much backing in Washington beyond the mood swings of the mercurial occupant of the Oval Office.
But there was a time when the neoconservative coalition was not so entrenched -- and what has turned out to be its provisional state of exile lends some critical insight into how it managed to hang around respectable policymaking circles in recent years, and how it may continue to shape American foreign policy for the foreseeable future. When the neoconservatives came on the scene in the late 1960s, the Republican old guard viewed them as interlopers. The neocons, former Trotskyists turned liberals who broke with the Democratic Party over its perceived weakness on the Cold War, stormed the citadel of Republican ideology by emphasizing the relationship between ideas and political reality. Irving Kristol, one of the original neoconservatives, mused in 1985 that " what communists call the theoretical organs always end up through a filtering process influencing a lot of people who don't even know they're being influenced. In the end, ideas rule the world because even interests are defined by ideas."
At pivotal moments in modern American foreign policy, the neocons supplied the patina of intellectual legitimacy for policies that might once have seemed outré. Jeane Kirkpatrick's seminal 1979 essay in Commentary, "Dictatorships and Double Standards," essentially set forth the lineaments of the Reagan doctrine. She assailed Jimmy Carter for attacking friendly authoritarian leaders such as the shah of Iran and Nicaragua's Anastasio Somoza. She contended that authoritarian regimes might molt into democracies, while totalitarian regimes would remain impregnable to outside influence, American or otherwise. Ronald Reagan read the essay and liked it. He named Kirkpatrick his ambassador to the United Nations, where she became the most influential neocon of the era for her denunciations of Arab regimes and defenses of Israel. Her tenure was also defined by the notion that it was perfectly acceptable for America to cozy up to noxious regimes, from apartheid South Africa to the shah's Iran, as part of the greater mission to oppose the red menace.The neocons supplied the patina of intellectual legitimacy for policies that might once have seemed outré.
There was always tension between Reagan's affinity for authoritarian regimes and his hard-line opposition to Communist ones. His sunny persona never quite gelled with Kirkpatrick's more gelid view that communism was an immutable force, and in 1982, in a major speech to the British Parliament at Westminster emphasizing the power of democracy and free speech, he declared his intent to end the Cold War on American terms. As Reagan's second term progressed and democracy and free speech actually took hold in the waning days of the Soviet Union, many hawks declared that it was all a sham. Indeed, not a few neocons were livid, claiming that Reagan was appeasing the Soviet Union. But after the USSR collapsed, they retroactively blessed him as the anti-Communist warrior par excellence and the model for the future. The right was now a font of happy talk about the dawn of a new age of liberty based on free-market economics and American firepower.
The fall of communism, in other words, set the stage for a new neoconservative paradigm. Francis Fukuyama's The End of History appeared a decade after Kirkpatrick's essay in Commentary and just before the Berlin Wall was breached on November 9, 1989. Here was a sharp break with the saturnine, realpolitik approach that Kirkpatrick had championed. Irving Kristol regarded it as hopelessly utopian -- "I don't believe a word of it," he wrote in a response to Fukuyama. But a younger generation of neocons, led by Irving's son, Bill Kristol, and Robert Kagan, embraced it. Fukuyama argued that Western, liberal democracy, far from being menaced, was now the destination point of the train of world history. With communism vanquished, the neocons, bearing the good word from Fukuyama, formulated a new goal: democracy promotion, by force if necessary, as a way to hasten history and secure the global order with the U.S. at its head. The first Gulf War in 1991, precipitated by Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, tested the neocons' resolve and led to a break in the GOP -- one that would presage the rise of Donald Trump. For decades, Patrick Buchanan had been regularly inveighing against what he came to call the neocon " amen corner" in and around the Washington centers of power, including A.M. Rosenthal and Charles Krauthammer, both of whom endorsed the '91 Gulf War. The neocons were frustrated by the measured approach taken by George H.W. Bush. He refused to crow about the fall of the Berlin Wall and kicked the Iraqis out of Kuwait but declined to invade Iraq and "finish the job," as his hawkish critics would later put it. Buchanan then ran for the presidency in 1992 on an America First platform, reviving a paleoconservative tradition that would partly inform Trump's dark horse run in 2016.
But it was the neoconservatives, not the paleocons, who amassed influence in the 1990s and took over the GOP's foreign policy wing. Veteran neocons like Michael Ledeen were joined by a younger generation of journalists and policymakers that included Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol (who founded The Weekly Standard in 1994), Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas J. Feith. The neocons consistently pushed for a hard line against Iraq and Iran. In his 1996 book, Freedom Betrayed, for example, Ledeen, an expert on Italian fascism, declared that the right, rather than the left, should adhere to the revolutionary tradition of toppling dictatorships. In his 2002 book, The War Against the Terror Masters, Ledeen stated , "Creative destruction is our middle name. We tear down the old order every day."
We all know the painful consequences of the neocons' obsession with creative destruction. In his second inaugural address, three and a half years after 9/11, George W. Bush cemented neoconservative ideology into presidential doctrine: "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." The neocons' hubris had already turned into nemesis in Iraq, paving the way for an anti-war candidate in Barack Obama.
But it was Trump -- by virtue of running as a Republican -- who appeared to sound neoconservatism's death knell. He announced his Buchananesque policy of "America First" in a speech at Washington's Mayflower Hotel in 2016, signaling that he would not adhere to the long-standing Reaganite principles that had animated the party establishment.
The pooh-bahs of the GOP openly declared their disdain and revulsion for Trump, leading directly to the rise of the Never Trump movement, which was dominated by neocons. The Never Trumpers ended up functioning as an informal blacklist for Trump once he became president. Elliott Abrams, for example, who was being touted for deputy secretary of state in February 2017, was rejected when Steve Bannon alerted Trump to his earlier heresies (though he later reemerged, in January 2019, as Trump's special envoy to Venezuela, where he has pushed for regime change). Not a few other members of the Republican foreign policy establishment suffered similar fates.
Kristol's The Weekly Standard, which had held the neoconservative line through the Bush years and beyond , folded in 2018. Even the office building that used to house the American Enterprise Institute and the Standard, on the corner of 17th and M streets in Washington, has been torn down, leaving an empty, boarded-up site whose symbolism speaks for itself.
Still, a number of neocons, including David Frum, Max Boot, Anne Applebaum, Jennifer Rubin, and Kristol himself, have continued to condemn Trump vociferously for his thuggish instincts at home and abroad. They are not seeking high-profile government careers in the Trump administration and so have been able to reinvent themselves as domestic regime-change advocates, something they have done quite skillfully. In fact, their writings are more pungent now that they have been liberated from the costive confines of the movement.It was Trump -- by virtue of running as a Republican -- who appeared to sound neoconservatism's death knell.
But other neocons -- the ones who want to wield positions of influence and might -- have, more often than not, been able to hold their noses. Stephen Wertheim, writing in The New York Review of Books, has perceptively dubbed this faction the anti-globalist neocons. Led by John Bolton, they believe Trump performed a godsend by elevating the term globalism "from a marginal slur to the central foil of American foreign policy and Republican politics," Wertheim argued . The U.S. need not bother with pesky multilateral institutions or international agreements or the entire postwar order, for that matter -- it's now America's way or the highway.
And so, urged on by Mike Pompeo, a staunch evangelical Christian, and Iraq War–era figures like David Wurmser , Trump is apparently prepared to target Iran for destruction. In a tweet, he dismissed his national security adviser, the Bolton protégé Robert O'Brien, for declaring that the strike against Soleimani would force Iran to negotiate: "Actually, I couldn't care less if they negotiate," he said . "Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and 'don't kill your protesters.'" Neocons have been quick to recognize the new, more belligerent Trump -- and the potential maneuvering room he's now created for their movement. Jonathan S. Tobin, a former editor at Commentary and a contributor to National Review , rejoiced in Haaretz that "the neo-isolationist wing of the GOP, for which Carlson is a spokesperson, is losing the struggle for control of Trump's foreign policy." Tobin, however, added an important caveat: "When it comes to Iran, Trump needs no prodding from the likes of Bolton to act like a neoconservative. Just as important, the entire notion of anyone -- be it Carlson, former White House senior advisor Steve Bannon, or any cabinet official like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- being able to control Trump is a myth."
In other words, whether the neocons themselves are occupying top positions in the Trump administration is almost irrelevant. The ideology itself has reemerged to a degree that even Trump himself seems hard pressed to resist it -- if he even wants to.
How were the neocons able to influence another Republican presidency, one that was ostensibly dedicated to curbing their sway?
One reason is institutional. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Hudson Institute, and AEI have all been sounding the tocsin about Iran for decades. Once upon a time, the neocons were outliers. Now they're the new establishment, exerting a kind of gravitational pull on debate, pulling politicians and a variety of news organizations into their orbit. The Hudson Institute, for example, recently held an event with former Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, who exhorted Iran's Revolutionary Guard to "peel away" from the mullahs and endorsed the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign. The event was hosted by Michael Doran, a former senior director on George W. Bush's National Security Council and a senior fellow at the institute, who wrote in The New York Times on January 3, "The United States has no choice, if it seeks to stay in the Middle East, but to check Iran's military power on the ground." Then there's Jamie M. Fly, a former staffer to Senator Marco Rubio who was appointed this past August to head Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; he previously co-authored an essay in Foreign Affairs contending that it isn't enough to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities: "If the United States seriously considers military action, it would be better to plan an operation that not only strikes the nuclear program but aims to destabilize the regime, potentially resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis once and for all."
Meanwhile, Wolfowitz, also writing in the Times , has popped up to warn Trump against trying to leave Syria: "To paraphrase Trotsky's aphorism about war, you may not be interested in the Middle East, but the Middle East is interested in you." With the "both-sides" ethos that prevails in the mainstream media, neocon ideas are just as good as any others for National Public Radio or The Washington Post, whose editorial page, incidentally, championed the Iraq War and has been imbued with a neocon, or at least liberal-hawk, tinge ever since Fred Hiatt took it over in 2000.
But there are plenty of institutions in Washington, and neoconservatism's seemingly inescapable influence cannot be chalked up to the swamp alone. Some etiolated form of what might be called Ledeenism lingered on before taking on new life at the outset of the Trump administration. Trump's overt animus toward Muslims, for example, meant that figures such as Frank Gaffney, who opposed arms-control treaties with Moscow as a member of the Reagan administration and resigned in protest of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, achieved a new prominence. During the Obama administration, Gaffney, the head of the Center for Security Policy, claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated the White House and National Security Agency.
Above all, Trump hired Michael Flynn as his first national security adviser. Flynn was the co-author with Ledeen of a creepy tract called Field of Fight, in which they demanded a crusade against the Muslim world: "We're in a world war against a messianic mass movement of evil people." It was one of many signs that Trump was susceptible to ideas of a civilizational battle against "Islamo-fascism," which Norman Podhoretz and other neocons argued, in the wake of 9/11, would lead to World War III. In their millenarian ardor and inflexible support for Israel, the neocons find themselves in a position precisely cognate to evangelical Christians -- both groups of true believers trying to enact their vision through an apostate. But perhaps the neoconservatives' greatest strength lies in the realm of ideas that Irving Kristol identified more than three decades ago. The neocons remain the winners of that battle, not because their policies have made the world or the U.S. more secure, but by default -- because there are so few genuinely alternative ideas that are championed with equal zeal. The foreign policy discussion surrounding Soleimani's killing -- which accelerated Iran's nuclear weapons program, diminished America's influence in the Middle East, and entrenched Iran's theocratic regime -- has largely occurred on a spectrum of the neocons' making. It is a discussion that accepts premises of the beneficence of American military might and hegemony -- Hobbes's "ill game" -- and naturally bends the universe toward more war.
At a minimum, the traditional Republican hard-line foreign policy approach has now fused with neoconservatism so that the two are virtually indistinguishable. At a maximum, neoconservatism shapes the dominant foreign policy worldview in Washington, which is why Democrats were falling over themselves to assure voters that Soleimani -- a "bad guy" -- had it coming. Any objections that his killing might boomerang back on the U.S. are met with cries from the right that Democrats are siding with the enemy. This truly is a policy of "maximum pressure" at home and abroad.
As Trump takes an extreme hard line against Iran, the neoconservatives may ultimately get their long-held wish of a war with the ayatollahs. When it ends in a fresh disaster, they can always argue that it only failed because it wasn't prosecuted vigorously enough -- and the shuffle will begin again.
Jacob Heilbrunn is the editor of The National Interest and the author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons. @ JacobHeilbrunn
Read More Politics , The Soapbox , Donald Trump , Islamic Republic of Iran , Qassem Soleimani , Bill Kristol , Irving Kristol , David Frum , John Bolton , Norman Podhoretz , Doug Feith , Paul Wolfowitz , George W. Bush , George H.W. Bush , Ronald Reagan , Pat Buchanan , Mike Pompeo , Tom Cotton , Lindsey Graham , Rudy Giuliani , Gulf War , Iraq War , Cold War , Francis Fukuyama , Jeane Kirkpatrick
Dec 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Dec 16 2019 20:51 utc | 22
Neocons lie should properly be called "threat inflation"The underlying critical point-at-issue is credibility as I noted in my comment on b's 2017 article. I've since linked to tweets and other items by that trio; the one major change seems to have been the epiphany by them that they needed to go to where the action is and report it from there to regain their credibility.
The fact remains that used car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility sans a confession as to why they feel the need to lie to sell cars.
Their actions belie the guilt they feel for their choices, but a confession works much better at assuaging the soul while helping convince the audience that the change in heart's genuine. And that's the point as b notes--genuineness, whose first predicate is credibility.
Dec 08, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org
The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what's known as "primacy," has been the basis for U.S. Grand Strategy over the past 70 years and has faced few intellectual and political challenges. The result has been stagnant ideas, poor logic, and an ineffective foreign policy. As global security challenges have evolved, our foreign policy debate has remained in favor of primacy, repeatedly relying on a select few, poorly conceived ideas and arguments. Primacy's greatest hits arguments are played on repeat throughout the policy and journalism worlds and its latest presentation is in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by its chief foreign policy correspondent, titled, "America Can't Escape the Middle East." The piece provides a case study in how stagnant these ideas have become, and how different actors throughout the system present them without serious thought or contemplation.
Hyping the threat of withdrawal
The WSJ piece trotted out one of the most well-worn cases for unending American military deployments in the region. "The 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be a debacle," it rightly notes. However, there's always a "but":[B]ut subsequent attempts to pivot away from the region or ignore it altogether have contributed to humanitarian catastrophes, terrorist outrages and geopolitical setbacks, further eroding America's standing in the world."
Primacists often warn of the dire security threats that will result from leaving Middle East conflict zones. The reality is that the threats they cite are actually caused by the unnecessary use of force by the United States in the first place. For example, the U.S. sends military assets to deter Iran, only to have Iran increase attacks or provocations in response. The U.S. then beefs up its military presence to protect the forces that are already there. Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force.
These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved.
Terrorism safe havens
And how many times have we heard that we must defend some undefined geographical space to prevent extremists from plotting attacks? "In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11," the WSJ piece says. "Though Islamic State's self-styled 'caliphate' has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn't been eliminated -- and can bounce back."
The myth of the terrorism safe havens enabling transnational attacks on the United States has persisted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and significant scholarly research that contradicts it. The myth persists because it provides a simple and comforting narrative that's easy to understand. September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it.
Terrorists don't need safe havens to operate, and only gain marginal increases in capabilities by having access to them. Organizations engage in terrorism because they have such weak capabilities in the first place. These movements are designed to operate underground with the constant threat of arrest and execution. The Weatherman Underground in the United States successfully carried out bombings while operating within the United States itself. The Earth Liberation Front did the same by organizing into cells where no cell knew anything about the other cells to prevent the identification of other members if members of one cell were arrested. Organizations that engage in terrorism can operate with or without safe havens.
Although safe havens don't add significantly to a terrorist groups' capabilities, governing your own territory is something completely different. ISIS is a commonly used, and misused, example for why wars should be fought to deny safe havens. A safe haven is a country or region in which a terrorist group is free from harassment or persecution. This is different from what ISIS created in 2014. What ISIS had when it swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 was a proto-state. This gave them access to a tax base, oil revenues, and governing resources. Safe havens don't provide any of this, at least not at substantial levels. The Islamic State's construction of a proto-state in Syria and Iraq did give them operational capabilities they wouldn't have had otherwise, but this isn't the same as the possible safe havens that would be gained from a military withdrawal from Middle Eastern conflicts. The conditions of ISIS's rise in 2014 don't exist today and the fears of an ISIS resurgence like their initial rise are unfounded .
Credibility doesn't work how you think it works
For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific."
Most commentators have made this claim without recognition of their own contradictions that abandoning the Kurds in Syria would damage American credibility. They then list all the other times we've abandoned the Kurds. Each of these betrayals didn't stop them from working with the United States again, and this latest iteration will be the same. People don't work with the United States because they trust or respect us, they do it because we have a common interest and the United States has the capability to get things done. As we were abandoning the Kurds this time to be attacked by the Turks, Kurdish officials were continuing to share intelligence with U.S. officials to facilitate the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi because both the United States and the Kurds wanted Baghdadi eliminated and only the United States had the capability to get it done.
Similarly, the idea that pulling out militarily in one region results in a direct chain of events where our adversaries move into countries or areas in a completely different region is quite a stretch of the imagination. Russia moved into Crimea because it's a strategic asset and it was taking advantage of what it saw as an opportunity: instability and chaos in Kiev. Even if we left troops in every conflict country we've ever been in, Russia would have correctly assessed that Ukraine just wasn't important enough to spark a U.S. invasion. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, did the United States invade Cuba? What alliance did the Soviets or Chinese abandon before the United States entered the Korean War? Assessments of credibility , especially in times of crisis (like that in Ukraine), are made based on what leaders think the other country's interests are and the capabilities they have to pursue those interests. There is no evidence to support -- in fact there is a lot of evidence that contradicts -- the idea that withdrawing militarily from one region or ending an alliance has any impact on assessments of a country's reliability or credibility.
Not all interests are created equal
Threat inflation isn't just common from those who promote a primacy-based foreign policy, it's necessary. Indeed, as the WSJ piece claimed, "There is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests."
