Neoconservatism Is Also A Cancer: Namaste: If Not Now, When? Chapter 25

Author’s Note: Each chapter of this book can be read as a stand-alone and it is not necessary that they be read in numerical order. All of the previous chapters are posted here and in my Diaries or at Firedoglake/MyFDL.

I welcome comments and will respond as time allows. Thanks for reading.

Chapter 25

Neoconservatism Is Also A Cancer

Neoconservative, or neocon is an aggressive political philosophy based on notions of American exceptionalism and manifest destiny that supports using modern American economic and military power to assert global hegemony in the name of bringing democracy, and human rights to other countries. Early neoconservatives, such as Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D) of Washington State, were former liberals who believed liberalism had failed and no longer meant anything.

Over time, neoconservatism developed into a philosophy that supports using United States economic and military power in the name of democracy to establish a world empire that seizes and guarantees continuing long term corporate access to diminishing precious natural resources, primarily oil and gas.

Leo Straus, a political science professor at the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1969, taught and significantly influenced many neoconservatives. Straus taught that society should be led by a group of elite vanguards, whose job is to protect liberal society against the dangers of excessive individualism, and create inspiring myths to make the masses believe that they are fighting against anti-democratic and anti-liberal forces.

Irving Kristol first used the term neoconservative to describe his political views in 1979 followed by Norman Podhoretz several years later. William Kristol, Irving Kristol’s son, founded the Project for the New American Century. Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Cheney, and George W. Bush are well known neoconservatives.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may not describe themselves as neoconservatives, but they certainly speak and act as though they are.

The PNAC released a Statement of Principles on June 3, 1997, endorsed by its members and a variety of other notable conservative politicians and journalists. The statement began by framing a series of questions, which the rest of the document proposed to answer:

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s pre-eminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge:

Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades?

Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

The answers:

1. We need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

2. We need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

3. We need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad; [and]

4. We need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

In September 2000, the PNAC published a controversial 90-page report entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century, in which it stated:

The American peace has proven itself peaceful, stable, and durable. It has, over the past decade, provided the geopolitical framework for widespread economic growth and the spread of American principles of liberty and democracy. Yet no moment in international politics can be frozen in time; even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself.

To preserve this Pax Americana,

[What we require is] a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities. Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of the past century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Most troubling of all was Section V, entitled Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force, that included the following sentence:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor

The events of 9/11 were the “Pearl Harbor” that they were waiting for and they certainly milked it for all it was worth.

The only question is what role, if any, did the Bush Administration play in creating or allowing those events to happen.

I do not know the answer, but I do want the 9/11 investigation reopened because I am not satisfied with the conclusions reached by the 9/11 Commission. The answer is beyond the scope of this book.

By the end of the Bush Administration, the PNAC ceased to exist. The Foreign Policy Initiative is its successor organization.

The Bush Doctrine of aggressive war was neoconservatism made manifest. If anything, Barack Obama has amped up the intensity of the Bush Doctrine, so there is little doubt that he too is a neoconservative, as well as a neoliberal.

Aggressive war to steal natural resources that belong to others has caused, at a minimum, over 1 million Iraqi deaths, thousands upon thousands of Afghan and Pakistani deaths, and the deaths of 5 to 10 thousand U.S. service men and women, not to mention the injured and the loss of trillions of dollars.

The people responsible for starting those wars and authorizing the use of torture to obtain false statements with which to continue justifying those wars are war criminals who should be prosecuted for their crimes. That includes Barack Obama who has done everything possible to cover-up, protect, and continue committing those crimes.

Quoting the Dude in The Big Lebowski yet again,

This aggression will not stand, man.

Cross-Posted at Firedoglake/MyFDL and the Smirking Chimp.

Namaste: If Not Now, When? Is my intellectual property. I retain full rights to my own work. You may copy it and share it with others, but only if you credit me as the author. You may not sell or offer to sell it for any form of consideration. I retain full rights to publication.

My real name is Frederick Leatherman. I was a criminal-defense lawyer for 30 years specializing in death-penalty defense and forensics. I also was a law professor for three years.

Now I am a writer and I haul scrap for a living in this insane land.




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2 Comments on “Neoconservatism Is Also A Cancer: Namaste: If Not Now, When? Chapter 25”

  1. ed nelson Says:

    Hi Fred Leatherman that is… no you don’t know me, other than… Geo shmoe, and I had fun with that, oh well.

    I thought I would send you this… where Max Kaiser/mikeHudson speaks of metals/and the folks that are stripping them. [ @about 20:00 where they talk about metals]

    On the Edge with Dr. Michael Hudson

  2. Ed Griffith Says:

    Thank you for recognizing that both neoconservativism and neoliberalism are cancers and far removed from traditional conservatism and traditional liberalism. I find it shocking that the question of whether torture is acceptable by neocons and neolibs is dependent solely on whether Bush or Obama were president at the time.

    In your efforts to build a law school which you described in “Whistleblowing along the path with Heart” blogs, I liked your description of you and a conservative professor, “Although we disagreed about many things, we definitely agreed on the importance of ethics, civil rights, and the Bill of Rights. We repeatedly stressed their importance to our students.
    The Dean fired both of us without notice in November, 2007, after he discovered that we blew the whistle on his Ponzi scheme stealing student loan money.”

    I liked that because it illustrated how traditional conservatives and liberals could work together for the common good.

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