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|A particularly loathsome sort of politician is one who dodges his country's wars when of military age, and then wants
to send others to die in later wars.
Fred Reed Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com
In his volume Cultural Insurrections, Kevin MacDonald has accurately described neoconservatism as “a complex interlocking professional and family network centered around Jewish publicists and organizers flexibly deployed to recruit the sympathies of both Jews and non-Jews in harnessing the wealth and power of the United States in the service of Israel.”Kevin MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections: Essays on Western Civilizations, Jewish Influence, and Anti-Semitism, The Occidental Press, 2007, p. 122. The proof of the neocons’ crypto-Israelism is their U.S. foreign policy:
Laurent Guyénot, The Unz Review. Apr 8, 2019
William Kristol (born December 23, 1952) is an staunch warmonger, neocon and a chickenhawk. He was the founder and was editor-at-large of the defunct political magazine The Weekly Standard. MIC also keeps him as a political commentator on several networks. Probably is upported by CIA as a part of of the their stable of "Mockingbird" journalists.
Like other neocon he should be viewed as a lobbyist of MIC. He also is a supporter of Israel aggressive policies in the Middle East.
In the past he was a vocal supporter of the Iraq war. As such he is a war criminal. But unlike Japanese militarist he has not honor and he did not commit harakiri after the war turned into the disaster for the USA.
He is argent promoter of Neocons Credibility Scam
Kristol was a vocal supporter of the "Never Trum" movement. Although he pretended to be a Republican in the past, Kristol opposed Donald Trump from the very beginning of the election campaign and has criticized what he calls the "Trumpified Republican Party."
In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan, which puts them into uber-neocon category -- the same category to which Dick Cheney belongs.
Kristol is associated with a several conservative think tanks. He is a member of the board of trustees for the free-market Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. He is also one of the three board members of Keep America Safe, a think tank co-founded by Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame, and serves on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Susan B. Anthony List.
He was an editor of Weekly standard, the magazine which recently folded. See the analysis of this event in The Weekly Standard A Record of Failed Regime Change by Jacob Heilbrunn
"... No such glasnost ever took place in the pages of the Standard whose reputation has become indelibly wedded to its cheerleading for the calamitous 2003 Iraq War. The neocons had confused the Soviet Union's forfeiting of the cold war with American triumphalism, seizing upon its peaceful conclusion to search for new monsters to destroy abroad, whenever and wherever they could. The Standard itself constantly published taradiddles about the Middle East and Islam. Stephen F. Hayes, its last editor, lauded for his "integrity and courage" in the Trump era by David Brooks, wrote a phantasmagoric book called The Connection: How al Qaeda's Connection With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America , not to mention reverential biographies of Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. ..."
"... For his part, Kristol co-wrote a book with Lawrence F. Kaplan called The War Over Iraq that supported a worldwide crusade for democracy. Far from spreading democracy, the Iraq War ended up not only spreading chaos in the Middle East, but also enabling the rise of Trump. As Carlos Lozada recently observed in The Washington Post , "The Never Trumpers hold everyone culpable for the appeal of Trumpism except, in any worthwhile way, themselves." ..."
"... For most neocons, however, journalism has never been more than a Leninist means to an end -- to form an intellectual vanguard. For it is political influence that the neocons crave. In his memoir, Boot proudly recounts that he served as an adviser to Senator Marco Rubio as well as to Mitt Romney during his run for the presidency in 2012. Kristol worked to destroy the 1993 Clinton Healthcare bill and sought to mold first Dan Quayle, then Sarah Palin, into his political homunculi. During the 2016 primary, he desperately cast about for a viable candidate to oppose Donald Trump and incurred much ridicule when he floated the name of David French, a writer for the National Review . ..."
