September 15, 2015

Are Neocons an Existential Threat?

Despite a record of unprecedented error, American neocons remain the dominant foreign policy force in Official Washington, demanding more "regime change" in the Middle East and a new Cold War that could heat up and end all life on the planet

by Robert Parry

The neoconservatives arguably have damaged American national interests more than any group in modern history. They have done more harm than the marginal Communists pursued by Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, more than the Yippies of the 1960s, more than Richard Nixon's Watergate burglars in the 1970s or the Iran-Contra conspirators in the 1980s.

The neocons have plunged the U.S. government into extraordinarily ill-considered wars wasting trillions of dollars, killing hundreds of thousands if not millions of people, and destabilizing large swaths of the planet including the Middle East, much of Africa and now Europe. Those costs include a swelling hatred against America and a deformed U.S. foreign policy elite that is no longer capable of formulating coherent strategies.

Yet, the neocons have remained immune from the consequences of their catastrophes. They still dominate Washington's major think tanks as well as the op-ed pages of virtually all the leading newspapers, including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. They hold down key positions in the State Department, and their "liberal interventionist" pals have the ear of President Barack Obama.

Clearly, the neocons are skilled operatives, knowing how to arrange a steady stream of funding for themselves, from military contractors donating to think tanks, from U.S. taxpayers footing the bill for organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy, and from ideological billionaires set on aligning U.S. foreign policy with hard-line Israeli desires.

The neocons are adept at writing op-ed articles that twist any set of facts into support for their ideological cause; they supply just the right quote that fits into the news cycle's latest narrative; and they host policy conferences that attract powerful politicians and fawning media coverage.

But are the neocons a force that can coexist with the American Republic? Have they become an existential threat not only to the constitutional structure crafted in 1787 but to continued life on the planet? Are they locked on a course of action that could lead to a nuclear holocaust? . . .


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He is the author of "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush."

"Regime Change American Style: Millions Spent Subverting 'Enemies', Stifling Dissent," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2001

Bernard Weiner, "How We Got Into This Imperial Pickle A PNAC Primer," CounterPunch, May 28, 2003

"The Nuclear Deal With Iran," The Wisdom Fund, July 15, 2015

Patrick J. Buchanan, "War Party Targets Putin and Assad,", October 6, 2015

Branko Marcetic, "New Hillary Clinton Emails: Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sidney Blumenthal Urged Libya Military Action,", October 10, 2015

[It's titled "Choosing to Lead: American Foreign Policy for a Disordered World." . . .

The Initiative is co-chaired by Eliot Cohen (a charter member of PNAC), former Romney adviser Brian Hook, and Eric Edelman (who succeeded Doug Feith as undersecretary of defense under George W. Bush and has since served as co-founder and director - with Kagan and Kristol - of PNAC's lineal descendant, the Foreign Policy Initiative). The 200 "experts" connected to the Initiative have reportedly advised almost all of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates.--Jim Lobe, "Neocons Launch 2016 Manifesto,", October 26, 2015]

[Bremer issued two orders that would turn out to be momentous. Enacted on May 16, CPA Order Number 1 "de-Baathified" the Iraqi government; on May 23, CPA Order Number 2 disbanded the Iraqi army.--John Hay, "The disastrous Iraq policies that led to ISIS were not President Bush's,", October 27, 2015]

Philip Giraldi, "Someone Wants War with Russia,", November 17, 2015

[The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) celebrated the release of a major foreign-policy paper on Monday, entitled "Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand U.S. Engagement in a Competitive World Order." The paper, authored by a panel whose cochairs were Robert Kagan and James P. Rubin, is designed to "help shape the national conversation on America's role in the world during the run-up to the presidential election in November 2016."--Daniel L. Davis, "A Neoconservative Plan That Will Cripple U.S. Interests,", May 19, 2016]

Dan Wright, "Hillary Clinton's Project For A New American Century,", June 9, 2016

Robert Parry, "Learning to Love McCarthyism,", November 6, 2017

Daniel Lazare, "The National Endowment for (Meddling in) Democracy,", March 8, 2018

Edward Hunt, "NED Pursues Regime Change by Playing the Long Game,", July 3, 2018

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