The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Neocons

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Who was behind the Niger uranium documents?
From the beginning, there has been little doubt in the intelligence community that the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame was part of a bigger story. That she was exposed in an attempt to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, is clear, but the drive to demonize Wilson cannot reasonably be attributed only to... Read More
A new report gives the Pentagon intelligence peddler a pass.
Pentagon Inspector General Thomas Gimble’s narrow report on the activities of Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans was not quite a whitewash, but neither was it an indictment. The report, presented to Congress on Feb. 9, rightly condemned Feith’s attempt to create what it charitably called “an alternative intelligence assessment process,” lacking... Read More
The neocon propaganda machine turns toward Iran
Retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner warned in late 2006 that a sign that the U.S. is preparing to go to war with Iran would be an increase in leaks and disinformation designed to sell the war to the American public. There has been a steady drumbeat of negative reporting about Iran over the past... Read More
If the neocons ever leave us what will we do when we need a good laugh? A recent foray into the world of fantasy and invention, all presented with what one presumes to be a straight face, is the redoubtable neocon warrior couple Fred and Kimberly Kagan's piece in The Weekly Standard "The Patton of... Read More
I know I am not the only one to notice the recent wave of neocon attacks on Sarah Palin coming from David Frum, David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer. They all make essentially the same point, i.e. that she is not experienced enough to become president. Brooks predictably has the most sophisticated argument, that experience is... Read More
I am starting to get the queasy acid-reflux feeling that I used to get when Bill Clinton was president, knowing that America's foreign policy was being controlled by the likes of Madeline "starve the Iraqis" Albright, Sandy "don't know how those papers got down my trousers" Berger, and Dennis "we'll have to check with Israel... Read More
In today's Washington Post former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson joined the song of praise being raised by neocons and faux-conservatives alike lauding Barack Obama's cabinet for its "moderation" and "centrism." What that really means, of course, is that they are all recognizing that Obama will preserve the Bush status quo when it comes to foreign... Read More
Dennis Ross reportedly has a very nice office on the State Department's seventh floor with windows looking out towards Constitution Avenue and the Mall, but there are reports that he has little to do. Ross, a pro-Israel hardliner who has worked for AIPAC funded Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) was a late-in-the-game backdoor... Read More
The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler is a master of telling only part of the story. Earlier this year he wrote a piece on the defenestration of Chas Freeman without once mentioning that it might have had something to do with Israel. Today he has a puff piece on the ubiquitous Dennis Ross in which he... Read More
Even if it is the economy that will inevitably bring about the undoing of American empire it is hard to ignore the fact that the economic crisis was fueled by spending on wars and homeland security using borrowed money and pushing the government deep into deficit spending. With that in mind, I was very interested... Read More
My, how the neoconservatives hate the Tea Partiers. David Brooks had a piece on Monday over at the NYT dripping with sweet reason and explaining how the Republicans have a budget victory within their grasp if they can summon up the wisdom to seize it. They will get “trillions of dollars in spending cuts in... Read More
There has been considerable commentary over the possibility that the terrorism in Norway will trigger a reaction against “conservative” websites and will stifle legitimate debate over immigration and asylum policies. If one reads the European media, it is clear that there is considerable debate over the recent wave of new arrivals with those on the... Read More
There are apparently some Americans who are so interested in bringing about a war with Iran that they are willing to do or say anything to achieve that aim. A lead op-ed appeared in today’s New York Times written by Reuel Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz of the neocon Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The... Read More
Eric Posner gives intellectual cover to the unitary executive
My college alumni magazine is featuring an article entitled "Octopotus" on the kind of reasoning in some jurisprudential circles that has supported the “unitary executive.” The article is about the University of Chicago Law School’s Professor Eric Posner, whose most recent book is The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic, co-authored with Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule.... Read More
The Beltway power couple who boosted the Iraq invasion insist we stay longer in Afghanistan.
A recent op-ed in the Washington Post by Kimberly and Fred Kagan argues “Why US troops must stay in Afghanistan.” The article demonstrates clearly that the number-crunching Kagans know exactly how many combat and support troops it takes to man an army base in Jalalabad and they pile Pelion on Ossa to demonstrate how a... Read More
Neocons denigrate Chuck Hagel's military service, when it's exactly what the Pentagon needs.
