Skip to comments.The Neoconservative Cabal
Posted on 09/28/2003 5:06:39 PM PDT by William McKinley
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I don't and I am not. I have already stated that the term is meaningless as near as I can tell. My problem is that this author goes on at great length in an effort, I will give him the benefit of the doubt here, to make a point. I am just having trouble figuring out what that point is.
Paleocon refers to a branch of conservatism that has been around for a long timeNot in any significant measure.
I've only now finished Josh Muravchik's dissection of the neocon conspiracy buffoonery that overcame so many otherwise intelligent people in recent times. It's on the web at Commentary's web site, but for a fee.
It is an amazingly well done piece, much better than my own three part opus on the subject, I hate to say, though mine gave more historical background. Here's something I didn't know. The 1996 "paper" allegedly prepared by influential neocons which advocated the toppling of Iraq for Israel's sake, was not a paper at all. Rather, it was merely little more than the collected minutes from a conference. From Murachik's piece, discussing how the BBC misused the "report":
The BBC claimed to have found a smoking gun one that others have pounced on as well. Bradshaw "In 1996, a group of neocons wrote a report intended as advice for incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benny [sic] Netanyahu. It called for removing Saddam Hussein from power, an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right." Perle and Douglas Feith, the latter now a high official in Bush's Defense Department, were among those who had "contributed" to this paper.
Yet even if the BBC had characterized the document accurately, it would not imply what the BBC (and not the BBC alone) suggested it did. The Americans whose names appeared on the paper had long sought Saddam's ouster, an objective that was already, in 1996, the declared policy of the Clinton administration. It would thus make more sense to say that, in preparing a paper for Netanyahu, they were trying to influence Israeli policy on behalf of American interests than the other way around. Indeed, most Israeli officials at that time viewed Iran, the sponsor of Hizballah and Hamas, as a more pressing threat to their country than Iraq, and (then as later) would have preferred that it be given priority in any campaign against terrorism.
To make matters worse, the BBC fundamentally misrepresented the nature of the document. Contrary to Bradshaw's claim, no "group of neocons" had written it. Rather, it was the work of a rapporteur summarizing the deliberations of a conference, and was clearly identified as such. The names affixed to it were listed as attendees and not as endorsers, much less authors.
Posted at 10:21 AM
('The Corner' in National Review, September 28, 2003)
Those who use it tend to be Samuel Francis, Pat Buchanan, Michael Moore, Judy Woodruff, and Noam Chomskey.
The author is not to blame for the fact that those who are labelled as neoconservatives have no commonality that can help define the word.
My grandfather in the midwest held pretty much the same views a long long time ago. The attitudes got us prohibition and kept us from dealing with Hitler. The name is new. That's all.
If that is the working definition of neocon, then I guess I am one, and proudly so. I am for the only functioning government in the Middle East that is not based upon totalitarianism.
I think if you want a good definition of what neoconservatism really is, SauronOfMordor had a pretty fair one above.
It's hard to be a fiscal conservative when the goal is military intervention and nation building; that kind of stuff doesn't come cheap. And while I wouldn't go as far as to say that it is all about Israel or done for exclusively for Israel's benefit as some paleo's suggest, it does seem that many neocons fervently support Israel to the point that they are blind to the other interests that U.S. has in the region. If you're not 100% behind the right-wing Likud Party's agenda, I don't think they allow you into the neocon cabal.
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