http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/rss.aspx?blogid=4 Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:54:44 GMT Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:54:44 GMT Republican Congressman Calls Syrian President Assad ‘the Butcher of Baghdad’ in War Geography Fail RT http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/

In a clumsy attempt to attack a non-interventionist congressional colleague, Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger got his war geography mixed up — referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad as “the Butcher of Baghdad”.

In an interview with CNN at the weekend, Kinzinger lashed out at his Democratic House colleague, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, for her controversial decision to meet with Assad in 2017, but ran into some geography trouble when trying to insult the Syrian president.
Kinzinger said that it was possible for Gabbard to be “against intervention” but “to meet with the Butcher of Baghdad is a whole other thing". Baghdad, of course, is the capital of Iraq, not Syria — but that didn’t seem to matter to Kinzinger or the CNN host, conservative political commentator S.E. Cupp, who seemed eager to condemn Gabbard herself, suggesting that the Hawaii congresswoman was “parroting Assad and Russian propaganda”  for pointing out that the US has taken the side of jihadist militants against Assad in the war-torn country.

During the interview, Kinzinger appealed for stronger US military intervention in Syria to protect the anti-Assad militants in Idlib. The Russian military has estimated that Idlib is about 70 percent controlled by various terrorist groups, including the Al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which were previously known as the Al-Nusra Front.

Ironically, Kinzinger should probably have known that Baghdad was not in Syria, given that he served in the US air force in both Iraq and Afghanistan during his military career.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump urged Russia and Syria not to launch any new offensive against the militant enclave, tweeting that Moscow and Damascus should not “recklessly attack” Idlib province and saying that it would be a “grave humanitarian mistake”.

Reprinted with permission from RT.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:54:44 GMT
Neocons Plan: War in Syria, then Iran Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/13/neocons-plan-war-in-syria-then-iran/
Regarding talk about the US taking military action in Syria in response to potential allegations of the use of chemical weapons — false flag or otherwise — in the country, Wilkerson comments that the war advocates are “looking for every excuse, any excuse, all excuses, to reopen US operations, major U.S. operations, against [President Bashar al-Assad] in Syria, always realizing that the ultimate target is Tehran.” Tehran is the capital of Iran.

Addressing previous allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syria government that were used to justify US military actions in the country, Wilkerson, who is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, states that he has seen “no proof” that Assad “ever used chemical weapons” and disparages the reputability of the White Helmets organization whose claims have been used to build support for US military actions in Syria.

Wilkerson further warns that the neoconservative agenda regarding war on Syria and Iran also threatens both conflict between the US and Russia and the long-term bogging down of US military forces in major conflict. Wilkerson states: “My serious concern is about the way [US National Security Advisor John Bolton] and others in their positions of power now are orchestrating a scenario whereby Donald Trump, for political reasons or whatever, can use force in a significant way against Assad and ultimately Iran, because Iran’s forces are there, and ultimately against Russia, because their forces are there in Syria, and this is most disquieting.” The neoconservatives’ military plan, argues Wilkerson, is “a recipe for” the US military being in the region for “the next generation” with significant force “mired even deeper in this morass” and with the “day after day” attrition of dollars and lives.

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/13/neocons-plan-war-in-syria-then-iran/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/13/neocons-plan-war-in-syria-then-iran/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:14:43 GMT
The Neoconservative Comeback http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/29/the-neoconservative-comeback/

To those who are strongly opposed to Donald Trump, his present troubles no doubt resonate positively. The looming prospect of his successful removal from office through impeachment proceedings—or his just leaving as pressure for such proceedings builds—might even be such opponents’ fondest wish. But as Colin Powell used to say to me, “Be careful what you wish for…”

In this instance, such a warning has nothing to do with the line of succession and what Jane Mayer in The New Yorker called “The Danger of President Pence.” It has to do instead with the return of the Neoconservatives (Neocons) and only by extension, then, with a Pence or other caretaker presidency.

Because what is happening today, as Trump is preoccupied increasingly with the considerable, ever-growing challenges to him personally and to his presidency institutionally, is the reentry into critical positions in the government of these people, the people who gave America the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even those many of them who declared “Never Trump”—as arch-Neocon Eliot Cohen summed it up—are salivating at the prospect of carrying out their foreign and security policy while Trump essentially boils in his own corrupt juices.

Opening the Door

A vanguard, of course, is already in our government to beckon, comfort, and re-establish others of their type. John Bolton as national security advisor to the president leads this pack though he’s not, strictly speaking, a card-carrying Neocon. Bolton is, like Dick Cheney, an ultra-nationalist who finds the Neocon camp both a convenient hiding place from time to time and possessed of a set of views in which he dare not deny believing since they dovetail with his own purposes more often than not, and the Neocons muster a significant following. Moreover, the Neocons enjoy unfettered access to Israel’s right-wing government as a matter of course.

Nikki Haley at the United Nations, a true-blue Neocon, is almost as important as Bolton as she gives off the air of 2020 and replacing Trump as the new, duly-elected Republican president. To this point, Trump’s having exiled her to New York—as Barack Obama did finally with the war-loving Samantha Power—has not quelled her strident support of Israel (while women and children die in Gaza) or of Saudi Arabia (while thousands upon thousands die in Yemen) one iota.

Recently, one of the leaders of the pack of Neocons outside government, aptly enough a convicted felon (therefore fitting right in with the Trump team), Elliott Abrams, has written about this latent possibility in a very public manner. His screed might as well have been entitled, “Come back, come back. There is unparalleled mischief to be done.”

The very idea of such people being given another go at the ruination of the Republic ought to curdle our blood, rattle our bones, and give us immediate and effective pause. “Never again” is an appropriate battle cry because these people are certifiable. They have had as much to do with the almost 18 years of war in which the US finds itself inextricably enmeshed, with the brutal and bloody turmoil in the Middle East, and with the destruction of American credibility in the world, as any president, legislature, or special interest group.

Presently, their first and most identifiable target is the unfinished business—which they largely commenced—with Syria and Iran, Israel’s two most serious potential threats. If the Neocons got their way—and they are remarkably astute at getting their way—it would mean a reignited war in Syria and a new war with Iran, as well as increased support for the greatest state sponsor of terrorism on earth, Saudi Arabia. We would see all our efforts to halt US support for that country in the bloody and brutal war in Yemen prove fruitless, as well as a deeper fracturing in the Gulf Cooperation Council as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates press their vendetta against Qatar. As Turkey continues its efforts to shore up tiny Qatar, no doubt Neocon ire, already aimed directly at Ankara, will increase.

Overcoming the Blacklist

Who exactly are these should-be rejects who might be, or even now are, returning to key government positions?

Let’s start with Samantha Ravich whom Trump has recently appointed to be deputy chairman of the Intelligence Advisory Board.

It should be sufficient for any rational person to point out merely that Samantha worked for Dick Cheney when he was president, er, sorry, vice president. She handled Asian and Middle East Affairs, among other things, at a time when US Northeast Asia policy got so fouled up—largely at Cheney’s behest—that we let North Korea acquire nuclear weapons. (Did I point out that North Korea might be another country on the Neocon bucket list for war?)

That was also the time, folks will recall, that Iran moved from having a few centrifuges in its nuclear program to having more than 9,000. Cheney’s policy toward Iran was simply: “We do not speak to evil.” If we are to believe Peter Baker’s book (Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House), toward the end of the second Bush administration, when Cheney had been put in a closet, he—Cheney—was the only member of the National Security Council advocating for outright war with Iran. Thank God President Bush would have none of that war.

And coming from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, or FDD for short, Samantha’s credentials as a Neocon are impeccable. FDD, of course, is Israel’s frontispiece in Washington and, as an organization, never saw a war for Israel it did not like and for which it did not press. Its latest exploits have featured support for the UAE in its efforts to wrest control of al-Udeid Air Base (the largest USAF base in the region) away from Qatar, thus deepening the already quite-serious split in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the oldest US-backed security organization in the Persian Gulf.

And, as Abrams pointed out, Trump—or at least Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (who, as a long-time Christian Zionist and stridently anti-Iran member of Congress, has deferred to hard-line Neocons on Middle East policy)—has now breached Eliot Cohen’s dam by appointing Ambassador James Jeffrey, a former deputy national security adviser to George W. Bush and a veteran of the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) since 2012, to be the Special Envoy for Syria.

“Jeffrey’s appointment is important for another reason: he signed one of the anti-Trump letters in 2016 and is I believe the first person to have done so who got an administration post,” Abrams observed. “If this means that the blacklist is fraying, the president and the secretary of state will benefit greatly. They will have dozens more names to choose from in seeking top-notch advisers.”

Indeed, there is no doubt that more Neocons are waiting in the wings now that their intelligentsia component has sanctioned their return to government. Trump might indeed be forced to depart and thus his debilitating focus on his own peril would disappear with him. But the caretaker president who follows—Pence most likely—will have so many challenges to confront, so many lapses to fill, and so many disasters to try to repair, that focusing on preventing the re-entry into government of these people will not be a high priority even if the new President should want it to be.

Likewise, our largely gutless legislature, even if it were to find some courage and challenge some of the Neocon returnees through the confirmation process, could be circumvented, as there are ways around that process (Samantha Ravich’s appointment makes this quite clear). We have to recall that almost no one wanted John Bolton to be US Ambassador to the United Nations in George W. Bush’s second term—even in Congress—so the President used a recess appointment to get him there. Indeed, Abrams insisted that Jeffrey’s appointment could point the way; Special Envoys don’t require Senate confirmation.

