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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
MIC lobbysts like Max Boot usually understand pretty early from which side their bread is buttered. They are, in reality, far from 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 looks like he 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.
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
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."
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:
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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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Max Boot - Wikipedia