"... Kristol, Podhoretz, Boot, and others belong to a second generation of neocons that never drifted away from the Democrats toward the Republican Party. Instead, they were right from the beginning. While some have begun to duplicate the odyssey in reverse that neocon elder Norman Podhoretz chronicled in memoirs such as Breaking Ranks and Ex-Friends , many seem simply politically adrift, like Russian exiles stranded in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution pining for the ancien régime . ..."
"... For his part, Kristol refused to concede that the GOP was irredeemably tainted by Trump. He acknowledged, "there are recessive genes in the GOP. They were always there and a lot of us didn't want to look too closely. There was a shining moment when the Bill Buckley conservatives came together with the neoconservatives and with Ronald Reagan," but "that went away quickly." Explaining his backing for Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate in 2008, he said: "The instinct I had was you had to have a more populist flavor That would be a way to incorporate populist discontent." He concluded, "It will be very different if this ends up being a parenthesis or this is an inflection point where it becomes the culmination, or end point. That's a very different story We're less doomed than what some people say as a party and a movement." ..."
May 24, 2020 | original.antiwar.com"A 'Neocon' is neither new or conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell." – Edward Abbey
Being an unrepentant Neocon, such as William (Bill) Kristol, means never having to say you're sorry. To qualify, you need to be an ideologue, who also has paid no price for recklessly cheerleading 4,488 U.S. troops to their deaths in the illegal and immoral Iraq War, plus another 32,223 who were seriously wounded (2003-2011).
It also helps to have a significant media platform and not to give a good hoot about how many innocent Iraqis died via the U.S.-led invasion and/or the occupation of that country. (Try an estimated 655,000.)
By the way, false prophet, Kristol: Our troops found "No" Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
Let me formally introduce – William Kristol, age 67, out of New York City, now Northern Virginia, warmonger extraordinaire, ultra-conservative, and currently editor at large of Bulwark magazine.
For years, we've heard Kristol on the TV/Cable/Network shows making outrageous statements, like this one: "The war in Iraq could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East." (09/18/2001).
The other day, May 20, 2020, Kristol was the subject of a puff piece profile in the Washington Post , by reporter KK Ottesen. The article made no mention of Kristol's disgusting role in promoting the Iraq War. Instead, he was given the opportunity to rip President Donald Trump on how he has been mismanaging the coronavirus crisis. (Well, heck, everybody knows that.)
There was also no mention by the reporter of the possible real reasons that Kristol was dumping on Trump. One could be that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had trashed Kristol's and the Neocons' support of the Iraq War.
And, also Trump has indicated he doesn't have any plans to reignite another of Kristol's favorites schemes – "a Cold War with Russia." These are just two of the reasons the "Neocons, like Kristol, can't stomach Trump," according to the commentator, JP Sottile, of Consortium News.
The idea that Kristol is some kind of genuine dissenter and is opposing Trump because he's concerned about the quality of his leadership is pure nonsense. The Washington Post allowed Kristol to use the paper for this dubious exercise and it has no one to blame but itself.
During last year's Democratic presidential primary, Kristol took a swipe at the candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and posted a tweet that said: "#Never Sanders." The popular antiwar candidate responded to Kristol: "Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq War? I make no apologies for opposing it." Sanders then added this zinger: "I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran."
The Neocon replied: "I will defend my views on Iraq as you defend yours." Sen. Sanders underscored how Kristol had called for regime change in Iraq as early at 1998; and that Kristol also predicted the conflict would last "only two months;" and that he had repeatedly argued for the Bush-Cheney Gang to send in more troops. As early at 2006, Kristol was urging the US to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, asking, "Why wait?"
Flashback: The first time I laid eyes on the cunning Neocon, Kristol was at a pro-Iraq War rally held on the National Mall, on April 12, 2003, in Washington, D.C., G. Gordon Liddy and the late, ex-U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) were there, along with some other Right Wing types.
What was really weird about the whole affair was the appearance of that so-called comedian, Ben Stein. He showed up on a huge video screen endorsing the war. It should have had "a warning label" on it!