The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. Vital interests are those that directly impact the survival of the United States. The only thing that can threaten the survival of the United States is another powerful state consolidating complete control of either Europe or East Asia. This would give them the capabilities and freedom to strike directly at the territorial United States. This is why the United States stayed in Europe after WWII, to prevent the consolidation of Europe by the Soviets. Addressing the rise of China -- which will require some combination of cooperation and competition -- is America's vital interest today and keeping troops in Afghanistan to prevent a terrorism safe haven barely registers as a peripheral interest. There are U.S. interests in the Middle East, but these interests are not important enough to sacrifice American soldiers for and can't easily be secured through military force anyway.
Most of these myths and arguments can be summarized by the claim that any disengagement of any kind by the United States from the Middle East comes with consequences. This isn't entirely wrong, but it isn't really relevant either unless compared with the consequences of continuing engagement at current levels. We currently have 67,000 troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan and those troops are targets of adversaries, contribute to instability, empower hardliners in Iran, and provide continuing legitimacy to insurgent and terrorist organizations fighting against a foreign occupation. One article in The Atlantic argued that the problem with a progressive foreign policy is that restraint comes with costs, almost ironically ignoring the fact that the U.S.'s current foreign policy also comes with, arguably greater, costs. A military withdrawal, or even drawdown, from the Middle East does come with consequences, but it's only believable that these costs are higher than staying through the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that inflate such risks and costs. No wonder then that these myths have become the greatest hits of a foreign policy that's stuck in the past.
This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com .
Nov 01, 2019 | www.wsws.org
By a near party-line vote of 232-196, the US House of Representatives voted Thursday for a resolution laying out the procedures for the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump that was begun September 24. The resolution sets the stage for the holding of public, televised hearings and the likely drawing up of articles of impeachment in the course of the next month.
Only two Democrats out of 233 in the House voted against the resolution, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Colin Peterson of Minnesota. Only one member elected as a Republican, Justin Amash of Michigan, voted for the resolution. He left the Republican Party in July because of his support for impeachment, and he now sits as an independent.
The sharp divisions over the resolution were reflected in the hour-long debate, in which Republican defenders of Trump denounced the impeachment inquiry with hysterical anticommunist rhetoric, calling it "Soviet-style" and a "show trial." Democrats wrapped themselves in the American flag -- or displayed it on a large placard as they spoke, in the case of Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- and denounced Trump for endangering US "national security."
The procedure laid down in the eight-page resolution, drafted Wednesday by the House Rules Committee, gives an outsized role to the House Intelligence Committee, which is to begin public hearings sometime in November at which many of the witnesses who have testified behind closed doors will be asked to do so again in front of television cameras.
The Intelligence Committee, along with four other committees conducting investigations into various aspects of President Trump's personal, business and official conduct, will report its findings to the Judiciary Committee, which would actually draw up any articles of impeachment, vote on them, and send them to the full House for final action.
The overall procedures, including provisions for extended questioning of witnesses by representatives of both the majority and minority parties, conform generally to similar measures adopted during the impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon in 1974 and President Bill Clinton in 1998.
The main difference is that the right of the president to have his own attorneys attend and participate at sessions of the Judiciary Committee is conditional on Trump dropping his order that executive branch officials refuse to testify before the various House probes or supply documents to them.
In the event of continued presidential stonewalling of the House committees, the resolution provides that the chair of the Judiciary Committee "shall have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies, including by denying specific requests by the president or his counsel under these procedures to call or question witnesses."
In other words, if Trump continues to block testimony and evidence, his attorneys will not be allowed to cross-examine those witnesses who do appear despite the full-throated opposition of the White House. Given that many officials and former officials of the Trump administration have agreed to testify under subpoena, this could become a significant issue.
The special role of the House Intelligence Committee underscores the reactionary nature of the Democrats' impeachment drive. Trump is being targeted, not for his real crimes as president, attacking immigrants, undermining democratic rights, and asserting quasi-dictatorial powers, but for his foreign policy actions that are opposed by a substantial section of the US military-intelligence apparatus.
The witnesses testifying before the closed-door sessions of the Intelligence Committee are not immigrant mothers, cruelly and in some cases permanently separated from their children, or the victims of Trump-inspired fascist gunmen like the El Paso mass shooter. Instead, they are an array of State Department and military officials at odds with Trump's efforts to browbeat the government of Ukraine into supplying him with political dirt against former vice president Joe Biden, viewed by Trump as a likely opponent in the 2020 election.
Particularly significant in that context is the announcement that the Intelligence Committee has set a November 7 date for the testimony of John Bolton, Trump's former national security advisor. It is not clear whether Bolton will testify, but the potential alignment of the Democrats and one of the most notorious war criminals in the American government is a clear demonstration of the reactionary motives of the Democrats, who are acting as front men for rabid warmongers in the national-security state.
Already, on Thursday, the Intelligence Committee took hours of testimony from Bolton's top deputy for Russia and Eastern Europe, Timothy Morrison. Morrison was brought on the National Security Council by Bolton with main responsibility for White House policy on weapons of mass destruction. He spearheaded the drive by the Trump administration to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which both he and Bolton vehemently opposed, in order to give the US military the green light to develop nuclear missiles that could target China from US bases like Guam, other US-controlled islands, and ships in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Morrison is the highest-ranking Trump aide to provide evidence to the Intelligence Committee, and he announced his impending departure from the White House on Wednesday night, hours before he was sworn in as a witness. According to leaks to the press from the closed-door hearing, Morrison largely confirmed the testimony of other witnesses, particularly Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, that there was a direct quid pro quo involved in US policy towards Ukraine: Trump demanded a public investigation into the Democratic Party and the Bidens, in return for military aid and a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House.
There are other indications that Bolton is playing a key role behind the scenes in the gathering storm over impeachment. Two Democratic senators have sent a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer seeking details on the Trump administration's decision not to restore Ukrainian access to the "generalized system of preferences" (GSP), a program that benefits developing countries. The letter follows a Washington Post report October 24 that Bolton had warned Lighthizer not to seek restoration of benefits to Ukraine because Trump would not approve it, as part of his effort to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens. Given the content of the article, the most likely source for the leak is Bolton or one of his top aides.
There were further indications of support for the impeachment drive -- or at least for the national-security officials who have come forward to testify against Trump -- from the top levels of the military and diplomatic establishment. General Joseph F. Dunford, who retired only a month ago as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a statement to CNN Wednesday defending Colonel Vindman against attacks from Fox News and other ultra-right media, calling him "a professional, competent, patriotic, and loyal officer" who "has made an extraordinary contribution to the security of our nation in both peacetime and combat."
And in testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is expected to confirm his nomination to be US Ambassador to Russia, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan defended the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and agreed that she was the victim of a smear campaign by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who helped engineer her recall from her post in Kiev because she was an obstacle to the effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens.
Asked whether it was "ever appropriate for the president to use his office to solicit investigations into his domestic political opponents," Sullivan replied, "I don't think that would be in accord with our values." Given Trump's frequent declarations that his telephone conversation with Zelensky, in which he made just such a request, was "perfect," Sullivan's statement is extraordinary. It suggests an unprecedented degree of open revolt against Trump within the national-security establishment.
The real motives of the impeachment drive were spelled out with particular frenzy in a column by neoconservative Max Boot, who, like Bolton, has been an all-out supporter of US military aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and throughout the world. Writing in the Washington Post , under the headline, "More Trump gifts to Russia," he declares, "Trump is bringing the United States to its knees and making Russia great again."
Boot focuses on two decisions that have most provoked the CIA-Pentagon-State Department axis of evil: holding up aid to Ukraine, thus undermining military operations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, and Trump's partial pullout of US forces in Syria.
He writes: "Russian soldiers are entering U.S. bases and taking up the joint patrolling duties with the Turkish army that U.S. troops had been performing until recently. The fate of Syria was settled not in Washington but in Sochi -- Putin's favorite Black Sea resort. Trump has given Russia what it has sought for decades: a leading role in the Middle East. This is the biggest geopolitical shift in the region since 1972 when Egypt's Anwar Sadat expelled Soviet advisers and aligned with Washington."
Boot is, of course, a fervent supporter of impeachment, because he sees that as a step towards reversing course on foreign policy and adopting a more aggressive and militaristic US role in the Middle East. His ranting only underscores the reality of the political conflict in Washington.
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Jul 18, 2017 | medium.com
Glenn Greenwald has just published a very important article in The Intercept that I would have everyone in America read if I could. Titled "With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons", Greenwald's excellent piece details the frustratingly under-reported way that the leaders of the neoconservative death cult have been realigning with the Democratic party.
This pivot back to the party of neoconservatism's origin is one of the most significant political events of the new millennium, but aside from a handful of sharp political analysts like Greenwald it's been going largely undiscussed. This is weird, and we need to start talking about it. A lot. Their willful alignment with neoconservatism should be the very first thing anyone ever talks about when discussing the Democratic party.
When you hear someone complaining that the Democratic party has no platform besides being anti-Trump, your response should be, "Yeah it does. Their platform is the omnicidal death cult of neoconservatism."
It's absolutely insane that neoconservatism is still a thing, let alone still a thing that mainstream America tends to regard as a perfectly legitimate set of opinions for a human being to have. As what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts rightly calls "the most dangerous ideology that has ever existed," neoconservatism has used its nonpartisan bloodlust to work with the Democratic party for the purpose of escalating tensions with Russia on multiple fronts, bringing our species to the brink of what could very well end up being a world war with a nuclear superpower and its allies.
This is not okay. Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives. Check out leading neoconservative Bill Kristol's response to the aforementioned Intercept article:
... ... ...
Okay, leaving aside the fact that this bloodthirsty psychopath is saying neocons "won" a Cold War that neocons have deliberately reignited by fanning the flames of the Russia hysteria and pushing for more escalations , how insane is it that we live in a society where a public figure can just be like, "Yeah, I'm a neocon, I advocate for using military aggression to maintain US hegemony and I think it's great," and have that be okay? These people kill children. Neoconservatism means piles upon piles of child corpses. It means devoting the resources of a nation that won't even provide its citizens with a real healthcare system to widespread warfare and all the death, destruction, chaos, terrorism, rape and suffering that necessarily comes with war. The only way that you can possibly regard neoconservatism as just one more set of political opinions is if you completely compartmentalize away from the reality of everything that it is.
This should not happen. The tensions with Russia that these monsters have worked so hard to escalate could blow up at any moment; there are too many moving parts, too many things that could go wrong. The last Cold War brought our species within a hair's breadth of total annihilation due to our inability to foresee all possible complications which can arise from such a contest, and these depraved death cultists are trying to drag us back into another one. Nothing is worth that. Nothing is worth risking the life of every organism on earth, but they're risking it all for geopolitical influence.I've had a very interesting last 24 hours. My article about Senator John McCain (which I titled "Please Just Fucking Die Already" because the title I really wanted to use seemed a bit crass) has received an amount of attention that I'm not accustomed to, from CNN to USA Today to the Washington Post . I watched Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar talking about me on The View . They called me a "Bernie Sanders person." It was a trip. Apparently some very low-level Republican with a few hundred Twitter followers went and retweeted my article with an approving caption, and that sort of thing is worthy of coast-to-coast mainstream coverage in today's America.
This has of course brought in a deluge of angry comments, mostly from people whose social media pages are full of Russiagate nonsense , showing where McCain's current support base comes from. Some call him a war hero, some talk about him like he's a perfectly fine politician, some defend him as just a normal person whose politics I happen to disagree with.
This is insane. This man has actively and enthusiastically pushed for every single act of military aggression that America has engaged in, and some that it hasn't , throughout his entire career. He makes Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton look like a dove. When you look at John McCain, the very first thing you see should not be a former presidential candidate, a former POW or an Arizona Senator; the first thing you see should be the piles of human corpses that he has helped to create. This is not a normal kind of person, and I still do sincerely hope that he dies of natural causes before he can do any more harm.
Can we change this about ourselves, please? None of us should have to live in a world where pushing for more bombing campaigns at every opportunity is an acceptable agenda for a public figure to have. Neoconservatism is a psychopathic death cult whose relentless hyper-hawkishness is a greater threat to the survival of our species than anything else in the world right now. These people are traitors to humanity, and their ideology needs to be purged from the face of the earth forever. I'm not advocating violence of any kind here, but let's stop pretending that this is okay. Let's start calling these people the murderous psychopaths that they are whenever they rear their evil heads and stop respecting and legitimizing them. There should be a massive, massive social stigma around what these people do, so we need to create one. They should be marginalized, not leading us.
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Oct 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Replying to @BrankoMilan
"When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives.", Stephen Walt
Actually, many of them should have been considered candidates for war criminals. "Waging the war of agression" was part of the Nuremberg trials. This was the media called euphemistically "the war of choice"!"When it comes to U.S. foreign policy, the unchallenged world record holders for 'second chances' and 'failing upward' are America's neoconservatives. Beginning in the mid-1990s, this influential network of hard-line pundits, journalists, think tank analysts, and government officials developed, purveyed, and promoted an expansive vision of American power as a positive force in world affairs.
They conceived and sold the idea of invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein and insisted that this bold move would enable the United States to transform much of the Middle East into a sea of pro-American democracies.
What has become of the brilliant strategists who led the nation into such a disastrous debacle? None of their rosy visions have come to pass, and if holding people to account were a guiding principle inside the foreign policy community, these individuals would now be marginal figures commanding roughly the same influence that Charles Lindbergh enjoyed after making naive and somewhat sympathetic statements about Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.",
Walt, S. (2018). The Hell of good intentions: America's foreign policy elite and the decline of US primacy. Straus and Giroux, p. 190.
anne , October 06, 2019 at 07:20 PMhttps://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1180792968598474752
Branko Milanovic @BrankoMilan
You would have thought that these cheerleaders of invasion of Iraq and violation of the UN charter would have run far, far away so that we never hear from them again--but no, they are back explaining the world for us and making money doing that.
[ Milanovic was referring to a new column in Project Syndicate that I was confused by before I noticed this reference to the column. Among the points of Milanovic, we find the same self-defeating foreign policy being pushed by the same elite opinion-makers who hurt us so much by taking us to war in Iraq and beyond.
I am thinking this through. ]
Sep 23, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post put into writing what we have all known for some time: real journalism, Jefferson's informed citizenry and all that, is dead. The job has shifted to aspirational writing, using manipulated droplets of facts and just plain made-up stuff to drive events.
Boot writes to drive Trump from office and overturn the 2016 election. Max : "Much of my journalism for the past four years has been devoted to critiquing President Trump and opposing the spread of Trumpism. But no matter how many columns or sound bites I produce, he remains in office . I am left to ask if all my work has made any difference."
Boot has spent the last several years creating and circle-supporting others who create false narratives. They manufacture reasons for Trump to resign, press Democrats to impeach, and try to persuade voters they otherwise hold in contempt that they don't know what's good enough for them. We kind of figured this out after senior staff at the New York Times had to remind reporters that they were "not part of the f*cking resistance," but it is helpful to see it in daylight. After all, democracy dies in darkness.
The uber-false narrative Max and others Frankensteined into existence was Russiagate. Trump wasn't the Manchurian Candidate and there was no quid pro quo for Russian election help. Yet the media literally accused the president of treason by melding together otherwise unrelated truthlets -- Trump wanted a hotel in Moscow, some ads were run on Facebook -- that could be spun into a narrative to bring him down. Correlation was made into causation in a purposeful freshman Logic 101 fail. What was true was of little consequence; what mattered was whether the media could collectively create a story that the rubes would believe and then pile on.Advertisement
The critical flaw in Russiagate (other than that it didn't happen) was that the media created an end-point they could not control. Robert Mueller was magic-wanded into the Last Honest Man, the Savior of Democracy, as the narrative first unfolded and then fell apart like a cardboard box in the rain. After his dismal testimony, there was nowhere for the story to go.
Was it only a week ago Law and Order: Scotland SVU was the locus of the Next Big Thing following Greenland? Because even as we race to catch up (debunking takes longer than making up accusations,) a whole new Big Thing popped up over the Ukraine. Details are vague, based all on leaks and persons familiar with some of it, but are as dire as they are lacking.
But as with every other outrage, leaks in the new phone call-gate instantly became certainties, certainties became foreign influence in our elections, and demands to impeach were recycled until Twitter voted for the death penalty. And all before a single piece of hard data is public. See the pattern yet?
If the latest "gate" doesn't pan out, Democrats have already jumpstarted an old favorite, upgraded for the 2020 election: Trump is now manipulating domestic and foreign policy for personal gain via hotel fees.5 Questions the Media Won't Ask Biden in the Debate With Mueller Time a Flop, Dems Run to Plans B and C
At first glance, it seems like a non-starter. Trump's hotels are as much a part of him as the extra pounds he carries. He campaigned as a CEO and announced early on that he was not going to divest . But with the first cold slap of his election victory, a narrative was being shaped: he could not become president because of his business conflicts of interest; it was danged unconstitutional .
Early proponents of this dreck dug around in the Constitution's closet and found the Emoluments Clause , a handful of lines intended to bar officeholders from accepting gifts from foreign sovereigns, kings, and princes to prevent influence buying. Pre-Trump, the last time the issue was in actual contention was with President Martin Van Buren (no relation) over gifts from the Imam of Muscat.
The media ran with it. They imagined out of whole cloth that any foreign government official getting a room at any Trump hotel had been given a "gift." Then they imagined that any tiny percentage of that room profit that actually went to Trump himself represented a bribe. Then they imagined that despite the vast complexity of U.S. relations, Trump would alter course because some guy rented a room. It was Joker -like in its diabolicalness, the presidency itself merely a prank to hide an international crime spree. Pow!
It was ridiculous on its face, but they made it happen. The now-defunct leftist site Think Progress ran what might be Story Zero before Trump even took office. An anonymous source claimed that, under pressure, the Kuwaiti ambassador had canceled a major event at one hotel to switch to Trump's own D.C. hotel. It turned out to be untrue. "Do you think a reception of two hours in the Trump hotel is going to curry favors with the administration when we host thousands of U.S. troops in Kuwait? When we have in the past and still do support American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq?" the Kuwait ambassador asked when someone got around to his side of the story. But no matter: the narrative was set.
Then it grew. Though the Emoluments Clause is quite specific, the media decided that every time anyone stayed at a Trump property, it was corruption. Even when Trump visited one of his own homes, it was corruption, because the Secret Service paid Trump for the privilege. Of course, the Secret Service has always paid for the facilities used in their work because the government cannot commandeer private property or accept free rooms (which, ironically, could be seen as a bribe), not from Marriott and not from the Trump Organization. Even Joe Biden still has to charge the Secret Service rent on a cottage he owns so they can protect him when he's home in Delaware.