Collective Amnesia

This whole business of a possible Neocon return in some ways reminds me painfully of the manner in which two key intelligence analysts, Robert Walpole and Larry Gershwin, were treated in late 2003. These two men were most responsible for the “intelligence” contained in Powell’s presentation on Iraq’s WMD to the United Nations in February 2003, along with the CIA Director, George Tenet, and the Deputy Director, John McLaughlin. Walpole and Gershwin were rewarded for their work, while McLaughlin is now a much-ballyhooed—and likely well-paid—TV consultant. Tenet is the only one who has had the good grace to stay mostly silent. Moreover, he probably did not get rich from his memoirs, At the Center of the Storm, and anyone watching his final address as Director in 2004 at Georgetown University, as I’ve done several times, has to muster a little sympathy for him and realize he got no real professional reward either.

The Neocons are never silent or far away or ashamed to speak out. Neither are they particularly desirous of nor do they even care about rewards. They are far more dangerous. They remind me of Leon Trotsky. In, of, and because of them, there is damage and destruction for the ages—damage and destruction at the end of which they are convinced the world will be alight with their ideology, a utopia, a heaven-on-earth, a world in which their second homeland, Israel, can be proud—and safe.

Gore Vidal once said we are “the United States of Amnesia”. Certainly in terms of the Neocons and colossal intelligence failures, we seem to be.

Col. Wilkerson is a Member of the Ron Paul Institute Board.

Reprinted with permission from LobeLog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/29/the-neoconservative-comeback/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/29/the-neoconservative-comeback/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 18:27:19 GMT
The Ron Paul Institute Take on John McCain Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/27/the-ron-paul-institute-take-on-john-mccain/

Over the first five years of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity’s (RPI) existence, John McCain, the long-time Republican United States senator from Arizona, has often been a focus of the institute’s attention — though quite a bit less since his sickness removed him from much of his involvement in politics. This focus stems from McCain having been an exemplar in the US government of adherence to nearly the opposite agenda as the agenda supported by RPI Founder and Chairman Ron Paul.

While Ron Paul worked in the US House of Representatives and founded RPI to advocate for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home, McCain was advocating for war abroad and restraints on liberty at home.

As RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams commented in an article in the institute’s first year, McCain was “the Energizer Bunny of interventionism.” With McCain’s death Saturday, the US Senate lost a major advocate for expansive intervention abroad and at home. Yet, there are many individuals in the US government who can be expected to take up the slack.

Many glowing accounts of McCain are being promoted in the media in these days after his death. For some balance, take a look at these articles focused on McCain at the RPI website:

Five Minutes Five Issues: Drug Dogs, McCain’s Award, NZ Marijuana, Amazon Rejection, Crime Lab” by Adam Dick, October 22, 2017

McCain As Metaphor” by Justin Raimondo, October 19, 2017

McCain Hammers Tillerson On Human Rights: Why The Panic?” by Daniel McAdams, May 9, 2017

Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is 'Wrong' and Alone In The Senate” by Jonathan Turley, April 9, 2017

John McCain Blasts Trump White House for Allowing Assad to Stay in Power” by Alex Christoforou, March 31, 2017

McCain and Montenegro: The Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory” by Justin Raimondo, March 21, 2017

Sen. McCain Explodes: 'Rand Paul is Working for Putin!'” March 15, 2017

McCain in Munich: The War Party Fights Back” by Justin Raimondo, February 20, 2017

The McCain Malady” by Charles Goyette, January 30, 2017

McCain's $5 Trillion Military Budget: Will It Make America Great Again?” by Daniel McAdams, January 19, 2017

‘John McCain Passed Dossier to Make Trump Look Bad; Now He’s Trying to Save His Hide’” interview with Daniel McAdams, January 18, 2017

Did John McCain 'Launder' Dodgy Trump Intel Dossier?” by Daniel McAdams, January 11, 2017

Election 'Hack' - Do We Believe Snowden And Assange...Or McCain And Graham?” by Daniel McAdams, December 12, 2016

McCain to Trump: Don't You Dare Make Peace with Russia!” by Daniel McAdams, November 15, 2016

Senators McCain and Corker Use Faulty Geography to Support US Arming Saudi Arabia” by Adam Dick, September 22, 2016

McCain's Nightmare - Dr. Kelli Ward For US Senate” by Daniel McAdams, August 4, 2016

Sen. McCain Attacks Due Process, Votes No Guns for Americans on Watch List” by Daniel McAdams, June 23, 2016

Sen. McCain Furious Iran Treated US Sailors Well” by Daniel McAdams, January 13, 2016

John McCain Wants to Shoot Down Russian Planes” by Daniel McAdams, October 1, 2015

Ukraine's American Finance Minister Asks John McCain for Weapons” by Daniel McAdams, April 21, 2015

McCain to Israel: Go Rogue!” by Daniel McAdams, March 31, 2015

McCain Stands With ISIS?” by Daniel McAdams, March 9, 2015

Nuland's Neocon Lies and McCain's Agony - McAdams and Taylor Week in Review” interview with Daniel McAdams, March 7, 2015

McCain 'Troubled' by Iranian Help With ISIS” by Daniel McAdams, March 3, 2015

Sen. McCain: 'I'm Ashamed of America'” by Daniel McAdams, February 23, 2015

Lawrence Wilkerson: Resist 'Warmonger' John McCain’s Call to Arm Ukraine” by Adam Dick, February 11, 2015

McCain Seeks to Protect US-Backed Terrorists From Other US-Backed Terrorists?” October 22, 2014

McCain: 'Vote For Us and We'll Start Another Bigger War!'” October 22, 2014

Where Does John McCain Want to Attack?” by Chis Rossini, October 13, 2014

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Reject ‘Raving Maniac’ John McCain; Cooler Heads Can Create Ukraine Peace” by Adam Dick, July 21, 2014

No Nation Left Un-Invaded: Sen. McCain Would Put US Military Into Nigeria In 'A New York Minute'” by David Stockman, May 14, 2014

McCain's Eleven Point Plan For War” by Daniel McAdams, March 18, 2014

Is John McCain Running For The Ukrainian Parliament?” by Chris Rossini, March 16. 2014

McCain: Why Aren't We At War Already?” by Daniel McAdams, March 13, 2014

McCain: ‘It’s Tragic’ There’s No U.S. Military Option In Ukraine” by Daniel McAdams, March 8, 2014

McCain and Graham Go To Work Against Iran Agreement” by Daniel McAdams, January 14, 2014

McCain in Ukraine: What Is He Really Up To?” interview with Daniel McAdams, December 17, 2013

Sen. McCain, Interventionism's ‘Energizer Bunny’” by Daniel McAdams, December 17, 2013

 “Religious Tolerance of McCain's Syrian Allies” by Daniel McAdams, October 28, 2013

McCain Taken Down Over Support for Al-Qaeda” by Daniel McAdams, October 24, 2013

McCain's Moderates Join Al-Qaeda” by Daniel McAdams, September 26, 2013

Ron Paul Institute’s McAdams Talks Syria, Vladimir Putin and John McCain’s Assessment of the Rebels” interview with Daniel McAdams, September 23, 2013

McCain and Graham: Let's Do Syria...NOW!” by Chris Rossini, August 25, 2013

RPI's McAdams Talks McCain and Neocons With Scott Horton” interview with Daniel McAdams, August 7, 2013

McCain: 'Vote For Berlin Wall!'” by Adam Dick, June 27, 2013

McCain's 'Moving Experience'” by Chris Rossini, May 30, 2013

McCain Spends Memorial Day with Al-Qaeda Allies” by Daniel McAdams, May 27, 2013

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/27/the-ron-paul-institute-take-on-john-mccain/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/27/the-ron-paul-institute-take-on-john-mccain/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 21:47:19 GMT
Ron Paul: President Trump May Not Be a Neoconservative, but He Is Influenced by Neocons Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/14/ron-paul-president-trump-may-not-be-a-neoconservative-but-he-is-influenced-by-neocons/
Continuing his answer, Paul grants that Trump frequently “sounds like he doesn’t strongly identify with neocons, but his policies frequently do.” Paul further explains it is low on his “list of priorities” to label Trump. Instead, Paul says he focuses on analyzing the particular policies Trump pursues. Says Paul:
When [Trump] makes a move toward peace, I complement him. When he’s moving toward war, I complain.
Listen here to Paul’s complete interview, in which Paul and Burack also discuss topics including the deep state, trade wars, and the economic problems many Americans are experiencing:

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/14/ron-paul-president-trump-may-not-be-a-neoconservative-but-he-is-influenced-by-neocons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/14/ron-paul-president-trump-may-not-be-a-neoconservative-but-he-is-influenced-by-neocons/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:24:38 GMT
Senators Seek 'Crushing' Sanctions For Russia In New Bill Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/02/senators-seek-crushing-sanctions-for-russia-in-new-bill/

In the latest effort to punish Moscow over alleged election meddling, as well its role in both Ukraine and Syria, a bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Senate Thursday that seeks to be so far reaching that it's being widely described as "crushing."

Predictably, it has as sponsors such Congressional hawks as Senators Bob Menendez, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham — the latter which announced the bill's goal is to "impose crushing sanctions and other measures against Putin’s Russia until he ceases and desists meddling in the US electoral process, halts cyber-attacks on US infrastructure, removes Russia from Ukraine, and ceases efforts to create chaos in Syria," according a statement.

According to lawmakers' statements, the Graham-Menendez bill introduces harsh new restrictions on sectors ranging from energy and oil projects to uranium imports and on sovereign debt transactions. And the new sanctions further target various Russian political figures and oligarchs.

Bob Menendez (D) of New Jersey called the measure the "next step in tightening the screws on the Kremlin" so Putin understands "that the US will not tolerate his behavior any longer."

Other supporters include Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) among those previously mentioned.

In a statement Sen. John McCain said, "Until Putin pays a serious price for his actions, these attacks on our democracy will only grow. This bill would build on the strongest sanctions ever imposed on the Putin regime for its assault on democratic institutions, violation of international treaties, and siege on open societies through cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns."