I recall a lady in the modest crowd of about fifty at that event saying of Kristol: "Oh, look how small he is!" She was right. Kristol is, indeed, on the very short side. I'd say that he comes in at about 5 ft. 4 or 5 inches. It seems that, as a result of his tiny body frame, his head appears more massive than it really is. The rally was boring. I didn't stay long.
In a way, Kristol reminded me, in a physical sense, of the late actor Peter Lorre. Whether Kristol has a "Little Man (Napoleon) Complex," or not, I will leave to the experts in the field. All I know for sure is that he's a relentlessly angry, pusher of costly and unnecessary wars.
(During the Iraq War, there were countless protest actions mounted by ten of thousands of splendid antiwar activists across the country. Many of them were held on the National Mall, and other sites in our nation's capital.)
Here is another gem from Kristol: "The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably." (April 28, 2003) And, then there is this whopper from the slippery Neocon: "The Iraqi elections of Jan. 30, 2005 could be a key moment perhaps the key moment so far in vindicating the 'Bush/Cheney Doctrine' as the right response to 9/11." (March 7, 2005)
Of course, it wouldn't be fair to leave out this one from Kristol: "It is much more likely that the situation in Iraq will stay more or less the same, or improve, in either case, Republicans will benefit from being the party of victory." (Nov. 30, 2005)
As a result of an onslaught of Kristol's articles and media appearances in support of the Iraq invasion, the Washington Post 's Richard Cohen dubbed the conflict: "Kristol's War!" Right on, Mr. Cohen.
The estimated cost of the Iraq War to the U.S. taxpayers runs to a high of around $1.7 trillion!
If Kristol has any regrets with respect to his amoral advocacy for the Iraq War (which was launched by the Bush-Cheney Gang based on a pack of rotten lies) and/or about the staggering US casualties in Iraq, I have never heard him express them.
If Kristol has any empathy for the innocent Iraqi dead and wounded, the Iraqi women and children who have suffered and are continuing to suffer from that conflict, along with the tens of thousands of Iraqi homes that have been destroyed, and also for those 3.8 million Iraqis made into refugees, then he's kept those kinds of feelings to himself.
(The other amazing thing about Kristol is how he's repeatedly able to get his distorted views on our televisions and in our newspapers. It's like he has to only press a button and there he is. It is all so – Orwellian!)
In any event, when the name of William Kristol, the Neocon, is mentioned, I think callous indifference to human life and suffering.
The next time the Neocon Kristol visits the Arlington National Cemetery, over in Virginia, to honor our Iraqi War dead, will be his FIRST! Despite all of the above, he continues to argue for a U.S.-led attack on Iran. Kristol insists: "Invading Iran is not a bad idea!"
If warmongering isn't a Hate Crime and/or a Hate Speech, then maybe it should be. (Peace Movement, please copy.) That would give the heartless Kristol something to think about when he advocates for the launching of yet another monstrosity, like the Iraq War.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is Byline Baltimore . Contact the author. Reprinted from the Baltimore Post-Examiner with the author's permission.
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
Sep 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Carlson concluded by warning about the many other Boltons in the federal bureaucracy, saying that "war may be a disaster for America, but for John Bolton and his fellow neocons, it's always good business."
He went on to slam Trump's special representative for Iran and contender to replace Bolton, Brian Hook, as an "unapologetic neocon" who "has undisguised contempt for President Trump, and he particularly dislikes the president's nationalist foreign policy." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Carlson hours later in a tweet, arguing that "Thirst for war – maximum pressure – should go with the warmonger-in-chief." Reuters and Haaretz
Yes, people tend to forget that Bolton and all the other neocons are worshipers at the altar of a secular religion imported to the US by members of the Frankfurt School of Trotskyite German professors in the 1930s. These people had attempted get the Nazis to consider them allies in a quest for an ordered world. Alas for them they found that the Nazi scum would not accept them and in fact began preparations to hunt them down.