The effort to derail the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense has marshaled every possible argument against him, including claims that his “temperament” is wrong and that he cannot possibly manage such a large bureaucracy because he has no experience doing so. As almost no one has Pentagon-management experience until he actually starts... Read More
shutterstock_222247312
It's either 1938 or 2001 again
The forced resignation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and the continued prorogation of talks with Iran in Geneva might not seem to be connected but they are both major triumphs for the confrontational neoconservative foreign policy that continues to prevail in Washington in spite of repeated failures overseas. And, of course, they are... Read More
The warmongering right has carefully built a network of credentialing institutions that secure it outsized influence
Having experienced several more weeks of mainstream media jingoism about the “Iranian threat,” culminating in the outrageous Joshua Muravchik op-edadvocating war with Iran as the “best option” for dealing with that country, one has to ask why it is that a gaggle of self-proclaimed “experts” has been able to capture the foreign-policy narrative so completely,... Read More
The Hay Initiative encourages GOP candidates to sing from Mitt's old hymnal
Since 9/11, numerous groups have launched aiming to make the neoconservative, interventionist approach the only acceptable foreign policy for candidates on the Right. The newest member of this club, the formerly little known John Hay Initiative, just had something of a coming out party in Washington, holding two high-profile events with GOP rising stars in... Read More
trump
It could be about Israel
Now we all know that many of those who are hating on Donald Trump are doing so because he is threatening the cozy-crony-politico-predatory-capitalist system that has made so many of them fat and rich. He is intending to break their rice bowls as the Chinese would put it or, in a more American vernacular, the... Read More
Trump seems unwilling to embrace Neoconservative hawkishness. Will Republicans return to noninterventionism?
The rise of Donald Trump has led to predictions that the neoconservative dominance of Republican foreign policy is about to end, whether or not Trump wins. The Donald has challenged the perpetual military interventionism aspect of neocon-think without doing any damage to his campaign and, in the process, he has certainly noticed who the most... Read More
fallujah
A new study urges more U.S. interventions
The Establishment and Realist foreign policy communities in the United States often seem separated by language which leads them to talk past each other. When a realist or Libertarian talks about non-intervention or restraint in foreign policy, as Ron Paul did in 2008 and 2012, the Establishment response is to denounce isolationism. As Dr. Paul... Read More
robert-kagan-and-his-wife-victoria-nuland-1024x462
Nobody wants them in Trump's Washington
There is no limit to the hubris driven hypocrisy of America’s stalwart neoconservatives. A recent Washington Post front page article entitled “‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted” shares with the reader the heartbreak of those so-called GOP foreign policy experts who have apparently been ignored by the presidential transition team seeking to... Read More
abrams
Government sometimes seems the employer of last resort
We live in a political environment where nothing is any longer real. Allegedly apolitical Amnesty International issues a 48 page report stating that 13,000 political prisoners have been hanged in Syrian government prisons “a crime against humanity” and then it is revealed that the document was fabricated in London based on unconfirmed rebel sources and... Read More
neocons-2
Criticizing their thuggery is anti-Semitism?
We have a president who is belligerent towards Iran, who is sending “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS, who loves Israel passionately and who is increasing already bloated defense budgets. If one were a neoconservative, what is there not to like, yet neocons in the media and ensconced comfortably in their multitude of think... Read More
kristol
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who... Read More
bad_moon_rising-1
A new cabinet will mark neocon ascendancy
Back during the admittedly brief shock and awe period that immediately followed on the Trump electoral victory, it appeared that there might be an actual realignment of American foreign policy. The neoconservatives virtually unanimously had opposed Donald Trump in the most vile terms, both in the GOP primaries and during the actual electoral campaign, making... Read More
neocons-1
They are all the news that fits
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... Read More
bolton-2
One of the most discouraging aspects of the musical chairs being played among the members of the White House inner circle is that every change reflects an inexorable move to the right in foreign policy, which means that the interventionists are back without anyone at the White House level remaining to say “no.” President Donald... Read More
mission-accomplished
Israel continues to wag the dog for Middle Eastern wars
In March 2003, Pat Buchanan wrote a groundbreaking article entitled "Whose War?" in opposition to the Bush Administration fueled growing hysteria over Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction which was producing demands for an armed intervention to disarm him. Buchanan rightly identified a number of prominent Jewish officials and journalists closely tied to the... Read More
israel-us-haley
Think of Nikki Haley for President!
