The Neocons & Me
by James Jackson
31 October 2004
Eat your heart out Michael Moore, I beat you to it!
Michael, how could you have missed the Neocons in your Bush-Bashing, Palme d'Or speech for "Fahrenheit 9/11" ?
From the Festival de Cannes web site -
' ...In this provocative exposé [the "documentary" Fahrenheit 9/11], Moore will tell the one story no one has dared to tell... '
...and I will tell what even daring Michael didn't. Bon voyage!
* * *
The following piece was inspired by a recent discussion with a friend who asked: "What's a Neocon?"
I contend -- a contention hardly original -- that the Neocons [the "Neoconservatives"] are "The Power Behind the Throne" in the good ole USofA ... Neocons ... or, "Librools mugged by reality" as some of them like to say ... or "Scoop Jackson Republican" [deceased Senator (D-WA)], as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz calls himself.
Although war will always be with us [yes Librools, always], and in some cases for very good reasons, I nonetheless found myself vehemently against this latest Iraq War ... before the war, that is, as I could see no redeeming value in it ... I was ever suspicious of those who were implying we would get Saddamized in our jammies if we didn't attack immediately ... and after a bit of news hounding, I quickly became locked-on, like a heat-seeking missile, to the hot air of our beloved Neocons ... remember the 1990 Kuwaiti Babies-In-Incubators Atrocity Lie? ... that was only one small manifestation at that time of the persuasiveness and usual subsequent pervasiveness of these Neocons, who truly are a most powerful group ... these same Neocons lie us into a second war a decade later in the same place! ... indeed ... the Neocons are the Masters of Both Sides of the Aisle ... the Dual Loyalty Specialists ... and some would say, while others would deny: the ideological descendents of Trotsky, founder of the Red Army and a progenitor of "permanent revolution", today under the guise of "An End to Evil," as a few Neocons titled their recent manifesto book.
[above: Leon Trotsky - Founder of the Red Army, same as that of the Red Terror, which killed many millions before WWII, not to mention later (originally Lev Davidovich Bronstein).]
So here are what could probably be considered the top three most visible, if not influential, Neocons -
[Richard Perle -- among many other former titles inside and outside government, in think tanks, etc. -- he was recently at the DoD as Defense Policy Board Chairman. He resigned chairmanship, but not membership, presumably over a conflict of interest scandal -- not sure which one -- just as the 2003 Iraq War was on. Nowadays, Mr. Perle busies himself with the Chicago Sun-Times, London Telegraph, Jerusalem Post owner Hollinger Scandal -- Mr. Perle is affectionately known in the Beltway as "The Prince of Darkness".]
[above: Paul Dundes Wolfowitz - DoD - Deputy Defense Secretary, apparently after Saddam since 1979 ... four years before his current boss' 1983 cordial visit with the Saddamizer, captured below]
[above: Douglas Feith - DoD - Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, winner of the 1997 Zionist Organization of America's Louis D. Brandeis Award, and we know how much Zionists love[d] Saddam.]
Even though these Neocons are the principal architects of the recent Iraq Wars, and had a hand in Kosovo too, among other things, the fact that a large portion [majority?] of the public seems to not yet have a clue as to what someone means when they say "Neocon," speaks volumes to the Neocons' ability to remain under the radar of genuine public scrutiny, although under that radar, where policy wonks, spin-masters, ersatz conservatives, Beltway bureaucrats, and news junkies like myself along with others dwell, the Neocons have been the raging talk of the town.
Here's another curiosity. About two years ago, a House of Saud Hating, Pentagon slide show had been sponsored by Neocon Don, Prince of Darkness, Richard Perle for the DoD's Defense Policy Board. Now it just so happens that Bush Hater Michael Moore gave ALL Neocons a complete, 100% pass on the Iraq War in his "Fahrenheit 9/11" movie, while Agent Provocateur Michael simultaneously put in a heavy plug of Hatred for the Saudi's in that same movie ... the Saudi's -- no love lost ... but ... the Saudi's just happen to be a major target of the Neocons. Same Neocons who are behind Bush [and Others]. Go figure.
Confused? Me too. How come that librool media hasn't been clearing this up for us? Michael?
By the way, has Bush become more of a liability than an asset to the Neocons who "work for Bush"? Heads Neocons win, tails we lose?