Thus the migration to America and in particular to the University of Chicago where they developed their credo of world revolution under that guidance of a few philosopher kings like Leo Strauss, the Wohlstetters and other academic "geniuses" They also began an enthusiastic campaign of recruitment of enthusiastic graduate students who carefully disguised themselves as whatever was most useful politically.
They are not conservative at all, not one bit. Carlson was absolutely right about that.
They despise nationalism. They despise the idea of countries. In that regard they are like all groups who aspire to globalist dominion for their particular ideas.
They should all be driven from government. pl
Dec 12, 2017 | nytimes.com
From Donald Trump The Russian Poodle - The New York Times
In 1972, President Richard Nixon's White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related "dirty tricks," such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans - and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.
Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats' digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia's president, saying, "Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin."
In Watergate, the break-in didn't affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don't know for sure. There were other factors, but it's possible that Russia's theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump's victory.
The CIA says it has "high confidence" that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.
Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the CIA and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America's intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.
Let's be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It's not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the CIA is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog - a Russian poodle.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush's poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.
Frankly, it's mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from CIA officials to a local union leader in Indiana.
Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.
Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it's notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia's "Order of Friendship."
Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia's interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?
Tillerson's closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump's other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Anne MendozaFebruary 15, 2019 at 2:10 amSo why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 amJust like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."Stephen J. , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.
There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.
You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland."
-- -- -
There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:
"They Speak "
"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017.
They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves
They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell
Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country
Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty
Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free
Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V.
Others have written books and others are retired from public office
And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice
They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes
And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design?
There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today
When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say
Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war
Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure
And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation
Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations
The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law?
Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw?
Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"?
When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?
There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived
Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive
The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak
If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak
"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019
[More info on all of this at link below]
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Sid , February 15, 2019 at 7:27 pmThe goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales.
These two hucksters are not experts on the product itself, but rather experts at selling the product.
Pres. Eisenhower, a genuine "authority on armed conflict", warned us of such peddlers.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Bmc February 17, 2019 at 1:16 amWhy would Max Boot and Bill Kristol want to conquer the middle east in order to spread Americanism while at the same time having nothing but disdain for actual Americans themselves?
Hmm (strokes beard)
Hmmmmm (strokes beard more rapidly)
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (tears out beard furiously without abandon)
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Renov8 February 16, 2019 at 8:01 amWouldn't surprise me one bit if Kristol and Boot work for the CIA and MI6. They tend to lead with placed stories, either before or after events, helping to persuade those who have yet to make up their minds or those looking to have someone else do their thinking for them.
With the ongoing internet reformation we are experiencing, its a lot easier for the masses to see the bigger picture, the parties involved and the corrupt characters playing the puppet strings for the media.
Glad to see these shysters exposed for what they are propagandists.
Feb 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They're happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there's no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans.
Max Boot is living proof that it's happening in America.
Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."
None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.
Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled "The Case for American Empire."
"The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation." In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.
"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote. "To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt."
In retrospect, Boot's words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.
Things haven't gone as planned. What's remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.
In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was "less than two years" from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot's list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.
"If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family," Boot wrote.
Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal , Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.
"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote. "Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action."
In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn't that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. "The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones," he wrote in the Los Angeles Times . When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there's less political backlash at home.
American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. "Qaddafi Must Go," Boot declared in The Weekly Standard . In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. "The only way this crisis will end -- the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya -- is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won't suffice."
In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times , Boot laid out "Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now."
Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would "diminish Iran's influence" in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot's advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran's most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted "with little risk."
Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that "it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes." He didn't seem worried.
Listed in one place, Boot's many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. ("I'll invade you!!!") Republicans in Washington didn't find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.
Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.
As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was "hard to imagine" the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as "cheerleaders" for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.
Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict."
It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. "We should never have been in Iraq," Trump announced, his voice rising. "We have destabilized the Middle East."
Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none."
Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.
Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.
Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave. Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.
Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character.
