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The Neoconservative Cabal
AEI ^ | 9/3/03 | Joshua Muravchik

Posted on 09/28/2003 5:06:39 PM PDT by William McKinley

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To: William McKinley
Ronald Reagan is the definition of neocon.

Paleocons have more in common with the left, than with the right, and using the term "traditional conservatism" to describe a paleocon is absurd.
151 posted on 09/28/2003 8:19:12 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William McKinley
don;t worry,
I do this without trying

or read.
152 posted on 09/28/2003 8:19:50 PM PDT by inPhase
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To: GOPcapitalist
"In your opinion, who is/was the greatest conservative in the past thirty years or so?"

Goldwater's run at the presidency was 40 years ago.

153 posted on 09/28/2003 8:20:58 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: fqued
I have never read a good, concise, non-disparaging definition.

You will never hear a "good, concise, non-disparaging definition" or neo-conservatism.

That's because no such definition exists.

The term "neocon" et. al are nothing more than an epithet.


101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that Internet Explorer cannot.

154 posted on 09/28/2003 8:22:02 PM PDT by rdb3 (One shot is not enough. It takes an uzi to move me.)
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To: William McKinley
"If you mean the website, then I will invoke Rummy. The website is a computer program. It has no views or opinions. People have views and opinions."

Then, by the same token, neither do political parties.

155 posted on 09/28/2003 8:22:18 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I disagree with you wholeheartedly.

Conservatism is, to me, not so much a poltical ideology as a way of thinking.

Yes, they were liberals in that they sought to break from the king. But many of them thought conservatively. If you read Adams, you cannot deny the conservative thought he embodied. Or maybe I am wrong and you can deny it, but you shouldn't be able to.

I said it earlier- a conservative is one who applies the learned lessons of history. Who knows you don't tear down a fence without knowing why it was put up. Who knows that if you don't learn from history, you will suffer the same pratfalls as have happened before. Who knows that change is inevitable, but should be managed to ensure that the baby doesn't get thrown out with the bathwater.

I appreciate how liberal the Founding Fathers were. History has proven them right, and their positions now are conservative positions, as any position history vindicates must be. But even liberalism can be done with a conservative mindset. That was the difference between Adams and Jefferson.

156 posted on 09/28/2003 8:23:19 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Goldwater's run at the presidency was 40 years ago

You said thirty years or so thus implying a little more or a little less than 30 exactly. Besides, Goldwater was active in the movement for decades beyond his presidential run in 64 and that would put him clearly under 30 years.

157 posted on 09/28/2003 8:23:22 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: quidnunc
"For one thing, if Reagan was able to still comprehend the issues he would never have dreamed of siding with Arabdom against Israel."

Most probably not.

158 posted on 09/28/2003 8:24:26 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: William McKinley
By FR, I mean many of its members, who have so missconstrued, missused, and jumbled the actual meaning of NEOCON, as to now make the term uncomprehensible.

One of THE founding fathers of that movement /term, has set the deffinition. Few here, or anywhere, now, use his deffinition.

I wasn't ascribing, per se, any view to YOU ! I simply stated the facts...that by the now corrupted deffinition of the term NEOCON, Ronald Reagan IS and was one. He started his political involvement as a DEM; an FDR Dem at that. Even after his party switch, he was still an ardent supporter of FDR. This, according to the now base deffinition, Reagan is a neocon. I can not say it any plainer.

159 posted on 09/28/2003 8:25:22 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: Luis Gonzalez
I disagree with you on if Reagan was a neocon, unless the definition of neocon is "one who thinks like Reagan".

As for your second point, that using the term 'traditional conservative' to describe 'paleoconservative' is exactly the same point I made in post 46. Which leads me to ask you yet again- why are you arguing so vociferously with someone you appear to agree with? (Well, except on if Reagan was a traditional conservative or a neoconservative, and on if an ideology is defined by differences or beliefs).

160 posted on 09/28/2003 8:26:45 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: GOPcapitalist
"You said thirty years or so thus implying a little more or a little less than 30."