More? T-Mobile booked nine rooms at a Trump hotel, in media hive minds ostensibly to influence federal approval of a $26 billion merger. Those rooms were worth about $2,700. Of course, the president, who can influence the Dow with a tweet, prefers to make his illegal money off jacked up hotel bills. Think small has always been a Trump trademark.
Reuters headlined how foreigners were buying condos from third-party owners (i.e., not Trump or his company), but they were in a Trump-managed building and maybe the monthly maintenance fees would qualify as mini-emoluments? Trump was accused of " hiding " foreign government income at his hotels when servers at the bar failed to ask cash customers if they were potentates or princes (the headline : "Trump Organization Says It's 'Not Practical' to Comply With the Emoluments Clause").
And of course, there was the Air Force crew staying at a Trump place in Scotland. No matter that the hotel had forged its relationship with a nearby airport long before Trump became president, or that the Air Force had used the airport and hotel hundreds of times before Trump became president (going back to World War II), or that a decision by the Pentagon to have flights stop more frequently there was made under the Obama administration. None of that stopped the media from proclaiming corruption. One piece speculated that the $166 per night the Air Force pays for rooms was always part of Trump's cornerstone financial plan for the floundering multi-million golf course.
But to see how much the corruption narrative really is a media creation, you have only to compare it to how the mainstream media covered what might have been a similar question in the past. Imagine if journalists had treated every appearance by Obama as a book promotion. What if his every speech had been slandered across the channels as corruption, Obama just out there pimping his books? Should he have been impeached for commercializing the office of president?
Follow the money, as Rachel Maddow likes to say. The Trump Organization pays to the Treasury all profits from foreign governments. In 2018, that was $191,000 . The year before, the amount was $151,470. So Trump's in-pocket profit is zero.
Meanwhile, Obama's profit as an author during his time in office was $15.6 million (he's made multiples more since, including a $65 million book advance). In the two weeks before he was inaugurated, Obama reworked his book deals to take advantage of his new status. He agreed not to publish another non-fiction book during his time in office to keep anticipation high, while signing a $500,000 advance for a young adult version of Dreams From My Father .
Obama's books were huge sellers in China, where publishing is largely government controlled, meaning he likely received Chicom money in the Oval Office. His own State Department bought $79,000 worth of his books to distribute as gifts.
As with Trump, nothing Obama did was illegal. There are no laws per se against a president making money. Yet no one bothered to raise ethical questions. No one claimed he sought the presidency as a bully ATM machine. No one claimed his frequent messaging about his father was designed to move books. No one held TV hearings on his profits or how taxpayer funds were used to buy his books. It's not "everybody does it" or "whataboutism"; it's why does the media treat two very similar situations so very differently?
Max Boot confessed why. The media has created a pitch-and-toss game with Democrats, running false, exaggerated, and shallowly reported stories to generate calls for hearings , which in turn breathe life into the corruption stories they live off. We will soon see how far last week's breathless drama -- unnamed "whistleblower" leaks supposedly charging Trump with pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate his rival Joe Biden -- will go.
Boot and his ilk are doing a new job. Journalism to them is for resistance, condemnation, arousal, and regime change. And that's one way democracy does die.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.
Aug 24, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Max Boot first came to public notice, or at least to mine, during the run-up to the Iraq war. He had persuaded a television producer somewhere to label him a "Defense Expert," which, in the natural order of things, caused some people to mistake him for a defense expert. He had never been involved in even minor military operations himself, but he seemed uncontained in his enthusiasm for military operations involving other people.
As the country debated the merits of an expedition to Iraq, Max Boot seemed to be everywhere. He was in every room. While he was rarely the most influential voice in any of those rooms, he was almost always the loudest. Among his several asseverations, all of them unburdened by either evidence or experience, were these: an American invasion would rid Iraq of nuclear weapons. (Iraq had no nuclear weapons.) An American invasion would cause the Iraqis to rise up and greet us as liberators. (They rose up and fought us as invaders.) An American invasion would bring democratic stability to a troubled region. (It brought chaos.) An American military victory would be quick and decisive. (After 16 years and incalculable losses in blood, treasure, prestige, and morale, the American military is still in Iraq.)
After the heavy fighting had faded, a consensus began to form, slowly at first and then picking up speed, that the invasion of Iraq had been one of the most disastrous self-inflicted mistakes in the history of American foreign policy. For almost everybody involved, as well as those many in the region who had hoped to remain uninvolved, the so-called discretionary war in Iraq had been a tragedy.
As the question settled, some of us who had grown tired of Max Boot chirping in our ears began to wonder how he would respond. What might he say? Perhaps an abashed silence would do. Or should he undertake a penitential retreat to an obscure college, where he might meliorate his remorse with weed or alcohol? In less generous moments, we toyed with the idea that he might simply walk into the surf, after leaving an abject note of apology pinned against the sea breeze by a heavy shard of driftwood.
Our answer was a long time coming.
I am a heavy viewer of CNN, at both the airport and the barber shop, that is. One day last year, as I was having my thinning locks trimmed, the network ran a banner headline: MAX BOOT QUITS REPUBLICAN PARTY. I couldn't help myself. I started laughing. Soon the entire shop -- the sheeted customers, the startled barbers, the guys reading sticky magazines -- they were all asking, along with the rest of America, who is this Max Boot? I tried to answer but I couldn't. Each time I tried, I wound up laughing uncontrollably. CNN, which appears to have missed the earlier and equally newsworthy story, MAX BOOT JOINS REPUBLICAN PARTY, had reached its summary judgment: nothing had so become Max Boot's secret Republican career as the leaving of it. (Seriously, one thing you can count on is the acuity of CNN's news judgment. By a remarkable coincidence, both Arnold Thornbush of Ames, Iowa, and Phoebe Birdbath of Tempe, Arizona, had quit the GOP that very same day, but the CNN desk, laser-focused, could not be distracted from the big story.)
Ideas may or may not have consequences -- the debate rages -- but fake news most certainly does. Shortly after CNN's blockbuster story, The Washington Post , or what used to be The Washington Post , offered Max Boot a regular column. No, the Post couldn't find the stones to cast him as a defense expert. The Max Boot beat is still a bit undefined, but it seems to highlight his ad hominem attacks on former friends and associates from his secret Republican career.
Forgive Max Boot. He's no idiot. He's just trying to make himself useful.Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? The Max Bootification of the American Right
Neal B. Freeman is a former editor and columnist for National Review
Kronsteen1963 • a day agoI never really knew Max Boot's background. So, after reading this column, I looked up his Wikipedia biography and it blew my mind. What on earth has this guy ever done to be considered a "Defense Expert?" He did not serve in the military or even in a civilian defense capacity. Nor does he seem to have any military related education - not a Service Academy, a military school, or a War College. As near as I can tell, this guy has made a career out of writing opinion pieces - jumping from a college newspaper to the Wall Street Journal to the Weekly Standard. Essentially, he's a glorified blogger who convinced a lot people that invading Iraq was a good idea. Unbelievable.Sid Finster Kronsteen1963 • 20 hours agoMax Boot has made a career out making of glib arguments for the causes that his bosses favored.Alex (the one that likes Ike) • a day ago
Sort of like those doctors who used their talents to work for the Tobacco Institute and insist that smoking did not cause cancer.Have some compassion, people! When the Democratic establishment finally follows its Republican counterpart to the oblivion, where all these poor unemployed people, these sufferingMighty Whig • a day ago
dullardsrepresentatives of the strata of society with insufficient access to intellectual capacities go? On the other hand, ingenium mala saepe movent . Perhaps, after that he finally gets over himself and finds that eldritch ability to say two coherent words.I like the last line. Max is an old fashioned imperialist who made a home with the GOP when that seemed the most likely place for people of his views. Once Trump talked about walking that back, he quit.stevek9 • a day ago • editedSomething always missing from articles like this, is the context. Max Boot is a Zionist. That is WHY he wants to destroy Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, ... anyone perceived as a threat to Israel. He has not been a failure but a success, or at least a partial success, as indeed we have destroyed Iraq, and Libya, and nearly destroyed Syria. You think he should be ashamed of his failures. Of course he is not, because he has not failed.alan • a day ago • editedThat war mongering piece of filth should be loaded aboard a C 130 and sent on a one-way flight to Ukraine, his original lair, where, parachute, bandolier, and all, he can be jettisoned over Kiev.Sid Finster • a day agoAs far as I can tell, neither Alfred Rosenberg nor Julius Striecher never fired a shot during World War II, neither so much as harmed a single hair on the head of an "Untermensch", combatant or not.Taras77 • 17 hours ago
Both, however propagandized incessantly for aggressive war and genocide. Both men hanged at Nuremberg, for crimes against peace, aggressive war, and crimes against humanity. (I think Streicher only hanged for crimes against humanity, but the sentence was the same.)In a group of brain dead walking/talking ziocon mouth pieces, max boot stands out as one of most brain dead-does not have an original thought in his head.
Aug 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them.
Estimates of the number of civilians who died during the war in Iraq range from 151,000 to 655,000. An additional 4,491 American military personnel perished in the war. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, toxicologist at the University of Michigan, has organized several research expeditions to Iraq to measure the contamination and pollution still poisoning the air and water supply from the tons of munitions dropped during the war. It does not require any expertise to assume what the studies confirm: disease is still widespread and birth defects are gruesomely common. Back home, it is difficult to measure just how many struggle with critical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history.
As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion.
Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before."
The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans.
As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq.
Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question.
Far worse than the worship of Mueller is the refusal to scrutinize the abysmal foreign policy record of Joe Biden, currently the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Of the Democrats in the Senate at that time, Biden was the most enthusiastic of the cheerleaders for war, waving his pompoms and cartwheeling in rhythm to Dick Cheney's music. Biden said repeatedly that America had "no choice but to eliminate the threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his blustering was uniquely influential.
The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes?
Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.
Polling well below Biden in the race is the congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard. She alone on the Democratic stage has made criticism of American militarism central to her candidacy. A veteran of the Iraq war and a highly decorated major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, Gabbard offers an intelligent and humane perspective on foreign affairs. She's called the regime change philosophy "disastrous," advocated for negotiation with hostile foreign powers, and backed a reduction in drone strikes. She pledges if she becomes president to end American involvement in Afghanistan.
When Chris Matthews asked Gabbard about Biden's support for the Iraq war, she said, "It was the wrong vote. People like myself, who enlisted after 9/11 because of the terrorist attacks, were lied to. We were betrayed."
Her moral clarity is rare in the political fog of the presidential circus. She cautions against accepting the "guise of humanitarian justification for war," and notes that rarely does the American government bomb and invade a country to actually advance freedom or protect human rights.
Gabbard's positions are vastly superior to that of the other young veteran in the race, Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend recently told New York that one of his favorite novels is The Quiet American , saying that its author, Graham Greene, "points out the dangers of well-intentioned interventions."
Buttigieg's chances of winning the nomination seem low, and his prospects of becoming a literary critic appear even lower. The Quiet American does much more than raise questions about interventions: it is a merciless condemnation of American exceptionalism and its attendant indifference to Vietnamese suffering.
Americans hoping for peace won't find much comfort in the current White House either. President Trump has made the world more dangerous by trashing the Iran nuclear deal, and his appointment of John Bolton, a man who makes Donald Rumsfeld look like Mahatma Gandhi, as national security advisor is certainly alarming.
America's willful ignorance when it comes to the use of its own military exposes the moral bankruptcy at the heart of its political culture. Even worse, it makes future wars all but inevitable.
If no one can remember a war that ended merely nine years ago, and there's little room for Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary, how will the country react the next time a president, and the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declare that they have no choice but to remove a threat?
Norman Solomon, journalist and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, knows the answer to that question. He provides it in the title of his book on how the media treats American foreign policy decisions: War Made Easy .
David Masciotra is the author of four books, including Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky) and Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing).MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR
Walter • a day agoWhere ae the people who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Should they be tried for lying to the American public? 4500 troops killed and over $1.1 TRILLION wasted with no good results .With hundreds of thousands of Iraq's killed. .Clyde Schechter Walter • a day agoWhere are they, indeed? They are still running US foreign policy; that's where they are. They are pundits in all the major media; that's where they are.JeffK from PA Walter • 17 hours ago
I cannot even imagine what historians will say about the uncanny persistence of these charlatans' influence in this era after a consistent record of disastrous, abysmal misadventures.You don't have to look too hard to find them. Bolton, Pompeo, and other neocons are hiding in plain sight. The Military Industrial Complex is embedded in our foreign policy like a tick on a dog.Sid Finster JeffK from PA • 13 hours agoWhy not start with Bush and Blair?IanDakar Sid Finster • 10 hours agoBecause you'd be knocking out a storm trooper instead of the emperor, at least as far as Bush goes. Same for why the focus is on Bolton rather than simply Trump.JeffK from PA Sid Finster • 10 hours ago
I CAN see an argument that Trump/Bush knew what they were doing when they brought those people in though. f you feel that way and see it more of an owner of a hostile attack dog then yeah, you'd want to include those two too.Cheney. Pure evil.Sid Finster Walter • 13 hours agoNuremberg provides an instructive precedent. Start at the top with Bush and Blair keep going on down.Disqus10021 Sid Finster • 11 hours agoRecommended viewing: the 1961 movie "Judgment at Nuremberg".L Walter • 12 hours agoOne might wonder where that intelligence was gathered, and then maybe we could find out why these wars have been happening.Alex (the one that likes Ike) • a day agoHere stands Tulsi. A woman, who, unlike their conventional troupe, can win this election. They reject her because... what? Moar war? She's not the member of the Cult? Or it's simply some sort of collective political death wish?Anonne Alex (the one that likes Ike) • 12 hours agoThey reject her because she had the temerity to speak truth to power and supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race. She stepped down from her position as Vice Chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders. She has real courage, and earned their wrath. She's not perfect but she's braver and stronger than almost the entire field. Only Bernie is on par.Alex (the one that likes Ike) Anonne • 9 hours agoAnd Bernie is the one they also hate, maybe a little bit less openly. Thus they reject those who can win the election. It's either a self-destructiveness or they think that it's better to keep on losing than to rebuild the party into what it needs to be.Nelson Alex (the one that likes Ike) • 8 hours agoWhat do you mean "they"? Anyone is free to support her campaign.former-vet • a day ago • editedDemocrats and the Republican establishment, both, love war. It wasn't a coincidence that Hillary Clinton chose Madeleine Albright to be a keynote speaker at "her" party convention ("we think the deaths of a half million children are worth it"). Liberals know that there isn't really any "free" free, and that taxing the rich won't match their dreams -- it is the blood and bones of innocent foreigners that must pay for their lust. Establishment Republicans are more straightforward: they simply profit off the death and destruction.Sid Finster former-vet • 13 hours ago
This is why Trump is being destroyed, and why Tulsi is attacked. If only "she" (the one who gloated over Khameni's murder) had been elected, we'd be in a proxy war with Russia now! A real war with Iran! This is what the American people want, and what they'll likely get when they vote another chicken-hawk in come 2020.Agree, except that Trump is not governing as a non-interventionist.Nelson former-vet • 8 hours ago
About the only thing one can say is that his is a slightly less reckless militarist than what the political class in this country wants.Khameni is still alive. You're thinking of Gaddafi.Fayez Abedaziz • a day agoTulsi, like Sanders is a 'danger' to everything Israel wants.TomG • 17 hours ago • edited
So, all...all the main 'news' networks and online sites don't like them and give more coverage to the same old Dem bull peddlers like ignorant Booker and the lousy opportunist low IQ Kamala Harris and Gillibrand.Manafort and his ilk can be tried and convicted for their lies. I guess if the lie is big enough we grant a pass on any need for prosecution. Justice for all? I don't think so.OrvilleBerry • 14 hours ago
Max Blumenthal posted a powerful piece at Consortium News (7/31/2019) about Biden's central and south American mis-adventures. Biden still extols his own policies however disastrous. The hubris of the man is worse than nauseating.
Great article, Mr. Masciotra.Whether one thinks Gabbard has a shot at the nomination or not, it's important to keep her on the stage in the next round of debates. Go to Tulsi2020.com and give her just one dollar (or more if you can)Strawman • 12 hours ago
so she has enough unique contributors to make the next round. And if you get polled,early on give her your vote.The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.Disqus10021 • 12 hours ago • edited
Perfectly encapsulates the collective puerility of the American electorate. Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.The total US costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to be considerably larger than $1.1 trillion, according to this study:david • 12 hours ago
Try $4-$6 trillion, according to the author of the study.
Long after I, Andrew Bacevitch and Hillary Clinton have gone to our reward, there will still be thousands of wounded warriors from these US Middle East adventures dependent on VA benefits for their survival and competing with civilian seniors for government handouts. A war with Iran would make the US fiscal situation that much worse.
The religious folks who were so anxious to protect family values only a few years ago seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to the financial future of today's young Americans.
A few weeks ago, I made a token contribution to Tulsi Gabbard's campaign to help her qualify for the July Democratic debates. She will need more new contributors to qualify for the next round of debates."The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago,..."christopher kelly police ret. • 11 hours ago
Ahh..., really? So why do we still have over 5000 soldiers in Iraq?Tulsi was marvelous in knocking out Harris.Zsuzsi Kruska • 10 hours agoTulsi hasn't a chance of the nomination, but she's exposing things and maybe more people will get a clue about what's really going on with American lives and taxes being squandered for the profit of the few who benefit from these atrocities and wars abroad, done in the name of all Americans.Eric • 10 hours agoDonated my $3 to Tulsi yesterday. She's the only Democrat I would vote for and she needs to stay in this race as long as possible.Steve Naidamast • 10 hours agoBeing a supporter of Tulsi Gabbard for the very reasons that the author writes, has me agreeing with everything he has promoted in his piece.JeffK from PA • 10 hours ago
However, to answer his own question as to why Americans are lured into commenting on such innocuous and foolish things in such an important election such as Biden's touching of women, is answered by the author's own prose.
He states that Americans are only provided such nonsense from the press that is monitoring the election process. What else can people talk about? And even if many Americans are clearheaded enough to understand the charade of the current Democratic debates, what or who will actually provide legitimate coverage with the exception of online sites as the American Conservative, among others?