Bill Kristol is probably the most influential Republican strategist of the post-Reagan era. Born in 1954, Kristol was the second child of the writer Irving Kristol, one of the founders of neoconservatism.
The neoconservatism of Irving Kristol and his friends was jarring to the ossified liberal establishment of the time, but in retrospect it was basically a centrist philosophy: pragmatic, tolerant of a limited welfare state, not rigidly ideological. By the time Bill Kristol got done with it 40 years later, neoconservatism was something else entirely.
Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf."
After the September 11 attacks, Kristol found a new opening to start a war with Iraq. In November 2001, he and Robert Kagan wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard alleging that Saddam Hussein hosted a training camp for Al Qaeda fighters where terrorists had trained to hijack planes. They suggested that Mohammad Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was actively collaborating with Saddam's intelligence services. On the basis of no evidence, they accused Iraq of fomenting the anthrax attacks on American politicians and news outlets.
Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump.
Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump.
Before long he was ranting about the people who elected Trump. At an American Enterprise Institute panel event in February 2017, Kristol made the case for why immigrants are more impressive than native-born Americans. "Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever." Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."
In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would "take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings" who supported Trump.
By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all.
Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox News 's Tucker Carlson Tonight and author of Ship of Fools: How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Simon & Schuster). This excerpt is taken from that book.
Patrick Constantine February 14, 2019 at 10:50 pmTrump isn't the only one hated by useless establishment Republicans – with essays like this so will Tucker. Thanks for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings. I wish Trump all the time was like he was at that debate in S Carolina where he said what every American knows: the Iraq invasion was stupid and we should not have done it!Anne Mendoza , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:10 amSo why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.polistra , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:54 amWell, the headline pretty much answers its own question if you know the purpose of Experts. In any subject matter from science to economics to politics, Experts are paid to be wrong. Nobody has to be paid to observe reality accurately with his own senses and rational mind. Every living creature does that all the time. It's the basic requirement of survival.snake charmer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:49 am
Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay.""The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.""Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:55 am
In other words, if we had only squandered even more blood and treasure, why, everything would have been fine.
Why do so many true believers end up with some variation on the true believer's wheeze: "Communism didn't fail ! It was never tried!" Then again one can't be sure that Boot is a true believer. He might be a treacherous snake trying to use American power to advance a foreign agenda.This is an Exocet missile of an article. Both hulls compromised, taking water. Nice.John S , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 amThis is beautiful, Boot has been rewarded for every horrible failure...Tom Gorman , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:36 amMr. Carlson,Dawg , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:29 am
Max Boot has indeed been an advocate of overseas intervention, but you fail to point out that he has recanted his support of the Iraq War. In his 2018 book "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I left the American Right," he states:
". . . I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it (The Iraq War) was all a big mistake. Saddam Hussein was heinous, but Iraq was better off under his tyrannical rule than the chaos that followed. I regret advocating the invasion and feel guilty about all the lives lost. It was a chastening lesson in the limits of American power."
