Neo-Con Rage

Jim Lobe, June 22, 2008

A very good summary of how hard-line neo-conservatives see the world — and especially Israel’s place in it — can be found in an interview at the National Review Online’s (NRO’s) website by Kathryn Jean Lopez of Caroline Glick, the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post who also serves as the Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP). What comes through the interview is how hard-liners like Glick see the relationship between the U.S. and Israel (”the war against Israel and the war against the U.S. are one and the same”); the Manichean nature of the world (”freedom” versus “the forces of slavery and jihad,” “good” versus “evil”); how they conflate different threats (”al Qaeda and Iran” as a single “enemy” whose “ultimate aim …is global domination and the destruction of the U.S.”); their contempt for Europe (its “refusal to accept the true lessons of the Holocaust”); their Islamophobia (”genocidal anti-Semitism …has taken over the Islamic world”); and their need for an “enemy” to give order to their world (Obama “refuses to acknowledge that there is such a thing as an ‘enemy’ in international affairs. And as a consequence, he is unable to understand what an ally is.”) Glick is also furious with Condoleezza Rice and the State Department for their presumed influence over Bush and efforts to force Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. The title of the interview is “Shackled Warrior: Israel in Bondage.”

It’s worth repeating: Glick is the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at CSP, an organization whose board of advisers have included over the years, among many other senior Bush foreign-policy officials, the current deputy national security adviser charged with Middle East policy, Elliott Abrams. Now I don’t think Abrams is quite as radical as Glick or Gaffney, but the association is not one he’s ever renounced or distance himself from). Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy and protege of Richard Perle (another member of CSP’s board of advisers), has rejoined the board, and John Lehman, an adviser to John McCain, has long served on it. (Gaffney, Abrams, Feith, Perle and Lehman all worked in the office of former Washington State Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson” at one time or another during the 1970s.)

There is one other document that I have cited before which I think summarizes the hard-line neo-con worldview particularly succinctly. It’s by Dennis Prager, a California talk-show host who has stood by John Hagee despite McCain’s repudiation, and it can be found here.

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service’s Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.


Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service’s Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.



35 Responses to “Neo-Con Rage”

  1. Well done, Jim!

    How easy the intellectual life of a neocon must be. Their weltanschauung is a tangle of conceptual binaries, self-affirming inferences, and prior assumptions that treat image as reality. One could hardly find a collection of simple philosophical, political, and martial formulae so untainted by empiricism as neoconservatism. It is the pinnacle of armchair theorizing. And it frees its holder from all intellectual accountability. This much can be deduced from the utter absence of contrition from its followers over its disastrous application. I wonder what would result from a psychological profiling of its prominent exponents?

  2. I always marvel at the alliance of the Neo-cons and the Dispensationalists. What do they have in common save a common hatred of Arabs and Muslims? Uri Avnery has speculated that the US “Cowboys vs. Indians” mythology has something to do with it, too.

    Lester Ness

  3. Caroline Glick is a professional to her fingertips, which never hesitate to throw a little lying false claim into a sub-phrase of a long sentence if it adds to the impression of menace. This, plus her ‘femme fatale’ photos, make her one of my favourite zionist columnists.

  4. All the neo-cons are “all wet!”

  5. Walter Williams makes a brilliant case that the American conduct in the Philippines in 1898 and following was but a diplomatic continuation of the United States treatment of the Indians as savage colonial subject nations, despite numerous treaties:

    Likewise, this essay suggests a new perspective on United States diplomatic history, viewed from an Indian perspective. Historians would do well to reexamine and accept at face value the argument of the imperialists themselves that they were not making a new departure by holding colonial subjects. To quote Hart further, the United States “for more than a hundred years has been a great colonial power” by governing Indians. “Whatever is done in the future will be based on the habits of the past.” Consequently, he concluded, the Spanish-American War annexations were “not signs of a new policy, but the enlargement of a policy long pursued” over Indians. 121 Holding culturally different peoples as subjects was as old as the republic itself, and “uncivilized” groups were given little access to the ideas of citizenship and self-government. Even though imperialists made references to Afro-Americans and to Chinese, they concentrated on Indians because of the clear parallels in land dispossession based on a dichotomy between savagism and civilization. They used the Indian analogy effectively, and anti-imperialists could not challenge the white consensus on Indians. Anti-imperialist attempts to cite imperialism as a dangerous new departure thus fell on deaf ears.