If most Americans were actually thinking individuals, Tulsi Gabbard would be a shoo-in for the presidency in 2020. However, given the two factors of a highly corrupted mainstream press and too many Americans not studying enough civics to understand what is going on around them, it is highly unlikely that Tulsi Gabbard will even get close to the possibility of being nominated...Cheney, mentioned in the article, was pure evil. I voted for GB2 for two reasons. 1) He was a very good Texas governor. He actually got anti-tax Texas to raise taxes dedicated to support education, in return for stricter standards for teachers. A good trade since Texas public schools were awful. 2) Dick Cheney. I thought he was the adult in the room that would provide steady and reliable guidance for Bush.Mccormick47 • 10 hours ago
Boy was I wrong about Cheney. "Deficits don't matter". Just watch the movie Vice. Christian Bale does an incredible job portraying the pure evil of Cheney and the Military Industrial Complex. The movie is chilling to watch. And it is basically true. Politifact does a good job of scoring the accuracy of Cheney's role in the Bush administration as portrayed in the movie.
https://www.politifact.com/...The trouble is, Conservatives promoting Gabbard and Williamson as their preferred candidates poisons their chances of staying in the race.Mark Thomason • 9 hours agoI remember a friend of mine, a proud Marine, saying before the Iraq War, "Well, they better find some WMD for all this."
They didn't. That should matter.
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Our Famously Free Press
"The Campaign Press: Members of the 10 Percent, Reporting for the One Percent" [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone ]. "Anyone who's worked in the business (or read Manufacturing Consent) knows nobody calls editors to red-pencil text.
The pressure comes at the point of hire. If you're the type who thinks Jeff Bezos should be thrown out of an airplane, or that it's a bad look for a DC newspaper to be owned by a major intelligence contractor, you won't rise.
Meanwhile, the Post has become terrific at promoting Jennifer Rubins and Max Boots. Reporters watch as good investigative journalism about serious structural problems dies on the vine, while mountains of column space are devoted to trivialities like Trump tweets and/or simplistic partisan storylines.
Nobody needs to pressure anyone. We all know what takes will and will not earn attaboys in newsrooms. Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn't create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side.
The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters.
The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn't the first, and won't be the last."
• Yep. I'm so glad Rolling Stone has Matt Taibbi on-board. Until advertisers black-list "the One Percent," I suppose.
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Sid Finster says: May 23, 2019 at 11:06 am
Any time you read an article (or a comment) on Russia, substitute the word "Jew" for "Russian" and "International Jewry" for "Russia" and re-read.
If the revised article would not look out of place in Der Stuermer, that should tell you something.
Jul 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Fox News contributor Ralph Peters suggested Tucker was like a Nazi sympathizer for wondering whether Russia and the US should work together against ISIS. Another critic mostly agrees with Peters - and Tucker takes him on
James Lamoureux , 2 weeks agoElijah Sims , 2 months ago
The "empire" Reagan warned us about was the Obama admin.Jordan Smith , 5 months ago
Max Boot is an example of someone who takes himself so seriously that they become a joke.TD TOPPDAWG , 1 month ago
I love tucker❤️Joseph Duplaga , 2 months ago
Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who said "if fascism comes it will come in the name of liberalism"jeroliver , 3 weeks ago
Keep up the good work Tucker a voice of reason in a room full of lunatics .Maverick Watch Reviews , 8 months ago
Who in their right mind would take advice about ANYTHING from Max Boot?Geoff M , 2 months ago
Tucker sure gave Max the boot in that segment.Gdurant , 2 months ago
Max Boot is never right! He had so many idiotic opinions! A man who wants to intervene in every part of the world and sod the consequences! He's a real neo con extremist! Dangerous!Francis Wargirai , 2 months ago
These idiots want us to go and start more wars?dagmastr , 3 weeks ago
Selling insurance, house painting, something you're good at. Hahaha.. Gold..jućub 111 , 5 months ago
One thing is Tucker is excellent in a debate. He just made max look very stupid.omar rashid , 2 months ago
Tucker rest of world love and support you...keep rollin 💪💪 regards from Serbia 🇷🇸Leonardo Espino , 1 week ago
Good God, you can feel the anger off this guy.D Redacted , 3 weeks ago
I have to say that... dam ... I love tucker and he's a good tv anchor and he's hilarious when he takes any opponentVani Vasil , 1 week ago
Max debates like a spoilt child.... Remind me of the Kurt Echinwald interviewJermano Mayfield , 1 week ago
who the hell established this guy as a foreign policy expert ??Kay Scott , 1 week ago
Tucker Rocks! Gets them triggered so THE TRUTH can come outJames Burton , 2 days ago
Flakes like this Boot guy has destroyed our foreign policyWilliam Miller , 2 days ago
I WOULD LIKE TO JUST KNOCK HELL OUTTA THAT BALD HEADED SUMBITCH.
When you don't have an answer, just attack the person asking the question. Nice goin' Max, you fool.
Apr 21, 2019 | splinternews.com
As he does nearly every day, Max Boot, the Washington Post 's in-house neocon columnist, wrote some words today. As has been the case quite a few times before, none of his latest words, even when strung together into a coherent sentence, were particularly good. For this very reason, several of those sentences were noteworthy. So let's (OK, let me ) look at just what that beautiful, smooth organ in Boot's skull considers a "neoconservative."
According to Merriam-Webster, a neoconservative is a person who cites dictionary definitions in their writing. It's also, simply put, someone in American politics who's conservative on economic issues, hews to the middle or even center-left on social issues, and also really, really likes to Do War. That last one is a big requirement, so don't forget it -- war equals a strong, responsible nation.
Boot opened his column with a critique of Rep. Ro Khanna's recent op-ed in the Post , with Boot writing that Khanna's position -- that neocons were responsible for the Iraq War -- is little more than an oft-repeated "canard" that plagues the American discourse. He then proceeded to take the reader through what a real neoconservative looks like by rewriting the top-summary of the neoconservatism Wikipedia page .
Boot started by citing a group of 1970s characters he classified as the True Neocons. (Initially, the term was embodied by folks who were a little more skeptical of the Soviet Union than some of their Democratic counterparts.) Boot then argued neocons simply were not in power at the time the Iraq War was being decided on (a fact that is demonstratively untrue) by citing Bush administration officials widely credited as architects of the Iraq War:
The "neocons" -- second-tier officials such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, and vice-presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby -- were not the decision-makers. The decision to invade was made by President George W. Bush in consultation with Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Colin Powell. None of them would ever label themselves a "neocon."
Note the last sentence -- Boot frames his argument in a way that hangs the burden of proof that one is a neoconservative, or acts in a neoconservative fashion, on the stipulation that they publicly identify themselves as such, which, plainly, is so fucking dumb that I'm going to show you him doubling down on this line of thinking just because it's so unbelievably shallow.
Moreover, a bipartisan majority of both houses approved the use of military force. Are Democratic then-Sens. Joe Biden, John Kerry, Charles E. Schumer, Harry Reid, Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein neocons?
To state the obvious: Yes! All of those people are absolutely neocons, at least in some way.
The idea that Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden don't at the very least actively display numerous neoconservative tendencies is an outright rejection of what Americans have watched play out in the political realm since the national Democratic Party imploded in the 70s. Democrats can be neocons; Republicans can be neolibs. Neos of some sort or the other are probably around you, right this very second, and no, not the good kind !
Boot instead tries to convince readers that they are mislabeling politicians when, in fact, the label of neocon fits better than most for his motley crew of centrist Democrats, far better than "liberal" ever has. The people he chose to list are the people directly responsible for legislating the mass incarceration of minority citizens into existence; the folks known for cutting their teeth on the War on Drugs ; the ones who fucked over middle-class kids taking out college loans ; the assholes who were happy to vilify the welfare system; the elderly power-brokers who stared down a group of kids and poo-poo'd the urgency climate change ; the imperialists who voted for war and then some more war and then continued to be recalcitrant drone-loving war hawks throughout the opening decades of the 21st Century.
The concept that political identity is wholly defined as being a list of beliefs a person writes down in their diary or says aloud during a campaign ad, and not by the actions conducted by said person, is one that has needed to die for at least the past half-century of American politics. But, again, Boot's column is not engaging in a discussion about what a neocon actually is in 2019. It's a deceptive and even laudatory tactic, but Boot is purposefully choosing to frame his argument around how politicians frame themselves. And that's a major problem if you happen to be employed to write down your opinions for one of the major news outlets in a nation and not for the political operatives themselves.
If anything, the fact that this batshit lazy argument permeated the top three-fourths of his column offered a bit of relief with how it would end. Then this sentence appeared and I ascended to heaven:
I am by no means suggesting that everyone who uses the neocon label is doing so as an anti-Semitic smear, but...
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It's true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it's true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it's true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they'll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they'll be far more likely to consent to Assange's imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you're suspicious of him you won't believe anything he's saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it's as good as putting a bullet in his head.
Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I'm going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.
This article is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly where it appears on Medium and caitlinjohnstone.com as new information comes in and new smears spring up in need of refutation.
Apr 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Return of the Just April 14, 2019 at 10:46 amYou're right. I see people like Robert Kagan's opinions being respectfully asked on foreign affairs, John Bolton and Elliott Abrams being hired to direct our foreign policy.Ken Zaretzke , says: April 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm
The incompetent, the corrupt, the treacherous -- not just walking free, but with reputations intact, fat bank balances, and flourishing careers. Now they're angling for war with Iran.
It's preposterous and sickening. And it can't be allowed to stand, so you can't just stand off and say you're "wrecked". Keep fighting, as you're doing. I will fight it until I can't fight anymore.Fact-bedeviled JohnT: “McCain was a problem for this nation? Sweet Jesus! There quite simply is no rational adult on the planet who buys that nonsense.”Joe Dokes , says: April 14, 2019 at 11:55 pm
McCain had close ties to the military-industrial complex. He was a backer of post-Cold War NATO. He was a neoconservative darling. He never heard of a dictator that he didn’t want to depose with boots on the ground, with the possible exception of various Saudi dictators (the oil-weaponry-torture nexus). He promoted pseudo-accountability of government in campaign finance but blocked accountability for the Pentagon and State Department when he co-chaired the United States Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs with John Kerry.
And, perhaps partly because of the head trauma and/or emotional wounds he suffered at the hands of Chinese-backed Commies, it’s plausible to think he was regarded by the willy-nilly plotters of the deep state as a manipulable, and thus useful, conduit of domestic subversion via the bogus Steele dossier.
Unfortunately, the episode that most defines McCain’s life is the very last one–his being a pawn of M-16 in the the deep state’s years-long attempt to derail the presidency of Donald Trump.Measuring success means determining goals. The goals of most wars is to enrich the people in charge. So, by this metric, the war was a success. The rest of it is just props and propaganda.Andrew Stergiou , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:11 am“Pyrrhic Victory” look it up the Roman Empire Won but lost if the US is invaded and the government does not defend it I would like to start my own defense: But the knee jerk politics that stirs America’s cannon fodder citizens is a painful reminder of a history of jingoist lies where at times some left and right agree at least for a short moment before the rich and powerful push their weight to have their way.Peter Smith , says: April 15, 2019 at 5:13 am
If All politics is relative Right wingers are the the left of what? Nuclear destruction? or Slavery?My goodness! I am also a veteran, but of the Vietnam war, and my father was a career officer from 1939-1961 as a paratrooper first, and later as an intelligence officer. He argued vigorously against our Vietnam involvement, and was cashiered for his intellectual honesty. A combat veteran’s views are meaningless when the political winds are blowing.Fayez Abedaziz , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:25 am
Simply put, we have killed thousands of our kids in service of the colonial empires left to us by the British and the French after WWII. More practice at incompetent strategies and tactics does not make us more competent–it merely extends the blunders and pain; viz the French for two CENTURIES against the Britsh during the battles over Normandy while the Planagenet kings worked to hold their viking-won inheritance.
At least then, kings risked their own lives. Generals fight because the LIKE it…a lot. Prior failures are only practice to the, regardless of the cost in lives of the kids we tried to raise well, and who were slaughtered for no gain.
We don’t need the empire, and we certainly shouldn’t fight for the corrupt businessmen who have profited from the never-ending conflicts. Let’s spend those trillions at home, so long as we also police our government to keep both Democrat and Republican politicians from feathering their own nests. Term limits and prosecutions will help us, but only if we are vigilant. Wars distract our attention while corruption is rampant at home.Thanks, I appreciate this article.kingdomofgodflag.info , says: April 12, 2019 at 8:19 am
I’ll make two points, my own opinion:
it’s the same story as Vietnam, the bull about how the politicians or anti-war demonstrators tied the military ‘hand,’ blah, blah.
Nonsense. Invading a nation and slaughtering people in their towns, houses…gee…what’s wrong with that, eh?
The average American has a primitive mind when it comes to such matters.
Second point I have, is that both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, Hillary and Trump should be dragged to a world court, given a fair trial and locked up for life with hard labor… oh, and Cheney too,for all those families, in half a dozen nations, especially the children overseas that suffered/died from these creeps.
And, the families of dead or maimed American troops should be apologized to and compensation paid by several million dollars to each.
The people I named above make me sick, because I have feelings and a conscience. Can you dig?Though there is a worldly justification for killing to obtain or maintain freedoms, there is no Christian justification for it. Which suggests that Christians who die while doing it, die in vain.Mark Thomason , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:43 am
America’s wars are prosecuted by a military that includes Christians. They seldom question the killing their country orders them to do, as though the will of the government is that of the will of God. Is that a safe assumption for them to make? German Christian soldiers made that assumption regarding their government in 1939. Who was there to tell them otherwise? The Church failed, including the chaplains. (The Southern Baptist Convention declared the invasion of Iraq a just war in 2003.) These wars need to be assessed by Just War criteria. Christian soldiers need to know when to exercise selective conscientious objection, for it is better to go to prison than to kill without God’s approval. If Just War theory is irrelevant, the default response is Christian Pacifism.“has gone un-investigated, unheard of, or unpunished.”Stephen J. , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:51 am
The one guy who did tell us has just been arrested for doing exactly that.
The arrest is cheered by those who fantasize about Russiagate, but it is expressly FOR telling us about these things.“Iraq Wrecked” a lot of innocent people. Millions are dead, cities reduced to rubble, homes and businesses destroyed and it was all a damned lie. And the perpetrators are Free.the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:53 am
Now there is sectarian violence too, where once there was a semblance of harmony amongst various denominations. See article link below.
“Are The Christians Slaughtered in The Middle East Victims of the Actions of Western War Criminals and Their Terrorist Supporting NATO ‘Allies’”?
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/04/are-christians-slaughtered-in-middle.htmlWe are a globalist open borders and mass immigration nation. We stand for nothing. To serve in this nation’s military is very stupid. You aren’t defending anything. You are just a tool of globalism. Again, we don’t secure our borders. That’s a very big give away to what’s going on.the the , says: April 12, 2019 at 11:57 amIf our nation’s military really was an American military concerned with our security we would have secured our border after 9/11, reduced all immigration, deported ALL muslims, and that’s it. Just secure the borders and expel Muslims! That’s all we needed to do.Kouros , says: April 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Instead we killed so many people and imported many many more Muslims! And we call this compassion. Its insane.Maybe if Talibans get back in power they will destroy the opium. You know, like they did when they were first in power…. It seems that wherever Americans get involved, drugs follow…JohnT , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm“Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” In Eisenhower’s televised farewell address January 17, 1961.Ken Zaretzke , says: April 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Rational thought would lead one to believe such words from a fellow with his credentials would have had a useful effect. But it didn’t. In point of fact, in the likes of Eric Prince and his supporters the notion of war as a profit center is quite literally a family affair.The military-industrial complex couldn’t accomplish this all by its lonesome self. The deep state was doing its thing. The two things overlap but aren’t the same. The deep state is not only or mainly about business profits, but about power. Power in the world means empire, which requires a military-industrial complex but is not reducible to it.
We now have a rare opportunity to unveil the workings of the deep state, but it will require a special counsel, and a lengthy written report, on the doings in the 2016 election of the FBI (Comey, Strzok, et. al.), and collaterally the CIA and DIA (Brennan and Clapper). Also the British government (M-16), John McCain, and maybe Bush and Obama judges on the FISA courts.
Jun 05, 2015 | theintercept.com
In the neocon journal Commentary , Max Boot today complains that the New York Times published an op-ed by Edward Snowden . Boot's objection rests on his accusation that the NSA whistleblower is actually a "traitor." In objecting, Boot made these claims:
Oddly enough nowhere in his article -- which is datelined Moscow -- does he mention the surveillance apparatus of his host, Vladimir Putin , which far exceeds in scope anything created by any Western country. . . .That would be the same FSB that has taken Snowden into its bosom as it has previously done (in its earlier incarnation as the KGB) with previous turncoats such as Kim Philby. . . .
But of course Ed Snowden is not courageous enough, or stupid enough, to criticize the dictatorship that he has defected to. It's much easier and safer to criticize the country he betrayed from behind the protection provided by the FSB's thugs. The only mystery is why the Times is giving this traitor a platform.
It is literally the supreme act of projection for Max Boot to accuse anyone of lacking courage, as this particular think tank warmonger is the living, breathing personification of the unique strain of American neocon cowardice . Unlike Snowden -- who sacrificed his liberty and unraveled his life in pursuit of his beliefs -- the 45-year-old Boot has spent most of his adult life advocating for one war after the next, but always wanting to send his fellow citizens of his generation to die in them, while he hides in the comfort of Washington think tanks, never fighting them himself.
All of that is just garden-variety neocon cowardice, and it's of course grotesque to watch someone like this call someone else a coward. But it's so much worse if he lies when doing so. Did he do so here? You decide. From Snowden's NYT op-ed today:
Basic technical safeguards such as encryption -- once considered esoteric and unnecessary -- are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private. Such structural technological changes can ensure access to basic privacies beyond borders, insulating ordinary citizens from the arbitrary passage of anti privacy laws, such as those now descending upon Russia.
The meaning of that passage -- criticisms of Russia's attack on privacy -- is so clear and glaring that it caused even Time magazine to publish this today :
The first sentence of Time 's article: "Former CIA officer and NSA contractor Ed Snowden has taken a surprising swing at his new home, accusing Russia of 'arbitrarily passing' new anti-privacy laws ." In other words, in the very op-ed to which Boot objects, Snowden did exactly that which Boot accused him of lacking the courage to do: "criticize" the country that has given him asylum.