I'm glad to see that Boot, along with yourself and other Republicans, realize that American use of force must have a clear objective with reasonable chance of success. I suggest you send this article to John Bolton. I'm not sure he agrees with you.Great article, Mr. Tucker. I hope folks also read Mearsheimer & Walt on the Iraq War. From chapter 8 of their book: http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.htmlDavid LeRoy Newland , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:34 amExcellent article. It's a shame that the Bush era GOP took Boot and Kristol seriously. That poor judgment led Bush to make the kinds of mistakes that gave Democrats the opening they needed to gain power, which in turn led them to make even more harmful mistakes.Collin , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:55 amBeing against the Iraq 2 I find this populist arguing very 'eye-rolling' as you were pimping this war to death back in the day. (In fact I remember Jon Stewart being one of the few 'pundits' that questioned the war in 2003 & 2004.) And has dovish as Trump as been, his administration is still filled with Hawks and if you are concerned about wars then maybe use your TV show for instead of whining for past mistakes:John In Michigan , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:59 am
1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)
2) Like it or not, Venezuela is starting down the steps of mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)
3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.I find it amazing that Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"yet never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces, nor even heard a shot fired in anger. He is proof that academic credentials do not automatically confer "expertise."Packard Day , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:26 amAny war, anytime, any place, and cause just so long as American boys and girls can be in the middle of it.Joshua Xanadu , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:46 am
Welcome to the American NeoCon movement, recently joined by Republican Never Trumpers, elected Democrats, and a host of far too many underemployed Beltway Generals & Admirals.From a reformed Leftist, thank you Tucker for calling out the stank from the Republicans. The detailed compilation of lowlights from Max Boot and Bill Kristol (don't forget Robert Kagan!) should be etched in the minds of the now pro-war Democratic Party establishment.Taras 77 , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:57 amBeing a neocon war monger means that you will never have to say you are sorry. The press will give them a pass every single time.Paul Reidinger , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:07 am
It is all about Israel-being wrong 100% of the time means it is all good because it was in the service of Israel.Yet another reason not to read the Washington Post.Anja Mast , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:13 amTucker!!! When did you start writing for TAC?!?!Joe , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:14 am
I laughed out loud while reading this, and continued laughing through to the end, until I saw who had the audacity to tell the truth about these utter incompetent failures (who have failed upwards for more than a decade now) who call themselves "foreign policy experts." Yeah -- "experts" at being so moronically wrong that you really start wondering if perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions, which always seem to do made for the benifit of the nameless nation.
So hurrah for you!!! Let the truth set us all free! Praise the Lord & Sing Songs of Praise to his Name!!!! Literally that's how great it is to hear the pure & unvarnished TRUTH spoken out loud in this publication!
I hope you get such awesome feedback that you are asked to continue to bless us with more truths! Thank you! You totally made my day!
And thank you for your service to this country, where it used to be considered patriotic to speak the truth honestly & plainly!Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Simple, leaders like Trump keep them around, e.g. Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.David Biddington , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 amJohn Bolton and Eliot Abrams on Team Trump, gearing up with Bibi to attack Iran is of no concern to sir?George Crosley , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote.Frank Goodpasture III , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
To which the reader might reasonably reply, "What do you mean we , Paleface?"
When I see Max Boot or Bill Kristol in uniform, carrying a rifle, and trudging with their platoon along the dusty roads of the Middle East, I'll begin to pay attention to their bleats and jeremiads.
Until that day, I'll continue to view them as a pair of droning, dull-as-ditchwater members of the 45th Word-processing Brigade. (Company motto: "Let's you and him fight!")It is my understanding that HRC led the charge to overthrow and hang Gaddafi in spite of a reluctant Obama administration. Did Boot, in fact, influence her?marku52 , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am"Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."" Unintentional irony, one must presume. Still it is astonishing that it took someone as addled as DJT to point out the obvious–Invading Iraq was a massive mistake.Jimmy Lewis , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:41 am
Where were the rest of the "adults"Boot, Kristal, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should all be in jail for war crimes.jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 amJust like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."Allen , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.
There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.
You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!These Chairborne Rangers in Washington know nothing about war. They are the flip side of the radical Dems. "Hey, we lost in 2016. Let's do MORE of what made us lose in the first place!"D , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:53 pmWould've been nice if you wrote this about Bolton, Adams, Pompeo, Pence, or any of the other sundry neocon lunatics in the Trump administration.J Thomsen , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm
Nonetheless, always good to see a takedown of Boot and Kristol.The GOP is as much an enemy to the Trump revolution as the left. The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and their pet constituents.Joe from Pa , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Trump should have stuck it out on the shutdown until those federal workers left. I think it was called RIF wherein after 30 days, he could dump the lot of em.
