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Beware the Neocons By: David Harsanyi
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 13, 2002


As war with Iraq becomes an inescapable reality, a "peace-loving" contingent of pundits have momentarily transferred their assault from the phantom Religious Right to a new, more sinister group, calling themselves neoconservatives.

Forget 50 years of neoconservative political, social and economic thought; forget Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz and Nathan Glazer; forget Ronald Reagan whose neocon-influenced foreign policy won the Cold War. From now on, just think of them as warmongers. Stereotyping can be a complicated business, but anti-war pundits have mastered its intricacies, distilling intellectual movements into trouble-free critique: neoconservatives are duplicitous right wingers, prodding the United States towards war to a.) advance our colonial gains b.) facilitate the racist Israeli government’s subjugation of defenseless Arabs and c.) wag the dog for oil fetishists George Bush and Richard Cheney.

Joseph Sobran has described neocons as "former liberals, mostly pro-Israel and anti-Communist Jewish intellectuals." Irving Kristol, the "godfather" of neoconservatism, more appropriately described one as "a liberal who has been mugged by reality." But these days, it seems that even temperate support for military action against dictators and terrorists qualifies you a neocon.

Chris Matthews, of MSNBC’s "Hardball", a former White House aide and speechwriter for the foreign policy-challenged President Jimmy Carter, spearheaded the recent attack from his San Francisco Chronicle column, writing that a "regime change" in Iraq was "demanded by neoconservative policy wonks and backed by oil-patchers George W. Bush and Dick Cheney."

"What I fear is the neoconservatives," Matthews told an audience at Brown University. "They want to fight the North Koreans again. Iran. Iraq. Syria. Libya." Before long, "they’ll go after China." Matthews, who forgot to mention Saudi Arabia, Sudan and France, exposes what sounds like a Jewish conspiracy, facilitated by Republican oilmen. The TV host conveniently failed to mention that every poll shows that a majority of Americans support military action against Iraq.

Matthews, by the way, is not shy about outing the main culprits: Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Robert Kagan (Washington Post), "neo-conservative" Frank Gaffney Jr., William Safire (New York Times), David Frum, (a "neo-conservative Canadian"), Joseph Shattan ("a like-minded ideologue"), Paul Wolfowitz ("leads the neo-conservative forces at the Pentagon") and Richard Perle ("neo-conservative high priest") are the main culprits in the scheme.

Progressive pundit Joshua Micah Marshall furthers the neocon conspiracy theory. Marshall, whose remarkable ability to sinuously avoid facts while clearing up why the right’s successful track record in foreign policy has more to do with luck than intelligence, wrote an informative article in the June issue of Washington Monthly called "Bomb Saddam? How the obsession of a few neocon hawks became the central goal of U.S. foreign policy."

A FOX News national poll conducted in May, when we assume Marshall was writing his piece, showed that over 70 percent of Americans supported U.S. military action to remove Saddam Hussein. Did a mere handful of neocon hawks — a redundant phrase, no doubt — organized by Richard Perle persuade mainstream America, as well as the administration, that Hussein’s regime poses a threat to the Middle East, to the world and thus, to us?

The neocon-obsessed Marshall refers to Perle as the "the portly, Ronald Reagan-era assistant secretary of defense who kept the defense-hawk home fires burning throughout the Bill Clinton years from a perch at the American Enterprise Institute." Clinton might have taken some of his advice, perhaps none of this bellicosity would be necessary. Nevertheless, the slim Marshall points out, in case you missed it or cared, that Perle is "Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and pro-Likud." The importance of those traits can be easily deduced.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, author of the Bush-bashing book Smashmouth, called Perle the "intellectual guru of the hard-line neoconservative movement in foreign policy." (America fruitlessly awaits Milbank’s piece on the "hard-line progressive movement.") When writing about the Bush appointment of Joseph Shattan, who vigorously opposed the President’s stand on a future Palestinian state, as speechwriter, Milbank wondered aloud how the neocon had ever gotten the job in this Republican administration. "How did it happen? Sounds like the work of the Kristol cabal, a vast, neoconservative conspiracy centered on William Kristol, publisher of the Weekly Standard magazine." (For the record, according to their web site, the Weekly Standard’s evil reaches only 60,000 brainwashed neocons a week, while Milbank’s Washington Post sells 786,032 daily.)

Also chiming in, early and often, about the neoconservative threat was Lenora Fulani’s former co-conspirator Patrick Buchanan. The crabby isolationist also blames neocons and Jews: "The war (Benjamin) Netanyahu and the neocons want, with the United States and Israel fighting all of the radical Islamic states, is the war bin Laden wants, the war his murderers hoped to ignite when they sent those airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon." In another column, Buchanan repeats these attacks almost verbatim, inserting Israel’s latest prime minister for Netanyahu, writing that Bush is a slave to "(Ariel) Sharon and the neoconservative War Party." Israel has never once asked a single US soldier to die for her. Our enemies, and Buchanan’s friends, the Saudis, had no problem soliciting lives when Hussein last mobilized against his neighbors.

Khidir Hamza, neither a Jew nor a neocon, but once head of Iraq's nuclear-weapons development, recently stated, "what we are talking about here really is a preemptive strike for a possible future danger which is much larger than we have right now." Hamza testified that credible German intelligence indicates Iraq already has enough uranium for three nuclear weapons by 2005. The CIA believes Hussein possess 2,650 gallons of anthrax. This is surely not enough evidence for the suicidal, pacifist faction. The anti-war crowd needs a casus belli, a picture of Mohammad Atta and Saddam Hussein toasting champagne in front of the Twin Towers floor plan. Anything less would be inconclusive evidence.

A Senate resolution passed Sept. 14 authorizes the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided" in the attack on 9-11. Recently, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a news conference that Iraq had "a relationship" with Al Qaeda, and Americans have no reason to doubt him. Hussein’s actions have proven that if not stopped, he will use chemical, biological and nuclear warfare to push the Middle East into a ghastly war. A majority of Americans believe action is a must against Hussein, not because they’ve been tricked by crafty necons, but because they have a lot more common sense than the elitist pundits give them credit for.


David Harsanyi is an NYC-based writer. Visit his website (http://dharsanyi.blogspot.com/) or email him at david_harsanyi@yahoo.com.


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