Why Is Anyone Listening to the Neocons in the 21st Century?
Considering their blood-soaked record of failure. US needs to stop listening to the Neocon mantra that the US is the one indispensable nation and exceptional from all others
This article originally appeared at OpEdNews
Neocons have turned the Middle East into a quagmire, Afghanistan into a war without end, and disgraced the U.S. in Latin America and Africa. As a result of the Neocons' bellicose rhetoric, and policies of militarily encircling China and Russia, they have set off another arms race and Cold War 2.0.
Neocons have put the World on a razor blade edge of nuclear war that has advanced the Doomsday Clock to three minutes until midnight.
Neocons believe in a mixture of the U.S. being a Cold War policeman of the World, a Wilsonian ideology of the U.S. "making the World safe for democracy", Otto von Bismarck's amoral realpolitiks, and the Roman Empire. Neocons are not ready for the 21st century.
Every U.S. politician, especially the President of the United States, has been so intimidated by the neocon Israeli lobby that they think they must kowtow to Israel's every demand. This was made clear again on April 6, 2015, when Obama said in an interview with Thomas Friedman the following:
"What we will be doing, even as we enter into this [Iran] deal, is sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there." [HERE]
U.S. Presidents and Congress need to stop listening to the Neocons. They need to "be there" for the Palestinians too, and the peace process. The U.S. needs to "be there" to stop the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The U.S. needs to "be there" to keep Palestine from being wiped off the map.
The U.S. needs to "be there" for the Israelis to sign and abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.S. needs to "be there" for support of the United Nations, and U.N. Resolution 242 for withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories of Palestine. The U.S. needs to "be there" with some 21st-century thinking. [HERE]
The irony of the 19th-century neocon Secretary of State John Kerry when he condemned Russia, just one short year ago, went over the heads of the main-stream media. Kerry had the arrogance to tell Bob Schieffer on CBS "Face the Nation":
"You [Russia] just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext." [HERE]
Kerry then gave lip-service to the United Nations. He said the United Nations is the "modern manner in which nations resolve international problems" instead of "invasion". Kerry stressed that "if one has legitimate concerns, go to the United Nations". It is amazing that a neocon such as Kerry could say those words with a straight face.
It is interesting that Kerry, speaking on behalf of the Obama administration, still can remember the United Nations Charter and international law. They should remember it when faced with their own choices, such as in Yemen now.
One is tempted to throw Kerry's words back in his face. It is the U.S. who sees its Empire in decline that is acting out of weakness and desperation and in the 19th-century way of trying to preserve its unilateral power by invading countries.
Things were looking so promising for the U.S.A. at the end of World War 2. What went wrong was that the U.S. listened to 19th-century conservatives of that era.
In 1945 the U.S.A. had an industrial might that was the envy of the World. Today the U.S. industrial base has rusted. Its manufacturing base has been outsourced abroad by conservatives listening to corporations.
The country had been spared the devastations of WW2. Today many inner cities in America are combat zones. Conservatives turned them into 19th-century militarized territory.
The rest of the world would take a long time to dig out and rebuild their destroyed infrastructures after WW2. Today it will take a long time, if ever, to reindustrialize America. Instead the Neocons want a 19th-century foreign Empire.
After World War One the U.S. failed to ratify the treaty establishing the League of Nations as a world body to preserve the peace. After WW2, the U.S. was instrumental in establishing the United Nations so that countries would have, in the words of Kerry, the 21st-century "modern manner in which nations resolve international problems". Today the U.S. has sidelined the U.N. in favor of its 19th-century Empire.
The American people were optimistic after WW2. They marveled at the possibilities of technology, American can-do and peace. They wanted to prepare for the 21st century. Today Americans are afraid; they submit to intrusive violations of their constitutional rights in a Faustian bargain for presumed safety. Now Americans are neither as free nor safe.
After WW2, returning soldiers were awarded the G.I. Bill of Rights so that they could get an education. For many it was the ticket to joining a growing and prospering middle class.
Today government is eliminating and privatizing human investments. To get an education today, students have to pay exorbitant 19th-century tuition fees, and go deep into debt that puts them into 18th-century involuntary servitude. After obtaining an education many students join the lines left by the Depression-era unemployed.