Notably, part of the legislation would require the State Department to make an assessment on whether Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

It might have trouble passing, however, as even though a broad spectrum of legislators have lately criticized President Trump for meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month and have charged Russia with seeking to interfere in US elections, there's concern that it could inadvertently impact markets beyond Russia's borders. It would further have to pass the House of Representatives before going to Trump's desk.

According to Reuters:
The Banking and Foreign Relations Committees are planning hearings in advance of legislation coming to the floor. Some senators have expressed concern new sanctions might go too far or not succeed in getting Putin to change course.

The Treasury Department has warned Congress against legislation that would block transactions and financing for Russian sovereign debt in part because of the pain it would wreak across markets outside Russia’s borders.
The bill is considered the broadest and most far reaching of any Russia sanctions bill previously considered. Sen. Graham had recently described that it would include everything but "the kitchen sink."

Meanwhile the ruble and Russian local bonds were shaken moments after the bipartisan legislation was announced Thursday: the ruble traded down by as much as 0.9 percent against the dollar, and bond yields jumped to the highest level since July last year.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/02/senators-seek-crushing-sanctions-for-russia-in-new-bill/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/august/02/senators-seek-crushing-sanctions-for-russia-in-new-bill/ Thu, 02 Aug 2018 22:30:27 GMT
Charles Krauthammer: The Ultimate Armchair Warrior http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/june/30/charles-krauthammer-the-ultimate-armchair-warrior/

Charles Krauthammer, the eminent US media pundit died in June 2018 at the age of 68, reportedly of cancer of the small intestine.

Krauthammer was the loudest and leading public voice of the neoconservative movement in the United States. He was a lifelong warmonger and proud of it. Needless to say he never donned the uniform of his country when he had the chance and made sure his son never went to serve in the conflicts he so tirelessly demanded either.

Krauthammer championed the relentless and unending expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe and the efforts to recruit countries across Eurasia into the Atlantic Alliance. He demanded the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the toppling of previously stable governments in Ukraine and Libya. He urged the toppling of the government of Syria, demanding the policies that have so far killed at least 600,000 people and unleashed more than 5 million refugees. He demanded the 1998 bombing of Serbia. He sneered at the very idea of international law.

Krauthammer applauded the toppling of established governments including democratically elected ones across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East in the name of human rights. He relentlessly advocated the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the ludicrous attempt to set up a US-designed, Shiite-dominated so-called democracy there. He sneered at and denied in the face of all the evidence the formidable anti-American popular rebellion in Iraq that started in May 2003. For months afterwards, Krauthammer claimed there was nothing to worry about. Later, he claimed that General David Petraeus had brought lasting peace to Iraq with his “Surge” Strategy.

Krauthammer hated and sought to destroy every attempt to bring a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He championed the Free Trade policies that gutted the US industrial base and brought poverty and despair to hundreds of millions of Americans. He fanatically opposed the Six-Plus-One nuclear agreement with Iran.

None of his “solutions” worked. He was oblivious to all consequences in the real world. He never changed. He was incapable of learning anything or ever admitting he had been wrong. He had practiced as a psychiatrist, but no one in the public domain was more in need of sustained therapy himself.

In his last message on June 8, Krauthammer wrote, “I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking.” It was another lie. No one did more to suppress free, balanced and open debate in the US media over four decades. He poured endless hatred and ridicule on everyone who disagreed with him. He was never even an independent voice. Every public position he took was carefully decided and coordinated in advance by the exceptionally close knit coterie of neoconservatives for whom he was the voice.

He appeared endlessly on Fox News and numerous other US media outlets. But no one was ever allowed to seriously criticize him or challenge his assertions in any of those forums. He applauded the passing of the 2001 Patriot Act with its outrageous extension of the already huge power of the US security services and Deep State.

While still in his mid-20s, Krauthammer suffered a bizarre accident that ironically left him immune from criticism for the rest of his life. He shattered his spine diving into a swimming pool which had far too little water in it, leaving him a quadriplegic for life.

He certainly showed an indomitable will and ingenuity in maintaining a full career. However this personal catastrophe had two other crucial effects never publicly acknowledged: It left him immune to the kind of virulent ad hominem personal abuse and contempt he freely showered on everyone else. He claimed to live in defiance of his physical affliction: Another lie. Any vitriol he poured on others was indulgently permitted. No legitimate criticism was allowed against him.

Second, as a cripple, Krauthammer was incapable of actually ever visiting Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine or the American heartland where the policies he demanded inflicted so much suffering. He did not want to know any such inconvenient facts. He did not just suffer from paradigm blindness all his life, he embraced it.

Although a successful psychiatric resident, he was extraordinarily arrogant and narcissistic and treated most people outside his family and closest colleagues with withering contempt. An informal poll carried out among Washington Post op-ed page editors in the 1990s overwhelmingly chose him as the most obnoxious and hated columnist they had to deal with. (Liberal columnist Richard Cohen easily was voted the most popular and the nicest guy.)

Krauthammer was abysmally ignorant of economics, business, practicalities of government, diplomacy, global history, war and strategy. He had never studied or practiced any of them. This ignorance generated the boundless confidence that was the secret of his success.

Krauthammer was never a reporter. He was physically incapable of visiting any country to see things himself and he was manifestly uninterested in anything that ordinary people anywhere had to say. He knew that he and his friends had all the answers. Nothing else was needed. He was convinced he was one of Plato‘s philosopher-kings, the inner elite that should guide the human race for its own good.

In his very last public statement he said, “I leave this life with no regrets.”

It was an unintentionally revealing admission: Charles Krauthammer led his own country down the road to waste, endless suffering, unending wars, misery, drug addiction epidemics and economic ruin and helped put the whole world on a helter-skelter slide towards nuclear Armageddon.

But he had no regrets.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/june/30/charles-krauthammer-the-ultimate-armchair-warrior/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/june/30/charles-krauthammer-the-ultimate-armchair-warrior/ Sat, 30 Jun 2018 13:43:47 GMT
Will Trump Fire John Bolton Next? Tyler Durden http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/june/06/will-trump-fire-john-bolton-next/

After he nearly scuttled the historic talks with North Korea by hinting that Kim Jong Un could face a fate similar to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, National Security Advisor John Bolton is being sidelined by President Trump ahead of the historic June 12 summit in Singapore, CNN reports.

According to the report, several senior administration officials have lost their patience with Bolton and his hawkish approach to North Korea, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has pushed to limit Bolton's role in the upcoming summit, saying it would be "counterproductive" for Bolton to attend certain Oval Office meetings.

Like Trump, Pompeo was reportedly livid following Bolton's now-infamous Fox News Sunday interview, and in an angry confrontation Pompeo accused the moustached neo-con of trying to scuttle the talks for his own selfish reasons.
Pompeo told Trump it would be "counterproductive" to allow Bolton to attend the Oval Office meeting with visiting North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, two people familiar with the matter said, citing an escalating feud between the top diplomat and Bolton. The simmering tensions between two of the President's top foreign policy advisers reached a boiling point after Bolton went on television last month and cited the Libya model when talking about North Korea abandoning its nuclear program -- and in doing so, also raising the specter of Libya's subsequent invasion and its leader's brutal murder.

North Korea reacted furiously, lambasting Bolton in a statement. It revived long-held criticism from the regime, most notably in 2003 when North Korean state media described Bolton as "human scum and a bloodsucker" during the Bush administration.

But the remarks about Libya also infuriated Pompeo, who angrily confronted Bolton in a heated conversation at the White House.
While the White House has sought to play down rumors about tensions between Pompeo and Bolton, CNN says the Secretary of State has the backing of other high-ranking White House officials - including Vice President Mike Pence and Chief of Staff John Kelly. Both men have come to rely on Pompeo for his ability to cajole President Trump.
White House chief of staff John Kelly has remained in line with Pompeo, and has come to rely on his ability to guide the President, an official said. Kelly greeted Kim Jong Chol at the White House diplomatic entrance on Friday and escorted him to the Oval Office.

[...]

"Secretary Pompeo has always been the president's lead on the North Korea summit," the spokesman said, adding that Bolton "continues to coordinate and integrate the interagency process and provide the President with national security options."
This wouldn't be the first time that President Trump has pitted two of his senior officials against one another - a management strategy that Trump has become famous for. And even though Bolton has been sidelined when it comes to North Korea, the president still has faith in his national security advisor, CNN said.

Speaking from the south lawn of the White House on Friday, the president said he would temporarily set aside his push to exert "maximum pressure" on North Korea. But that doesn't mean the White House won't step up the pressure if Kim starts getting cold feet.
"I don't even want to use the term 'maximum pressure' anymore because I don't want to use that term because we're getting along. You see the relationship. We're getting along," Trump told reporters after bidding farewell to his North Korean visitor, a former spy chief and currently the country's chief nuclear negotiator. "So it's not a question of maximum pressure. It's staying essentially the way it is. At some point, hopefully, a deal -- for the good of millions of people, a deal will be worked out."

The administration insists that, for now, sanctions relief won't come until North Korea takes firm steps toward abandoning its nuclear program.

[...]

Indeed, people familiar with the summit planning now say there is little expectation Trump will emerge from his meeting with Kim having secured the type of historic, detailed commitment on denuclearization that officials once said was a prerequisite for the talks.

Instead, Trump and his aides have suggested the most concrete product of the June 12 encounter could be a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War -- a far cry from the commitment to immediate denuclearization that the administration once insisted would be required for Trump to come to the table.
However, administration officials have also cautioned that they won't let North Korea off the hook from US sanctions until the process of denuclearization has started. For now, White House officials are saying all they can hope for at the June 12 summit is a broad declaration from Kim that he's open to giving up his nukes. Such a declaration would give Pompeo and his allies in the White House enough momentum to continue pursuing a peaceful deescalation with North Korea.