Now a little more background. Neocons are of a "persuasion", as Irving Kristol puts it, father of William Kristol [Fox News' Weekly Standard and also a former college roommate of current IL US Senate Candidate Alan Keyes of Maryland who was a student of Allan Bloom, as was Bill Kristol ... Bloom, who was taught by Leo Strauss, another Neocon progenitor at U of Chicago as was Medal of Freedom (Reagan) winner Albert Wohlstetter , who mentored Perle & Wolfowitz & Chalabi, and was a "splinter" of Trotsky and whose wife Roberta wrote a book about how 9/11 Pearl Harbor couldn't be avoided, etc., etc. ... an old and tightly knit network if there ever was one.] Here's Irving Kristol on Neocons -
[above: Senior Fellow (of the American Enterprise Institute) Irving Kristol receiving the Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush]
WHAT EXACTLY IS NEOCONSERVATISM?
'Journalists, and now even presidential candidates, speak with an enviable confidence on who or what is "neoconservative," and seem to assume the meaning is fully revealed in the name. Those of us who are designated as "neocons" are amused, flattered, or dismissive, depending on the context. It is reasonable to wonder: Is there any "there" there?... '
Irving, you are known as the "The Godfather of Neoconservatism" and are the author of "Neoconservatism: Autobiography of an Idea". There?
But here we turn to Kerry and the Democrats.
Just when the ABB crowd [Anybody But Bush] thought it was safe to go out and vote, wouldn't you know it, we find a heavy Neocon strain in the Democrats' thinking, specifically that of the Democratic Leadership Council's Progressive Policy Institute. Oh my! ... ABBOK? [Anybody But Bush Or Kerry? No, this isn't a plug for Nader. Clean sweep sounds good, though. Wake me when we're there. Zzz ...]
Lest we forget, Senator Kerry did vote for war in Iraq back in October 2002. Curious kind of "opposition" to the Iraq War, wouldn't you say?
Columnist Georgie Anne Geyer -- a Fulbright scholar: Senator Fulbright was the one who gave Young Kerry a chance in 1971 to tell the world his "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" speech -- Ms. Geyer recently wrote that Senator Kerry has "severe differences with the neocons". Well, considering that the Neocon advisors around Bush had been beating the Iraq War drums for decades, what are we to charge the Senator with then? Gross negligence for voting to relinquish Congress' Constitutionally mandated power to declare war over to a Bush Administration whose foreign policy is pure Neocon? Neocons that Kerry has "severe differences with"? Or do we charge the Senator with simply being an accomplice?
No? Neither? How about "Progressive Internationalist"?
What's that? "Progressive Internationalism" is a term developed by the Progressive Policy Institute [PPI] of the Democratic Leadership Council [DLC], which founded in 1985 by then governor Bill Clinton, political operatives Al From [current DLC CEO], Will Marshall, Senator Joseph Lieberman, and others.
Did you know that Joseph Lieberman, Senator and former Vice Presidential Candidate, is a self-described "Scoop Jackson Democrat" -- as opposed to Paul Wolfowitz's "Scoop Jackson Republican"?
[ PPI president Will Marshall]
Does anyone remember the 2002 Committee for the Liberation of Iraq? I didn't, but it's a group whose board included Richard Perle, James Woolsey [former CIA director], Senator Lieberman, et al., and who openly called for the "removal" of Saddam. PPI president Mr. Marshall was also on that committee's board.
Anyway, Mr. Marshall, as the latest war in Iraq began, was also signatory to a letter from the Project for a New American Century [PNAC] -- a Neocon policy publisher, perhaps most noted for their [in?]famous yearning for a "new Pearl Harbor" back in September of 2000 -- William Kristol chairman, son of Irving Kristol, the Godfather of Neoconservatism -- here's what PPI's Will Marshall signed on to -
' ...Although some of us have disagreed with the administration's handling of Iraq policy and others of us have agreed with it, we all join in supporting the military intervention in Iraq...
From the PPI itself -
' ...Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy
We also backed the goal of ousting Saddam Hussein's malignant regime in Iraq, because the previous policy of containment was failing, because Saddam posed a grave danger to America as well as his own brutalized people, and because his blatant defiance of more than a decade's worth of United Nations Security Council resolutions was undermining both collective security and international law.
We begin by reaffirming the Democratic Party's commitment to progressive internationalism -- the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.
Viewing multilateralism as an end in itself, they lose sight of goals, such as fighting terrorism or ending gross human rights abuses, which sometimes require us to act -- if need be outside a sometimes ineffectual United Nations.
However troubling the Bush record, the pacifist and protectionist left offers no credible alternative.
Democrats believe that America should use its unparalleled power to defend our country and to shape a world in which the values of liberal democracy increasingly hold sway... '
Lo & behold, John Kerry seems to be quite the "Progressive Internationalist":
Early Kerry Campaign Speech
' ...For us today, the past truly is prologue. The same principles and strength of purpose must guide our way. Our task now is to update that tradition, to forge a bold PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONALISM for the global age.