    Walter L. Williams, “United States Indian Policy and the Debate over Philippine Annexation: Implications for the Origins of American Imperialism,” The Journal of American History, Vol. 66, No. 4 (March 1980), pp. 810-831

    [http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol270/williams.htm]

    Williams does not mention it save obliquely but the savagery of American troops toward the Filipinos was also a continuation of the Indian Wars, and reasserted itself again later, especially in Vietnam and now in Iraq, as at Haditha, with exactly the same empty and barbaric justifications.

    In addition, there is an even more direct connection–many of the troops that served in the Philippines were veterans of the Indian Wars.

    Uri Avnery is among the most profound of contemporary historians of Israel and the Middle East, but I am not sure I agree with him fully about the “Cowboy and Indian Mythos”. For one thin it is closer to the “US Army and Indian Mythos”, both for the Israelis and the Americans who blindly support the Israeli’s own version of “frontier”.

    Where the real echo and analogy is, I think, no doubt subtly fomented by the Neo-Cons and the Israeli extremists, is that the Arabs–and now the Muslims–have been reduced to the imagery of racially inferior “savages” as Native Americans were.

    The Neo-Cons, though always carefully, are particularly good at redirecting the racism of certain Americans to their own targets of choice.

    The reality is something else. Even during World War I some Germans had commented on savagery of US troops in Europe, not for atrocities, but for the way fought, and their general barbaric appearance.

    To swallow the Israeli and American myth that is the Iraqis, inheritors of Mesopotamiam civlization who are the barbarians, and not both the Israelis and the Americans, is a mindless leap of faith, especially in regard to the Americans, whom the locals are now often comparing, quite aptly, to the Mongols.

  6. corr: “For one thing”, “Israelis’ own”, “commented on the savagery”, “for the way they fought”. Pardon these and other typos still uncaught.

  7. Another parallel strain may be the blood brother oath that the American Imperialists during expansion in the Philippines swore with the their British “cousins”, under the rubric of “Anglo-Saxon” and “the White Man’s Burden”, and so forth. The British in the Boer War were at least as barbaric, genocidal, and systematically vicious as the Nazis were during World War II, if not more so, and they also reduced the Boers, despite their being “white”, to the status of backward savages–as indeed they had earlier done, ironically enough, to the American colonials in the American War of Independence.

  8. Consider also the open racism of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s office during the Zoot Suit riots, and the definition of Mexican American Los Angelenos as “Injun savages”:

    Around the same time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also decided to investigate and appointed E. Duran Ayres to head their Foreign Relations Bureau. And though Mr. Ayres accurately identified much of the active discrimination that was occurring against the “Mexican element”, he drew some startling conclusions which were presented to the grand jury:

    “He stated that Mexican Americans are essentially Indians and therefore Orientals or Asians. Throughout history, he declared, the Orientals have shown less regard for human life than have the Europeans. Further, Mexican Americans had inherited their ‘naturally violent’ tendencies from the ‘bloodthirsty Aztecs’ of Mexico who were said to have practiced human sacrifice centuries ago. At one point in his report Ayres even compared the Anglo to a domesticated house cat and the Mexican to a ‘wild cat,’ suggesting that the Mexican would forever retain his wild and violent tendencies no matter how much education or training he might receive.

    [http://www.suavecito.com/history.htm]

    The US and Israel have their hands full with Iraqi and Iranian “Indians”, but with Chertoff, a dual citizen of the US and Israel and a Neo-Con autocrat, building a wall against Mexico and Mexicans, it seems only a matter of time that the Neo-Cons, in an effort to win support for McCain, will ratchet up the Brown Scare, English Only, and other aspects of American Know-nothing Nativism against another group of convenient “savages”.

    Empire makes strage bedfellows indeed.

  9. Interesting remarks, but never underestimate the power of Dispensationalism in relation to Israel. Secular commentators don’t like to try to understand religious fanaticism, but it is important nonetheless.