However, if Kim suddenly balks, Bolton could find another opening to reassert a more hawkish approach to dealing with the Hermit Kingdom. Unless, of course, Pompeo has had enough of his neo-con rival and convinces Trump to ditch him. For now, Bolton's odds of sticking around remain high... if only for the next three weeks. According to PredictIt, the contract "Will John Bolton be National Security Advisor at end of day June 30?" is currently pricing in 91% odds.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/june/06/will-trump-fire-john-bolton-next/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/june/06/will-trump-fire-john-bolton-next/ Wed, 06 Jun 2018 04:37:55 GMT
Donald Trump’s Neocon Conversion was Predictable Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/11/donald-trump-s-neocon-conversion-was-predictable/

During the election, I wrote a little ebook titled “Donald Trump’s War on Islam.” In addition to pointing out Trump’s pandering to Islamophobia, I wrote about his association with a number of neocons, including Frank Gaffney and John Bolton, who is now his national security adviser. “I think John Bolton’s a good man,” Trump told the Hugh Hewitt Show. 

“I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong. And I’ve always liked John Bolton. Well, we are thinking about it, Hugh [nominating Bolton as secretary of state]. I will say that. We are thinking about it. I mean, the negative is what I told you. But we are seriously thinking about it.”

That didn’t fly because Congress would never vote to approve Bolton, same as they wouldn’t approve his nomination as ambassador to the United Nations during the reign of Bush. Instead, he assumed the role of national security adviser, a position that doesn’t require congressional approval.

In August 2016, when I published my ebook, I had no idea just how far Trump would go. He is now almost entirely in the neocon camp and Zionist sheep dipped—although the hardline neocons like Bill Kristol and Max Boot stubbornly reject him, mostly because he is an outlier, didn’t come up through the ranks, and is unpolished and anti-intellectual.

But it’s not merely the neocons. 

It’s also the Israelis. 

Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party fanatics—hardcore Zionists—are welcomed by Trump. He has adopted their ideology, most likely as a result of the influence of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The Trump administration is more pro-Israel than the Bush administration. Not even George Bush and his neocons signed off on making Jerusalem the capitol of Israel. 

Bush followed the lead of the neocons and destroyed Iraq—a longtime Israeli goal, along with destroying Syria, which Obama tried to accomplish, although his relationship with the Israelis was tepid at best. Instead, Obama destroyed Libya, which wasn’t a top objective of the Likudnik Israelis, not that they objected to another Muslim biting the dust. 

Trump is going for the prime Likudnik objective—taking out Iran. 

Iran, of course, poses absolutely no threat to America. It does, however, challenge Israel for the role as Middle East Hegemon. Because of this and its strident anti-Zionist rhetoric and ostensible support for the Palestinians, it has to be taken down. 

As I wrote earlier today, we will now witness John Bolton’s Plan B—stirring up ethnic division inside Iran, directly aiding domestic groups opposed to the rule of the mullahs, and ultimately installing the wacky MEK cult as the preferred client.

The details weren’t known two years ago when I wrote my ebook—but the general outline, a rough sketch was. 

It was obvious when Trump talked about torturing suspected terrorists, killing their families, stealing oil in Iraq and Syria, and in general raising hell in the Arab and Muslim Middle East, remarks that fall comfortably within the parameters of the Zionist neocon agenda.

Reprinted with permission from Another Day in the Empire.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/11/donald-trump-s-neocon-conversion-was-predictable/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/11/donald-trump-s-neocon-conversion-was-predictable/ Fri, 11 May 2018 15:43:40 GMT
The Right to 100 Percent Security? Michael S. Rozeff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/07/the-right-to-100-percent-security/

The basic fault in the Bush Doctrine and in Norman Podhoretz’s praise of it is that they both assume a state’s or people’s right to perfect security or 100 percent safety. This is impossible, because not everyone can simultaneously have such a right and still remain free.

To get 100 percent security, a state has to defeat and control its neighbors and eventually every last one of them. Even then, it won’t be 100 percent secure until it controls every rebellious element under its flag.

Extremism in defense of 100 percent security is a vice: wicked and immoral behavior. Such extremism stems from an erroneous moral philosophy in which one does not allow equal freedom to one’s neighbors, but instead one exercises power over them in the name of one’s own false conception of one’s right.

As an important example of this thinking and how it can lead to war, consider Israel and Iran. Trump and Pompeo have both made statements that support the neoconservative position of Norman Podhoretz. His position and theirs contain the flaw of making extreme demands for the extreme security of Israel that cannot be met without making war against Iran and suppressing their rights.

Here’s Norman Podhoretz’s thinking about Iran and Israel on December 11, 2013. The JPCOA nuclear deal was signed on 14 July 2015.

Podhoretz wrote:
I remain convinced that containment is impossible, from which it follows that the two choices before us are not war vs. containment but a conventional war now or a nuclear war later.
Podhoretz was wrong in thinking “containment is impossible.” Being wrong on Iran is what he always has been, simply because he takes the position that Iran must grovel before Israel and abjectly kowtow to every Israeli demand; and even that would not be enough. He rules out containment from the get-go because to him it requires the surrender of Iran. He wants 100 percent security for Israel.

In the real world, Iran signed the JPCOA agreement on July 14, 2015. Iran agreed to significant restrictions and inspections, which I quote:
Under the agreement, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. For the next 15 years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67 percent. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time. Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years.
Iran shelved its nuclear program since the agreement went into effect. The IAEA found no violations except some minor technical one. Iran still wants the agreement. Israel still has its nuclear arsenal, and Iran still has no nuclear bombs.

Podhoretz in 2013 could not imagine anything other than war on Iran for a good reason. He believes that Israel won’t ever be 100 percent safe until it militarily destroys the Iranian regime and puts in place a regime that is under Israel’s control. He wants 100 percent security for Israel, and the only way to assure it is complete military victory over Iran. Any degree of independence of any Iran regime will not suffice to achieve his goal.

This position is completely unreasonable, because no state has a right to demand 100 percent security for itself by suppressing other states, plus doing so forcibly. One has no right to achieve perfect security by means of aggression. One has to live with risks, threats, and possibilities, if others are to have the same freedoms and rights. The belief in this false right of one’s own security by means of invading the rights of one’s neighbors is the flaw in the Bush Doctrine. It is why Podhoretz praised the Bush Doctrine so much. It fit his own flawed philosophy. Both men, assured in their own minds that they are entitled to 100 percent security, are willing by any means of force to remove all possibility of future, current and incipient threats, even if this entails massive destruction of the rights of others.

The extreme position of Podhoretz is also the position of a cluster of neoconservatives who want American power to dominate the world. Trump and Pompeo at this moment have articulated positions that may easily tip over into full-scale war against Iran, because if they destroy what is now effective containment, what other course is left? Will Iran grovel and abjectly give in? Maybe, but it’s not likely.

Podhoretz added:
Given how very unlikely it is that President Obama, despite his all-options-on-the-table protestations to the contrary, would ever take military action, the only hope rests with Israel. If, then, Israel fails to strike now, Iran will get the bomb. And when it does, the Israelis will be forced to decide whether to wait for a nuclear attack and then to retaliate out of the rubble, or to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of their own. But the Iranians will be faced with the same dilemma. Under these unprecedentedly hair-trigger circumstances, it will take no time before one of them tries to beat the other to the punch.
Podhoretz clearly assumes that Iran is irrational, where he says that Israel can’t wait for a nuclear attack. He assumes that Iran is willing to destroy Israel even if it itself is destroyed by Israel’s nuclear arsenal. What’s more likely is that each will deter the other. If Iran has already negotiated and signed an agreement and is abiding by it, isn’t this evidence that Iran is rational? Don’t we have more such evidence in the tolerance with which Iran treats its Jewish population? And if Israel is rational, could she not make concessions to Iran or both make concessions such as to enhance the safety of both countries? The thing that’s irrational is attempting to get 100 percent safety for oneself.

Podhoretz concluded:
And so my counsel to proponents of the new consensus is to consider the unspeakable horrors that would then be visited not just on Israel and Iran but on the entire region and beyond. The destruction would be far worse than any imaginable consequences of an Israeli conventional strike today when there is still a chance to put at least a temporary halt, and conceivably even a permanent one, to the relentless Iranian quest for the bomb.
Here again, events proved him wrong. An agreement was reached that created a significant halt in Iran’s nuclear research and development. Its quest for the bomb turned out not to be as relentless as Podhoretz imagined it to be.

Did Podhoretz think that Israel could strike Iran with conventional weapons without causing Iran to declare war on Israel? If so, he thought that Iran would be rational in its non-retaliation because it would face Israel’s nuclear superiority. What if Iran reacted in the irrational way that Podhoretz earlier imagined was in its character? What if Iran retaliated? Then Israel might attack Iran with nuclear weapons; and it would almost surely attack if Israelis were dying or losses mounting. In other words, Podhoretz countenances a holocaust in Iran in order to assure Israel’s 100 percent safety. This is what follows from an erroneous moral philosophy in which 100 percent safety is regarded as a rightful goal that permits one to use force against one’s neighbors.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/07/the-right-to-100-percent-security/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/07/the-right-to-100-percent-security/ Mon, 07 May 2018 18:11:15 GMT
Bibi Netanyahu’s Iran Nuke Show Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/01/bibi-netanyahu-s-iran-nuke-show/

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repackaged a cobbled together pack of old lies. He is trying to sell it to gullible Americans as new and startling revelations about an Iranian nuclear program that doesn’t exist. 

Bibi gave a video presentation at the Israeli defense ministry yesterday. He had some props and a big screen for slides. He warned about Iran’s “Amad Plan” to secretly and illegally manufacture nuclear bombs. 

It was a rather clumsy sleight of hand. A closer look reveals the information he presented is old stuff repackaged. The IAEA knew about Amad in 2011. The international organization declared several times Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and stopped doing nuke research back in 2003.

He sold a pack of lies to Congress back in 2003 in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Bibi is trying to sell this old and known material as a pack of new revelations and thus build up a consensus to dump the JCPOA. It looks like Trump might use this recycled crap to disavow the nuke deal next month. 