As I said last summer in New York, for Democrats to win America's confidence we must first convince Americans we will keep them safe. You can't do that by avoiding the subjects of national security, foreign policy and military preparedness. Nor can we let our national security agenda be defined by those who reflexively oppose any U.S. military intervention anywhere...who see U.S. power as mostly a malignant force in world politics...who place a higher value on achieving multilateral consensus than necessarily protecting our vital interests... '
From the office of John Kerry -
' ...It's time we had a PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONALISM in our foreign policy, backed by undoubted military might, that commits America and its allies to lead the world toward liberty and prosperity... '
So ... in conclusion, just what is one to make of all of this?
Heads Neocons win, tails we lose? Michael?
P.S. In case you made it this far and were interested, below is a little detail on the Saudi slide show and a nice piece on Neocons, describing somewhat their extensive networking.
Here's that "Taking Saudi Out of Arabia" slide show of July 2002 -
'Diplomatic china rattled in Washington and cracked in Riyadh yesterday when the Washington Post published a story about a briefing given to a Pentagon advisory group last month. The briefing declared Saudi Arabia an enemy of the United States and advocated that the United States invade the country, seize its oil fields, and confiscate its financial assets unless the Saudis stop supporting the anti-Western terror network... '
' ...Just who the hell is Laurent Murawiec? The Post story and its follow-up, also by Ricks, do not explain. The Pentagon and the administration insist that the presentation does not reflect their views in any way. The Rand Corp. acknowledges its association with Murawiec, but likewise disavows any connection with the briefing. (Neither Murawiec nor Rand received money for the briefing, Rand says.) According to Newsday, Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard N. Perle, a former Pentagon official and full-time invade-Iraq hawk, invited Murawiec to brief the group... '
Taking Saudi Out of Arabia
Defense Policy Board
July 10, 2002 ... '
Also: Thomas Ricks, 06 August 2002, in the Washington Post -
' ...The decision to bring the anti-Saud analysis before the Defense Policy Board also appears tied to the growing debate over whether to launch a U.S. military attack to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. The chairman of the board is former Pentagon official Richard N. Perle, one of the most prominent advocates in Washington of just such an invasion. The briefing argued that removing Hussein would spur change in Saudi Arabia... '
Oh that tangled web the Neocons weave! Here's one of the best Neocon exposés I've seen, and I've been a-lookin'. By Michael Lind in The Nation: "A Tragedy of Errors" -
' ...[NY Times columnist David] Brooks continued: "In truth, the people labeled neocons... travel in widely different circles and don't actually have much contact with one another." In truth--to use Brooks's phrase--among those who have signed PNAC [Project for a New American Century] letters are Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and Robert Kagan. PNAC is run by William Kristol, who edits The Weekly Standard, for which Brooks writes, and is the son of Irving Kristol, founder of The Public Interest and former publisher of The National Interest, who wrote a book called Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, and is married to the neoconservative historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, William's mother. Norman Podhoretz, the former editor of Commentary, is the father of John Podhoretz, a neoconservative editor and columnist who has worked for the Reverend Moon's Washington Times and the New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns The Weekly Standard and Fox Television. Norman is the father-in-law of Elliott Abrams, the former Iran/contra figure and former head of the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center and the director of Near Eastern affairs at the National Security Council. Elliott's mother-in-law and Norman's wife, Midge Decter, like many older neocons a veteran of the old Committee on the Present Danger, was recently given a National Humanities Medal after publishing a fawning biography of Rumsfeld, whose number-two and number-three deputies at the Pentagon, respectively, are Wolfowitz and Feith, veterans of the Committee on the Present Danger and Team B, the intelligence advisory group that grossly exaggerated Soviet military power in the 1970s and '80s. Perle, a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board (and its former head), is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and sits on the board of Hollinger International, a right-wing media conglomerate (including the Jerusalem Post and the Daily Telegraph) controlled by Conrad Black, the chairman of the editorial board of The National Interest, which Black partly subsidizes through the Nixon Center. Perle and Feith--both PNAC allies--helped write a 1996 paper called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," on behalf of Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Perle, Feith and the other US and Israeli authors called on Israel to abandon the Oslo process and to restore martial law in the Palestinian territories long before the second intifada began. Co-authorship is common among the neocons: Brooks and Kristol, Kristol and Kagan, Frum and Perle.
These are people who, according to David Brooks, "don't actually have much contact with one another."... '
That's it. Hope this was helpful.