A decade is significantly more than a little...but nevertheless.

Goldwater was not an isolationalist, nor a closed borders advocate, nor a protectionist to the extent that paleocons would have it today.

161 posted on 09/28/2003 8:27:03 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: rdb3
The term "neocon" et. al are nothing more than an epithet.

If that is so the people who it supposedly slurs use it quite frequently as a self-description in conversations with their peers. Is this perhaps a "neoconservative" version of the same phenomenon that induces black rap artists to refer to themselves with the n-word? Or could it arise from the fact that they coined the term "neoconservative" for themselves to begin with?

162 posted on 09/28/2003 8:27:27 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Paleocons have more in common with the left, than with the right...

This is an oversimplification, much like ascribing Neocons to the tradition of Trotsky. The fact is that we are now on a major fault line in American political history. People of all stripes are trying to lay claim to this or that tradition, but the world is a different place now.

Ronald Reagan crossed over one of those fault lines in his own lifetime, and chose well how to define his position.

Reagan was first and foremost an American patriot who believed that what we are is more important than nationalist glory or partisan, short-term gains. He knew that to be an American meant something more than just a resident of a potential superpower.

He knew that America was the destiny of the human race. And he put everything he could into helping us achieve that goal. At the beginning of his first term, who would have predicted that the Berlin wall would fall, let alone that the Soviet Union would collapse as a result of his faith?

163 posted on 09/28/2003 8:27:54 PM PDT by risk
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To: nopardons
OK.

I see where we disagree.

You are embracing the definition of neocon that seems to be thrown around. I am rejecting it as meaningless.

Thanks.

164 posted on 09/28/2003 8:28:30 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez wrote: Paleocons have more in common with the left, than with the right, and using the term "traditional conservatism" to describe a paleocon is absurd.

To understand paleoconservatism don't pay any attention to what they say on these threads here on Free Republic.

Instead look at what they write in venues where they are communicating with like-minded people.

Take a look at chroniclesmagazine.org, vdare.com or antiwar.com.

Thumb through a copy of The Amerian Conservative magazine.

Then you'll get a handle on what paleoconservatism is all about.

165 posted on 09/28/2003 8:28:37 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: GOPcapitalist
2003 -1964 = 39

And, after he remarried, Barry became a faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar lefty Libertarian and so far removed from Conservatism, as to be mind boggling.

166 posted on 09/28/2003 8:29:01 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: AndyJackson
"Any intelligent strategist, as a result of our lessons in Vietnam, puts great stock in understanding the political and ideological aspects of a conflict. So did McArthur. So have all great strategists."

The label 'neocon' is a disparaging label given to smart strategists who have developed the proper understanding of how we should respond to 9/11 and fight the War on Terror.
A pro-freedom-for-the-world Conservative like Reagan or G W Bush would be labelled 'neo-con' under this nomenclature, simply because these Presidents acted on the essential strategic doctrine of treating these conflicts as about ideas (eg Bush: "they hate us for our freedom" recognizing the ideological divide is fundamental); recognized the best defense is a good offense; and implemented interventionist pro-freedom foreign policies that had a goal of defeating the enemy (not accomodating it).

Such doctrine is a result of understanding the essential ideological basis of both the Cold War and our current War on Terror.

The author is correct and you are correct.

" This is hardly a definition of neo-conservatism, unless neo-conservatism means not being stupid."

It certainly seems to be the case that neo-conservatism means not being stupid. Indeed, all of conservatism means not being stupid, if you consider what we are up against in the Democrats!

In foreign policy, this is avoiding the stupidity of carter's polyanna-ish vision that foolishly puts moral equivalence between us and tyrants on the one hand and self-defeating isolationism on the other hand.

The neo-con and interventionist conservatives' enemies today are neo-isolationists, the Left Wing of the Democrat party, and the BBC and other trite media. All desperately trying to find the worst possible reasons to do the wrong things in the War on Terror. All ignoring the great lessons we learned in the Cold War.