THE GOP IS NOT THE PARTY OF LESS GOVERNMENT. That's there motto for busy conservatives who don't have the time or inclination to monitor both sides of the swamp.
THEY ALL HAVE GILLS . we need to starve em out.Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot?sanford sklansky , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
What's going on in Yemen?Funny how when liberals said it was wrong to be in Iraq they were vilified. Yes some conservatives changed their minds. Trump however is all over the map when it comes to wars. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176527/
Jan 20, 2019 | www.unz.com
The Roman poet Ovid's masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem's central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora , which has been translated as "Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat "
Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative.The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly "mugged by reality" into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.
The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of "strong national defense" to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration's "weakness."
The neoconservatives lined up behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, appalled by Donald Trump's condemnation of their centerpiece war in Iraq and even more so by his pledge to end the wars in Asia and nation-building projects while also improving relations with the Russians. They worked actively against the Republican candidate both before he was nominated and elected and did everything they could to stop him, including libeling him as a Russian agent.
When Trump was elected, it, therefore, seemed that the reign of the neocons had ended, but chameleonlike, they have changed shape and are now ensconced both in some conservative as well as in an increasing number of progressive circles in Washington and in the media. Against all odds, they have even captured key posts in the White House itself with the naming of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Bolton's Chief of Staff is Fred Fleitz , a leading neocon and Islamophobe while last week Trump added Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council as director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Goldberg is an alumnus of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is the leading neocon think tank calling incessantly for war with Iran.
Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that , based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.
The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War. They have never been held accountable for anything, though one should note that accountability is not a prominent American trait, at least since Vietnam. What is important is that neocon views have been perceived by the media and punditry as being part of the Establishment consensus, which provides them with access to programming all across the political spectrum. That is why neocon standard-bearers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have been able to move effortlessly from Fox News to MSNBC where they are fêted by the likes of Rachel Maddow. They applauded the Iraq War when the Establishment was firmly behind it and are now trying to destroy Donald Trump's presidency because America's elite is behind that effort.
Indeed, the largely successful swing by the neocons from right to left has in some ways become more surreal, as an increasing number of progressive spokesmen and institutions have lined up behind their perpetual warfare banner. The ease with which the transformation took place reveals, interestingly, that the neocons have no real political constituency apart from voters who feel threatened and respond by supporting perpetual war, but they do share many common interests with the so-called liberal interventionists. Neocons see a global crisis for the United States defined in terms of power while the liberals see the struggle as a moral imperative, but the end result is the same: intervention by the United States. This fusion is clearly visible in Washington, where the Clintons' Center for American Progress (CAP) is now working on position papers with the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is "Republicans for the Rule of Law," founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together (DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not "stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin" and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election .
DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice , also a 501(c)4.
Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causes in the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.
Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark , which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard. It is promoting itself as the center of the "Never Trump Resistance" and it is being assumed that at least some of the Omidyar money is behind it .
Iranian-born Omidyar's relationship with Kristol is clearly based on the hatred that the two share regarding Donald Trump.
Omidyar has stated that Trump is a "dangerous authoritarian demagogue endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust."
He has tweeted that Trump suffers from "failing mental capacity" and is both "corrupt and incapacitated."
Omidyar is what he is – a hardcore social justice warrior who supports traditional big government and globalist liberal causes, most of which are antithetical to genuine conservatives.
But what is interesting about the relationship with Kristol is that it also reveals what the neoconservatives are all about. Kristol and company have never been actual conservatives on social issues, a topic that they studiously avoid, and their foreign policy is based on two principles: creating a state of perpetual war based on fearmongering about foreign enemies while also providing unlimited support for Israel. Kristol hates Trump because he threatens the war agenda while Omidyar despises the president for traditional progressive reasons.
That hatred is the tie that binds and it is why Bill Kristol, a man possessing no character and values whatsoever, is willing to take Pierre Omidyar's money while Pierre is quite happy to provide it to destroy a common enemy, the President of the United States of America.
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