There has been a lot of traffic back and forth between Washington and Tel Aviv by Pompeo, Bolton, and Israeli officials over the last few days.

Prior to Bibi’s show, a huge explosion in Hama, Syria took out around 30 Iranians and Syrians at the Brigade 47 arms depot. The explosion was recorded as a 2.6 magnitude earthquake. Another attack hit near a military air base in Aleppo province, according to reports

In the next few days, something big is likely to happen in Syria or Iran, possibly both. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton are fanatical neocons determined to take Iran down a few pegs, if not give it the Iraq treatment, as the neocons have planned for a couple decades now.

Ditto Syria.

Question is, what will Russia do if Israel, along with the United States and the Saudis, pull off a full-fledged attack to destroy Syria and give Bashar al-Assad the Gaddafi treatment? 

Dumping the JCPOA is the first step. The Iranians swear they will to do something drastic if Trump cans the agreement, even going so far as to pull out of the NPT. 

This will give Israel the excuse it needs to bomb Iran’s civilian nuclear sites. But Israel can’t do this. They don’t have the resources, and can’t proceed without help from their friends in Washington.

That will, of course, mean a wider war in the region. Russia will be caught in the middle. Will they sit back and let it happen? If they react, will it precipitate the Big One, World War III?

Stay tuned.

Reprinted with permission from KurtNimmo.blog.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/01/bibi-netanyahu-s-iran-nuke-show/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/may/01/bibi-netanyahu-s-iran-nuke-show/ Tue, 01 May 2018 18:19:04 GMT
The Neocons Are Selling Koolaid Again! Col. W. Patrick Lang http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/23/the-neocons-are-selling-koolaid-again/

In 2004 I published an article in the journal, Middle East Policy that was entitled “Drinking the Koolaid.” The article reviewed the process by which the neocon element in the Bush Administration seized control of the process of policy formation and drove the United States in the direction of invasion of Iraq and the destruction of the apparatus of the Iraqi state. They did this through manipulation of the collective mental image Americans had of Iraq and the supposed menace posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Not all the people who participated in this process were neocon in their allegiance but there were enough of them in the Bush Administration to dominate the process. Neoconism as it has evolved in American politics is a close approximation of the imperialist political faction that existed in the time of President William McKinley and the Spanish-American War. Barbara Tuchman described this faction well in “The Proud Tower.”

Such people, then and now, fervently believe in the Manifest Destiny of the United States as mankind’s best hope of a utopian future and concomitantly in the responsibility of the United States to lead mankind toward that future. Neocons believe that inside every Iraqi, Filipino or Syrian there is an American waiting to be freed from the bonds of tradition, local culture and general backwardness. For people with this mindset the explanation for the continuance of old ways lies in the oppressive and exploitative nature of rulers who block the “progress” that is needed. The solution for the imperialists and neocons is simple. Local rulers must be removed as the principal obstacle to popular emulation of Western and especially American culture and political forms. In the run up to the invasion of Iraq I was often told by leading neocon figures that the Muslims and particularly the Iraqis had no culture worth keeping and that once we had created new facts, (a Karl Rove quote) these people would quickly abandon their old ways and beliefs as they sought to become something like Americans. This notion has one major flaw. It is not necessarily correct. Often the natives are willing to fight you long and hard to retain their own ways. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War the US acquired the Philippine Islands and sought to make the islands American in all things. The result was a terrible war against Filipino nationalists who did not want to follow the example of the “shining city on a hill.” No, the “poor fools” wanted to go their own way in their own way. The same thing happened in Iraq after 2003. The Iraqis rejected occupation and American “reform” of their country and a long and bloody war ensued.

The neocons believe so strongly that America must lead the world and mankind forward that they accept the idea that the achievement of human progress justifies any means needed to advance that goal. In the case of the Iraq invasion the American people were lectured endlessly about the bestialities of Saddam’s government. The bestialities were impressive but the constant media display of these horrors was not enough to persuade the American people to accept war. From the bestialities meme the neocons moved on to the WMD meme. The Iraqi government had a nuclear weapons program before the First Gulf War but that program had been thoroughly destroyed in the inspection regime that followed Iraq’s defeat and surrender. This was widely known in the US government because US intelligence agencies had cooperated fully with the international inspectors in Iraq and in fact had sent the inspectors to a long list of locations at which the inspectors destroyed the program. I was instrumental in that process.

After 9/11 the US government knew without any doubt that the Iraqi government did not have a nuclear weapons program, but that mattered not at all to the neocons. As Paul Wolfowitz infamously told the US Senate “we chose to use the fear of nuclear weapons because we knew that would sell.” Once that decision was made an endless parade of administration shills appeared on television hyping the supposed menace of Iraqi nuclear weapons. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were merely the most elevated in position of the many vendors of the image of the “mushroom shaped cloud.”

And now we have the case of Syria and its supposed chemical weapons and attacks. After the putative East Gouta chemical attack of 2013, an OPCW program removed all the chemical weapons to be found in Syria and stated its belief that there were no more in the country. In April of 2017 the US-Russian de-confliction process was used to reach agreement on a Syrian Air Force strike in the area of Khan Sheikoon in southern Idlib Province. This was a conventional weapons attack and the USAF had an unarmed reconnaissance drone in the area to watch the strike go in against a storage area. The rebel run media in the area then claimed the government had attacked with the nerve gas Sarin, but no proof was ever offered except film clips broadcast on social media. Some of the film clips from the scene were ludicrous. Municipal public health people were filmed at the supposed scene standing around what was said to be a bomb crater from the “sarin attack.” Two public health men were filmed sitting on the lip of the crater with their feet in the hole. If there had been sarin residue in the hole they would have quickly succumbed to the gas. No impartial inspection of the site was ever done, but the Khan Sheikoon “gas attack” has become through endless repetition a “given” in the lore of the “constant Syrian government gas attacks against their own civilians.”

On the 4th of April it is claimed that the Syrian Government, then in the process of capturing the town of Douma caused chlorine gas to be dropped on the town killing and wounding many. Chlorine is not much of a war gas. It is usually thought of as an industrial chemical, so evidently to make the story more potent it is now suggested that perhaps sarin was also used.

No proof that such an attack occurred has been made public. None! The Syrian and Russian governments state that they want the site inspected. On the 15th of April US Senator Angus King (I) of Maine told Jake Tapper on SOTU that as of that date the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had not been given any proof by the IC or Trump Administration that such an attack had occurred. “They have asserted that it did” he said.

The US, France and the UK struck Syria with over a hundred cruise missiles in retaliation for this supposed attack but the Administration has not yet provided any proof that the Syrian attack took place.

I am told that the old neocon crew argued as hard as possible for a disabling massive air and missile campaign intended to destroy the Syrian government’s ability to fight the mostly jihadi rebels. John Bolton, General (ret.) Jack Keane and many other neocons argued strongly for this campaign as a way to reverse the outcome of the civil war. James Mattis managed to obtain President Trump’s approval for a much more limited and largely symbolic strike but Trump was clearly inclined to the neocon side of the argument. What will happen next time?

Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years

Reprinted with permission from Unz.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/23/the-neocons-are-selling-koolaid-again/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/23/the-neocons-are-selling-koolaid-again/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 14:20:26 GMT
Bombing Syria: Trump Earns His Neocon Gold Star Kurt Nimmo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/14/bombing-syria-trump-earns-his-neocon-gold-star/

It’s official. Donald Trump is now a full-blown neocon.

This was obvious even before he appointed the war criminal John Bolton to be his senior advisor. In fact, as predicted before he was elected, it was inevitable he would join the neocon club, although most neocons dislike him, just like the establishment dislikes him -- not because he won’t follow instructions, but because he’s an interloper, an outlier, somebody who didn’t come up through the ranks, never mind he’s moving the agenda forward.

Trump earned his gold star on Friday night. He violated the Constitution, didn’t bother with the United Nations, and bombed Syria based on a lie. That’s pure neocon.

However, after the dust settled, it was apparent his multi-million dollar bombing raid didn’t really accomplish much.

John McCain was appreciative, but said Trump needs to do much more—not only in Syria, but in the entire region. McCain’s buddy, Lindsey Graham, said there should be a “three strikes and you’re out” approach to Bashar al-Assad. Because he responded to the attempt to undermine his government and managed to defeat the US-Saudi backed Salafi heads choppers—with the help of Russia and Iran—it would be okay if the US or one of its proxies killed him, maybe in Gadaffi fashion.

Top neocon Bill Kristol didn’t say much. He merely posted three flags. I guess that’s his way of saying he supported the illegal attack without mentioning Trump. Bill led the “Never Trump” movement and pushed a former CIA guy during the election. Kristol will never admit Trump is now a neocon, at least in spirit. Trump didn’t come up through the ranks, he wasn’t a senior fellow at one of the think tanks.

Max Boot and other neocons didn’t say anything—not because they don’t support taking out Syria, but rather because Trump is doing it and most of them can’t stand him.

Meanwhile, Richard Haass, boss over at the Council on Foreign relations, said the illegal bombing raid was “legitimate,” but more bombing and killing must be done.

Trump earned his neocon gold star, albeit begrudgingly, and his base, what’s left of it, is grousing and grumbling over serial betrayals.

It’s not over, of course. It won’t be over until al-Assad is removed or killed and a malleable puppet put into place. Trump and his brain—the mustachioed bulldog John Bolton—will contrive another chlorine attack and it will be off to the races again.