    Zhu Bajie

  10. Helena Cobban of the Christian Science Monitor, and other publications, was on Democracy Now this morning talking about neo-cons in Cheney's office and Israel's "reckless" behavior in provoking Iran with this trial run military exercise.

    She appeared to me to question whether the military exercise actually happened.

    Michael Gordon of the New York Times broke the Israeli trial Iran attack story. Cobban questioned Gordon's credibility because in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq he was one of the NYT reporters who would pass "information" from unnamed sources at the Pentagon and elsewhere, which would then be quoted by Cheney and the other neo-cons.

    Remember that? Cheney on Meet the Press, or similar "news" shows, quoting Judith Miller and Michael Gordons' NYT articles as "confirmation" that Iraq had WMD? It was a true circle jerk, with horrendous consequences.

    Cobban seemed to believe that a similar type of thing might be happening with Gordon's report of these Israeli military exercises because he's still quoting "unnamed" sources and still is not asking the tough questions.

    Cobban asked, was the U.S. and NATO complicit in Israel's exercise, because where the supposed drill was located would have demanded their complicity?

    In any case, she said, an Israeli attack in Iran would make the U.S. complicit because Israel would have to use U.S. and allies air space, plus of course, the air space of our puppet regime in Iraq.

    Cobban also talked about the catastrophic effects of an attack on Iran. Our troops in Iraq are sitting ducks, and Iran could do some very relatively simple things in the Straits of Hormuz which would send world markets into turmoil.

    Cobban doesn't believe that anyone in the Pentagon would be complicit in Israel bombing Iran because of the major reprisals. But she did say that there are a few neo-cons "dug deep" into the Pentagon, and lots in Cheney's office.

    Cobban also addresses Kristol's comment about Bush bombing Iran if it looks like Obama will win, she thinks Kristol's getting this info out of Cheney, who she calls a "nefarious" presence.

    Tell us something we don't know, Ms Cobban.

    You can watch the interview at http://www.democracynow.org. It's about 45 minutes into the show.

    Cobban also blogs at Just World News.

  11. “I wonder what would result from a psychological profiling of its prominent exponents?”

    how about foaming at the mouth rabid madmen?

  12. The Neo-cons are impervious to exposure (…of their malign intent and evil plots) and bad peer reviews. lol…they really couldn’t care less about it; they just keep moving forward no matter what is written about them!

    So, anyway, the “Daddy! Daddy! Look what the Neo-cons are doing!” mentality is counterproductive…this should be obvious by now, especially after two fuckin’ wars and witnessing the formulaic preparations for a third!

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words shall never harm me!” is particularly true concerning the Zionist agents and their Neo-con hosts.

    In order to defeat the Zionist agents controlling our country we need to drop the words and pick up the sticks and stones!

    Words = Nerf-ball-tickle-fighting!

    Sticks and stones = nation-wide labor strikes and boycotts, targeted and relentless harassment of known Zionists and their media/political puppets (read Wallace, Obama, Pelosi, etc.), etc., etc..

    But alas, the american sheeple aren’t up to doing anything that requires effort or sacrifice …or courage; might break a nail or, god forbid, miss the play-offs! Unfortunately, in order to take our country back, we’ll need a stern intervention on a global scale…especially if we’re to avert World War III. This isn’t going to happen either.

    At any rate, Jim, you’re a pretty good writer…too bad your stuff, like the anti-war movement itself, is mostly ineffectual.

  13. we used to get pragers radio show here in boston. He’s not as loud and outrageous as some of the other commentators but he’s much more radical, and his fans have almost a cult like admiration of him. He’s a nice enough ugy but is extrodinarily dishonest and full of propaganda and hatred towards opponents of the neo con vision.

  14. I fear they would turn out to be very ordinary middle class white bigots: examples of the banality of evil.

    Zhu Bajie

  15. The only difference I see between the Neocons and the Nazis of old is the targeted group and/or religion. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if the Necons had their way, they would set up extermination camps for the Arabs/Muslims just like the Nazis did for the Jewish.