This is far from the first time Snowden has done exactly that which the Tough and Swaggering Think Tank Warrior proclaimed Snowden would never do. In April, 2014, Snowden wrote an op-ed in The Guardian under this headline:
With Max Boot's above-printed accusations in mind, just re-read that. Did Boot lie? To pose the question is to answer it. Here's part of what Snowden wrote in that op-ed:
On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. . . . I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified. . . . In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial.
In countless speeches, Snowden has said much the same thing: that Russian spying is a serious problem that needs investigation and reform, and that Putin's denials are not credible. Boot simply lied about Snowden.
It's not surprising that someone whose entire adult life is shaped by extreme cowardice would want to accuse others of lacking courage, as it distracts attention away from oneself and provides the comfort of company. Nor is it surprising that government-loyal journalists spew outright falsehoods to smear whistleblowers. But even neocon rags like Commentary shouldn't be able to get away with this level of blatant lying.
UPDATE : In typical neocon fashion, Boot first replies by minimizing his own error to a mere innocent oversight, and implying that only hysteria could cause anyone to find what he did to be problematic. Even then, the facts negate his self-justification. But then he says he was actually right all along and his "point stands":
Being a neocon coward means never having to admit error.
Apr 06, 2019 | www.breitbart.com
"You see all of these Russian connections -- there's a new one every single day, and increasingly benign explanations for what the Trump, for what they're up to, benign explanations are just not credible."
-- Max Boot, warmonger, MSNBC, July 21, 2017
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Kurt Gayle February 17, 2019 at 9:34 amTom Gorman (Feb 15, 8:36 am)–as evidence that Max Boot "has recanted his support of the Iraq War"–quoted two sentences from Boot's 2018 book. Two sentences earlier in the same book Boot wrote:
"In truth the decision to go to war had been made by President George W. Bush, in consultation with colleagues such as Dick Cheney, Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Don Rumsfeld, none of whom was remotely a 'neocon.'
Those of us who supported the invasion were, as one of my friends said, like hapless passengers who got into a vehicle with a drunk driver and could not escape as the car careened across the center divider."
Jul 27, 2017 | www.unz.com
annamaria > , July 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMTJeff Davis > , July 27, 2017 at 8:54 pm GMT
@Seamus PadraigHis greatest accomplishment may well be that he has caused Washington's Swamp Dwellers to rise from the ooze and expose themselves for all the world to see. That's weakened them immeasurably, perhaps fatally. To be sure, that's no small thing, and the next Trump to come along is now on full alert as to who & what to bring with him.You nailed it. Even if they do eventually succeed in foiling Trump, things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington, and so Washington's brand ('democracy') is now shot. 2016 was indeed an annus mirabilis! " things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington.."
It looks and sounds like dementia – as if a sick person behaving inappropriately, showing unprovoked aggression (like some Alzheimer patients), using silly or senseless phrasing, and having the unreasonable demands and uncontrolled fits of rage like a spoiled child. The marasmic McCain, marasmic Pelosi, and hysterical Max Boot, the openly lying Clapper and the hate-filled profiteer Brennan.
What a panopticon.
Here is an outline of the current state of "western values" by Patrick Armstrong: http://turcopolier.typepad.com
As I have written here and elsewhere, President Swamp Drainer needs to get control of the DoJ. He got rid of Comey, which was good, but got Rosenstein and Mueller in response. Meanwhile Jeff Sessions is twiddling his thumbs re the Russia witch hunt. Perhaps his recusal was appropriate, but he's not doing anything whatsoever regarding Swamp Draining. So it feels like he's a disingenuous old guard GOPer, who wants to obstruct any real progress, while dragging his feet with do-nothingness obscured behind a facade of law enforcement community boosterism. By this tactic the GOP attempts to stall until 2020, when it can then point at Trump's failures (failures they have enabled by their stalling, wink wink) and then campaign to take "their" party back. In short, Sessions may just be an anti-Trump "mole" planted in the single most important position with regard to swamp draining, in order to ***prevent*** any swamp draining.
Let me be clear: in the last 24 years the DC political class has gone almost entirely criminal, with the last 13 years dedicated to serial war crimes. In this sort of situation the DoJ, AG, and FBI head, becomes corrupted, and turns away from the rule of law to become a shield for the DC criminal despotism.
So watch closely what happens next. Just today rumors have come out -- though I've been speaking of this for several weeks now -- that there is talk in the White House about ***recess appointments*** . We have reached the crucial moment, and I for one am surprised that, as important as this is, it has not been prominent in public discussion until now. The "August" was scheduled to begin at the end of business tomorrow, July 28th. Because of the health care business, McConnell has postponed it for two weeks, so let's call it for close of business Friday, August 11th. That's fifteen days from now.
When Congress goes home fifteen days from now, this country and the world may very well change forever. Go to Wikipedia and look up "recess appointment". Here's what you will find:
" a recess appointment is an appointment by the President of a federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess.
Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states:
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session .
If Trump is the fighter I think he is, then this is what he has been waiting for, ever so patiently these last six months. Notice that the Congress cannot countermand recess appointments. Recess appointments end by expiration, and then only at the end of the following Congressional session. Other than impeachment, Congress cannot stop Trump from doing this .
So Trump dumps Sessions, purges the anti-Trump prosecutors from previous administrations, and appoints a new FBI head and dozens of fire-breathing swamp-draining prosecutors who immediately start doling out orange jumpsuits. He could -- not saying that he would execute this "nuclear option" -- but he could lock up virtually the entire Congress on war crimes charges; Neocons for conspiracy to commit war crimes; Cheney, Addington, Yoo, and Bybee to the Hague for torture; Hillary and Obama for Libya.
Control of the DoJ is the key.
The next two weeks will show whether Trump is the real deal, or just another schlub.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Anne MendozaFebruary 15, 2019 at 2:10 amSo why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 amJust like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."Stephen J. , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.
There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.
You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland."
-- -- -
There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:
"They Speak "
"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017.
They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves
They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell
Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country
Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty
Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free
Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V.
Others have written books and others are retired from public office
And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice
They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes
And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design?
There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today
When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say
Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war
Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure
And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation
Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations
The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law?
Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw?
Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"?
When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?
There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived
Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive
The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak
If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak
"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019
[More info on all of this at link below]
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Bmc February 17, 2019 at 1:16 amWhy would Max Boot and Bill Kristol want to conquer the middle east in order to spread Americanism while at the same time having nothing but disdain for actual Americans themselves?
Hmm (strokes beard)
Hmmmmm (strokes beard more rapidly)
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (tears out beard furiously without abandon)
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Renov8 February 16, 2019 at 8:01 amWouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them.
With the ongoing internet reformation we are experiencing, its a lot easier for the masses to see the bigger picture, the parties involved and the corrupt characters playing the puppet strings for the media.
Glad to see these shysters exposed for what they are propagandists.
Feb 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Stephen J. , February 15, 2019 a t 1:43 pmThe article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland." -- -- - There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:
"They Speak "
"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/libya-chose-freedom-now-it-has-slavery/
They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty
Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V. Others have written books and others are retired from public office And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice
They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design? There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say
Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations
The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law? Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw? Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"? When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?
There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak
"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019 https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/12/in-libya-we-came-saw-he-died-will-there-repeat-in-venezuela.html
[More info on all of this at link below] http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/02/they-speak.html
Feb 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They're happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there's no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans.
Max Boot is living proof that it's happening in America.
Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."
None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.
Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled "The Case for American Empire."
"The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation." In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.
"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote. "To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt."
In retrospect, Boot's words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.
Things haven't gone as planned. What's remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.
In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was "less than two years" from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot's list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.
"If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family," Boot wrote.
Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal , Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.
"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote. "Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action."
In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn't that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. "The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones," he wrote in the Los Angeles Times . When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there's less political backlash at home.
American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. "Qaddafi Must Go," Boot declared in The Weekly Standard . In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. "The only way this crisis will end -- the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya -- is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won't suffice."
In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times , Boot laid out "Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now."
Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would "diminish Iran's influence" in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot's advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran's most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted "with little risk."
Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that "it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes." He didn't seem worried.
Listed in one place, Boot's many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. ("I'll invade you!!!") Republicans in Washington didn't find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.
Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.
As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was "hard to imagine" the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as "cheerleaders" for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.
Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict."
It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. "We should never have been in Iraq," Trump announced, his voice rising. "We have destabilized the Middle East."
Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none."
Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.
Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.
Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave. Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.
Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character.
Bill Kristol is probably the most influential Republican strategist of the post-Reagan era. Born in 1954, Kristol was the second child of the writer Irving Kristol, one of the founders of neoconservatism.
The neoconservatism of Irving Kristol and his friends was jarring to the ossified liberal establishment of the time, but in retrospect it was basically a centrist philosophy: pragmatic, tolerant of a limited welfare state, not rigidly ideological. By the time Bill Kristol got done with it 40 years later, neoconservatism was something else entirely.
Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf."
After the September 11 attacks, Kristol found a new opening to start a war with Iraq. In November 2001, he and Robert Kagan wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard alleging that Saddam Hussein hosted a training camp for Al Qaeda fighters where terrorists had trained to hijack planes. They suggested that Mohammad Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was actively collaborating with Saddam's intelligence services. On the basis of no evidence, they accused Iraq of fomenting the anthrax attacks on American politicians and news outlets.
Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump.
Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump.
Before long he was ranting about the people who elected Trump. At an American Enterprise Institute panel event in February 2017, Kristol made the case for why immigrants are more impressive than native-born Americans. "Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever." Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."
In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would "take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings" who supported Trump.
By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all.
Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox News 's Tucker Carlson Tonight and author of Ship of Fools: How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Simon & Schuster). This excerpt is taken from that book.
Patrick Constantine February 14, 2019 at 10:50 pmTrump isn't the only one hated by useless establishment Republicans – with essays like this so will Tucker. Thanks for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings. I wish Trump all the time was like he was at that debate in S Carolina where he said what every American knows: the Iraq invasion was stupid and we should not have done it!Anne Mendoza , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:10 amSo why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.polistra , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:54 amWell, the headline pretty much answers its own question if you know the purpose of Experts. In any subject matter from science to economics to politics, Experts are paid to be wrong. Nobody has to be paid to observe reality accurately with his own senses and rational mind. Every living creature does that all the time. It's the basic requirement of survival.snake charmer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:49 am
Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay.""The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.""Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:55 am
In other words, if we had only squandered even more blood and treasure, why, everything would have been fine.
Why do so many true believers end up with some variation on the true believer's wheeze: "Communism didn't fail ! It was never tried!" Then again one can't be sure that Boot is a true believer. He might be a treacherous snake trying to use American power to advance a foreign agenda.This is an Exocet missile of an article. Both hulls compromised, taking water. Nice.John S , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 amThis is beautiful, Boot has been rewarded for every horrible failure...Tom Gorman , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:36 amMr. Carlson,Dawg , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:29 am
Max Boot has indeed been an advocate of overseas intervention, but you fail to point out that he has recanted his support of the Iraq War. In his 2018 book "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I left the American Right," he states:
". . . I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it (The Iraq War) was all a big mistake. Saddam Hussein was heinous, but Iraq was better off under his tyrannical rule than the chaos that followed. I regret advocating the invasion and feel guilty about all the lives lost. It was a chastening lesson in the limits of American power."
I'm glad to see that Boot, along with yourself and other Republicans, realize that American use of force must have a clear objective with reasonable chance of success. I suggest you send this article to John Bolton. I'm not sure he agrees with you.Great article, Mr. Tucker. I hope folks also read Mearsheimer & Walt on the Iraq War. From chapter 8 of their book: http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.htmlDavid LeRoy Newland , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:34 amExcellent article. It's a shame that the Bush era GOP took Boot and Kristol seriously. That poor judgment led Bush to make the kinds of mistakes that gave Democrats the opening they needed to gain power, which in turn led them to make even more harmful mistakes.Collin , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:55 amBeing against the Iraq 2 I find this populist arguing very 'eye-rolling' as you were pimping this war to death back in the day. (In fact I remember Jon Stewart being one of the few 'pundits' that questioned the war in 2003 & 2004.) And has dovish as Trump as been, his administration is still filled with Hawks and if you are concerned about wars then maybe use your TV show for instead of whining for past mistakes:John In Michigan , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:59 am
1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)
2) Like it or not, Venezuela is starting down the steps of mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)
3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.I find it amazing that Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"yet never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces, nor even heard a shot fired in anger. He is proof that academic credentials do not automatically confer "expertise."Packard Day , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:26 amAny war, anytime, any place, and cause just so long as American boys and girls can be in the middle of it.Joshua Xanadu , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:46 am
Welcome to the American NeoCon movement, recently joined by Republican Never Trumpers, elected Democrats, and a host of far too many underemployed Beltway Generals & Admirals.From a reformed Leftist, thank you Tucker for calling out the stank from the Republicans. The detailed compilation of lowlights from Max Boot and Bill Kristol (don't forget Robert Kagan!) should be etched in the minds of the now pro-war Democratic Party establishment.Taras 77 , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:57 amBeing a neocon war monger means that you will never have to say you are sorry. The press will give them a pass every single time.Paul Reidinger , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:07 am
It is all about Israel-being wrong 100% of the time means it is all good because it was in the service of Israel.Yet another reason not to read the Washington Post.Anja Mast , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:13 amTucker!!! When did you start writing for TAC?!?!Joe , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:14 am
I laughed out loud while reading this, and continued laughing through to the end, until I saw who had the audacity to tell the truth about these utter incompetent failures (who have failed upwards for more than a decade now) who call themselves "foreign policy experts." Yeah -- "experts" at being so moronically wrong that you really start wondering if perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions, which always seem to do made for the benifit of the nameless nation.
So hurrah for you!!! Let the truth set us all free! Praise the Lord & Sing Songs of Praise to his Name!!!! Literally that's how great it is to hear the pure & unvarnished TRUTH spoken out loud in this publication!
I hope you get such awesome feedback that you are asked to continue to bless us with more truths! Thank you! You totally made my day!
And thank you for your service to this country, where it used to be considered patriotic to speak the truth honestly & plainly!Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Simple, leaders like Trump keep them around, e.g. Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.David Biddington , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 amJohn Bolton and Eliot Abrams on Team Trump, gearing up with Bibi to attack Iran is of no concern to sir?George Crosley , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote.Frank Goodpasture III , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
To which the reader might reasonably reply, "What do you mean we , Paleface?"
When I see Max Boot or Bill Kristol in uniform, carrying a rifle, and trudging with their platoon along the dusty roads of the Middle East, I'll begin to pay attention to their bleats and jeremiads.
Until that day, I'll continue to view them as a pair of droning, dull-as-ditchwater members of the 45th Word-processing Brigade. (Company motto: "Let's you and him fight!")It is my understanding that HRC led the charge to overthrow and hang Gaddafi in spite of a reluctant Obama administration. Did Boot, in fact, influence her?marku52 , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am"Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."" Unintentional irony, one must presume. Still it is astonishing that it took someone as addled as DJT to point out the obvious–Invading Iraq was a massive mistake.Jimmy Lewis , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:41 am
Where were the rest of the "adults"Boot, Kristal, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should all be in jail for war crimes.jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 amJust like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."Allen , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.
There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.
You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!These Chairborne Rangers in Washington know nothing about war. They are the flip side of the radical Dems. "Hey, we lost in 2016. Let's do MORE of what made us lose in the first place!"D , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:53 pmWould've been nice if you wrote this about Bolton, Adams, Pompeo, Pence, or any of the other sundry neocon lunatics in the Trump administration.J Thomsen , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm
Nonetheless, always good to see a takedown of Boot and Kristol.The GOP is as much an enemy to the Trump revolution as the left. The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and their pet constituents.Joe from Pa , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Trump should have stuck it out on the shutdown until those federal workers left. I think it was called RIF wherein after 30 days, he could dump the lot of em.
THE GOP IS NOT THE PARTY OF LESS GOVERNMENT. That's there motto for busy conservatives who don't have the time or inclination to monitor both sides of the swamp.
THEY ALL HAVE GILLS . we need to starve em out.Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot?sanford sklansky , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
What's going on in Yemen?Funny how when liberals said it was wrong to be in Iraq they were vilified. Yes some conservatives changed their minds. Trump however is all over the map when it comes to wars. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176527/
Feb 05, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
derrida derider 01.27.19 at 11:21 pm 21Glen has it right. Trump is nasty and ignorant and a stunningly incompetent President (as he was an incompetent businessman) but his very disdain for high-falutin' principle is what makes him, in foreign policy, an old-fashioned Republican isolationist. And the imperialists in the GOP cannot stomach that, though they're happy to stomach his general nastiness and ignorance.
Feb 05, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
January 25, 2019 I've been thinking about political converts for a long time . At The New Yorker , I take up the problem of Max Boot, who probably needs no introduction, and Derek Black, who was a leading white supremacist and then renounced it all.
Here's a taste:Max Boot, a longtime conservative who recently broke with the right over the nomination and election of Donald Trump , registered as a Republican in 1988. At the time, Boot writes in " The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right ," he wanted to join the "party of ideas." A movement of highbrows, conservatism was the work of the "learned, worldly, elitist, and eccentric lot" of writers at National Review , "far removed from the simple-minded, cracker-barrel populists who have taken control of the conservative movement today." It was a movement, Boot explains at the outset, "inspired by Barry Goldwater's canonical text from 1960, The Conscience of a Conservative . I believed in that movement, and served it my whole life."But it turns out that the problem of Boot and Black goes much deeper than what books were or weren't read. If you compare the conversions from left to right -- think Arthur Koestler, James Burnham, Whittaker Chambers, and so on -- with those from right to left, you find something interesting.
A hundred and seventy-five pages later, Boot inadvertently lets slip that reading Goldwater's "actual words" was something he hadn't done until after Trump's election. Throughout his three decades on the right, it appears, Boot believed in the tenets of a book he never read.Curiously, the movement from right to left has never played an equivalent role in modern politics. Not only are there fewer converts in that direction, but those conversions haven't plowed as fertile a field as their counterparts have.Why is that? Find out here .