Today the moral standing of the U.S. in the world is abysmal. International financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization are used as tools of 19th-century-style imperialism to exploit the resources and the people of weaker countries. Opinion polls have shown that much of the world believes that the greatest threat to world peace comes from the U.S.A. [HERE]
The Long War Against Russia
After WW2, the U.S. had most of the wealth in the world. Today the U.S. has a mountain of debt from a chronic negative balance of trade. The U.S. relies on its ability as the International Reserve Currency to issue bonds backed by Middle East oil to balance its international payments.
In 19th-century fashion, after WW2 the U.S. conservatives thought that by owning most of the gold in the world the U.S. would dominate the world. If that was not enough for conservatives, the U.S. alone had the atomic bomb and it had used it on Japan. [A-Bombing of Japan Was Unnecessary]
One reason the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Japan was to send a message to the Soviet Union. The Soviets got a different message and quickly developed their own nuke bombs, and so did Communist China.
After an insane nuclear standoff with the Soviets for almost half the 20th century, the U.S. had an opportunity for 21st-century nuclear disarmament. Instead, after the Cold War, the New Conservatives, known as Neocons, reveled in triumphalism. Neocons took the U.S. back into the future of the 19th century.
Even just a little over a year ago President Obama made a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany and promised the world that he would work with the Russians to "cut American- and Russian-deployed nuclear warheads (applause)". The applause was for a nuke-free 21st century. [HERE]
Within only a few months of Obama's speech he budgeted one trillion dollars to make a new generation of more-powerful U.S. nukes. For the neocon Obama the Brandenburg Gate speech was just another publicity stunt. [HERE]
A little over a year after the Brandenburg Gate speech, Obama would challenge Russia in Ukraine, even though Kerry, speaking for the Obama administration, said that they were "fully aware" of the risk of a possible nuclear war with Russia.
Before WW2 was even over, instead of rejecting 19th-century colonialism, the U.S. decided to pick up the pieces of the British Empire in the Middle East. The U.S. did not object when the Allies reestablished their colonies in Africa and Asia either. The Soviets though were condemned for establishing a buffer in Eastern Europe to protect it from future invasions.
After WW2 the U.S. and Great Britain moved to isolate Russia and its heresy of Communist ideology. Capitalists panicked over the perceived threat of world Communism and they declared war on it. The Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe went up. [HERE]
President Harry Truman was not shy about threatening the Russians with the Atomic Bomb. His Secretary of State James F. Byrnes told Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov that he (Byrnes) personally carried an atomic bomb in his hip-pocket, and he threatened to use it. [HERE].
President Harry Truman would engage in "Atomic Diplomacy" for what he considered 19th Century type American interests abroad. Truman committed the U.S. to a worldwide confrontation with Communism anywhere and everywhere. [HERE]
Henry Luce, the publisher of "TIME" and "LIFE" magazines, was a stanch conservative Cold Warrior. He used his magazines to promote his anti-Communist conservative dogma. [HERE]
Luce wallowed in triumphalism after WW2. He had declared the 20th century to be the "American century". He would foreshadow future Neocons and the future "main-stream media" in the propaganda of U.S. world domination, Empire and an era of Pax Americana.
Luce declared that the U.S. should "exert upon the world the full impact of its influence, for such purposes as it sees fit and by such means as it sees fit." [HERE]
Luce cheered the U.S. into a Cold War with Russia and China. His magazines served as conservative propaganda for the Cold War, Korean War and other conflicts, including the disaster of the Vietnam War. [HERE]
The World the Neocons Made
Future Neocons such as the "Project for a New American Century" (PNAC) founders Robert Kagan, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and William Kristol would follow in Luce's 19th-century footsteps.
After the end of the Cold War, the Neocons called for U.S. World domination, Empire and a Pax Americana, just as Luce had before them.
Paul Wolfowitz, the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for President George H. W. Bush, codified neocon foreign policy in the so-called "Wolfowitz Doctrine" in 1992:
"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival ... [By] convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests ... We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role." [HERE]
PNAC wrote a letter to New-Democrat President Bill Clinton in 1998 urging Clinton to invade Iraq. [See names of war criminals responsible for the Iraq War]
President Clinton responded to the Neocons' call for an invasion of Iraq with the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998". That act would later be used by the neocon President Bush as authorization to invade Iraq in 2002.
