September 30th, 2009

Neocons: the comeback kids?

Bret Stephens thinks so, anyway.

And if you look through the comments section to his article, you’ll notice how few of the commenters seem to have a clue what neocons actually stand for. No surprise there.

[ADDENDUM: Dr. Sanity has more to say about the matter.]

54 Responses to “Neocons: the comeback kids?”

  1. sartana Says:

    I think a wooden stake needs to be driven through the heart of Neo-Conservatism.

    Hopefully, it will be thrown in the garbage bin of history along with Communism and Prog-Rock.

  2. huxley Says:

    I’d bet that sartana would fit right in with the other commenters neo mentions who haven’t a clue what neoconservatism is.

    Here’s a few words from the ol’ prog-rockers, Jethro Tull:

    Really don’t mind if you sit this one out.
    My words but a whisper — your deafness a SHOUT.
    I may make you feel but I can’t make you think.

    Prog-rock had its moments and its musicians knew their instruments.

  3. huxley Says:

    It does seem odd, given that Obama and his minions are about to overthrow the United States into fascism any day now, that neoconservatism could be said to be making a comeback and that the question emerges in France.

    The first graf is worth quoting:

    The other day I was asked by a writer for a mainstream French newspaper to say something about the “return” of the neoconservatives. His thesis seemed to be that the shambles of Barack Obama’s foreign policy had, after only nine months, made what was thought to be the most discredited wing of an ostensibly brain-dead conservative movement relevant again

  4. sartana Says:

    I have a pretty good idea of what it’s about, Huxley- I just lived through eight years of it. And now we’re all living living the consequences.

    -A thousand points of light and a new world order.
    -Faith Based Initiatives
    -Islamic Democracy
    -Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande aka “we’re gonna get the bigots to shut up!”
    -Islam is a religion of peace
    -Minority home ownership(what could possibly go wrong?)

    and I could go on. ENOUGH!

    If I was pressed on a definition, I would say that Neo-Conservatism is Conservatism infected with Liberalism.

    Our current predicament is due to the failure of the Bush years. And that is the failure of Liberalism disguised as Conservatism with only Conservatism shouldering the blame.


  5. sartana Says:

    In other words, the failure of Bush, a Right Liberal, left the country disillusioned and vulnerable to the rise of Obama, an extreme Left Liberal- and now the country is experiencing the insanely destructive force of Liberalism unleashed

    We’ve now experienced the disaster of Liberalism, both right and left – the only sane path leads back to pure Conservatism.

    And Huxley, can we at least agree that Fusion really really sucks?

  6. Baklava Says:

    sartana, you need to learn.

    You misdefine neo-conservatism extensively and that says more about you than you know.

    yes, there are differences of opinions on what it is – but you … are stuck on stupid.

  7. Baklava Says:

    So…. stop the truck… at the library if you have to…

    and step away from the keyboard before you dig yourself a deeper hole.


  8. sartana Says:

    Baklava, your response goes a certain way in proving my point.

    I made an assertion that Neo Conservatives were Right Liberals. And just as Liberals often respond when challenged by questioning the intelligence of the challenger, you simply insulted my intelligence while offering no response to my assertion.

    I’ll make another point to bolster my argument.

    One of the key tenets of Neocon foreign policy has been the push for democracy in Islamic countries. We were told repeatedly by Bush and his surrogates that we were not at war with Islam- that most muslims wanted the same things Americans do. That the desire for freedom was universal, and that it was racist to assert that muslims were unfit for our style of government.

    For one thing, this is an explicit denial of American Exceptionalism. Our system of government and our just and moral society are the great achievment of an exceptional people- the American people. To assert that our system of governance and our society could be exported to muslim countries or even achieved by them, is a denial of American Exceptionalism. And if you made that assertion, Huxley would be very offended.

    Here are a couple links that give a pretty dim outlook of the prospects for the creation of Wilsonian Democracy and a just society among muslims:

    The first is a report on Afghan boy rape, and the second is a post by Hugh Fitzgerald and Jihadwatch that speaks to the ultimate incompatibility of Islam and non-Islamic society.

    Fighting Islamic Jihad by exporting democracy and creating deeper cultural ties with the Islamic world was a fundamental tenet of Neocon foreign policy and I assert that this is a pipe dream born of a deluded Liberal’s rejection of history and of our own exceptionalism and the events of the last eight years.

    Do you disagree?

  9. Hong Says:

    As I understand it, NeoConservatism is a former Liberal who embraces the principles of conservatism. I would imagine that’s the definition most other regulars contributors here would agree with. That certainly is the conversion I underwent and certainly was true with the others here. I cannot see how any honest observer can misinterpret that but clearly they do.

  10. Baklava Says:

    sartana, you didn’t take my advice. EVERY sentence you write says more about your incompentence on the issue than you know.

    Take your first sentence, “I made an assertion that Neo Conservatives were Right Liberals.

    Incorrect. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are not neo-conservatives. Misdefining only defines you more than what you are trying to define.

    There are differences of opinion between conservatives on the war with Islamofascism.

    I submit to you that it has been quite an attempt to fundamentally change Iraq. Nobody here denies America’s exeptionalism. Nobdoy here denies that we are at war against Islamofascism (not Islam).

    Will we succeed at fundamentally changing Iraq? We have gone further than most liberals have ever thought America could go.

    Defining Bush as a neo-conservative does neo-conservative quite a disservice and … shows that you need to learn.

    Bush was who he was. He wasn’t a conservative. He wasn’t a neo-conservative.

    This is where liberals themselves make a mistake in arguing. Setup the strawman. Knock it down. Forget to listen.

