NeoCon Traitors

Long ago, Patrick Buchanan received a bull of excommunication from the neocons as an Unpatriotic Conservative for the grave sin of refusing to back their plans for salvation through democratic capitalist militarism.  They snookered the Right into buying the notion that their Machiavellian war worship was patriotism and denounced critics as disloyal.

Now the paladins of patriotism and loyalty are themselves showing their willingness to ditch all ties of honor and loyalty as they continue to whore for war.  The “true conservative” neocons are now embracing Obama in their deathless zeal for war, betraying both party and country by dragging us toward this supreme stupid scheme of supporting Al Quaida.  And lots of Republicans seem to be grasping what creeps these guys really are.

Fundamental rule of thumb: don’t snort the Kristol Meth.  Whatever that false prophet advises, do the opposite.  Wherever he points, run the opposite direction.  He has an absolute charism for sheer wrongness.

  • dvrcthewrld

    It has been said that love of money is the root of all evil.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/syria-war-authorization-money/

  • Steve

    I’ve never understood the term “neocon”. If it means: “Person who supports the use of the military to achieve thinly veiled economic ends”, then JFK was a Neocon.

    • Bill

      I think a good term would be “Trotskyite.”

    • vox borealis

      As I understand it, neocon was coined in reference to former liberal/democrats of the 1960 and 1970s who became disenchanted with their parties reflexive pacifism, seeming anti-americanism, and their increasing tolerance of islamic extremism vis-a-vis the state of Israel. So this group increasingly “switched sides” to the republicans (as a party) in the 1980s and 1990s. They tended to remain socially liberal (i.e., pro-gay marriage…basically libertarian), but pushed for a more muscular and aggressive American foreign policy. They tended to believe (or at least claim to believe) that US interventionism, especially given the US’s unprecedented geopolitical dominance in the wake of the Cold War, could be used to remake regions into stable democracies. This was their claim, though whether their true motives were more cynical is a matter of debate. Ironically, their interventionist position is an old holdover from/evolution of liberal constructivist ideas of foreign policy. As such, they tended to be opposed by “realists” and “neo-realists” (e.g. Mearsheimer), whose view of international relations is much starker and less optimistic.

      It’s clear again and again that Mark Shea does not use the term “neocon” in this fashion. Whether he understands the origins and meaning of the term are unclear.

      To his defense, Shea is not alone, as neocon has become a sort of blanket term “for people whose policies I don’t like, especially if their foreign policy ideas do not line up with mine.”

      • vox borealis

        All this being said, Shea is spot on that Irving Kristol was at the center of the neocon movement, and naturally remains an influence voice posthumously.

        • chezami

          I’m actually referrring to Bill Kristol, the most immensely and infallibly wrong man in the world. He has been so wrong about so much for so long that it is a kind of miracle that he continues to be a respected “thinker” on the Right. The mere fact that he has not been kicked to the margins of polite society in the world of conservatives is, itself, one of the most damning indictments of the quality of conservative discourse in America. He should be as embarrassing a presence on the airwaves as David Duke. His name should be a byword. He should be passed over in embarrassing silence and throats should cleared whenever he is mentioned. But instead the right continues to fete him and seek his opinoin as though it is anything other than infallibly wrong, stupid, and evil.

          • vox borealis

            OK, but tell us what you really think!

          • Stu

            But it was his daddy, Irving Kristol, who is considered the Father of the NeoCon movement.

      • Procopius

        I would take strong issue with your assertion of the Neoconservative notions of social issues as being libertarian. The neoconservative position on social issues is based on a Straussian perspective that sees rights as being grants of privilege by the elite to placate and mollify the masses of non-philosophers so as to be able to constitute the state in an orderly manner, and that such “rights” are creations of, and agencies of, the state to its own ends.

        • vox borealis

          True, in its origins. But the recent generation of neocons have been focused almost exclusively on foreign policy and have tended to shy away from the “culture wars.” In general, they see social conservatism as a distraction, and they tend themselves to be pseudo-libertarian in their social views, probably a holdover (on an individual level) from their former left-leaning roots. Maybe secular-left would be a better characterization with respect to social issues? I’m thinking here of Charles Krauthammer and the like.

          • Procopius

            Still does not work for me, after all Bill Bennett is also a neoconservative. It just seems to me to be a disagreement on the exact current formulation of social mores in order to keep the proles in line. For Kristol, Krauthammer, or Bennet, being among the “philosophers”, they are able to properly judge good and evil themselves, and may act as they wish

  • HornOrSilk

    Pat’s problems are more than that; he often has the E Michael Jones problem with Jews. You might remember that — will you start praising Voris and Jones now? Or will you be consistent and point out the problems of Pat Buchanan and his associations?