Neocons dominated U.S. foreign policy under President George W. Bush. After their 9-11 "New Pearl Harbor" that PNAC predicted it would take, the neocons rejoiced. Bush and his neocon vice president Dick Cheney would gladly give their fellow Neocons the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2002. [HERE]
Neocons were in charge of U.S. foreign policy under Bush. Most of them had been "Chicken-Hawk" Vietnam War draft-avoiders. They would glory in a World War on Terrorism. In his 2006 State of the Union speech, the neocon Bush declared a Long War, reminiscent of the 17th-century Thirty-Years War that devastated Europe. [HERE]
Instead of issuing a mea culpa after the Iraq War had turned into a debacle, Robert Kagan instead, writing for the Brookings Institute in 2014, said that "Superpowers Don't Get to Retire" [HERE]
Kagan said he feared that the American people were becoming isolationists. Kagan was concerned that a war-weary America would turn away from his Neocon vision of World domination, long wars and Empire building. He had no shame about the Iraq War.
Kagan said that only an Empire can bring peace and enlightenment to the World, just like he said the Roman Empire had done. He said that the only country in the World that can be trusted for the job of Empire is the U.S.A. He said the U.S. is the indispensable nation because of its moral exceptionalism. [HERE]
President Obama believed what Kagan said enough to quote Kagan's book, The World America Made, in Obama's 2012 State of the Union Speech:
"America is a moral example and that she remains the one indispensable nation and that: Anyone who tells you otherwise ... doesn't know what they're talking about." [HERE]
Obama is also a long-time admirer of neocon Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter's National Security advisor. He masterminded the covert C.I.A. war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Brzezinski showed no concern over radical Islamic fundamentalism that he helped create. He said in 1998 that "some stirred-up Moslems(sic)" was nothing to worry about. [HERE]
They Set the World on Fire
In 2011 Obama went on to follow Brzezinski advice to "stir-up Moslems" to over throw Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Bashar Assad of Syria. The Obama administration hoped to reassure the American people by leaking to the main-stream media that this time the U.S. would only use "well-vetted moderate Muslims".
The main-stream media was caught surprised when over the horizon of Syria one day in June 2014 appeared the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The main-stream media had no idea of where they came from. They did not even bother to ask where ISIL got their fleet of brand-new Toyota trucks; nor their new black uniforms and black flags, clean white Nike's and their cache of heavy weapons. Were these the "well-vetted moderate Muslims" the U.S. had been funding?
The results of U.S. 19th-century-style manipulation in the Middle East are war, human catastrophes and foreign-policy disasters in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and everywhere. There are now so many "stirred-up Moslems" in the Middle East that one needs an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of them. The U.S. neocons deflect responsibility by repugnantly spreading Islamophobic racist slurs against all Muslims.
Presidents Bush and Obama have driven the U.S. into a pit by following the road map of 19th-century-thinking Neocons. Obama's reported policy of "not doing stupid stuff" has been very stupid.
The Modern Manner for Nations to Behave
For the 21st century the U.S. needs to abandon the Neocon quest for Empire, world domination and militarism. It needs to stop with the Neocon 16th-century Machiavellian covert regime changes. It needs to abandon 19th-century realpolitik.
The U.S. needs to start closing foreign military bases and drastically reduce its spending on the military. The U.S. needs to pursue an agenda of a world without war and a world without nuclear bombs.
The world does not need an Empire to keep the peace. It needs international laws that are followed, respected, obeyed and enforced. It can start doing that by bringing war criminals to justice. [Must See: Bringing U.S. Torture Team Justice ]
The U.S. needs to stop acting unilaterally in the 21st century. It needs to take its legitimate concerns to the United Nations. It needs to work on strengthening world organizations that follow international laws. The U.S. needs to set an example of abiding by the Geneva Conventions, treaties, ending its torture, ending wars of aggression and show respect for human rights.
The U.S. needs to stop listening to the Neocons who say that the U.S. is the one indispensable nation and exceptional from all other nations.
Tell the Neocons: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion".
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