Reclaiming Conservative Foreign Policy

Trump seems unwilling to embrace Neoconservative hawkishness. Will Republicans return to noninterventionism?

Michael Hogue
Michael Hogue

The rise of Donald Trump has led to predictions that the neoconservative dominance of Republican foreign policy is about to end, whether or not Trump wins. The Donald has challenged the perpetual military interventionism aspect of neocon-think without doing any damage to his campaign and, in the process, he has certainly noticed who the most strident voices being raised against him are.

Admittedly the prospect of a world blissfully free of neocons is appealing, but some observers have noted how the neoconservatives are chameleon like, blending in with whoever is controlling the levers of power and capable of moving from their original home in the Democratic Party over to the GOP—and then back again to the Democrats whenever it seems tactically advisable. Their eradication is far from a sure thing and one expects to see the neocon stalwarts Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan at the top of any Hillary Clinton administration.

The effort to disparage Trump is to a considerable extent neocon driven, featuring the usual publications, as well as frequent television and radio appearances driven by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s talking points. Recently the Washington Post, as part of its own unrelenting campaign to destroy the Trump candidacy, has been featuring numerous articles attacking the candidate from every conceivable perspective. An op-ed queried seven “Republicans” regarding their own views of the Trump phenomenon plus their advice regarding what might be done to stop him. Former Congressman Eric Cantor stated flatly that “I don’t believe Donald Trump is a conservative” while Kristol called for mounting “an independent Republican candidacy in the general election.” Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute said Trump “is no conservative and will do lasting damage to the conservative movement,” a sentiment topped by Ari Fleischer’s assertion that “Trump is not really a Republican.”

This playing of word games is an effort to excommunicate individuals who do not fit into an acceptable template drawn by those who comprise the nation’s political elite. Congressman Ron Paul suffered from such attacks labeling him a libertarian when he ran for president. Pat Buchanan had preceded him, described by the neoconservative crowd as an anti-Semite and fascist. In reality, both were attacked for not being internationally interventionist enough to be considered true conservatives, which actually tells one more about the critics than it does about the victims of the denigration.

In its current incarnation, the Republican Party leadership, in going along with the charade, is essentially yielding to the neoconservative view that willingness to assert American leadership through overseas wars was and still is a sine qua non when it comes to being considered a conservative.

All of which makes one wonder about the abuse of the word “conservative.” Perhaps it is the neocons that should actually have the word stripped from their self-designation. The Republican Party has long been regarded as the home of “conservatism,” but that value has most often been linked to what have been regarded as family and traditional values, limited government, and, most particularly, an antipathy towards foreign wars. The GOP in Congress resisted President Woodrow Wilson’s and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to get America involved in both the First and Second World Wars, and also refused to join the League of Nations after the first war had ended. If anything, nonintervention was solidly in the GOP DNA.

But traditional reluctance to go to war on the part of Republicans was challenged when John F. Kennedy discovered a fictional “missile gap,” forcing the GOP for electoral reasons to become part of the developing national security consensus. It subsequently became the party of robust defense when Ronald Reagan sought to distinguish himself from the lackluster Jimmy Carter. Reagan’s term of office coincided with the appearance of the so-called “neoconservatives,” most notably at the Pentagon (a development that was, not coincidentally, combined with the final purges of the so-called Arabists at the State Department).  

While it has often been noted that a group of like-minded individuals gradually commandeered the foreign and defense policy of the Republican Party starting in the 1970s, it is less frequently observed that the hijacking of the tag “conservatism” was itself also part of the process as a way to make the transition more palatable to the public and the GOP rank-and-file.

Many neoconservatives began as Communists. One of the founders of the movement, Irving Kristol, was a radical student at City College of New York in the 1930s. Kristol has been described as an anti-Soviet Trotskyite in his leanings prior to experiencing a political conversion in middle age. That meant advocacy of worldwide revolution, which for Kristol and his later associate Norman Podhoretz later morphed into endorsement of global pax Americana by force majeure.

