|FROM ||Paul Charles Leddy
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Neocons RETURN
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2010 10:52:09 -0500
Subject: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Neocons RETURN
From: Paul Charles Leddy
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Ya, sorry, moved to DC last week. : (
Btw, The Left Forum is in March: leftforum.org.
Anyone want to help do a panel on Irving Kristol? Let me know. He is The Man.
On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 8:56 PM, Ruben Safir wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 08:54:06PM -0500, Paul Charles Leddy wrote:
>> Watch "Arguing the World", the movie.
>> Good lead, thanks.
>> Who was dumb enough to announce the death of neoconservatism? It rules
>> the world. Duh.
> I'll see you at Technight tomoorrow
>> On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 7:33 PM, Ruben Safir wrote:
>> > Gee - I've been right here all along..
>> > http://www.newsweek.com/id/232053
>> > The Return of the Neocons
>> > Neoconservatism was once deemed dead?'Buried in the sands of Iraq.'
>> > But it persists, not just as the de facto foreign-policy plank of the
>> > Republican Party but, its proponents assert, in Obama's unapologetic
>> > embrace of American military might.
>> > By David Margolick | NEWSWEEK
>> > Published Jan 22, 2010
>> > From the magazine issue dated Feb 1, 2010
>> > For all his eminence?or maybe because of it?the funeral for
>> > Irving Kristol this past September was an understated affair. Some
>> > thought Dick Cheney might show up, but neither he nor any other
>> > Republican leader did; it seemed almost ungrateful, given Kristol's
>> > extraordinary contribution to the GOP?how he'd brought intellectual
>> > legitimacy and heft to what he himself had once called "the stupid
>> > party." None of the Republican congressional leadership was there, nor
>> > any of the would-be candidates for 2012?not even Sarah Palin, whom
>> > Kristol's ubiquitous son, Bill, had helped turn into a political
>> > phenomenon.
>> > The assemblage of about 200 people wasn't exactly small, but in the
>> > gargantuan sanctuary of Adas Israel Congregation, built at a
>> > time?1951?when American Jews of Irving Kristol's generation
>> > wanted to proclaim they'd finally arrived and planned to stick around
>> > awhile, it was dwarfed by its surroundings; the burgundy back benches
>> > were empty. Adas Israel is Washington's most powerful Conservative
>> > congregation, the one to which every Israeli ambassador to the United
>> > States in history has belonged. Instead of the usual parade of celebrity
>> > eulogists, though, only two people?the rabbi and Bill
>> > Kristol?spoke, and briefly at that. In 40 minutes or so it was over.
>> > But the strength of neoconservatism, the intellectual and political
>> > "persuasion" (as he once called it) that Irving Kristol launched and
>> > led, has never been in its numbers but in its firepower and ferocity.
>> > And had the elder Kristol?whose shrouded coffin sat inconspicuously
>> > below the stage, nestled between the American and Israeli flags?been
>> > able to survey the crowd, he'd have been pleased. For filling the pews
>> > were his progeny, not just biological but intellectual, and they were an
>> > impressive lot.
>> > They came from the publications that neoconservatives either run, like
>> > Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard, or work for, like The Washington Post
>> > and The Wall Street Journal. Others came from the think tanks where
>> > neocons congregate, particularly the American Enterprise Institute
>> > (AEI). There were faces from the Iraq War, with which the neocons are
>> > inextricably linked, like former deputy secretary of defense Paul
>> > Wolfowitz (making a rare public appearance) and the former civilian
>> > administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer. Charles Krauthammer, the impassioned
>> > and highly influential neoconservative columnist at The Washington Post,
>> > and the political scientist Francis Fukuyama (a rare lapsed and
>> > repentant neocon) hadn't spoken to each other for several years?ever
>> > since Fukuyama had taken exception to the roseate view of the Iraq War
>> > Krauthammer had offered in the American Enterprise Institute's 2004
>> > Irving Kristol Lecture?but Kristol's death had briefly brought them
>> > back together, albeit in different parts of the synagogue. The more
>> > traditional wing of the Republican Party, the one the neocons had
>> > arguably routed, also paid homage: George Will, who'd come to view the
>> > Iraq War as an enormous mistake, took his seat respectfully. In his
>> > uncharacteristically apolitical, even gentle, eulogy, Bill Kristol
>> > couldn't help but gloat over the proliferation of neocons: "scores,
>> > legions?hordes they must seem to those who disapprove of them," he
>> > said.
>> > Like Bill Kristol, some of those on hand had inherited their right-wing
>> > beliefs rather than adopted them (as Irving Kristol, a longtime
>> > Democrat, once had). Technically, there is nothing "neo" about
>> > conservatives like Robert Kagan, the historian and another Washington
>> > Post columnist, or John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary; each is a
>> > son of one of neoconservatism's founding fathers. Indeed, no strain in
>> > American politics is so dynastic. It is akin to the right-wing Likud
>> > Party in Israel, whose religion and politics, world view, and succession
>> > rituals the neocons often share. The definitions, and analogy, are
>> > inexact, but both groups have recent ties to Europe and are haunted by
>> > the Holocaust, which has left them feeling wounded, suspicious, and
>> > sometimes bellicose, determined never again to be naive or to trust the
>> > world's good intentions. Both spent decades in the po-litical wilderness
>> > before miraculously acquiring power; both begat "princes" who defied the
>> > normal generational tensions and allied themselves with their kingly
>> > fathers. When Bill Kristol rose to praise Irving that morning, he was
>> > really picking up his scepter.
>> > Had you Googled "neoconservative" and "death" that day, four days after
>> > the 89-year-old Kristol expired, you'd have found lots on their
>> > long-rumored?and for some, much-anticipated and -savored?demise.
>> > On both the left and right, neoconservatism was deemed a spent force.
>> > Its ideas, Foreign Policy magazine had pronounced, "lie buried in the
>> > sands of Iraq."
>> > But obituaries can be premature. At the moment, in fact, the neocons
>> > seem resurrected. One of their own, Frederick Kagan of AEI (Robert's
>> > younger brother), helped turn around the war in Iraq by devising and
>> > pushing for the surge there. More recent-ly, President Obama?whose
>> > foreign--policy pronouncements (nuanced, multi-lateral, interdependent)
>> > and style (low-key, self-critical, conciliatory, collegial) were a
>> > repudiation of neoconservative assertiveness?has swung their way, or
>> > so they believe. First, he's sending an additional 30,000 troops to
>> > Afghanistan, nearly as many as leading neocons had sought. Then came his
>> > Nobel Prize acceptance speech, which, with its acknowledgment of the
>> > need for force, its nod to dissidents in Iran and elsewhere, and its
>> > talk about good and evil, was surprisingly congenial.
>> > You can read the rest of it on line
>> > Ruben