  16. The only effective strategy is to lift up something better.
    Reminding people that the Constitution offers them a rich
    blessing trumps everything else the govt. is selling.
    Ron Paul is continuing this approach to socio-political
    reform in America, and it’s working.
    “Freedom works!” -Ron Paul
    The only question now is will it continue to grow.
    We’ll see.

    Dispensationalists are discovering that the road to
    Zion is a long, hard, sweaty, costly, bloody road
    and they are re-reading the Revelation searching for what’s
    causing the hold-up.
    “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling block and rock of offense.”
    Seems God has them all in derision.
    “The violent take the Kingdom by force.”
    Jesus as well.

  17. The Zionist branch of the Neo-cons have already set-up an extermination camp, Gaza.

    Read the Maan news service (Palestinian news agency, I find it pretty accurate) to find out what’s actually happening in that hell hole. Using our tax dollars of course.

    http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php

  18. Israel in bondage?

    Hmm, what was the name of that X-Ray-Spex song again…?

    Oh, yeah…

    Oh! Bondage, Up Yours!

  19. these people are insane http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tywtKwvF6ao

  20. The alliance is purely one of convenience but what is remarkable about it is how much neo-con ideology has influenced the thinking of the dispensationalist leadership, say, on economic policy, for example, and how little dispensationalist social concerns have influenced the neo-cons. One almost gets the impression that aspects of fundamentalist theology has been adapted to the quite specific policy goals of the Republican Party. Yet a David Brooks could comfortably express acceptance of “same sex marriage” and the Wall Street Journal editorially a certain flexibility on abortion without fear of consequence. The thirst for a place at the table by the Dobsons, Colsons, Lands and Robertsons has become so profound that almost anything Republican can be rationalised. In my view, these folks fairly can be compared to the Reichs Church of National Socialist Germany.

  21. This article isn’t available
    http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/778

    I feel sorry for the Israeli and Palestinian victims of this land feud. The people like Hagee and Glick are mentally ill and need to seek treatment for their grandiose, paranoid and delusional thinking. They help increase the intensity of the inferno in the Helly Land.

  22. It is way too true that little guy is right.

  23. Appreciate learning about maannews.net.

  24. You marvel at “how much neo-con ideology has influenced the thinking of the dispensationalist leadership… and how little dispensationalist social concerns have influenced the neo-cons.”

    Yes, this is ever the pattern with the Israel-firsters.

    For example, they have cultivated the idea that American interests are interchangeable with Israeli interests, and that anti-Americanism is the same thing as hostility to Israel. But in practice, this supposedly mutual identification of interests works in just one direction: American interests are adjusted to or subordinated to the wishes of Israel.

    In the same way, the alliance between neocons and the Christian right is effective only in advancing the pro-Israel agenda, but the neocons are no help to the bible-thumpers in any other respect.

    Here’s the arrangement: “If you scratch my back, and do a really good job, I promise to let you keep scratching my back whenever I want it scratched.”

    Israelis must privately wonder at the amazingly useful stupidity of Americans.

  25. I don’t think the Prager link is working . . .

  26. Moro Crater massacre
    “The Moro Crater massacre is a name given to the final phase of the First Battle of Bud Dajo, a military engagement of the Philippine-American War which took place March 10, 1906, on the isle of Jolo in the southern Philippines. Forces of the U.S. Army under the command of Major General Leonard Wood, a naval detachment comprising 540 soldiers, along with a detachment of native constabulary, armed with artillery and small firearms, attacked a village hidden in the crater of the dormant volcano Bud Dajo. No American soldiers were killed, though sixteen were wounded; more than 600 mostly unarmed Muslim Moro villagers (including many women and children) were killed but none were wounded.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moro_Crater_massacre

    “Washington, March 10.

    Wood, Manila:- I congratulate you and the officers and men of your command upon the brilliant feat of arms wherein you and they so well upheld the honor of the American flag.