So yeah, you *could* say "A neo-con foreign policy is about not being stupid when you fight a great evil." And as I said, "neo-con" is just a disparaging placeholder these days for "robust pro-freedom activism".
167 posted on 09/28/2003 8:29:15 PM PDT by WOSG (DONT PUT CALI ON CRUZ CONTROL & VOTE YES ON 54!)
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To: William McKinley
To define paleo and neo efficiently, you must draw on the differences, not the commonalities. The commonalities should be obvious if they are indeed two segments of the same basic political spectrum, what sets them apart then HAS to be their differences.
168 posted on 09/28/2003 8:29:41 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: risk
Clowns that think democracy is our future. I'm a believer in our republic.

You don't think our republic is a form of democracy? Interesting.

Democratic principles have a part to play in our constitutional republic. They are not our "future".

---------------------------------

I'm criticizing neo-con political policy, not the defense of our nation.

What did any of our wars overseas have to do with defending this nation, then? What neo-con policy are you criticizing that you wouldn't have criticized in 1900, 1914, 1941, 1950, and 1965? What is the difference between isolationism then and now?

Sorry I don't feel like knocking off a few thousand words tonight on military adventurism by all of washingtons political desk jockeys since LBJ. Lots of good men have died, for very few good reasons.

Why has a neo tough guy, as you seem to style yourself, -- become their patsy?

Whose patsy? You were flippant about the pro-Japanese imperialist propaganda that I've encountered right here in the Bay Area.

How weird. Flippant?
Get a grip, and post these horrid 'flippancies'.

So what would you have done after the Tripartite agreement of 1937? What is the difference between it and the axis of evil today?

Do you really imagine you've made a point asking about the Tripartite agreement of 1937? Am I supposed to break down and admit that I'm a neo-fascist or something?
You really are a bit neo-demented methinks.

169 posted on 09/28/2003 8:30:02 PM PDT by tpaine ( I'm trying to be Mr Nice Guy, but politics keep getting in me way. ArnieRino for Governator)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
You got that right. You should count how often he talks of diversity in his famous "extremism in the persuit of liberty is no vice" speech. He also talks of a free trade region being established for all of North America in that speech.
170 posted on 09/28/2003 8:30:03 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
A decade is significantly more than a little...but nevertheless.

Not when you offer no further precision in your terminology. If you meant to strictly limit it to 30 years you should have said so. But once again even with that restriction Goldwater was active for decades after his presidential bid.

Goldwater was not an isolationalist, nor a closed borders advocate, nor a protectionist to the extent that paleocons would have it today.

I never said or even remotely implied he was any of those things. So why is it that you assume that to be the case?

171 posted on 09/28/2003 8:30:13 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: Luis Gonzalez
if they are indeed two segments of the same basic political spectrum
That's a big if, in my eyes.

I see more commonality between the far left and the paleos, quite frankly, than between the paleos and the neocons.

172 posted on 09/28/2003 8:32:02 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
I too, reject the now debased meaning of the term; however, since it IS the one used on FR, than I must comply with its use. Elsewise, as I have learned from repeatedly correcting others, who haven't a clue, I am set upon.

Words ONLY have meaning, when everyone using them, agree with the deffinition.

173 posted on 09/28/2003 8:32:23 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: risk
"He knew that America was the destiny of the human race."

Anathema to peleocons, manna to neocons.

174 posted on 09/28/2003 8:33:39 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: WOSG
BRAVO ... well put indeed.
175 posted on 09/28/2003 8:33:44 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons
Words only have meaning if we prevent their meaning from being shifted at the whim of those who want to change the debate by changing the meaning of words.

I am a conservative, including of the meaning of words.

176 posted on 09/28/2003 8:34:09 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez wrote: Goldwater was not an isolationalist, nor a closed borders advocate, nor a protectionist to the extent that paleocons would have it today.

I think Goldwater was too much of a libertarian to be a genuine conservative.

Goldwater's heyday came before the present-day concept of conservatism became crystalized.