Kristol famously quipped that he and his colleagues were liberals who were mugged by reality. The joke is amusing, but not completely convincing, since it begs the question of whose reality and to what end. Kristol himself described neoconservatives as “…unlike old conservatives because they are utilitarians, not moralists…”

Though Irving Kristol did not study under leading “neoconservative” theorist Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago, his belief in his own peer group of dedicated “intellectuals” as the leadership elements that would direct a broader movement was at its heart Straussian. Kristol summed up the Straussian view that

There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn’t work.

In his own words, Kristol stated his belief that a robust U.S. military would be the catalyst for positive developments globally and most particularly for Israel. In 1973, Kristol attacked Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern, stating that

Senator McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to cut the military budget by 30 percent. And this is to drive a knife in the heart of Israel… Jews don’t like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States… American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.

Complicating the definition of neo-conservatism is the fact that there are several currents that have more-or-less come together to form the current incarnation. The historic roots of the movement derived from Kristol and Podhoretz are radical leftist, but there is another source of neoconservatives gathered around the former senator from Washington, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who was liberal on social policies but a hard liner vis-à-vis defense and most particularly the Soviet Union. He was the source of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which tied relaxing trade policies with Moscow to the willingness of the Soviet government to allow Jews to emigrate. Prominent Scoop Jackson Democrats who became Republicans during the Reagan administration include Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, and Ben Wattenberg. Wolfowitz had also been a student of Strauss at Chicago.

A third element that has joined the historic and Jacksonian traditions are the second generation neocons, to include Bill Kristol, John Bolton, Michael Rubin, Charles Krauthammer, Laurie Mylroie, Jennifer Rubin, Dennis Ross, the Kagans, the Makovskys, and Elliot Abrams. It is this generation who staffs the Washington foundations and think tanks that have been associated with neoconservative policies, including AEI, the Hudson Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. They also are prominent in the Rupert Murdoch media empire and in publications to include the Weekly Standard, Commentary, National Review and the Washington Post. Many are fixtures on Sunday morning talk television. They are also heavily overrepresented in groups like the John Hay Initiative that have succeeded in shaping the foreign policy positions being taken by nearly all of the GOP presidential aspirants.

There is, of course, considerable mixing and cross fertilization among the neoconservative groups, meaning that they sometimes differ on issues that they consider secondary to their main foreign policy agenda. They are reticent or even silent on many social conservative issues, even accommodating a progressive viewpoint on abortion and gay marriage, education, and health care reform. They support open borders or are at least ambivalent about immigration, favor free trade, promote diversity and multiculturalism. Their failure to address these issues in a serious way reveals above all that they are not genuine conservatives and are more like a one-trick pony that only performs foreign policy.

So what do all neocons actually believe? The unifying principle of neoconservatism is the conviction that the United States has a moral duty to serve as the world’s policeman, preempting the development of challenges from rogue states, which has sometimes caustically been described as “invade the world.” In practical terms, this pursuit of de facto global hegemony means that military force is by default the first option in bilateral relations with foreign states. It also becomes necessary to manufacture an enemy or enemies that theoretically pose a significant threat. This role is currently being played by Russia, China, perennial favorite Iran, and the somewhat more amorphous “Islamo-fascism.”

The fearmongering is necessary for two reasons. First it justifies inflated military budgets that in turn keep the defense contractor money flowing to neoconservative organizations. Second, a robust military, per Irving Kristol’s thinking, guarantees that the United States will always be ready, willing, and available to protect Israel, an imperative derived from the perception that both the U.S. and Israel are morally exceptional states. All neoconservatives support military buildups and interventions, plus they all are zealous in their uncritical support of Israel, to such an extent that the two issues define them.

Confronting the neocons requires first of all exposing the fact that they are not actually conservatives by any reasonable definition. Peter Beinart agrees that the “incoherent definition” needs to be retired and wants to replace it with “imperialist.” Call them what you will, but exposing their exploitation of the conservative label that enables their parasitical relationship with the GOP is perhaps the simplest way to create some separation from their peculiar brand of internationalism. Whether that will make them disappear or not is perhaps debatable, but, at a minimum, it would prevent them from defining what an acceptable Republican party foreign policy might or should be. Donald Trump has for all his faults opened the door just a crack in bringing about that kind of change, including in his rant a direct criticism of the neocons. In that respect, one should most certainly wish him success.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

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34 Responses to Reclaiming Conservative Foreign Policy

  1. Johnny F. Ive says:

    How about his speech (groveling) to AIPAC? How does it fit into Donald the neocon destroyer narrative?