    (Signed) Theodore Roosevelt” from
    Comments on the Moro Massacre
    by Mark Twain

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Comments_on_the_Moro_Massacre

  27. In the June 30, 2008 edition of American Free Press:
    “Palestinians are being illegally barred from reaching Dead Sea beaches in the occupied West Bank according to a petition filed before Israel’s supreme courtby Israel’s leading civil rights organization. The Association of Civil Rights (ACRI) in Israel is challenging what it says is the frequently imposed ban by the militaryon Palestinians seeking to enjoy beaches on the Dead Sea. ACRI says that the ban is to appease Israeli settlers who fear losing Jewish customers if there are Arabs using the beaches in territory stolen by Israel.”
    Tim R, you’ve been there – tell us are there water fountains marked “Jew Only” in the Holy Land? And everyone else – why the hell do we support these racist creeps?

  28. Piss on Caroline Glick, that Zionist warmongering swine.

    Israel wants hegemony over the Middle East, and it’s happy to sit back and let America do its fighting for it. Pretty good deal for Israel, isn’t it? Let Americans waste their lives and resources on Israel’s behalf.

  29. Dispensationalism is the logical consequence of the living out of the Protestant principle, “sola scriptura”. Consigned by the Reformation to a life apart from the Christian community which had given it birth, the interpretation of Holy Scripture came to be understood, at least initially, as something purely subjective, its meaning given by an act of the Holy Spirit working both with the believer and the words themselves. But with the coming of the Enlightenment and the challenges it posed to Protestant faith, its lack of a uniform theological outlook and Pope, this subjectivist understanding of inspiration transmogrified into one in which the Scripture itself was seen as a given, as itself objectively inspired. It was as though God had deposited an instruction book at the feet of the believer to be dissected rationally much as one might examine some object of scientific inquiry. The rationalism which inspired this outlook, revolutionary even within Protestantism at the time, and its formulaic expression, the Hodge/Warfield doctrine, became the mechanism for the working out of the curious departures represented by pre-millenial dispensationalism. Today, with Protestantism degenerated into a post-Enlightenment liberalism and a positivist fundamentalism, dispensationalism thrives by virtue of its claim to this objectivist authority. Yet its content remains a hideous distortion of the faith that has emerged over two-thousand years of Christian history.

  30. “A six-year-old Palestinian girl from Gaza was killed by Israeli fire on 12 June. “Medics say the girl was decapitated by a [tank] shell,” Associated Press (AP) reported the next day.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/baroud06232008.html

  31. “As Palestinians hurriedly buried their loved ones in the Gaza Strip following a deadly Israeli onslaught, which further contributed to Gaza’s worst humanitarian crisis since 1967 [1], US and Israeli celebrities rallied at a Los Angeles benefit concert for the Israeli town of Sderot, located near the border of Gaza. [2] Hollywood movie stars Sylvester Stallone, Jon Voight, Valerie Harper and comedian Larry Miller mingled with Israeli celebrities such as singer Ninet Tayeb and others. Children from the Israeli town of Sderot, which received the lion’s share of homemade Palestinian rockets, were cheerful nonetheless. Song and dance, interrupted occasionally by solemn messages of support delivered via satellite by both Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates, replaced the cries of sirens the images of huddling families in the town’s shelters. It was a bittersweet moment, that of solidarity, a renewal of the vow made too often, that Israel’s plight is that of America, and Israel’s security is an American priority, and, indeed, ‘God loves those who love Israel’.

    Welcome to America’s parallel reality on Israel and Palestine, barefaced in its defying of the notions of commonsense, equality and justice, ever-insistent on peeking at the Arab-Israeli conflict from a looking glass manufactured jointly in the church, in the Congress and in the news room, where the world is reduced to characters interacting in a Hollywood-like movie set: good guys, well groomed and often white-skinned vs. bad guys bearing opposite qualities.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/baroud06212008.html

  32. You’re not missing anything, believe me.

  33. So, if ”the war against Israel and the war against the U.S. are one and the same”, how many IDF soldiers are in the coalition of the willing, fighting at our side in Iraq and Afganistan?

  34. They advising the Americans on how to treat prisoners in humane way as in Abu Ghraibe,how to win haerts and minds as in Haditha and Falugah,and how to respond to civilians in the streets of Baghdad.

  35. The sad part is the apathy of the American Public while we watch King Bush do whatever the hell he wants. Makes you want to take the law into your own hands like the olden days.