177 posted on 09/28/2003 8:34:24 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: William McKinley
Tell me then, why do you think its cute to fantacize about what I see as 'scary', --- without pinging me to the post?
178 posted on 09/28/2003 8:34:45 PM PDT by tpaine ( I'm trying to be Mr Nice Guy, but politics keep getting in me way. ArnieRino for Governator)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Anathema to peleocons, manna to neocons.

Yes, because they think the American Revolution was launched only for their own personal benefit.

179 posted on 09/28/2003 8:35:12 PM PDT by risk
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To: GOPcapitalist
Why the hell are you arguing with me?

:-)
180 posted on 09/28/2003 8:35:17 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: jmc813
"They do that to cover up their liberalism on domestic issues. For fun, ask them if they think that overall the New Deal was a good thing."

The New Deal was a bunch of cr*p. It lengthened the depression. Funny thing is, go to AEI and you can find a scholar or two to make that same case.

Piling on to the "neo-cons" is a bunch of cr*p too. The people who've been right from day one on the war on terror have been castigated and labelled in the most vicious way.

What the Left and paleo-cons are doing to the neo-cons+ Ashcroft is what the Left in the 1950s did to McCarthy. One bashed the Anti-Communist, the other crowd bashes the anti-Jihadists. Same dirty technique 50 years on.

History repeats itself.
181 posted on 09/28/2003 8:36:30 PM PDT by WOSG (DONT PUT CALI ON CRUZ CONTROL & VOTE YES ON 54!)
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To: risk
"Yes, because they think the American Revolution was launched only for their own personal benefit."

Or that the ideals, rights, and priviledges guaranteed by that revolution applies only to them who (legally) reside here.

182 posted on 09/28/2003 8:36:50 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: tpaine
Because I figure if you replied to the thread, you were reading the thread, not doing a hit and run. And frankly, I couldn't care less if it irked you if in fact you had been doing a hit and run.

As for fantasizing over what you find scary, I did nothing of the sort. You said so, yourself, in post 90, as anyone who clicks that link can see for themselves.

183 posted on 09/28/2003 8:36:50 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: quidnunc
Goldwater's heyday came before the present-day concept of conservatism became crystalized.

Goldwater's ideology is what crystalized what has been until now the concept of conservatism in America. He also solidified conservatism's identification with the Republican party. No less a source than Reagan would agree with those facts.

184 posted on 09/28/2003 8:37:04 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: quidnunc
Give or take a decade or two...according to some here.
185 posted on 09/28/2003 8:37:59 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: WOSG
Quite.
186 posted on 09/28/2003 8:38:05 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: GOPcapitalist
Reagan agreed with that forty years ago, but situations change making people change right along.

Reagan himself changed in his lifetime.
187 posted on 09/28/2003 8:39:40 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez ("As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Why the hell are you arguing with me?

I simply answered your question about who the most important modern conservative is/was.

For the record, I do believe that those who call themselves neoconservatives tend to also reject the fundamental doctrine of Goldwater conservatism (which, at least until right now, has also been the defining doctrine of "traditional" American conservatism).

188 posted on 09/28/2003 8:40:07 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: tpaine
Sorry I don't feel like knocking off a few thousand words tonight on military adventurism by all of washingtons political desk jockeys since LBJ.

I think we didn't lose the Vietnam war because we were "adventurist." And I think we should have fought it. We lost it because it was run by people who didn't think we should win it. In fact, I think that thinking should be what you and I both strive against today.

The travesty is that much of that thinking is alive and well in the Council for Foreign Relations, and they still feed the State Department its ideological marching orders.

Am I supposed to break down and admit that I'm a neo-fascist or something?

No, I had nothing of the sort in mind. I'm just trying to get you to see that isolationism then wasn't very different from what it is today.

189 posted on 09/28/2003 8:41:34 PM PDT by risk
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To: Luis Gonzalez
situations change making people change right along.

Power also tends to corrupt and so forth. Reagan fortunately resisted its corrupting effects but even at the end of his presidency one could easily characterize his root ideology as Goldwater conservatism.

190 posted on 09/28/2003 8:42:09 PM PDT by GOPcapitalist
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To: GOPcapitalist
I'd agree with what you wrote there.

