The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos
As most readers know, I'm not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them. Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou,... 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
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
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
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
I’ve no idea how former Nebraska senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran Chuck Hagel became President Obama’s preferred nominee for the job of Secretary of Defense. But when I learned about Hagel’s prospects, I was delighted. A social conservative with a skeptical view of America’s mission to convert the rest of the world to our... 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
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
During the Republican presidential primary debate from Des Moines on December 15, Ron Paul caused uproar when he said that a strike against Iran “would risk a repeat of the useless Iraqi war.” In response to a question from Bret Baier, Paul made this statement: “To me the greatest danger is that we will have... 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
[The New York Intellectuals Reader, Neil Jumonville, ed., Routledge, 456 pages]
The New York Intellectuals Reader is a sequel of sorts to editor Neil Jumonville's earlier work Critical Crossroads, which dealt with some of the same figures of the New York highbrow set. In Critical Crossroads, Jumonville focused on Partisan Review, a journal founded in 1940 by a circle of mostly Jewish Leftists who were then... 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
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
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