  2. AJ says:

    Robert Kagan is proud to describe himself as a liberal interventionist, and that seems appropriate, not only for what they aim for in the world but also for how much they are an alien life form grafted onto the GOP.

  3. Todd Pierce says:

    Excellent explanation of the neoconservatives and their ideological origin. As to what to call them, the term “Totalitarian Democracy” was used in a 1952 book by J.L. Talmon, an Israeli political scientist to describe the East European governments of the time. He described totalitarian democracy as virtually the same as Fascism as far as the world view it held, and distinguished it from “liberal” democracy with its free speech and respect for human rights. All they shared in common was periodic elections. As the Israeli’s are losing their inhibitions today in identifying their “radical right,” Netanyahu and his co-ideologists, as Fascists, perhaps it is past time to begin to use real descriptive words for our “neoconservatives.” In The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert Paxton, he defines Fascism by what it does, which is fundamentally “abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and and external expansion.” Among the “mobilizing passions” it is driven by a “the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law.” Combining those two concepts, perhaps “Democratic Fascists” would be an apt term to apply to the likes of William Kristol?

  4. John Willson says:

    An excellent primer. It needs to be constantly updated now that the ideologue Cruz has revealed himself as a member of the war party with his neocon policy advisors and his reaction to the Brussels bombings. For sane and serious people one of the main reasons for supporting Trump is his sensible and pragmatic instincts on foreign policy.

  5. Clint says:

    I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore. I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty. I just think we have to rebuild our country.

    Neoconservative Big Money financed Ted Cruz is the GOP’s neoconservatives last man standing and these neoconservatives appear all aflutter and desperate, because they can’t buy or control Trump. So they are forced to expose themselves and their Faux Conservative Global Cop Agenda and are threatening a contested convention and going back over to the Democrat Liberal Interventionist, Hillary Clinton.

  6. Kurt Gayle says:

    Philip writes: “The Donald has challenged the perpetual military interventionism aspect of neocon-think without doing any damage to his campaign and, in the process, he has certainly noticed who the most strident voices being raised against him are…The effort to disparage Trump is to a considerable extent neocon driven…”

    Trump has definitely challenged the neocon model of Republican foreign policy.

    Philip, yours is a knowledgeable, much-respected voice in the national-interest-based view of American foreign policy realm. Your view of the Donald Trump candidacy carries tremendous weight among many of us who despise the neocons and want the US to end its current policy of perpetual military interventionism:

    “Donald Trump has for all his faults opened the door just a crack in bringing about that kind of change, including in his rant a direct criticism of the neocons. In that respect, one should most certainly wish him success.”

  7. Mike says:

    I really want Trump to excoriate neoconservatism such that it marks the beginning of their end in shaping public policy. But I’m not optimistic that will happen for two reasons:

    (1) His list of foreign policy advisors includes some sympathetic with neoconservative views. Now simply having the neoconservative viewpoint represented in a panel of advisors doesn’t necessarily mean that Trump is sympathetic to neoconservatism, but it does seem to signal that his opposition to neoconservatism isn’t principled. His opposition seems to be more like, “Those neocons can’t execute foreign policy very well, but I’m going to be great at it!”

    (2) His rhetoric, while at times anti-neoconservative, is inconsistent. He wants to be the most pro-Israel candidate in the race and yet be a neutral broker in a Middle East peace deal. Neoconservatism isn’t going away under someone like this.

    In the end, we’ll just have to see what happens with Trump’s electoral endeavor and, if he is successful, what happens to the neoconservatives. Though the neocons aren’t necessarily going away under Trump, he has, at least, been willing to criticize them. I can at best hope that others more philosophically adept and rhetorically persuasive gain significant public influence.