DocAmazing 01.25.19 at 8:37 pm (no link)As your piece alludes to but does not say outright, Boot was a right-wing intellectual because he said he was a right-wing intellectual. He celebrated, but hadn't actually read , Goldwater and Buckley; his grasp of his other icons was equally weak. I remember reading his stuff in UC Berkeley's The Daily Californian back in the middle 1980s and getting the impression that Boot was another dope-with-a-thesaurus like George F. Will, with added militarist bloodthirst.BruceJ 01.25.19 at 9:26 pm (no link)
The bar for being a right-wing intellectual has traditionally been low, and in the present day we see examples like Jonah Goldberg and Megan McArdle putting out high school current-events assignments and being lauded as original thinkers. It's probably a reflection of the preferences of the people who own the presses.Personally, I rather doubt Boot is truly repenting, but is rather merely taking advantage of the zeitgeist.b9n10nt 01.25.19 at 11:25 pm (no link)
"Anti-Trump Repentant Right" sells books, gets him on teevee, etc. The proof of the pudding will be what he does when the neocons are ascendant again.
The likes of Michael Gerson and David Frum sliding from the Bush II White House to "George Boosh?? Never heard of him!" critics of the right always seemed awfully convenient for their post-WH careers.
As DocAmazing says, it's a reflection of the people who own the presses, of which there has always been an orders of magnitude greater number, prominence and paychecks on the right rather than the left.
The vast ( hugely interconnected, almost incestuously so) network of RW "Think Tanks" and publishing houses funded by wealthy oligarchs pretty much guarantees a safe haven for Left->Right apostates.
There really isn't such a network for the reverse. The L->R crownd don't have to spend the long years in the wilderness atoning for their sins, like the R->L side does. (And given the damage the Right has done over recent decades, there is much atonement needed )Here's the lesson I'd expect from Corey: reactionaries need to continually contrive new rationalizations for reaction, and might thus be inspired by Leftist rhetoric for the task. The Left does not need to similarly borrow from the Right because there's no need to hide its pursuit of liberty, equality, and solidarity before a popular audience. Hence, left –> right converts are useful to the right in ways that right–>left converts are not. & then you've got your empirical evidence to support the theory.Mainmata 01.26.19 at 2:34 am (no link)
The emphasis, however, was on experience: the right needs to experience the vitality of revolution to understand it and inform counter-revolution. This seems like a weaker explanation, but perhaps the stronger argument would have seemed too shrill for the New Yorker?This is a really good article (as usual). I think the essential core is that Boot misunderstood that conservatives and the GOP, in particular, were the party of ideas. Buckley summarized it best when he stated that the role of conservatives was to stand astride the course of history and stay "stop". The GOP has never been the party of ideas or at least not any ideas that are all rational or workable. They claimed to be about "small government" in an economy dominated by large multinational corporations and cartels. The GOP has always been a fraud, philosophically.'abd 01.26.19 at 4:35 am (no link)
Nowadays, they're mainly about racism, misogyny and aggressive foreign policy.
Boot was pretty clueless when he arrived in the US so I kind of give him a little break compared with our home grown rightwingers.Norman Finkelstein's essay on the serial chameleon, Hitchens has many useful insights:Bob Michaelson 01.26.19 at 2:45 pm (no link)
A sharp political break must, for one living a political life, be a wrenching emotional experience. The rejection of one's core political beliefs can't but entail a rejection of the person holding them: if the beliefs were wrong, then one's whole being was wrong. Repudiating one's comrades must also be a sorrowful burden. It is not by chance that "fraternity" is a prized value of the left: in the course of political struggle, one forges, if not always literally, then, at any rate, spiritually, blood bonds No doubt he imagines it is testament to the mettle of his conviction that past loyalties don't in the slightest constrain him; in fact, it's testament to the absence of any conviction at all."Throughout his three decades on the right, it appears, Boot believed in the tenets of a book he never read."abd 01.26.19 at 8:34 pm (no link)
When Yale philosophy professor Paul Weiss was a guest on the Dick Cavett Show he pointed out that when Buckley was a student of Yale he would typically talk about books that he had never actually read. Indeed Buckley continued to do so for the rest of his life.@3 re neocons, this quote of Boot from Corey Robin's article:Glen Tomkins 01.27.19 at 3:24 pm ( 20 )
"That my parents and hundreds of thousands of other Soviet Jews were finally able to leave was due largely to neoconservative foreign policy," Boot writes. "In later life I would support giving moral concerns a prominent place in US foreign policy, a stance that has been associated with neoconservatism."
reminded me of an answer that E.L. Doctorow gave to following question from Bill Moyers in 1988:
How do you explain that so many intellectuals today are in service to orthodoxy?
The third element is very interesting, and I think it's been under-reported–and that is the immense influence of the émigré, Eastern European intellectuals who've come over here in the past fifteen or twenty years. Many of them are quite brilliant writers and professors of different disciplines. They have tended to see American life in terms of their own background and suffering, which has been considerable, as people in exile from regimes that have done terrible things to them and their families. They come of the terrible European legacy of monarchism and the reaction to it. So every attempt we make to legislate some advance in our American society, some social enlightenment, they see as a dangerous left-wing weakness leading toward totalitarianism. They've had enormous influence in the American intellectual community. They tend to see things as either/or and feel that you must be rigidly against any idea of improvement because the idea of perfection is what kills society and creates totalitarianism. The Utopian ideal leads to revolution. They seem to forget we had our revolution two hundred years ago. Our history is not theirs.
We've always gone out into the barn of the Constitution and tinkered. That's our very pragmatic history. I don't think these people understand that. So any time we tune something up and fix something and make it more just, make it work a little better, they become alarmed.I don't know.abd 01.26.19 at 8:49 am (no link)
I think the most reasonable account of Boot's conversion is that he hasn't converted. He's profoundly angry at Trump because Trump, to the everlasting shame of our side, is the first political figure in generations to dare to question US imperialism, and US imperialism is what Boot is really about. He's mostly a military enthusiast. Were Trump to gin up a war with Venezuela and/or Iran, Boot would be back on his side in a heartbeat. Blood and Iron!@13, You may have a point there, given the gullibility of folks in these parts. Finkelstein, almost admiringly, noted the case of "the Polish émigré hoaxer, Jerzy Kosinski, who, shrewdly siz[ed] up intellectual culture in America" and plied his rusty wares on the university lecture with brio until his past caught up with him (many other European émigrés, e.g. Man Ray, Bruno Bettelheim, etc. also come to mind; google for the sordid details).Lee A. Arnold 01.26.19 at 1:15 pm ( 15 )
Heck, the moral beacon whom Corey Robin never tires of citing, Hannah Arendt, was also a habitual "lifter" of material from others laboring in the archives, not to mention the free ride , intellectually speaking, she got because of "the widespread belief that philosophical murkiness signals philosophical profundity."
The direction in which the intellectual impostures listed by Pankaj Mishra below are "adjusting" to the prevailing winds is something to be expected from their ilk:
Many journalists have been scrambling, more feverishly since Trump's apotheosis, to account for the stunningly extensive experience of fear and humiliation across racial and gender divisions; some have tried to reinvent themselves in heroic resistance to Trump and authoritarian 'populism'. David Frum, geometer under George W. Bush of an intercontinental 'axis of evil', now locates evil in the White House. Max Boot, self-declared 'neo-imperialist' and exponent of 'savage wars', recently claimed to have become aware of his 'white privilege'. Ignatieff, advocate of empire-lite and torture-lite, is presently embattled on behalf of the open society in Mitteleuropa. Goldberg, previously known as stenographer to Netanyahu, is now Coates's diligent promoter.DocAmazing #1: "The bar for being a right-wing intellectual has traditionally been low "
Excepting for the brilliance of Corey Robin and a few others, it is no lower than the bar on the left, but I think you correctly point to the asymmetry in the general acceptance of the two piles of bosh that are usually produced. But going beyond BruceJ's fingering (at #3) of the presses and thinktanks for embracing the right bosh, there is a cause in the basic asymmetry of their political preferences, because the right justifies and praises the system, while the left does not. This makes it easier for the productions of the right to slide by, without critical inspection by the large mass of people who just want to get on with their lives.
More complicated still: in our era the left (or most of it) doesn't want to tear down the system; it would prefer a mixed economy with more redistribution than we have at present, but not the destruction of private capitalism. This more nuanced preference can only explain itself by wading into the deeper ends of economic explanation, while it's still much easier for the moneyed right to demonize the left using the psychological critique of mere laziness or lack of initiative. This leaves the left with a more complex rhetorical problem in dealing with voter preferences than the right has, which, again, is another asymmetry.
I think the winds are not merely shifting, but we are approaching a different and less stable era. The industrial economy is so successful that its winner-take-all mechanics is increasing inequality. In the US, the intellectual disaster of the right fabricated its bad policy of tax cuts and "smaller" government under Reagan, and the contradictions Reagan engineered took 30 years to crack up the Republican Party until a grifter named Trump could drive a plough through it. And he of course has come a cropper. At the same juncture, the presses and thinktanks have fallen in influence due to the internet where everyone is drowned out regardless of the viability of their ideas. In such a new, unstable, untested environment perhaps the best approach is the one taken by Warren, AOC, etc. -- hammer on a few big ideas with broad appeal.
Feb 05, 2019 | crookedtimber.org
Dr. Hilarius 01.25.19 at 11:31 pm (no link)Anyone who has spent time with Pentecostal/Evangelical Christians is familiar with public confessions of pre-Salvation sin. The greater the sinning, the more impressive and prized the conversion. If the sinner was a notable atheist, Satanist, evolutionist or communist, the story of his or her conversion can become a lucrative career on the church lecture circuit. (Pity the poor convert trying to attract attention with nothing more than a battle with youthful lust.)Mainmata 01.26.19 at 2:34 am (no link)This is a really good article (as usual). I think the essential core is that Boot misunderstood that conservatives and the GOP, in particular, were the party of ideas. Buckley summarized it best when he stated that the role of conservatives was to stand astride the course of history and stay "stop". The GOP has never been the party of ideas or at least not any ideas that are all rational or workable. They claimed to be about "small government" in an economy dominated by large multinational corporations and cartels. The GOP has always been a fraud, philosophically.' Nowadays, they're mainly about racism, misogyny and aggressive foreign policy.abd 01.26.19 at 4:35 am (no link)
Boot was pretty clueless when he arrived in the US so I kind of give him a little break compared with our home grown rightwingers.Norman Finkelstein's essay on the serial chameleon, Hitchens has many useful insights:Bob Michaelson 01.26.19 at 2:45 pm (no link)
A sharp political break must, for one living a political life, be a wrenching emotional experience. The rejection of one's core political beliefs can't but entail a rejection of the person holding them: if the beliefs were wrong, then one's whole being was wrong. Repudiating one's comrades must also be a sorrowful burden. It is not by chance that "fraternity" is a prized value of the left: in the course of political struggle, one forges, if not always literally, then, at any rate, spiritually, blood bonds No doubt he imagines it is testament to the mettle of his conviction that past loyalties don't in the slightest constrain him; in fact, it's testament to the absence of any conviction at all."Throughout his three decades on the right, it appears, Boot believed in the tenets of a book he never read."Jerry Vinokurov 01.28.19 at 2:22 pm (no link)
When Yale philosophy professor Paul Weiss was a guest on the Dick Cavett Show he pointed out that when Buckley was a student of Yale he would typically talk about books that he had never actually read. Indeed Buckley continued to do so for the rest of his life.Very interesting piece, and it taught me something that I didn't know about Boot, namely, that he is a member, like myself (albeit a half-generation older), of the Soviet emigre community. Well, that explains so much, really: you'd be hard-pressed to find a more reactionary bloc in all of American politics. It's "funny" because many of them are plainly anti-religious but they make (wittingly or un-) common cause with evangelicals because they're virulently opposed to the very concept of a public good or an active state attempting to mitigate social ills. I need to finish the article before having further reactions, but this was a revelation to me.marcel proust 01.28.19 at 5:06 pm ( 24 )Jerry Vinokurov@ 23 : A small potatoes objection/question. Considering only Soviet emigres, not the community, including US born descendants of emigres, just the emigres themselves; does this group of individuals make up a more reactionary bloc than its Cuban counterpart?Jerry Vinokurov 01.29.19 at 1:22 am ( 25 )
Considering only Soviet emigres, not the community, including US born descendants of emigres, just the emigres themselves; does this group of individuals make up a more reactionary bloc than its Cuban counterpart?
It's hard for me to say because I don't really have much exposure this culture's Cuban counterparts. My impression with regard to a lot of the Cuban emigres is that they're substantially more socially conservative than those who came from the former USSR. Not that the latter group is any kind of bastion of wokeness, but for them most of the culture war stuff isn't a huge motivator. I can't think of anyone from this group who, for example, ever stated that abortion or opposition to gay marriage was the main motivator for any kind of vote or other political activity.
They may not care much for it and I'm sure being e.g. LGBT in this community is no picnic, but it's not a driver for them that, say, anti-tax mania is. I can't possibly count how many conversations I've had with relatives complaining about this or that "onerous" regulation or tax or whatever that they have to pay and listen to the same "why are they wasting our money" and "I don't want to pay for this" tirade.
Needless to say the vast majority of them, like most American in general, have only the foggiest notion of how American governments (federal, state, local, etc.) operate, but that doesn't stop them from hating it and knowing deep in their heart that whatever it's doing, it's doing it wrong.
Feb 04, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
Reagan's Tax Cuts and the Volcker Recession
Dan Crawford | January 30, 2019 11:35 amPolitics Taxes/regulation (Dan here lifted from Robert's Stochastic Thoughts ) Reagan's Tax Cuts and the Volcker Recession Max Boot is a candidate member of the Rubin Gerson can't be a conservative anymore, because I always agree with them club of Washington Post columnists. But he is a bit confused about US macroeconmic history and macroeconomics. He wrote"The deficit spending of the Reagan years was at least justified because it boosted the economy out of a deep recession " As a matter of timing, this can't be right. The Kemp Roth tax cut was enacted in 1981. Real GDP peaked in 1981q3 -- the tax cut corresponds to the beginning of the recession not the end.
The part that Boot misses (because it has been unimportant for the past 10 years) is monetary policy. It is possible to cause a severe recession in spite of fiscal stimulus by driving the Federal Funds rate up over 19 %. The combination of loose fiscal and very tight monetary policy caused huge real interest rates and a collapse of investment. It also caused an over-valued dollar, a huge surge in imports and deindustrialization.
pgl, January 30, 2019 5:05 pm
Towards the end of 1980 Volcker was backing off his initial tight monetary policy and the economy inched towards a recovery from that initial recession. But when Volcker saw Kemp-Roth, he feared excess aggregate demand and overreacted which led to the 1982. If Max Boot does not understand this – he is just another uninformed idiot. Now if he does get this – he is just another supply side liar.
@pgl January 30, 2019, 5:05 pm
> ...when Volcker saw Kemp-Roth, he feared excess aggregate demand and overreacted which led to the 1982. If Max Boot does not understand this – he is just another uninformed idiot. Now if he does get this – he is just another supply-side liar. "
That's probably the most concise explanation which is enough for the given case. Thank you!
Max Boots is a "wardog" --a rabid lobbyist of MIC, and, as such, is as far from economics (even voodoo supply side economics) as one can get.
Also like all neocons, he is statist par excellence. If not MIC money, he would probably be forced to paint houses for a living, instead of writing nonsense in Bezos blog.
Oct 13, 2018 | theintercept.com
There is an unforgettable passage in Graham Greene's classic "The Quiet American" in which the title character, a CIA agent named Alden Pyle, admits that Vietnam is much more complicated than he'd imagined. "I had not realized how tribal politics was and how divorced it could be from principles or conviction," Pyle says. Surveying the wreckage of the American war effort, he adds, "Looking back with greater introspection and humility after the passage of more than fifteen years, I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it was all a big mistake."
Greene's admirers will recognize that these lines do not actually come from his 1955 novel. They are from Max Boot's new book, " The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right ." Boot, a leading intellectual in the conservative movement for the past two decades, is now apologizing for nearly everything he has done and abided. He is denouncing not just Donald Trump, but the Republican Party as a whole. "Upon closer examination," he writes in his 260-page atonement, "it's obvious that the whole history of modern conservatism is permeated with racism, extremism, conspiracy-mongering, ignorance, isolationism, and know-nothingism."
The temptation is to say, Bravo, here at last is a Republican willing to admit the emperor has no clothes. That's the reaction of lots of journalists and pundits who have flipped through Boot's book. Jacob Heilbrunn wrote in the Washington Monthly that Boot's "readiness to reexamine his old convictions is admirable." Adam Serwer, writer at The Atlantic, tweeted , "You don't want to punish people for getting the right answer." Boot is no longer a Republican (he quit the party after Trump's election) but he is hardly an outcast in the political world -- he is a Washington Post columnist, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a CNN analyst. Such is the sweet life of a born-again intellectual.
It's easy to understand why a penitent like Boot appeals to liberals and other members of the Trump resistance. He ratifies their sense of having been correct from the start, and his confession is enunciated in perfect sound bites, with just the right dose of abasement. Boot is an irresistible spectacle -- the sinner with tears running down his cheeks dropping to his knees at the altar of all that is good, proclaiming that he has seen the light and wants to join the army of righteousness. But here's the thing: Boot is only half-apologizing. And because he's been wrong so many times and with so many ill consequences, he should be provided with nothing more than a polite handshake as he's led out of the sanctuary of politics, forever.
When I say wrong, I mean Guinness World Records wrong. In his first book, " Out of Order ," Boot argued that the Supreme Court erred when it ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation violated the Constitution ("I am not proud of 'Out of Order,'" he now says); he was a key proponent of the invasion of Iraq ("Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," he proclaimed in 2001);
he thought John Bolton was treated unfairly when Democrats opposed his 2005 nomination for ambassador to the United Nations ("He seems like a good choice to help drain the U.N. cesspool of corrupt bureaucrats and self-serving tyrants");
he thought Ahmed Chalabi was "the most unfairly maligned man on the planet" long after the Iraqi exile's dissembling was apparent to everyone except the staff of Commentary magazine; and as Boot notes in his mea culpa, he totally failed to notice the dark side of the GOP. "It's amazing how little you can see when your eyes are closed," he squeaks.
