No matter who occupies the US presidency, it seems the neoconservatives always occupy positions of foreign policy power. A neocon like Robert Kagan, for example, is perfectly comfortable going from a senior position in the GW Bush administration to another senior post in Barack Obama’s State Department. When their failed policies wear out the name of one of their institutes, like Project for a New American Century, they simply change the name without losing a beat, in this case turning into the “Foreign Policy Initiative.” Filmmaker Robbie Martin has done a terrific job looking into the neocon domination of Washington in his three-part documentary film, A Very Heavy Agenda. Martin joins today’s Liberty Report to talk about his films and to talk about the neocons who star in them:
There are two ways to look at the video below, and they are both right. It shows the remains of a soldier and his K-9 coming home for the last time from Afghanistan. The circumstances of their deaths are unknown.
If you can get through the video with dry eyes, you may not be human, or may not at least deserve the title. Someone replaced your heart with dry meat. Despite the sappy music, the expression of utter emotion packed into a mundane activity – unloading “cargo” from an airplane – is raw and undeniable and good. Each set of remains is brought from overseas into Dover, Delaware, where the U.S. military operates its largest mortuary and receiving facility. Each container is flag-draped and accompanied by military members, so the soldier is never alone on the long trip off the battlefield.
There is much to praise and agree with in National Review’s cover editorial, “Against Trump.” Donald Trump is no friend to limited government proponents. Indeed, his flip-flopping on key issues of concern to libertarians and conservatives make it unclear whether a President Trump would govern from his current perspectives or be the Trump who is a dear friend of the Clintons. But National Review misses a key part of the Trump phenomenon. It isn’t an aberration, but is a natural outgrowth of conservatism abandoning its core values of limited government and a strict national interest foreign policy during the Bush years. It may even be an expression of an underlying worldview of fear and defeatism present in conservatism ever since National Review led the Cold War break with the antiwar, anti-New Deal Old Right.
Trump isn’t killing conservatism. It already died over a decade ago. It died in the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib, on the battlefields of unnecessary and counterproductive wars, in the secret meetings that created an unprecedented domestic surveillance program, and in the spending spree to pay for it all that turned a budget surplus into record deficits. It clung to life support on some domestic economic programs, but died again when political capital that could have been spent on Social Security reform went to promoting war instead. It died every single time the Bush Administration pursued policies contrary to American values and the principles of limited government – and it died whenever Bush’s cheerleaders in what passed for the conservative movement championed his policies.
Hey, did you wake up today wondering what was going on in Afghanistan, America’s 51st state, you know, the one we’ve been occupying for over 14 years, that one where thousands of Americans have died and where thousands still serve? Yeah, that Afghanistan.
So, yep, thanks for asking, this war is going well.
Especially now, as we learn some Sunnis are far more afraid of Iraqi government-supported Shiite militias than they are of anyone from Islamic State. This will not end well, especially since the United States still hopes to get those same Sunnis to turn on ISIS and support the same goals as the Shiite Iraqi government.
Fear of those Shiite Muslim militias is driving many locals in Diyala Province, where the population is mixed, to change their names to more neutral formulations.
The reason is simple survival. “Just over the past two months our department has received between 150 and 200 applications for a name change,” said an official working for Diyala’s Directorate of Nationality. “Most of the applications are being submitted by people whose names reveal their sect or the areas from where their family or tribe comes.”
There is a pre-packaged narrative that says Donald Trump won the final, pre-Iowa Caucus debate by virtue of his not even showing up. Google searches confirm that frontrunner Trump was on the minds of many, even if he was busy staging his own rally down the road. His – to put it politely – pet cause of immigration was one of the prominent topics on stage.
And yes, the opening question Fox News co-moderator Megyn Kelly tossed first at Sen. Ted Cruz was about “the elephant not in the room” and what Trump was saying to Iowa by not attending the debate like the good boys all had.
Everyone said their piece. There was a weasely-sounding quip from Cruz and an awkward one from former Gov. Jeb Bush about leaving the stage like you-know-who. Sen. Marco Rubio called him “the greatest show on earth” but said the proceedings were not about Trump. Later Cruz tried and failed to start a Trump-ish squabble with Fox News but abandoned that tactic when co-moderator Chris Wallace gamely fought back with “it is a debate, sir.”
After a spirited round of pandering to Iowa (“Iowa in 2017 will not be fly-over country. It will be fly-to country,” vowed Cruz, in one of the night’s weird lines that almost worked but totally didn’t) the night moved on to less Trump-as-Voldemort topics. And it worked. Every candidate besides the somnambulant Dr. Ben Carson seemed to be stretching their legs and picking up speed without Trump there to trip them up.