  8. DES says:

    Johnny F. Ive: “How about his speech (groveling) to AIPAC? How does it fit into Donald the neocon destroyer narrative?”

    I agree, it gives one pause, but remember this: the first job of a politician is to get elected. Absent that, s/he can accomplish nothing. Politicians are rarely purists, and those who are usually fail (witness Ron Paul). Of course, if Trump addresses AIPAC, he’s going to say what they want to hear. He’s not going to alienate a constituency he hopes to draw support from. But he’s said enough to give non-interventionists hope that he will at least question some of the shibboleths of the neocon creed. That’s a starting point.

  9. Johann says:

    I’ll play the cold water role here. Prediction – Trump will get the Republican nomination. Hillary will win the general election. The neo-conservatives will blame it all on Trump. The democrat “responsibility to protect” neocon-lite counterparts to the Republican neocons will continue their mutual agenda. The Republican neocons will stay in control of the Republican party. Both parties will still be covered by the neocons.

    Incidently, it was kinda-sorta at the same time that the Republican party was taken over that the Democrat party changed to what is now described as neo-liberal. The below is a video of two socialists, Tom Hartmann and Thomas Frank, discussing this transformation. The party basically abandoned the working class whites and went for the non-white demographics and the rich white liberals, or yuppies if you will, wall street, and “globalization”. Its an hour long, but very interesting.

  10. Alex says:

    Perhaps somewhat off-topic, but Trump got one more significant advantage over both neocons and their liberal kin controlling Obama’s administration. A slightest economical mishap this year later on – and Donald, with his oratorical talents, stirs it up as if the sky fell. After that he won’t just beat Hillary, he’ll have a landslide.

  11. Leongg says:

    Big dose of wishful thinking here. Trump says america has to ‘start winning wars’, not stop having them. He supports carpet bombing, murder of families, torture. He tells gleeful, fake stories of the US’s brutal Phillipines occupation – the start of US imperialism with a global reach. His supporters seem keen imperialists, whod happily support a tactical nuclear strike on Raqqa. President Trump isnt going to be the guy who stands down the US empire, and its not what his supporters want…

  12. Ben says:

    Please, blaming all the ills of the GOP on the Neocons is ridiculous. They found fertile ground in the GOP for 40 some years. Look at how many loyal Republicans are enthusiastic to invade and bomb other countries.

    You don’t hear Democrats talking about nuking people back to the Stone Age, do you?

    As for Donald Trump, he happily describes his goal to go into Iraq and take their oil. He drools over torturing anyone accused of being terrorist. Sad!? A good Christian??

    Pat Buchanan? Uh, everyone knows that he is a white supremacist. There is no refuting that. He is one of the architects of the GOP’s Southern Strategy and horror that has inflicted on this country.

  13. Clint says:

    Trump was smart enough to go to AIPAC and stroke their fur after his recent talk about his desire to broker a Peace Deal between Israel and The Palestinians and his talk about being a Non-interventionist opposed to attempting nation building, while we have a $19 Trillion Debt and need to rebuild our own country.
    Trump isn’t dumb enough to antagonize them further and allow the Neoconservatives Big Money Donors financed Cruz to gain any momentum, so Trump smoothed their fur.

  14. bt says:

    As befits an article published at “The American Conservative”, this piece really cuts deep.

    Any honest survey of politics for the last 20 years or so would have to conclude that the word Conservative has been damaged and deeply mis-used. It’s a word that has been appropriated by so many, for so many wildly contradictory purposes that it’s now essentially without clear meaning at all.

    It’s getting perilously close to the word “Liberal”. It meant something once, but now it’s just a toxic label robbed of meaning and left with nothing but nasty connotations.

    Oddly enough, probably the only way to recover the word “Conservative” and have it regain any coherence at all is to withdraw it somehow from active or overactive use by politicians. Just having had the NeoCons strap that preposition on it was a whole world of brand damage right there.

    No matter how you slice it, an academic / philosophical endeavor will not remain healthy once it becomes too ensnared in the grubby day-to-day affairs of really ambitious people who are looking for power.

  15. SDS says:

    I will just re-direct to the posts of
    CLINT, KURT, MIKE, and DES above….