That's a lot of wrong. It's so much wrong that I can't imagine how or why anyone could look at Boot and think, "Ah, here's a man we should listen to." I can pre-empt Boot's response to this -- in his book, he complains that "doctrinaire leftists" will be satisfied with nothing less than his "ritual suicide" for the war crimes he's committed. I've exchanged a few cordial emails with Boot (we both graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, a few years apart, and worked at its student newspaper, the Daily Californian ), and I can honestly say he seems a nice and bright enough fellow to whom I wish no physical harm. But like Alden Pyle, he has helped create so much havoc, he has been wrong so completely, that it would be the definition of insanity to treat his ideas as fodder for anything other than a shredder. Here's a real line from "The Quiet American," spoken about Pyle by the novel's weary narrator, that suits Boot perfectly: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused." Pyle's innocence, the book explains, "is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm."
The problem here isn't really Boot. It's the eternal forgiveness that journalists and intellectuals bestow upon colleagues who should be cast out for errors of immense and tragic consequence.
Boot is a perfect example, because he has been wrong so many times in such major ways and is actually willing to admit it. But there are vast numbers of pundits , masters of spin , and alleged intellectuals who have been wrong enough on enough big things (not just war, but climate change and more) to merit laughter rather than praise. Yet there they are, stroking their chins on our finest op-ed pages and cable news channels. Mutual forgiveness is a necessity among pundits who are stuffed with nonsense much of the time; without mercy on demand, they might all be out of jobs.
It's no surprise that Boot's book arrives with admiring blurbs from D.C. heavyweights James Fallows, Jon Meacham, and David Corn, among others.
Jan 15, 2019 | irrussianality.wordpress.comJanuary 15, 2019 PaulR 113 Comments The Washington Post has been banging the 'Trump is a Russian agent' drum incessantly, and was at it again this week, with an article by that well-known bastion of common sense and accurate analysis, Max Boot, entitled 'Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian agent'. Boot's article doesn't actually provide any evidence concretely linking Trump with the Russian intelligence agencies, but that's pretty much par for the course. Boot ends with the words:
Now that we've listed 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian assets, let's look at the exculpatory evidence:
[This page intentionally left blank]
I can't think of anything that would exonerate Trump aside from the difficulty of grapsing what once would have seemed unimaginable: that a president of the United States could actually have been compromised by a hostile foreign power. If Trump isn't actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.
So what does a 'pretty good imitation' of a Russian agent look like in real life? To answer that we have to find examples of the Trump adminstration's policies towards Russia, and fortunately the international press has just provided us with a good example. The German paper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday that the American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, sent letters to companies participating in the North Stream 2 gas pipeline project in which he told them that, 'We emphasize that companies involved in Russian energy exports are taking part in something that could prompt a significant risk of sanctions.' A spokesman for Grenell subsequently clarified the Ambassador's letter by saying that it was not a threat, just a 'clear message of US policy', though I have to say that the distinction is lost on me. Grenell's letter didn't come out of the blue. The United States has long been doing all it can to sabotage North Stream 2. And Trump himself is fully signed up to the policy. At a meeting with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia last year, the US president declared his opposition to North Stream 2, declaring :
Germany hooks up a pipeline into Russia, where Germany is going to be paying billions of dollars for energy into Russia. And I'm saying, 'What's going on with that? How come Germany is paying vast amounts of money to Russia when they hook up a pipeline?' That's not right.
This is indeed a 'pretty good imitation' of a Russian agent. There's no doubt about it – Trump is working for the Russians. Why else would he doing his damnedest to destroy one of the Russian Federation's most valuable international trade projects? Does that make sense to you? It doesn't to me. If Donald Trump is indeed a Russian agent, I have to conclude that he's got to be the worst secret agent ever.
Jan 22, 2019 | www.amazon.com
2N2Make4 2.0 out of 5 stars November 29, 2018
Max's long overdue awakening
I wanted to like this book and Max Boot but couldn't. I'm an 'old white guy' who grew up in an Eisenhower Republican family but switched allegiance to the Democrats during the civil rights battles in the 60s. I was hoping to read about someone who went through a similar transformation but Max's journey falls short.
The book is part autobiographical: Max was born in Russia into a Jewish family in 1969. His family was allowed to leave the USSR and immigrate to the US in 1976 after pressure was placed on the Communist government by the United States. Max states that the Boots survived here in part on payments from Social Security for which Max says "Thank you, America" but ignores that this support was from a program that was developed by liberals and that has been regularly attacked by conservative Republicans.
His mother was employed by the University of California, a state university, and Max received his undergraduate education at UC Berkeley. While he notes that it "cost next to nothing" at the time, he doesn't point out that his tuition was low thanks to subsidies that were paid by the taxes of the citizens of the State of California. The UC system is also a product of progressive thinking and is partly responsible for the economic growth in California. It's paid for itself many times over by developing a highly educated work force that supports the many high paying, high skilled jobs in the state.
Max began his conversion to right wing politics at age 13 when he received a subscription to the New Republic magazine. I suppose you can't expect much critical thinking from an adolescent, but you would think that it would have taken less than 36 years to realize that conservative Republican values and policies weren't conducive to helping people who have needs similar to those of his family. Especially since Max seems certain that he is among the most intelligent people to walk among us.
He states that he now sees that the messages of conservative Republicans were often "coded racial appeals – those dog whistles" and that liberals have recognized this for decades. He just didn't believe the liberals or bother to honestly evaluate their warnings.
Max can't refrain from making the ad hominem attacks so prevalent among right wing pundits. Most of these are directed at Donald Trump, whom he describes as a "liar, an ignoramus, and a moral abomination". He also includes a chapter about the "Trump Toadies".
Max "loved the attention and notoriety" his conservative views generated in his youth. He now recognizes that he has been a part of a movement that has been "morally and intellectually bankrupt".
He also states that he no longer receives any pay from any conservative organization. Is this the reason that he is looking for another group to hook up with? Or is he worried that since he was not born in the United States his citizenship might be revoked and he might be sent back to Russia if the anti-Semitic members of the right wing get their way?
So Max comes across as quite shallow even while showing off his extravagant vocabulary. While he was quite willing to accept the offerings of a liberal society, he's been unwilling to consider any responsibility to provide similar benefits to those who came after him.
The book is well written and is a quick read. Ultimately it's one man's awakening to the awful realities of what conservative Republicanism has become. It doesn't really break any new ground for those who have been following politics for any length of time.
In the epilogue Max lists his current beliefs and many of them are liberal. He states he is pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-environment, pro-gun control, pro-immigration including offering a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and he is also in favor of free speech. He and I might disagree on the details about how to reach some of these goals but in these areas we would be pointing at similar directions.
But then Max attacks other progressive programs. For example, he states that single payer medical insurance – Medicare for all – would cost too much and cause insurance companies to go bankrupt or "find a new business model". Frankly if a company that makes its money by increasing the cost of our health care has to "find a new business model", I believe that would be a good thing for the health of our economy and of our people. As to the insurance company employees, since claims would still have to be processed I suspect that the people processing claims for the insurance companies would be able to make the switch to work for a government agency processing claims easily, so they should be ok.
I hope that Max's rejection of conservative Republicanism is actually a genuine realization that ALL people are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" including getting affordable medical care. If that's the case, I would be happy to welcome him to join those of us who vote for politicians who truly represent these values.
But I am not convinced by this book that he has truly escaped the "corrosion of conservatism". Let's see if time will prove me wrong.
Thank you for your review. Much appreciated...
I would add that it is important to understand that Max Boot is not an intellectual, he is essentially a well-paid MIC lobbyist who pretends to be an intellectual. He does not have convictions per se, only the burning desire to belong to the winning and/or better paid party.
The fact that he realized from which side the bread is buttered at early age just confirms what he always valued money more then ideas.
Mark bennett 1.0 out of 5 stars October 25, 2018A Lyndon Johnson Democrat goes home
The politics of the cold war created many political anomalies in the United States. One of the biggest was the migration of the cold war hawks after 1968 from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. For many of them, it was less about a broad vision of politics than narrow concerns over Vietnam and the Soviet Union. The alliance functioned up until the end of the cold war and the establishment of republican control in the Senate and House. Then it broke down completely during the Presidential Term of George W. Bush.
After a decade out of power and as a hanger-on in three failed presidential campaigns, Max Boot has written this book which is sort of a combination of angry farewell letter and maoist self-criticism covering his entire political career to 2016 or so.
The problems start at the beginning of the book. He defines "conservative" to mean to him "incremental policy making based on empirical study". His conservative beliefs, in contrast to what he considers "European" beliefs, rejects the nation-state and the idea of an American identity. The only limit to the "social safety net" in his mind is when that safety net begins to impact "individual initiative". He makes a special point of saying that what has united the country since the beginning is not belief in a nation, but rather belief in ideas or "self evident truths".
The problem with all that is that his ideas of conservatism are in fact liberalism. Incremental government policy to incrementally perfect society is not a remotely conservative concept. Further, when you conclude as he does that American Soil has no meaning and American Blood shed has no value, you have to really wonder about how exactly he justifies his belief in foreign wars. Are Americans who have served in the military just suckers? or slaves in Pharaoh's army? Where is patriotism in his vision of what "conservative" means? Did people in wars die for "self evident truths" rather than the flag?
He drifts further into liberal thought with his idea that there is more to the constitution than what is in the constitution. Rather than just the text and intent, Boot finds unwritten "norms" hidden within the constitution which he holds American Citizens should respect equally with the constitution. This is not a new idea. Its the old idea of the "living" constitution which only elite oracles can present to us its true hidden meaning.
Then, like many people, he claims that his ideas are those of Barry Goldwater in 1960. But they are absolutely not. The ideas that Max Boot stands for are the ideas of Lyndon Johnson. The ideas of using the power of government for social engineering. The idea of fighting crusades for ideas overseas in places like Vietnam. A general rejection of any sort of morality or patriotism in politics. Worst of all, the tendency to see the United States of America as an intellectual crusade for justice in the world rather than as a country.
A large portion of the book is given over to complaints about Trump. But the problem is that Max Boot's ideas and his idea of what a conservative is go far beyond just being for or against Trump. In a very real sense, he represents the discredited politics of George W. Bush who have no support among any party and only tend to have followers in places like the pages of "The Atlantic". The question isn't really what happened to the republican party, but more how someone with the outright liberal political worldview of someone like Max Boot ever thought that those ideas are what conservative meant. He tries to attach himself to men of the past like Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan. But he fails to realize that he would not fit in with the politics of any of those man. Perhaps he would have best fit with the old Rockefeller Republicans but to me even that is far from certain.
Max Boot has in the past been critical of Ronald Reagan's decision not to fight a war in Lebanon in the 1980s associating it with American "weakness" that led to 9/11. He blamed Eisenhower's decision not to support the British/French invasion of Egypt in 1956 as starting a "pattern of weakness" in America's dealing with the middle east which was not corrected until the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Its equally doubtful that Max Boot would have supported the ideas of Barry Goldwater over those of Lyndon Johnson.
The bulk of the book him talking about his favorite topic: himself. He proves once again that he isn't any sort of intellectual or man of ideas. He complains about trump. He complains about various republicans who he clearly expected to follow him out of the republican party but did not.
There are some incredible claims in the book such as claiming that the welfare state is what ensures the success of free market. He just loves Black Lives Matter and suddenly after a long career, race is suddenly something he cars about while the police are now the bad guys. He also discovered after the election of Trump that sexism is a problem in America. He can't really explain why he didn't care about these issues for decades before Trump and now cares about deeply after Trump. I don't think he really cares about much of anything other than boots on the ground in the middle east or preparing for war with China.
He ends the book with a conclusion titled "the vital center". The title is of course a shout-out to old school liberal (and kennedy henchmen) Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.. In it, he tells us that he is "socially liberal", He believes in fiscal responsibility but not if it involves cutting the welfare state & along those lines supports "Simpson Bowles" which called for fixing the deficit with higher taxes and a "public option" for health insurance. He supports the welfare state because to him its the basis for the free market. He supports gun control. He wants more immigration to deal with our "labor shortage". He sees China and Russia as defense threats along with a list of other countries.
He concludes with a "moderate" (ironic of course) call for everyone to vote every single republican out of office until Trump is out of office or removed as president. And while he makes it (finally) clear at the end that he just loved Hillary Clinton and her brand of politics, he could never become a democrat because of the threat of bernie sanders. His vision is a party of what he calls "centerists" which would seemingly favor a policy of expanding the welfare state while fighting wars overseas to save the world. But Max Boot's politics don't represent the center of anything. Whatever the bad of Trump, Max Boot represents something just as bad or worse.
David L. Parnell 1.0 out of 5 stars November 17, 2018
Max Boot's recognition of racism in the GOP is late...decades late...
Corrosion is a slow process but early in the 1960's the GOP sucked almost all of the racists out of the Democratic Party right into the Republican Party just to elect Richard Nixon with the GOP "Southern Strategy." Men like the followers of Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms in the rural south rushed to vote for the "Sanitary Republican Party."
Sanitary was old Jim Crow code for "whites only." If any business identified itself with "sanitary" in its name, that was a warning for "whites only."
Strom Thurmond had earlier literally executed the longest filibuster in Congressional history to oppose a vote on a civil rights legislation promoted by Democrats.
Then Ronald Reagan and the George Bush used Lee Atwater and Richard Quinn (a South Carolina leader of the neo-Confederacy movement) to craft overt racist strategies, narratives, and TV advertisements. The Southern Partisan was a publication aimed at legitimating racism and opposition to civil rights for blacks. This block of GOP consultants used the Southern Partisan publication to create a core database of neo-Confederacy racists which was so reliably Republican that both John McCain and George W. Bush used Richard Quinn's backing in their election efforts.
Around 1981 Clemson University founded the "Strom Thurmond Institute" to co-opt this public university to historically immortalize the papers and sentiments of Strom Thurmond in a revisionist manner.
Another product of Richard Quinn was young Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who grew up working in his parent's business in Central South Carolina, the "Sanitary Cafe," a bar, grill, and pool hall establishment. Lindsey Graham was mentored into South Carolina politics by Richard Quinn who supplied Graham with a heroic hard knocks narrative which never mentioned the neo-Confederacy roots of both men. Now if you review the Congressional Record you see Lindsey Graham's voting record follows a Republican Southern Strategy which Nixon, Reagan, George Bush, Strom Thurmond, and Jesse Helms would have been proud of. These racist political narratives can be mapped to every Republican strategist and their GOP candidate product. Max Boot ignores this historical behavior infused into the Republican Party since before 1963.
Donald Trump is only different in that he has Tweeted these sentiments ad nauseam and publicly voiced them expressly in his political appearances and news conferences. If you are honest, the "N" word has been "whispered" (Jim DeMint) as an "IN" word in secret congregations of Republicans for decades. Lindsey Graham has created a consistent attempt at humor where he frequently quips "white man" jokes while supporting voter suppression and gerrymandering by his party.
Max Boot is correct that this racism has moved from the backrooms under the cover of Donald Trump, but, to deny that this these sentiments have not been part of the Republican infrastructure for decades is rude hypocrisy. As you read this book, to load this burden on Donald Trump alone is to deny history and the public record. Donald Trump merely harnessed this latent DNA of the Republican party while masterfully marketing himself as a new Republican unbound by swamp politics (a political breed which does not exist in the Republican Party.) Look at Ben Sasse, he writes as a centrist yet votes as a Trump man. Look at Lindsey Graham's descriptions of Trump in 2016 and now listen to his praise of Trump today. Yet, Max Boot sees this as a recent development in the Republican Party when it has been part of the GOP DNA which has produced a racist voting record as each generation of Republicans is sworn in.
Joseph Hawkins 1.0 out of 5 stars October 25, 2018Disingenuous
Max Boot saw the light when it was too late. As an advocate for America's reckless wars after 9/11, he bears moral responsibility for the degrading of conservatism into a hate-filled cult.
A month after 9/11, he called for the invasion of Iraq. Did he not think that almost two decades of continuous war fighting would not radicalize the American populace? He's making amends by writing a book, for which he probably received a hefty advance and will make money off of from royalties. Should donate the proceeds to charity.
Amazon Customer 1.0 out of 5 stars Marx, Lenin and Gramsci come Alive! November 7, 2018Max Boot is another smug, arrogant, self righteous, Gramscian, ruling class communist, that's trying convince the "Base" that he knows what's best for them; all while devowing the little bit of wealth they might have left to live on. Why?
Because the "Base" are the slaves of the "Superstructure" ruling class. Remember, as Stalin put it, "the middle class is the enemy" to the socialist. America is on slow-drip to Totalitarianism. And Max Boot is just one more in the camp on the transition.
BB876 1.0 out of 5 stars October 26, 2018Nothing New
I didn't feel this book offered anything new that nearly every other pundit on TV talks about 24/7 regarding "leaving the right"
txtxyeha 2.0 out of 5 stars November 11, 2018Please give me a check to cash
My translation of this book, free of charge.
"Hi, I'm a bonafide conservative and here are the ways Trump has embarrassed The Cause as defined by Ronald Reagan. Since I refuse to kiss Trump's ring, I still gotta eat so I'm going to grandly announce that I have left the Republican Party in the form of this book and hope you will give me a check to cash. Thank you."
I know that's a harsh assessment of a book that I agree with 98% of what's written, Mr. Boot offers no insight. Not once did I think, "Ah, good point. I didn't think of that."
It's simply a rehashing of Mr. Trump's ridiculous gaffs (hell, I could have done that, there are sooo many to choose from) and at the very end a very lame path out of this quagmire (spoiler alert: we just need someone else as charismatic as Trump that's not [insert negative adjectives here] because the Republicans have proven they will follow ANYBODY over a cliff).
I finished this book (though skipped many chapters because it was simply rehashing Trump's train wrecks) and said, "That's all you got? [sigh of resignation]"
Jensen Cross Integrated Solutions 1.0 out of 5 stars December 22, 2018Conflicted words by a mockingbird media asset
I never searched this book on Amazon, however, I did write a tweet about Max Boot, so I guess Twitter shares with Amazon. To the review, however -- this is written by a person who writes that Trump has failed us by leaving troops in war, and just 6 months later, writes an article that totally contradicts the earlier statement, stating that Trump can never do anything right because he is pulling troops out of war. Which is it? I would not line a birdcage with this garbage.