Reprinted with permission from Another Day in the Empire.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/14/bombing-syria-trump-earns-his-neocon-gold-star/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/14/bombing-syria-trump-earns-his-neocon-gold-star/ Sat, 14 Apr 2018 17:08:45 GMT
Memo to Lindsey Graham on Syria Michael S. Rozeff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/02/memo-to-lindsey-graham-on-syria/

Senator Graham:

Your recent views on Syria, expressed here, are mistaken and confused.
If we withdrew our troops anytime soon ISIS would come back…
This prediction is mistaken. If ISIS reconstitutes, the Syrian coalition (Syria, Syrian Kurds, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia) will defeat it again. Remember, “ISIS has suffered consecutive defeats at the hands of separate but simultaneous offensives in Iraq and Syria by the Russian-backed Syrian forces and allied militias as well as US-backed Iraqi and Syrian fighters.”
If we withdrew our troops anytime soon…the war between Turkey and the Kurds would get out of hand…
You are confused and mistaken. You appear to have forgotten that the US supplied arms to Kurds, while irking Turkey. You forget about the border force: “US-led coalition helps to build new Syrian force, angering Turkey.” The US precipitated the Turkish invasion against the Kurds in Syria. It is because US troops are there aiding the Kurds that this facet of their long-running war began. This conflict has been going on since 1978. The US presence has only made matters worse.
If we withdrew our troops anytime soon…you would be giving Damascus to the Iranians without an American presence. Russia and Iran would dominate Syria.
This is wild exaggeration. If Americans leave Syria, then Assad can tone down the coalition, which means the Iranian presence will recede. Russia and Iran didn’t dominate Syria before 2011, even if they maintained friendly relations. Obama’s support for ending Assad’s reign facilitated the rise of ISIS and motivated the closer support and presence of both Russia and Iran. You have matters backwards, Senator Graham. The American presence draws both Russia and Iran in to Syria.
We got ISIS on the ropes. You want to let them off the ropes, remove American soldiers.
It’s not true that “We [Americans] got ISIS on the ropes.” It was not a single-handed affair. Assad’s coalition forces did most of the vital heavy lifting. American soldiers can go home. If Assad’s battle-hardened military can clean up Ghouta, it can clean up remaining ISIS pockets.

Senator, you raise this concern: “There are over 3,000 ISIS fighters still roaming around Syria.” Maybe so, but they are out in desert areas. They are not currently strategic threats to the Assad regime or to the region. Assad’s using his forces where they count the most right now. ISIS is not such a big bad bogeyman that it calls for American forces to intervene in Syria indefinitely.

Senator, the statement of yours that most genuinely reflects your feelings is your allusion to Russia and Iran having a presence in Syria but not the US. You can’t stand the idea of somehow “losing” Syria or not “gaining” Syria or not breaking it up into pieces.

Senator, your attitude reflects a view that Syria is not a country of the Syrians, by the Syrians, and for the Syrians. You treat it as land that’s up for grabs among other powers. You treat its peoples as pawns in a big power game. Syria, however, has a history that goes back thousands of years. “The Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr “Assur”, ʾšrym “Assyrians”, recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. Writing in the 5th century BC, Herodotus stated that those called Syrians by the Greeks were called Assyrians by themselves and in the East.”

Senator, the US loses nothing by leaving Syria. If you are really concerned about oil security, it doesn’t require invasions of Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria to obtain that. It doesn’t require arming Saudi Arabia or invading Iran. It doesn’t require utterly absurd amounts of money ($2 for each and every gallon of gasoline) spent supposedly to protect foreign oil. All that oil security from Saudi Arabia requires is a clear statement of US protection of the oil-bearing territories and sovereignty over them, even if their cash flows go to the Saudis.

Republished with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/02/memo-to-lindsey-graham-on-syria/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/april/02/memo-to-lindsey-graham-on-syria/ Mon, 02 Apr 2018 21:11:12 GMT
Nikki Haley’s Compulsion Flouts the Law of Nations Michael S. Rozeff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/march/13/nikki-haley-s-compulsion-flouts-the-law-of-nations/

Flip Wilson had a comedy routine “The Devil Made Me Do It”. Nikki Haley is far from funny when she uses the same kind of excuse, telling us that the US is prepared to attack Syria again. Why? Compulsion, or the devil made me do it. In her words: “…there are times when states are compelled to take their own action.”

Is the US also compelled to ally with Saudi Arabia in its brutal bombings and embargo/blockade in Yemen? Is the US compelled to aid Israel when it brutally invades Gaza? Was the US compelled to attack and destroy Libya? Was the US compelled to attack and destroy Iraq? Was the US compelled to destroy the Taliban government in Afghanistan?

If the US claims the moral high ground to justify attacks on Syria, is this the same moral ground and compulsion that justified its attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen? But such compulsions are no justifications at all. “The devil made me do it” is no different from “The angel made me do it” or “God made me do it”. All are non-justifications, just empty childish excuses. We human beings cannot blame devils, angels or Gods for what we do. Freedom to choose and act is an essential part of our makeup, and no devil, angel or God can be held responsible for this freedom or its consequences when we use it. If they can be held responsible, not each of us, and we lack such primary freedom that’s beyond any devil or any God, then what? Are we machines ruled by predetermined causes in some sort of choreographed and senseless lives? In that case, the result is nihilism. Our freedom to act may be an illusion, but if it is, it’s an illusion we can be sure of, a very convincing one.

If compulsion is a justification for bombing another nation, why condemn and sanction Russia over Ukraine? Couldn’t the Russians argue that they felt compelled to interfere to save Russian-speaking people from being oppressed by neo-Nazi battalions? Couldn’t environmentalist wackos justify their bombings by their compulsion to act against climate-change deniers? Couldn’t FBI officials justify their coup against Trump by being “compelled to take their own action” against the prospective great disaster of his presidency and its irreparable harm?

Couldn’t Nikki Haley have found a better excuse than compulsion? If compulsion is a ruling principle in international relations, then what nation may not have the excuse to flout international law and interfere with another nation?

There is a body of international law that governs international relations. It is not perfect and its enforcement is a delicate matter, admittedly, but it is better than jungle law or “law” generated by compulsion, strong feelings, red lines and feelings of moral obligation, all of which lead to chaos and mass destruction. In 1758, Emer de Vattel’sLaw of Nations” has a section on p. 265 labeled “§7. But not by force.” It begins
But though a nation be obliged to promote, as far as lies in its power, the perfection of others, it is not entitled forcibly to obtrude these good offices on them. Such an attempt would be a violation of their natural liberty. In order to compel any one to receive a kindness, we must have an authority over him; but nations are absolutely free and independent (Prelim. §4). Those ambitious Europeans who attacked the American nations, and subjected them to their greedy dominion, in order, as they pretended, to civilise them, and cause them to be instructed in the true religion, — those usurpers, I say, grounded themselves on a pretext equally unjust and ridiculous.
Vattel argues for a moral obligation for one nation to help another nation under some circumstances, but it may not do so “forcibly“. Nikki Haley’s compulsion to bomb Syria for the good of Syrian rebels and some Syrians factually speaking will not be “a kindness”. Besides taking many lives and wounding others, wrecking families and economies, destroying order as in Iraq and Libya, and opening the way to extremist bombings, the US destroys whole cities and ruins infrastructure that took decades to construct. Even overlooking all the evils the US does in the name of good, the US has no authority over Syria or Syrians of any stripe and authority is essential if such attacks are not to violate the natural liberty of Syrians, which means their existence as a free and independent nation.

What does Nikki Haley acknowledge or respect of the law of nations? Apparently nothing, or she wouldn’t have said that the US could be “compelled” to bomb Syria. Compulsion is no more than the law of savage beasts, and not even up to that standard; and she shares this lack of regard for the law of nations with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, all of whom have smashed international law under false and phony pretenses, in its name, or in the name of an oppressed people, or in the name of enforcing law, or of doing something good like removing a dictator, or of stopping weapons of destruction, or even of defending America, which wasn’t even remotely the case.

Americans acting through the US government have no right to inflict so-called “good”, which is far more frequently evil anyway, on any people or portion of a people of another nation. For the US Ambassador to the U.N. to argue that “states are compelled to take their own [interfering] action” is an insult to international law and relations, and yet it perpetuates the thinking and tragically the very bloody action at the highest levels of the US government that have gone on for far too many years. Is it not time to see and say clearly that no nation is above the law of nations, and that no nation can enforce its perverted version of that law in the name of a compulsion or even a strong feeling of moral obligation?

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/march/13/nikki-haley-s-compulsion-flouts-the-law-of-nations/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/march/13/nikki-haley-s-compulsion-flouts-the-law-of-nations/ Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:49:19 GMT
Meaningless Words Alert: Neoconservatives are Now 'Classical Liberals Jeff Deist http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/27/meaningless-words-alert-neoconservatives-are-now-classical-liberals/
Mona Charen

The term "classical liberal" always has been a misnomer, in that it presupposes an earlier or undiluted form of liberalism that must be distinguished semantically and temporally. and  But the great historian Ralph Raico disabused us of this empty distinction in his great book Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School:
There was no ‘classical’ liberalism, only a single liberalism, based on private property and the free market, that developed organically, from first to last. Liberalism . . . is based on the conception of civil society as by and large self-regulating when its members are free to act within the very wide bounds of their individual rights. Among these, the right to private property, including freedom of contract and exchange and the free disposition of one’s own labor, is given a high priority. Historically, liberalism has manifested a hostility to state action, which, it insists, should be reduced to a minimum.
But today we find, in the grand Orwellian tradition of meaningless words, arch neoconservative Jennifer Rubin has declared herself a "classical liberal."

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This comes on the heels of a harrowing episode at the recent CPAC conference, where Rubin's friend Mona Charen experienced a smattering of boos for her criticisms of Trump and Roy Moore. Since then the twittersphere has burst forth with praise for Charen's courage— one attendee gushed "that was so brave" as Charen left the building. Only in Washington does leaving one's well-paid job at a think tank for a few hours to speak at a conference, under conditions of less than 100 percent enthusiastic agreement, constitute uncommon valor. It's hardly surprising to anyone who has attended CPAC that the pep rally atmosphere doesn't lend itself to intellectual arguments and nuance. And the idea that neoconservatives like Rubin and Charen imagine themselves speaking truth to power is absurd, given the close relationships and influence their movement has with leaders in both political parties and the administrative state. 