  16. EliteCommInc. says:

    My concern here is that the answer to ISIS/ISIL seems to be intervention and that intervention even among supposed conservatives is military.

    As an extension of the consequences of Iraq and the spread of conflict in the region in every exacerbated by the US military intervention, such involvement would seem to lead us down the road of more entanglement.

    I simply do not buy the contend that people inspired by ISIS/ISIL would not have been inspired by some other group of “radicalized Islamist ideology”.

    This is the ISIS/ISIL trap.

  17. Sage of Mt. Vernon says:

    The biggest problems we face in foreign policy trace to our Israel relationship and related or consequent strategic blunders in the Middle East, including the war in Iraq and the destabilization of Libya and Syria.

    These problems attract terror attacks, which lead to loss of liberty here at home, loss of the respect and goodwill of the rest of the world, and horrendous expenditures of money and focus which are bankrupting us and crippling our response to urgent crises here and in our own neighborhood, e.g. the failed states to our south, including Mexico.

    We don’t have the military power, the money, the knowledge, or the basic diplomatic and intelligence competence to address these Middle Eastern problems as we currently define them. We’re 19 trillion dollars in debt and proved repeatedly that the way we use military power over there makes the problems worse.

    Tilt. Game over. Reset needed.

    To get the needed perspective we must get out. Close our bases, pull out our troops, cut off the fantastic amount of military and foreign aid we give to the various players.

    It is mind-boggling that after 15 years of failure and waste that we are still there, still creating new terrorists, still sitting in the bases and mindlessly supporting the states that cause terrorists to attack us, watching stupidly, as though there were nothing we could do, as though it were some kind of natural disaster, as millions of refugees flood out of the countries we’re destroying into Europe and even into America.

    What happened to the America that understood the wisdom of George Washington’s Farewell Address? That understood that maintenance of a strong, free America depended on staying free of “entangling alliances” and on basic adult restraint and wisdom, on not compulsively going forth “looking for new monsters to destroy”?

  18. bt says:

    “My concern here is that the answer to ISIS/ISIL seems to be intervention and that intervention even among supposed conservatives is military.”

    It is worth noting that Bin Laden’s well-known plan was to stage egregious attacks, and then suck the US into a quagmire and generally bleed us out like they did to the Russians.

    ISIS says pretty much the same thing. They aren’t coy about it. They are aching for the infidels to return, so they can whip up the natives and portray themselves as the defenders of the Arabs and of the faith.

    Whatever the response is / should be, let’s try not to do exactly what “The Enemy” is hoping we do. Again.

  19. Lee says:

    When I see the term neoconservative the synonyms deceptive, murderous, and sociopathic come to mind.

  20. EliteCommInc. says:

    “It is worth noting that Bin Laden’s well-known plan was to stage egregious attacks, and then suck the US into a quagmire and generally bleed us out like they did to the Russians.”

    That is correct.

  21. ML says:

    I’m not sure nonintervention works against an enemy like ISIS, which is apparently determined to attack us. If they ramp up to a 9/11 level of terror, are Americans really going to say “well, obviously this was a trap designed to make us invade. We better not take the risk.”

  22. Fran Macadam says:

    “There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people.”

    Which accounts for the various strains of propaganda, often layered inside other propaganda, with varying levels of sophistication. But basically all of it is contemptuous of those it is targeted towards, since public deceit is intrinsically an act of contempt. Manufacturing public opinion is at its core hostile towards democracy, which depends upon an accurately informed citizenry.

    I do hope, that in concert with the better informed public critics of whom Phil Giraldi is one, that I and others are finding our way past the onion layers of the neocons’ and neoliberals’ “different kinds of truths.”

  23. Fran Macadam says:

    “You don’t hear Democrats talking about nuking people back to the Stone Age, do you?”

    As Phil reiterated, it was JFK who ginned up the phoney nuke missile gap and vastly expanded the nuclear arsenal. An eventual 30,000 nukes aimed at civilians and the missile crisis that almost nuked us back to the Jurassic as a consequence of lying your way to the Presidency? In your guts, you know he was nuts.