The musical chairs playing out among the senior officials that make up the President Donald Trump White House team would be amusing to watch but for the genuine damage that it is doing to the United States. The lack of any coherence in policy means that the State Department now has diplomats that do not... Read More
jewish-bolsheviks
Neocons resurrect tribal memories to fan the flames
Having just returned from a trip to Russia, I am pleased to report that the Russian people and the officialdom that I encountered displayed none of the vitriol towards Americans that I half expected as a response to the vilifying of Moscow and all its works that pervades the U.S. media and Establishment. To be... Read More
shutterstock_640597381-2
No understanding in the White House of what might come next
President Donald Trump makes a point of insisting that he has nothing against the Iranian people and is only interested in opposing what he regards as the dangerous activities of their government, but his own record in office belies that claim. It is clear that what he is trying to do is put pressure on... Read More
There are a number of elements in the recent release of an indictment of twelve named alleged Russian military intelligence GRU officers by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein looking into possible ties between Moscow and the Trump Administration that I find either implausible or even incoherent. But before considering that, it is necessary to consider... Read More
mccainholocaust
More power to the wicked
The week leading up to the funeral of Senator John McCain produced some of the most bizarre media effusions seen in this country since the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. McCain, who never saw a war or regime change that he didn’t like, was apparently in reality a friend of democracy and freedom... Read More
doomsday-clock
Last week Washington threatened Iran, Syria, China, Venezuela and Russia
The nuclear war doomsday clock maintained on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website has advanced to two minutes before midnight, the closest point to possible atomic apocalypse since the end of the Cold War. In 1995 the clock was at fourteen minutes to midnight, but the opportunity to set it back even further was lost... Read More
liberty-leading-the-people
Time for the sans-culottes to rise up against Washington's insanity
On October 21st there will be a Women's March on the Pentagon hosted by the Global Women’s Peace Action. My wife and many of our friends will be going and even I will tag along in support in spite of my gender. We participate with some reservations as we have only demonstrated publicly twice since... Read More
trump-and-bibi
Time to cut the tie that binds
The ability of Israel and its powerful Lobby to control many aspects of American government while also sustaining an essentially false narrative about the alleged virtues of the Jewish State is remarkable. Politicians and journalists learned long ago that it was better to cultivate Israel’s friends than it was to support actual American interests. They... Read More
white-helmets-terrorists
How easy it is to give awards to terrorists
I am often asked to explain why countries like Iran appear to be so aggressive, involving themselves in foreign wars and seeking to create alliances that they know will provoke the worst and most paranoid responses from some of their neighbors. My response is invariably that perceptions of threat depend very much on which side... Read More
trump-and-may
The biggest threats to America come from its "friends"
One of the local Washington television stations was doing a typical early morning honoring our soldiers schtick just before Thanksgiving. In it soldiers stationed far from home were treated to videolinks so they could talk to their families and everyone could nod happily and wish themselves a wonderful holiday. Not really listening, I became interested... Read More
christmas-in-syria
A Christmas present for the American and Syrian people
President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw from Syria has been greeted, predictably, with an avalanche of condemnation culminating in last Thursday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Mattis resignation letter focused on the betrayal of allies, though it was inevitably light on details, suggesting that the Marine Corps General was having some difficulty in... Read More
mission-accomplished
Is it for real or more bait and switch?
Never before has any presidential administration been as all over the place in terms of national security and foreign policy as is that of Donald J. Trump. Indeed, one might well argue that there is no overriding policy at all in terms of a rational doctrine arrived at through risk versus gain analysis of developing... Read More
The neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home,...
The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…” Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events... Read More
rubio
The boyish senator from Florida is owned by the Israel Lobby
Americans consistently indicate in opinion polls that they approve of congress less than any other part of the federal government. The approval rating is sometimes in the single digits. As the congress was intended, per the Founders, to serve as the direct link to the American people, there is a certain irony in its being... Read More
The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably... Read More
bombing-iran
Fake news about a terrorist connection could serve as a pretext for war
Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle... Read More
aipac-meeting-2019
AIPAC gathering is full of lies and liars
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has just completed its annual summit in Washington. It claims that 18,000 supporters attended the event, which concluded with a day of lobbying Congress by the attendees. Numerous American politicians addressed the gathering and it is completely reasonable to observe that the meeting constituted the most powerful gathering... Read More
It is depressing to observe how the United States of America has become the evil empire. Having served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and in the Central Intelligence Agency for the second half of the Cold War, I had an insider’s viewpoint of how an essentially pragmatic national security policy was... Read More
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.
Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.