They just don't like Trump, which hardly makes them unique or noble. Only libertarians, after all, have the temerity to challenge the validity of democracy itself as the mechanism for organizing society. Sorry, but democrats don't get a mulligan when the wrong guy wins. Only anti-state libertarians can say "not my president" with any degree of coherence.

Ms. Rubin's use of the term "classical liberal" is especially galling, given her neconservative worldview. Ms. Charen and other neoconservatives define liberalism as a set of pre-approved political and cultural precepts, not as a conception of restrained government. They accept, and encourage, a strong and activist state: one that provides regulated capitalism, a robust safety net, unchallenged central banking, uniform social and cultural norms, and most of all an unrestrained military role for the United State across the globe. 

This is hardly Misesian liberalism, with its emphasis on private property, individual liberty, trade, and peace above all as the necessary precondition for the first three. From this perspective Rubin and Charen are actually quite authoritarian in outlook, considering both would propose significant restrictions on property and commerce, military conscription, economic sanctions on a host of nations, and escalation of American wars. They are, in fact, distinctly illiberal, always insisting on a central role for the state in human affairs. Liberalism is society organizing itself, neoconservatism and progressivism are society organized around the state.

What really distinguishes the Jennifer Rubins of the world from garden variety progressives like Hillary Clinton or Dianne Feinstein? The answer is not much, save for perhaps a bit more lip service given by the former to Judeo-Christian moral traditions, and greater emphasis on identity politics and welfare by the latter. Their differences are those of tone and style, not substance.

Sorry, but Jennifer Rubin's opposition to Trump doesn't make her a liberal, classical or otherwise. At least she didn't come out and declare herself a libertarian. We already have enough trouble with that word.

Reprinted with permission from Mises Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/27/meaningless-words-alert-neoconservatives-are-now-classical-liberals/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/february/27/meaningless-words-alert-neoconservatives-are-now-classical-liberals/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 14:12:20 GMT
Rex Tillerson: Neocon Michael S. Rozeff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/27/rex-tillerson-neocon/

In case it is not clear, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is a neocon. Strong evidence of this unfortunate fact is his speech on January 17, 2018 at Stanford’s Hoover Institute. After warmly acknowledging his debt to Dr. Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz, Tillerson goes into his “Remarks on the Way Forward for the United States Regarding Syria.”

What do we hear? “…it is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, to help bring an end to that conflict, and assist the Syrian people as they chart a course to achieve a new political future.” He wants the US to stay in Syria indefinitely, its purposes being to defend the American nation, to cause the war to end, and to create a new government/state in Syria.

We’ve heard the same neocon language in the past 17 years regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and other countries. None of these countries are “crucial” to American security. Entry by US forces into each and every one of them has increased American insecurity, generating ever more Muslim terrorist forces. None of these places posed state-led threats to Americans and none posed non-state forces that could not have been addressed by means other than the failed methods that the US government adopted, symbolized by the entirely unnecessary and counter-productive War on Terror.

In his speech, Tillerson presents new elaborations, new rationales, and new flowerings of neocon thought, but the root of it all remains unchanged. It’s the same old rot we’ve heard for the past 17 years and longer. The War on Terror remains fixed firmly in his mind. This he makes clear, saying “The fight against ISIS is not over.” And he says “Similarly, we must persist in Syria to thwart al-Qaida…” The secondary excuse for the uninvited US presence inside Syria is to get rid of the Assad government and create a new state. “Additionally, a total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad and continue his brutal treatment against his own people. A murderer of his own people cannot generate the trust required for long-term stability.”

Baloney. Tillerson’s language echoes the language used against Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. The US always resorts to holier-than-thou language like this when it wants to justify the empire’s presence in some place that has nothing to do with American security.

Tillerson knows enough not to name “nation-building” in Syria as US policy. Instead he uses a euphemism: “STABILIZATION”.

The world is not a pretty place everywhere, not even in parts of the Americas that I’ll refrain from naming; but some are close to the White House. This doesn’t justify a costly US presence that, in any event, is very likely not only to fail but also to produce a worse situation.

It’s not the role of the US government to dry out an alcoholic world, or to get it off drugs, pretty it up, wash it clean, apply new makeup, get it a paying job, find it a mate, turn it into a responsible citizen, and have it raise its children as good parents. Why not? Because it cannot! It doesn’t know enough to do it and it cannot know enough to do it, so that when it tries the results are no better and often worse than doing nothing at all, not to mention the costs.

People in power who use lofty language as in this speech present to us a scenario, which is that they have surveyed the turf, discovered the issues, and formulated a plan. They make out that they actually understand human problems and can do something about them using the powers of their office. We should believe none of this. The processes that they think are predictable and governable are neither. Non-ergodicity rules much of human life.

NON-ERGODIC: “Attribute of a behavior that is in certain crucial respects incomprehensible through observation either for lack of repetition, e.g., by involving only transient states which are unique, or for lack of stabilities, e.g., when transition probabilities (see probabilities) are so variable that there are not enough observations available to ascertain them. Evolution and social processes involving structural changes are inherently non-ergodic. To understand non-ergodic behavior requires either reference to the underlying organization of the system exhibiting it or the study of a large sample of systems of the same kind (see ergodic). (Krippendorff)”

Reprinted with permission from LewRocwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/27/rex-tillerson-neocon/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/27/rex-tillerson-neocon/ Sat, 27 Jan 2018 18:18:48 GMT
How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism Ilana Mercer http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/17/how-president-trump-normalized-neoconservatism/

It's fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump’s foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

"… for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. 'The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,' Trump said. 'We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.'"

"For a moment," swooned Lake, "I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting."

Onward to Venezuela!

Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with “American exceptionalism.”

It's not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country’s founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State.

That's just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in “a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war,” Riyadh’s ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake.

After a campaign of "America First," the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369!

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they've recently been rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency—its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump's original "America First" plank—is to "undermine American democracy."

Besides, "good" Americans know that only the Russians "meddle."

In Saudi Arabia, a new, more-dangerous regime is consolidating regional power. Almost overnight has the kingdom shifted from rule by family dynasty (like that of the Clintons and the Bushes), to a more authoritarian style of one-man rule.

When it comes to the Saudi-Israeli-American-Axis-of-Angels, the Kushner-Trump Administration—is that another bloodline in-the-making?—has not broken with America's ruling dynastic families (the Clintons and the Bushes, aforementioned).

It's comforting to know Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in the UN's human rights affairs. In January of last year, the Kingdom executed 47 people in one day, including a rather benign Shiite cleric. Fear not, they went quickly, beheaded with a sword.

Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik. At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.)

Our bosom buddies, the Saudi’s, are currently barricading Yemeni ports. No aid gets through her hermetically sealed ports. Yemenis are dying. Some Twitter followers twittered with joy at the sight of starving Yemeni babies, like this one. Oh well, Yemeni babies can be sinister.

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump’s National Security Strategy. Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel,” and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors."

These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose.

"It’s often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without ... any debate in Congress or the media."

Indeed, while outlining his "new" Afghanistan plan, POTUS had conceded that "the American people are weary of war without victory." (Make that war, full-stop.) Depressingly, the president went on to promise an increase in American presence in Afghanistan. By sending 4000 additional soldiers there, President Trump alleged he was fighting terrorism, yet not undertaking nation building.

This is tantamount to talking out of both sides of one's mouth.

Teasing apart these two elements is near-impossible. Send "4,000 additional soldiers to add to the 8,400 now deployed in Afghanistan," and you've done what Obama and Bush before you did in that blighted and benighted region: muddle along; kill some civilians mixed in with some bad guys; break bread with tribal leaders (who hate your guts); mediate and bribe.

Above all, spend billions not your own to perfect the credo of a global fighting force that doesn’t know Shiite from Shinola.

The upshot? It's quite acceptable, on the Left and the pseudo-Right, to casually quip about troops in Niger and Norway. "We have soldiers in Niger and Norway? Of course we do. We need them."

With neoconservatism normalized, there is no debate, disagreement or daylight between our dangerously united political factions.

This is the gift President Trump has given mainstream neoconservatives—who now comfortably include neoliberals and all Conservatism Inc., with the exceptions of Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson.

How exactly did the president normalize neoconservatism: In 2016, liberals accused candidate Trump of isolationism. Neoconservatives—aka Conservatism Inc.—did the same.

Having consistently complained of his isolationism, the Left and the phony Right cannot but sanction President Trump's interventionism. The other option is to admit that we of the callused Old Right, who rejoiced at the prospects and promise of non-interventionism, were always right.

Not going to happen.

To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016) & “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/17/how-president-trump-normalized-neoconservatism/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/17/how-president-trump-normalized-neoconservatism/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:20:03 GMT
Surrounded by Neocons http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/09/surrounded-by-neocons/ undefined

Award winning journalist James Risen has recently described in some detail his sometimes painful relationship with The New York Times. His lengthy account is well worth reading as it demonstrates how successive editors of the paper frequently cooperated with the government to suppress stories on torture and illegal activity while also self-censoring to make sure that nothing outside the framework provided by the “war on terror” should be seriously discussed. It became a faithful lap dog for an American role as global hegemon, promoting government half-truths and suppressing information that it knew to be true but which would embarrass the administration in power, be they Democrats or Republicans.

If one were to obtain a similar insider account of goings-on at the other national “newspaper of record” The Washington Post it is quite likely that comparable trimming of the narrative also took place. To be sure, the Post is worse than the Times, characterized by heavily editorializing in its news coverage without necessarily tipping off the reader when “facts” end and speculation begins. In both publications, stories about Iran or Russia routinely begin with an assertion that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and that Iran is the aggressor in the Middle East, contentions that have not been demonstrated and can easily be challenged. Both publications also have endorsed every American war since 2001, including Iraq, Libya and the current mess in Syria, one indication of the quality of their reporting and analysis.

recent op-ed in the Times by Bret Stephens is a perfect example of warmongering mischief wrapped in faux expert testimony to make it palatable. Stephens is the resident neocon at the Times. He was brought over from the Wall Street Journal when it was determined that his neocon colleague David Brooks had become overly squishy, while the resident “conservative” Russ Douthat had proven to be a bit too cautious and even rational to please the increasingly hawkish senior editors.