    “Hey, hey, JFK, how many kids have ya killed today?”

    Reagan and Gorbachev agree to reduce nuclear weapons, but Nobel No-Prize winner President Obama announces a multi trillion dollar program to proliferate new advanced nukes with destabilizing capabilities, in order to blackmail other countries by holding their populations hostage, and changing the MAD balance to make nuclear war actually winnable for America.

    Yeah, Democrats are so much more peace-like. Democrats are anti-war – as long as they’re not the ones who get to wage the wars.

  24. Fran Macadam says:

    Er, “Hey, hey, LBJ” – not JFK. Sorry ’bout that, commander-in-chief.

  25. Dag says:

    Call them Neofauxconservatives.

  26. bacon says:

    Trump, disgusting in almost every way, is still the lone republican candidate who seems to think we should spend our money at home and stop going to war in situations in which we have no important interest. I have commented on TAC and do so again, if the price of peace is a buffoon in the Oval Office, so be it.

  27. Thomas Sm says:

    Dear Mr Giraldi,

    Please have a word with your colleagues here at TAC and convince them to get on board. I see strands of #NeverTrump-ism as well as defeatism and also more lukewarm approaches. If Trump loses, they’ll claim they told us so, if Trump wins, they’ll claim TAC were trailblazers. For the time being, let’s do out part to be analytical and careful but to advance the causes of realism and economic nationalism, all aimed at a rollback of neoliberal globalisation.

  28. Alex says:

    Actually, any Trump’s buffooneries are merely amateurish when compared to the ones of the aforementioned LBJ. We remember. Macy’s Herald Square windows still smell like roses at high noon, hell yeah.

  29. Junior says:

    Great article, Mr. Giraldi. I sincerely thank you for it.

    For any who don’t already know, the Neo-Con-Artists are using “Perception Management” on us through the use of the “media” and corrupted officials to achieve the foreign policy goals which Mr. Giraldi stated in the article.

    “Perception management is a term originated by the US military. The US Department of Defense (DOD) gives this definition:

    Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.”

    I, for one, have had enough of it. This NeoCon madness must end. It has cost us not only monetarily with trillions in debt, but MUCH more importantly it has cost us the lives of our families, friends, and loved ones. Debt and dead American Soldiers. That is what the NeoCons intend for us. Debt and dead American Soldiers.

    I intend to act accordingly when those voting booth curtains close. I hope that you all feel the same.

    The first step of putting an end to it is realizing that our perceptions ARE being “managed” by the NeoCons. The second step is voting for the only person in the race who, at the very least, seems willing to put a stop to the madness. Trump.

  30. Junior says:

    Just found a great article that deals with the exact topic in my above post of how the NeoCons are able to steer America into this madness called “Endless War and the Victory of ‘Perception Management'”. It gives a thorough history of Perception Management and how it has been and STILL is being used on us.

    A must read for any that seek truth.

  31. EliteCommIc. says:

    “Confronting the neocons requires first of all exposing the fact that they are not actually conservatives by any reasonable definition. Peter Beinart agrees that the “incoherent definition” needs to be retired and wants to replace it with “imperialist.””

    Absolument: their case would actually make more sense under that umbrella

    I missed this — Bravo.

  32. The Clinstones says:

    @ben “You don’t hear Democrats talking about nuking people back to the Stone Age, do you?”

    Hillary Clinton threatened to “obliterate” Iran, which goes the Republicans one better – total annihilation rather than just taking out basic infrastructure. While she didn’t use nukes to do it, she did a pretty good job of consigning Libya to the Stone Age.

    And Hillary Clinton isn’t just “a” Democrat, she’s “the” Democrat.

  33. jk says:

    Surprise, surprise, US enables helpless first world, rich allies defense freeloading by borrowing US munitions in the fight against ISIS and did the same in Libya:

  34. Gilles says:

    Very good article, except for the common sloppy attribution of the origins of Neoconservatism to Leo Strauss. Strauss was not a neoconservative, and the Neocons are not “Straussian”. There are a few marginal overlappings of prominent neocons who had been students of students of Strauss, but that is merely because the latter was a prominent conservative political philosopher.

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