But I would point out that there is a huge difference between 'those who call themselves neoconservatives', which is a small demographic, and 'those who are called neoconservatives by paleos, mainstream media, and leftists'.

If I repeated myself at the end there is up to those who read this thread to decide.

191 posted on 09/28/2003 8:43:55 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
I am a PURIST , when it comes to the meanings of words, terms, and certain presentations of operas, plays, and opperettas.

I have tried, repeatedly, heatedly, and without, I'm most sorry to say, to get the correct deffinition/useage of the term " neocon ", used here.So, in order to impress upon those, who have so destroyed the term, I resort to the factual representation of what their misuse has done. Ergo ... RONALD REAGAN IS A NEOCON .

Now, you and I and those who invented the term know, with certainty, that this is so large a stretch, as to be laughable. OTOH, if this term is to be misused, then what the heck ... I'll play their game and show them up and in spades. :-)

192 posted on 09/28/2003 8:44:06 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: William McKinley
From what I can tell, you are ascribing to me views I do not hold. So I am asking you, to please clarify what you are saying, and if you are saying I believe something in particular, please substantiate your assertion.
-billy Mc-

Pot - Kettle

And, -- she had the guts to make her assertions to your face..
-- But - that's right, - you don't care.
193 posted on 09/28/2003 8:44:21 PM PDT by tpaine ( I'm trying to be Mr Nice Guy, but politics keep getting in me way. ArnieRino for Governator)
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To: quidnunc
Nailed in one ! You're absolutely correct.
194 posted on 09/28/2003 8:44:41 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: nopardons
OK, gotcha. Now I understand where you are coming from. You were confusing me for a bit there.
195 posted on 09/28/2003 8:45:02 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: William McKinley
He is responding to a label which has been foistered on people. It's like labelling a group of people something and then complaining when that group refuses to define the label. One of his major points is one which I have made repeatedly-- the term neoconservative as it is used by the left and by the paleoconservatives has no meaning. You say he can't tell you what it is-- and that is because no one can. Any attempt to define neoconservatives omits the majority of the people who supposedly are neoconservatives.

Well done. Succinct and correct!

The attackers of 'neo-cons' have to use a bait and switch. They are attacking a robust pro-freedom interventionist foreign policy, one that most conservatives share; but they want to make it seem to be a narrow agenda of a bunch of Zionists. So "what they want" is defined in one way - broadly; "who they are" is defined another - narrowly. This makes a broad foreign policy viewpoint seem to be the product of a cabal.

It's the old Ad Hominem argument dressed up in fancy rhetoric.

I am a Catholic, Texan, pro-Bush, pro-War-on-Terror, pro-liberation-of-Iraq, anti-Communist, anti-Islamofascist-Jihadist, pro-freedom-oriented-foreign-policy, pro-traditional-values, small Government Conservative. Who happens to think Paul Wolfowitz would be ten times better as Secty of State than Colin Powell.... Am I a "neo-con"?

196 posted on 09/28/2003 8:45:37 PM PDT by WOSG (DONT PUT CALI ON CRUZ CONTROL & VOTE YES ON 54!)
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To: tpaine
Anyone can hit the link back to your post and tell if I put words in your mouth.

I did not.

And you are right, I don't care what you think.

197 posted on 09/28/2003 8:45:58 PM PDT by William McKinley
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To: WOSG
No, it makes you a patriot in the tradition of Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, who both sought to export the American Revolution.
198 posted on 09/28/2003 8:48:03 PM PDT by risk
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To: William McKinley
Sorry about that. I am usually as clear as can be; or so I tend to think. LOL
199 posted on 09/28/2003 8:48:16 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: GOPcapitalist
GOPcapitalist wrote: Goldwater's ideology is what crystalized what has been until now the concept of conservatism in America.

Only because until Goldwater, the main difference between the GOP and the Democrats was one of class and social standing.

While Goldwater was for limited government, his social views were decidedly libertarian and in some cases liberal.

200 posted on 09/28/2003 8:48:53 PM PDT by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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