Strike Me Down Now! 1.0 out of 5 stars December 16, 2018Boot helped break it and now he wants to blame Trump
Trump is just a symptom; an easy scapegoat because he's a twit. Boot helped create and perpetuate the monster that the GOP became. Boot, and others like him, need to spend a few more years in purgatory for the mess that he put us in.
james c. 2.0 out of 5 stars October 9, 2018Self serving title
Unfortunately the author is venting his personal dislike of the current administration without addressing the previous administrations attempt to divide the country by any means possibly and subsequently putting the American people into a politically charged environment that the author is trying to capitalize on.
Jan 22, 2019 | washingtonmonthly.com
The NeverTrumpers may have failed to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president, but he has been a godsend for their public reputations. Instead of remaining in the wilderness, the neoconservatives who make up the bulk of the NeverTrump movement have fitfully begun to move back toward, or at least flirt with, the Democratic Party, which is where the original neocon journey began. Among some of their longtime detractors, it's creating a vertiginous sensation. James Wolcott, for example, recently observed in Vanity Fair , "One of the chewier ironies of the Trump interregnum is finding that I'm following former foes on Twitter and elsewhere that I once mocked, reviled, and cast into outer darkness during the Bush presidency, especially after the invasion of Iraq."
The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left The Right by Max Boot
Now that the neocons have, in a manner of speaking, been born again, they are once more crusading for regime change against an authoritarian foe, only this time on the home front. Trump, not Saddam Hussein, is the main object of their ire, and they are earning quite a hearing in mainstream liberal outlets. Eliot A. Cohen and David Frum regularly appear in the Atlantic . Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss have decamped from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times . William Kristol and Jennifer Rubin are regulars on MSNBC.
And then there is Max Boot, a columnist for the Washington Post and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Unlike Kristol or Stephens, Boot's breach with the Republican Party is complete. He does not believe that the party can be redeemed, and he isn't sure that he should call himself a conservative anymore. The day after the 2016 election, after a lifetime of backing the GOP, he re-registered as an independent. In August, he posted on Twitter a screenshot of a fundraising pitch that read, "Hey, this is Newt Gingrich. President Trump needs your help to elect more Republicans in 2018. Will you make a 4X matched donation today?," with this accompanying text: "Hey, this is Max Boot. Hell no." His sallies have earned him brickbats from the right; the pro-Trump website American Greatness has branded him a "soulless, craven opportunist."
Boot's defection from conservative orthodoxy carries a particular sting because he was once the most explicit exponent of American greatness. After 9/11, he endorsed American imperialism in a Weekly Standard cover story. The benighted countries of the Middle East, he announced, "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets." His name became a synonym for neocon warmonger, and he went on to advise the George W. Bush administration and presidential aspirants such as Senator Marco Rubio.
In the past two years, however, Boot has not merely parted with the conservative stances that he previously espoused, but has been actively assailing them, whether the issue is race, gun control, or the Iraq War. Indeed, as a columnist for the Washington Post , Boot has relentlessly attacked Trump and his enablers. "If there has been an outcry against Trump's virulent racism from the right, I must have missed it," he wrote in August. "The only conservatives who are willing to regularly call out Trump's bigotry are those of us who are #NeverTrumpers -- and, as I constantly hear online, we aren't 'real' conservatives because we do not worship at the orange altar."
Now, in The Corrosion of Conservatism , Boot charts his ideological odyssey. He deftly recounts his early attraction to the conservative cause and his revulsion at its embrace of Trump. For Boot, who immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union as a child, the 2016 election felt like back to the future. As Trump sailed toward the Republican nomination, Boot's Twitter account and email began to fill up with anti-Semitic, pro-Trump messages. He became increasingly alienated from the conservatives who ended up trying to curry favor with Trump, ranging from Rubio to Paul Ryan. He had naively expected them to repudiate Trump's authoritarianism. When they didn't, he felt betrayed.
For Boot, it was personal. Joining the conservative movement had been part of coming to America. It gave a young immigrant from Moscow a sense of identity and mission. In contrast to Kristol, who has already begun plotting to stymie Trump in the 2020 primaries, or Frum, who has sought to chart the ideological course of the GOP in books like Dead Right , Boot was never a Republican operative. He isn't trying to rescue the GOP to restore the old order. Instead, he is a historian who has always relished being an intellectual dissident. His basic temperament hasn't changed at all, which is why he may be the ultimate neocon.
The value of Boot's book does not rest in any original political analysis. Instead, he explains what it was like to immerse himself in what amounted to a conservative madrassa. In describing his self-conversion from zealot to apostate, he emerges as the Candide of the right.
Now it's the Republican Party, not the left, that is in his sights. He understands that he missed the real danger to freedom that was right in front of his nose: a party that flirted with white nationalism, cozied up to Russian autocracy, and toppled into obsessive conspiracy mongering. And he is haunted by a question: "Did I somehow contribute to the rise of this dark force in American life with my advocacy for conservatism?"
Unlike previous accounts of breaking with the right, such as Garry Wills's Confessions of a Conservative , the value of Boot's book does not rest in any original political analysis. Instead, he explains what it was like to immerse himself in what amounted to a conservative madrassa. In describing his self-conversion from zealot to apostate, he emerges as the Candide of the right, offering fascinating insights into the psychology of a true believer. His fervor for explaining why the right is wrong brings to mind Arthur Koestler's remark in The God That Failed : "When all is said, we ex-communists are the only people on your side who know what it's all about."
B oot, who was born in 1969 in Moscow, had firsthand experience with communism and was deeply shaped by the persecution of Soviet Jews. His parents divorced when he was two, but both later immigrated to America. Boot's father, Alexander, was a dissident who distributed samizdat and managed to get out in 1973. His mother emigrated with Max in 1976 and then taught Russian in California.
Boot makes it clear that his enthusiasm for his father -- a self-described monarchist who now lives in England and devotes his time to denouncing atheism and the welfare state -- is quite constrained. But Alexander's gift of a National Review subscription to Max when he was thirteen left a lasting imprint. The younger Boot absorbed the worldview of its writers, ranging from the reactionary Austrian aristocrat Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn to William F. Buckley Jr. himself. Boot also read up on the standard conservative texts: Whittaker Chambers's Witness , F. A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom , and Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind . Ronald Reagan, who inveighed against the "evil empire" that Max and his parents had fled, was Boot's contemporary hero. The liberals who preached détente with the Soviet Union, or even accommodation, were the new appeasers.
Boot's dream was to become the next Buckley or George Will. At his bar mitzvah ceremony, he ignored the usual Torah theme to deliver an impassioned defense of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1983. According to Boot, his remarks "displayed my precocity, my attachment to Israel, a country I had not yet visited -- and my questionable judgment, since the invasion would turn out to be a fiasco that would embroil Israel in a Vietnam-like quagmire."
As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Boot played the part of adversary, battling against the campus left. Upon graduation, he went to work at the Christian Science Monitor . But his true aspiration was to become an editor for the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, which under the direction of the brilliantly talented polemicist Robert L. Bartley had become an ideological battering ram on behalf of supply-side economics and a hawkish foreign policy.
Boot says that in 1994 he received a call that Bartley wanted to meet with him. He reckoned that Bartley would want to talk about his political philosophy. Instead, Bartley mentioned that he had two positions open, one for an editorial writer on economic issues, another as an assistant op-ed writer. Boot explained that he knew nothing about economics. This pleased Bartley. "I later learned," Boot writes, "that he liked to take writers who did not know much about the subject and train them in his way of thinking."
In the end, Boot took the latter position, and quickly plunged into the social whirl of the cloistered New York conservative world. He attended dinners at the Manhattan Institute and went to the monthly "Monday Meeting," where conservative activists promoted everything from the gold standard to Central Park's horse-drawn carriages. He says he became a "made man" in 2007 when he won the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism, which was established by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and is bestowed annually on a writer who exhibits a "love of country and its democratic institutions" and "bears witness to the evils of totalitarianism."
B ut Boot had contrarian instincts from the outset at the Journal . He once invited a Princeton professor named Paul Krugman to write an op-ed critical of supply-side economics, which almost prompted Bartley to fire him. Needless to say, it never ran. "This was an early indication," Boot writes, "that groupthink could be just as tenacious on the right as on the left." Boot also confesses that he found it difficult to decipher the baroque conspiracy theories that Bartley and his acolytes concocted about Bill and Hillary Clinton involving Whitewater, the airport in Mena, Arkansas, and the death of Vince Foster. "I thought he was a deeply flawed man," Boot says of Clinton, "but I appreciated the achievements of his presidency." But Boot subordinated any reservations he may have felt in order to promote the Reaganite principles of free trade and a crusading foreign policy.
One of the more unusual aspects of The Corrosion of Conservatism is Boot's acknowledgment that Trump did not emerge from out of nowhere. "There is no doubt that there has always been a dark underside to conservatism, and one that I chose for most of my life to ignore," he writes. For all the political right's hosannas for Buckley, he established the revanchist conservatism that views compromise, either at home or abroad, as tantamount to treason. It's important to remember that Buckley began his career by supporting the iniquitous Joseph McCarthy -- a sentiment he never repudiated -- and that he viewed Dwight Eisenhower as a dangerous establishment Republican who refused to liberate eastern Europe militarily and failed to roll back the New Deal. Nor was this all. Buckley also opposed the civil rights movement and for decades supported the apartheid regime in South Africa. Even as they decried the Soviet Union and China for human rights violations, Buckley and other conservatives were remorseless apologists for one of the most odious regimes in the world.
After McCarthy's demise, the GOP remained addicted to conspiracy mongering. Boot usefully reminds us that Phyllis Schlafly's 1964 best-selling tract A Choice Not an Echo suggested that hidden kingmakers were preventing Republican presidential candidates from winning. "It wasn't any accident," she claimed. "It was planned that way" by New York financiers who supported "a continuation of the Roosevelt–Harry Dexter White–Averell Harriman–Dean Acheson–Dean Rusk policy of aiding and abetting Red Russia and her satellites." The failure to distinguish between White, who was a Soviet agent, and Acheson, who was not, wasn't any accident, either. The message was that egghead liberals, whatever they might say about battling communism, were, at bottom, traitors.One of the more unusual aspects of The Corrosion of Conservatism is Boot's acknowledgment that Trump did not emerge from out of nowhere. "There is no doubt that there has always been a dark underside to conservatism, and one that I chose for most of my life to ignore," he writes.
The populist style often played a key role in helping Republican candidates win elections. But Boot distinguishes between a populist pose and actual populism. For him, the breaking point began with Sarah Palin and ended with Trump. In his view, "[t]he rise of Palin and now Trump indicates that the GOP really truly has become the stupid party. Its primary vibe has become one of indiscriminate, unthinking, all-consuming anger." Boot himself warned against the rise of a meretricious populism in a 1994 Wall Street Journal column in which he maintained that the GOP should not " 'Rush' to embrace talk show democracy." He now denounces Fox News and figures like Dinesh D'Souza and Ann Coulter for peddling conspiracy theories on Trump's behalf.
Perhaps the most notable part of Boot's book is his willingness to face up to the fiasco that was the Iraq War. He notes that for years he felt defensive about his support for it and was too stubborn to cede any ground to his critics. "It is not nearly as easy to remake a foreign land by force as I had naively imagined in 2003," he writes. And he recognizes that the catastrophic policies he espoused helped create the terrain for Trump to rumble to victory. In listening to Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, Boot says that he recognizes "my callow, earlier self. Bolton, a conservative firebrand since his days as a student at Yale University in the early 1970s, is whom I used to be."
Boot thus differs from the many other NeverTrumpers who often fail to recognize that belligerent policies have led to disaster at home as well as abroad. He issues a scorching indictment of the GOP: "I am now convinced that the Republican Party must suffer repeated and devastating defeats. It must pay a heavy price for its embrace of white nationalism and know-nothingism. Only if the GOP as currently constituted is burned to the ground will there be any chance to build a reasonable center-right political party out of the ashes." Indeed, he concludes, "having escaped the corrosion of conservatism, I am a political Ronin, and will swear allegiance to no master in the future. I will fight for my principles wherever they may lead me."
There's a whiff of grandiosity in this declaration. Like Whittaker Chambers, who pioneered the breaking-ranks genre in Witness , Boot takes an apocalyptic view of politics. But his readiness to reexamine his old convictions is admirable. If it ends up prompting him to sign up as a Democrat, then his neocon journey will have come full circle.
Aug 29, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org
chris rossini friday august 22, 2014
Max Boot lays it on pretty thick here :America's brave troopers today fight for freedom in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond, all the while yearning, as FDR said, "for the end of battle" when they can return home. They are not there to seize natural resources or to pump up a president's approval ratings–nor, for all of my differences with President Obama, do I believe he has ordered troops into harm's way for such nefarious purposes.If that isn't the exact opposite of truth, I don't know what is.
As a matter of fact, RPI recently ran a fantastic editorial by Jessica Pavoni, who was a member of the military, but sought to leave the Air Force as a conscientious objector after learning that the Max Boots of the world were spinning false tales.
Not only has the Empire managed to bring the exact opposite of freedom to "Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond," but it has also accomplished the snuffing out of freedom here at home as well. Groping at the airports, the monitoring of all our communications and finances, as well as the militarized local police (See: Boston & Ferguson) are just a few potent examples.
Meanwhile, Chuck Hagel is now trying to scare the pants off Americans once again:ISIL poses a threat greater than 9/11. ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group This is way beyond anything we have seen.The Empire wants more!
Max Boot, the fantasy storyteller, is helping to grease the wheels.
Aug 04, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Let me stipulate at the outset that the phrase, "Max Boot," should be consider as a new synonym in the Oxford English Dictionary for the word inane moron or imbecile are other plausible possibilities.
Not since the days of Senator Joseph McCarthy have we witnessed such a bizarre, vicious level of red-baiting and smearing. Max Boot, have you no decency?
You will understand the context of my introductory observations after you view the following video. Max Boot believes that Donald Trump should have threatened (Boot's word, not mine) Vladimir Putin. How does one go about threatening a country with inter-continental nuclear weapons systems that are proven to work?
Aug 06, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Keith Harbaugh , 21 hours agoThanks, PT, for publicizing this.PRC90 , 2 days ago
BUT, the deeper problem, IMO, isn't just that Boot get so many issues wrong, it is that he is given such a massive platform for propagating his wrong views. Notably: the platform Fred Hiatt has given him at WaPo . That's the real issue, that his opinions are given such undeserved prominence.
As to Fred Hiatt's network, some insight is given by the acknowledgements in Robert Kagan's book Dangerous Nation , where Kagan writes:I [Robert Kagan] have also been lucky to enjoy the comradeship and wise counsel of dear friends Fred Hiatt, Bill Kristol, Leon Wieseltier, Reuel Gerecht, Ed Lazarus, and Joe Rose ...
Deep State my a**, this is the Kosher Konspiracy! And notice how many of those names have found a prominent place on the WaPo Op-Ed page, and other prominent media venues, shaping and driving American opinion.Boot would appear to be a self-publicist, in this case unsuccessfully.richardstevenhack , 2 days ago
http://maxboot.net/So this has been popping up on my screen for the last week, so I finally decided to watch it.
Cohen, of course, was the voice of reason. Boot is an idiot and a disrespectful one at that. All true.
The problem is that the bulk of the population is going to go with Boot. That is, the bulk of the population that give a damn about Russia or foreign policy, which as the recent poll testifies is a mighty small group.
However, that group includes most of the Democrats. So Boot is going to walk away claiming a win and Anderson Cooper is never going to claim otherwise, either, because he is on Boot's side.
Why can Boot claim a win? Because he sneered at Cohen and called him a "Russia apologist", and Cohen, while visibly irritated, could only say his credentials for understanding Russia and the history of the first Cold War.
In a debate, that isn't enough. WE think Cohen "schooled" Boot. The Democrats won't. And the undecided's won't either.
Cohen needed to respond IN KIND to Boot's disrespect. Because paradoxically, that is how you get "respect" on the street - you respond in kind and to a greater degree when attacked.
Now how you do that can vary. You can either be a sneering scumbag like Boot, or you can be a cold assassin that simply blows him away with calm, but vicious ridicule.
I'm reminded of a joke video I saw a while back. Check it out.
Dressing Up Your Dressing Downs with Indira Varma
Aug 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Jul 31, 2018 | American Committee for East-West Accord
Perhaps the defining trait of neoconservatives like Max Boot is that they – for whatever reason – feel free to opine on subjects about which they know little, if anything.
Having no knowledge of history, cheap polemicists like Boot resort to ad hominem attacks when confronted by serious scholars like Cohen while cable news anchors sit by and scoff.
Jul 19, 2018 | www.richardcyoung.com
Author and professor Paul Gottfried writing at The American Conservative , amplifies the words of Yoram Hazony, that just because America doesn't want to annex the territories of foreign nations, doesn't mean it carries no imperial ambitions. In fact, says Gottfried, uber-neocon War Dog Max Boot has called for "an American empire," outright.
Gottfried writes (abridged):
Recently while reading a book by an Israeli scholar named Yoram Hazony with the provocative title The Virtue of Nationalism, I encountered a distinction drawn by the late Charles Krauthammer between empire building and American global democratic hegemony. Like the editors of the Weekly Standard, for which he periodically wrote, Krauthammer believed it was unfair to describe what he wanted to see done, which was having the U.S. actively spread its own form of government throughout the world, as "imperialism." After all, Krauthammer said, he and those who think like him "do not hunger for new territory," which makes it wrong to accuse them of "imperialism."
Hazony responds with the obvious answer that control can be imposed on the unwilling even if the empire builders are not overtly annexing territory.
Meanwhile, other neoconservatives have given the game away by pushing their imperialist position a bit further than Krauthammer's. Max Boot, for example, has been quite open in demanding "an American empire" built on ideological and military control even without outright annexation.
The question that occurred to me while reading Krauthammer's proposal and Hazony's response (which I suspect would have been more devastating had Hazony not been afraid of losing neoconservative friends and sponsors) is this one: how is this not imperialism?
It might be argued (and has been by neoconservatives many times) that the U.S. is both morally superior and less dangerous than ethnically defined societies because we advocate a "value" or "creed" that's accessible to the entire human race.
Please tell me this is not what it obviously is: an invitation to war and empire building. The quest for hegemony always looks the same, no matter what moral labels some choose to give it.
Read more here .
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