    • ivan_the_mad

      Not exactly. Pat does have some stupid prejudices but it’s not as cut and dry as Jones; he’s been accused of anti-Semitism by the ADL and WFB, and defended against the charge by such Jews as Paul Gottfried, Allan H. Ryskind, and Murray Rothbard. There is a paper entitled “Pat Buchanan and the Jews” by E. Shapiro, from Judaism, a publication of the American Jewish Congress. Shapiro analyzes Pat’s political and religious formation to deduce his motivations, and concludes towards the end: “If Buchanan is an anti-Semite, and there is some doubt as to that, it is not because he finds Jews as individuals to be undesirable. Rather, it is because Buchanan has taken positions which have conflicted with Jewish interests, and he has done so in a manner which has led fair-minded persons to conclude that he has a problem when it comes to matters of Jewish concern.”

      Compare that to E. Michael Jones who called Jews “enemies of the entire human race”, asserted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be authentic on Iranian TV, and was condemned by the Catholic League for blaming the Jews themselves for the Holocaust and pogroms.

      To say that PJB has a problem with some Jewish interests is true. To equate his problem with that of Jones approaches libel.

      • thisismattwade

        Very informative, thank you.

    • chezami

      No argument from me. He’s not my hero. But he was right about our war of empire in Iraq and the guys who excommunicated him were not merely wrong. They are the real traitors.

      • HornOrSilk

        I fully agree he can be right on things, and the war in Iraq and war in Syria are wrong. However, we must also remember why he is opposed to some of them, and not all his reasons are right. That’s my warning: not to make him a hero.

        • Newp Ort

          Where do his reasons falter?

          • HornOrSilk

            http://frontpagemag.com/2012/ben-shapiro/pat-buchanan-anti-semite/ Just look at the comments here. I am critical of Israel, when it does wrong, but there is being critical of Israel, and there is maligning it and doing things just because it is opposed to Israel. Not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semite in nature, but with Pat, who has indeed dabbled in Holocaust denial (cue connection with E Michael Jones and company), yes, this is a real issue here, and where he goes bad ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/12/pat-buchanans-holocaust-d_n_202224.html ; http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2009/04/22/on-pat-buchanans-holocaust-den/ ; Buchanan’s words to Cardinal O’Conner speak: “If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic
            cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken. When
            Cardinal O’Connor of New York seeks to soothe the always-irate Elie
            Wiesel by reassuring him ‘there are many Catholics who are not
            anti-Semitic’ … he speaks for himself. Be not afraid, Your Eminence;
            just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role
            of defender of the faith.” http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/sins_pat_buchanan )

            Now, obviously there are many who are opposed to Buchanan for the wrong reasons as well. Nonetheless, the Israel issue is a part of his examination here.

            • chezami

              Again, not argument from me. Buchanan throws red meat to Jew haters. But the excommunication was not about that. It was about his refusal to get on board with the neocon war party. He was right. They were dead wrong. They continue to be massively wrong.

        • Mark S. (not for Shea)

          Pat Buchanan is a great example of the old maxim that even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

  • kirthigdon

    I think PJB may be an individual to whom the label isolationist genuinely applies. I agree with his anti-war positions, but have problems with his anti-trade and anti-immigration positions. It’s one thing to want normal, friendly rather than hostile relations with other countries, including of course Israel. It’s another thing to want no relations with them at all. Sometimes PJB’s ideal seems to me to be a continent wide hermit kingdom.
    Kirt Higdon

  • contrarian

    Love the phrase Kristol Meth. That’s gold!

    It will be interesting to see what the neo-con Catholic crowd decides to say during these coming days and weeks.
    For, on one hand, we’d be exacerbating the suffering of the Christian community of this troubled place, and joining ‘sides’ in a civil war that doesn’t appear that have good guys.
    Yet, on the other hand, ya know, Bombs for Democracy and all.

    I mean, that’s neo-Con 101.

    (As per the discussion below, a definition of neo-connery need not be fixed. The pragmatic reference could be a concept, currently shared by those using it, as gleamed from a Venn Diagram of prominent conservatives associated (either by others or self-described) with the prefix. The overlapping parts, and therefore the concept, would contain (among other things): laissez faire capitalism, the virtues of Pax Americana, and American exceptionalism. As none of those positions are thought of bad by those who hold to them, the term ‘neo-con’ need not be a pejorative per se. Certainly, I would use the term as such, but that’s only because, as a Catholic, I loathe all of those positions.)

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    Notwithstanding all this, it’s been a real trip watching some *other* conservatives go all dovish over the past week, while some liberal pols who opposed the Iraq War morphed into hawks before our eyes. Seeing Eric Bolling take a page from Code Pink on The Five the other day was just wild. To quote John Lennon, “Nobody told me there’d be days like these…. Strange days indeed!”

    I just hope Congress says NO in the end. Looks like both my Senators are undecided; maybe I should tell them to vote against it. Even though they are Dems and usually toe that party line… you never know.

  • JayAnderson

    Is there ANY doubt remaining that the neocon crowd will support Hillary in 2016 should Ted Cruz or Rand Paul win the GOP nomination?

  • treddy

    Fr. Z rocks….


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