Stephens’ article, entitled Finding the Way Forward on Iran sparkles with throwaway gems like “Tehran’s hyperaggressive foreign policy in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal” and “Real democracies don’t live in fear of their own people” and even “it’s not too soon to start rethinking the way we think about Iran.” Or try “A better way of describing Iran’s dictatorship is as a kleptotheocracy, driven by impulses that are by turns doctrinal and venal.”

Bret has been a hardliner on Iran for years. Early on in this op-ed he makes very clear that he wants it to be dealt with forcibly because it has “centrifuges, ballistic missiles, enriched uranium [and] fund[s] Hezbollah, assist Bashar al-Assad, arm[s] the Houthis, [and] imprison[s] the occasional British or American citizen.” He describes how Iran is a very corrupt place run by religious leaders and Revolutionary Guards and proposes that their corruption be exposed so that the Iranian people can take note and rise up in anger. And if exposure doesn’t work, they should be hammered with sanctions. He does not explain why sanctions, which disproportionately hurt the people he expects to rise up, will bring about any real change.

Stephens cites two of his buddies Ken Weinstein of the Hudson Institute and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), who are apparently experts on how to squeeze Iran. Weinstein prefers exposing the misdeeds of the Mullahs to anger the Iranian people while Dubowitz prefers punitive sanctions “for corruption.”

The article does not reveal that Weinstein and Dubowitz are long time critics of Iran, are part of the Israel Lobby and just happen to be Jewish, as is Stephens. The Hudson Institute and the FDD are leading neocon and pro-Israel fronts. So my question becomes, “Why Iran?” The often-heard Israeli complaint about its being unfairly picked on could reasonably be turned on its head in asking the same about Iran. In fact, Iran compares favorably with Israel. It has no nuclear weapons, it does not support any of the Sunni terrorist groups that are chopping heads, and it has not disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people that it rules over. The fact is that Iran is being targeted because Israel sees it as its prime enemy in the region and has corrupted many “opinion makers” in the U.S., to include Stephens, to hammer home that point. To be sure, Iran is a very corrupt place run by people who should not be running a hot dog stand, but the same applies to the United States and Israel. And there are lots of places that are not being targeted like Iran that are far worse, including good friend and ally of both Jerusalem and Washington, Saudi Arabia.

Oddly enough Stephens, Weinstein and Dubowitz do not get into any of that back story, presumably because it would be unseemly. And, of course and unfortunately, theNew York Times opinion page is not unique. An interesting recent podcast interview by Politico‘s Chief International Affairs correspondent Susan Glasser with leading neoconservatives Eliot Cohen and Max Boot, is typical of how the media selectively shapes a narrative to suit its own biases. Glasser, Cohen and Boot are all part of the establishment foreign policy consensus in the U.S. and therefore both hate and fail to understand the Trump phenomenon. Both Cohen and Booth were vociferous founding members of the #NeverTrump foreign policy resistance movement.

Boot describes the new regime’s foreign policy as “kowtow[ing] to dictators and undermin[ing] American support for freedom and democracy around the world,” typical neocon leitmotifs. Glasser appears to be in love with her interviewees and hurls softball after softball. She describes Boot as “fantastic” and Cohen receives the epithet “The Great.” The interview itself is remarkably devoid of any serious discussion of foreign policy and is essentially a sustained assault on Trump while also implicitly supporting hardline national security positions. Cohen fulminates about “a very serious Russian attack on the core of our political system. I mean, I don’t know how you get more reckless and dangerous than that,” while Boot asks what “has to be done” about Iran.

Pompous ass Cohen, who interjected in the interview that “and you know, Max and I are both intellectuals,” notably very publicly refused to have any part in a Trump foreign policy team during the campaign but later when The Donald was actually elected suggested that the new regime might approach him with humility to offer a senior position and he just might condescend to join them. They did not do so, and he wrote an angry commentary on their refusal.

Hating Trump is one thing, but I would bet that if the question of a hardline policy vis-à-vis Russia or the Jerusalem Embassy move had come up Cohen and Boot would have expressed delight. The irony is that Trump is in fact pursuing a basically neocon foreign policy which the two men would normally support, but they appear to be making room for Trump haters in the policy formulation process to push the national security consensus even farther to the right. Indeed, in another article by Boot at Foreign Policy he writes “I applaud Trump’s decisions to provide Ukraine with arms to defend itself from Russian aggression, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and to accelerate former President Barack Obama’s strategy for fighting the Islamic State.” Cohen meanwhile applauds the embassy move, though he warns that Trump’s success in so doing might embolden him to do something reckless over North Korea.

Perhaps one should not be astonished that leading neocons appearing in the mainstream media will continue to have their eyes on the ball and seek for more aggressive engagement in places like Iran and Russia. The media should be faulted because it rarely publishes any contrary viewpoint and it also consistently fails to give any space to the considerable downside to the agitprop. It must be reassuring for many Americans to know that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is preparing itself to deal with the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the United States and it will be sharing information on the appropriate preparations with the American people. There will be a public session on how to prepare for a nuclear explosion on January 16th.

CDC experts will consider “planning and preparation efforts” for such a strike. “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” the Center elaborated in its press release on the event.

That the United States should be preparing for a possible nuclear future can in part be attributed to recent commentary by the “like, really smart” and “very stable genius” who is the nation’s chief executive, but the fuel being poured on the fire for war is the very same neocons who are featured in the mainstream media as all-purpose experts and have succeeded in selling the snake oil about America’s proper role as aggressor-in-chief for the entire world. It would be an unparalleled delight to be able to open a newspaper and not see Bret Stephens, Eliot Cohen, Max Boot or even the redoubtable Bill Kristol grinning back from the editorial page, but I suppose I am only dreaming.

Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/09/surrounded-by-neocons/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/09/surrounded-by-neocons/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:02:42 GMT
Trump and Haley: Shut Up About Iran Michael S. Rozeff http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/03/trump-and-haley-shut-up-about-iran/

The US government has chosen to be against Iran’s government. Neocon Elliott Abrams says “We should be expressing support” for protests. Given his record and views, we therefore can be quite sure that this is exactly what should not be done. Mere support sounds “moderate”, but it’s only a first step, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The full Abrams and neocon agenda on Iran and many other foreign lands, shown clearly by his record is full neocon, meaning intervene, interfere, use any means, make war if need be, so as to influence, control and dominate these regions. The agenda is to expand the American empire.

Nikki Haley refers to Iran as a “dictatorship.” She says that “a long-oppressed people [is] rising up against their dictators.” Actually, Iran has a system of elections. Their institutions vet candidates, to be sure. In America, our institutions also vet candidates, our Supreme Court has immense power over laws, and our deep state and agencies wield considerable undemocratically-restrained power.

Do Trump, Haley and Abrams actually know who is protesting and why they are protesting? Are they so sure that a governmental system more to their liking will result if the existing form of government is destroyed? How can they possibly know what the result of a power struggle will be? They have to be assuming that the US will institute a regime to its liking, in one way or another because they cannot be assuming that such a regime will magically arise on its own.

How do they know that they are not promoting a full-scale civil war as they did in the case of Syria? How do they know that destabilizing Iran will produce a wonderful democratic system with checks and balances and liberty and justice for all? How do they know that such a newborn, if it ever could arise, will be better for the Iranian people? How do they know that Islamic extremists and suicide bombers won’t infiltrate and further destabilize the country?

Once the US expresses such strong anti-regime and pro-protest support, won’t the next steps be to arm forces that are anti-regime? If protesters are already attacking police stations and police, aren’t Trump, Haley and Abrams conscience-bound to provide them with material support? Maybe Trump already is doing this. One cannot in good conscience encourage unarmed people to attack armed forces and die in the process. Most revolutions are bloody affairs. The end of the Soviet Union is the exception.

The Trump-Haley agenda on Iran is American dominance. It has three focal points: oil, Israel and Russia. Democracy and freedom are not the focal points. They are merely proposed means to the end of control. The US is aligned with Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran. The US long accepted the non-democratic Shah as ruler of Iran. The US would accept another Shah, a decidedly non-democratic result, but that’s not in the cards. What it’s after as its means to control is some sort of “modern” democracy, to overturn the 1979 revolution that ousted the Shah. However, such a means is an absurdly naive expectation and simplistic goal. This has been shown in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Democracies do not arise from the ashes of broken states, either automatically or by the hand of the US Death, destruction, bombings, terror havens, refugees, hardship, disease and civilian deaths are the consequences.

“As of March 15, 2016, IHRDC estimates that there are 821 individuals imprisoned in Iran for the exercise of fundamental rights.” Under the Shah, there were more: “According to official statistics, Iran had as many as 2,200 political prisoners in 1978.” The Shah was the US man in Iran. In America, drugs are politicized. The number of drug-related political prisoners runs into hundreds of thousands. Let’s not forget the thousand and more people in America injured and killed by police using excessive force. Is this what gives Trump, Haley and Abrams the right to pontificate about the Iran regime and associate it with terrorism?

The Shah was overturned via a revolution that amalgamated various dissident groups to create a state, the Islamic Republic of Iran, that has now lasted almost 40 years. Do you think that Trump, Haley and Abrams have any real clue as to what sort of situation they are fomenting through their words and deeds as they aim to overturn the Islamic Republic of Iran? It is my belief that they should shut up.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/03/trump-and-haley-shut-up-about-iran/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/january/03/trump-and-haley-shut-up-about-iran/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:32:08 GMT