    Forget the labels. Where do you stand on the idea that we have pretty fundamentally changed Iraq. Whether or not ∅bama changes the outcome or not is a separate question.

  11. Baklava Says:

    Yes Hong. Neo means new.

  12. Baklava Says:

    I disagree with Wiki’s definition of neo-conservative but I do agree with this excerpt:

    Conservative writer David Horowitz argues that the increasing use of the term neoconservative since the 2003 start of the Iraq War has made it irrelevant:[citation needed]

    Neo-conservatism is a term almost exclusively used by the enemies of America’s liberation of Iraq. There is no ‘neo-conservative’ movement in the United States. When there was one, it was made up of former Democrats who embraced the welfare state but supported Ronald Reagan’s Cold War policies against the Soviet bloc. Today ‘neo-conservatism’ identifies those who believe in an aggressive policy against radical Islam and the global terrorists.

    So… let’s talk issues… as the term is just about irrelevant. The issues are what matter. You can’t shut off the welfare state tomorrow. How do we move forward?

  13. Hong Says:

    Bush’s vision was not in accordance with neoconservatism as any regular reader this or any conservative blog would easily understand. It takes a bold ignorance to blunder into that fundamental mistake. Compassionate conservatism is Socialism and we were justly opposed to that as we are to this rampant liberalism. Sadly, there wasn’t a single presidential candidate this time around who faithfully represented our views on govt and foreign policy. It certainly wasn’t Mccain or his idiot daughter!

  14. huxley Says:

    And Huxley, can we at least agree that Fusion really really sucks?

    Not if you’re talking about Chick Corea and John McLaughlin. Love those guys, even if they were cultist fools — Scientology and Sri Chinmoy.

    As to the rest, say more. I don’t presume to know where you’re coming from, though Irving Kristol is not an apparition of Dracula which I must fend off with garlic and cross.,

  15. Darrell Says:

    Hong, exactly right, I myself am a paleo-con.

  16. nyomythus Says:

    A heart-warming article — thanks for the link neo!!!!!!

  17. nyomythus Says:

    Hong, no, “It certainly wasn’t McCain or his idiot co-runner!”

  18. Oblio Says:

    The original neoconservatives were not ex-liberals, they were anti-Stalinist Leftists (often Trotskyites), primarily Jewish intellectuals who came in the from the Cold. We don’t usually think of James Burnham or Whittaker Chambers as neos, even though they fit the general definition. They were too early and not Jewish enough. The reasons were many, but they revolved around the dismay at the failures of Great Society social policy and disgust with the cultural revolution of the late 60’s, including the Sexual Revolution. These intellectuals couldn’t help noticing that the New Left was become increasingly anti-Semitic as it embraced Decolonialism and multiculturalism, and that the Soviet Union had become the great oppressor of Jews in the world. The topper in foreign affairs was the UN’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution and the beginning of the great anti-Israeli terror campaign of the 1970s.

    That generation of neoconservatives has passed from the scene, but they used their matchless intellectual brilliance to blow enormous holes in the Leftist and liberal narratives. The contribution of the Kristols and Podhoretzes is a lasting monument of what we call conservative thought, but which is really the joint inheritance of liberal (Whig) philosophy and a conservative perspective on social institutions.

    The term was resurrected from 2001-2009 to attack and smear Jewish conservatives in the Bush administration, people like Wolfowitz and Feith, longtime establishment players like Richard Perle, and new theoreticians such as Bob Kagan. The insinuation was always one of dual-loyalty, that these officials and intellectuals were putting Israel’s interests first. It was eventually expanded as general term of opprobrium to include brilliant public servants like John Bolton.

    George Bush comes honestly enough from the liberal, establishment wing of the Republican Party. He’s no neoconservative by any definition I know of.

    For my part, though not Jewish, I would be proud to be called a “neoconservative” and to be included among their numbers.

  19. Oblio Says:

    For the record, I call myself a “liberal,” but I believe that the only safe place for liberals is with the Republicans and conservatives. We need to take the name “liberal” away from the Democrats, because they aren’t. They have taken the name Progressive; we should make them choke on it. We shouldn’t let them hide from accountability by allowing them to pretend that they were liberals.

  20. Baklava Says:

    Nyom idiotically wrote, “Hong, no, “It certainly wasn’t McCain or his idiot co-runner!”

    we’ve already established that you are off base so badly that you voted for the virus. That’s idiocy.

  21. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Two excellent posts, Oblio. Thanks.

  22. sartana Says:

    As I understand it, NeoConservatism is a former Liberal who embraces the principles of conservatism.


    The original Neocons were mainly committed Leftists, Marxists or Trotskyites who underwent somewhat of a conversion and accepted SOME conservative principals- David Horowitz being a classic example. However, they are still animated by the Liberal impulse.

    You could say that Conserviatism to a Neocon is “lipstick on a pig”.

    The Neocon was mugged by reality, but only lost his wallet not his foolish ideas.

    A not fully de-programmed Liberal.

  23. sartana Says:

    “Defining Bush as a neo-conservative does neo-conservative quite a disservice…He wasn’t a neo-conservative.”


    That’s an incredible statement. Bush not a Neocon?

    The one thing that defines Bush’s presidency, the way he defines his own legacy and others will for all time to come is the Iraq War- the push for democracy in the Islamic world. That war, the stated aims and the ideological foundation stand as the ultimate monument to Neoconservative thought. As Doctor Frankenstein is to the monster so are the Neocons to “Iraq”. All the major Neocons either served in Bush’s cabinet, acted as personal advisors to him or advocated the Neocon line in the press.
    Bush’s was the Neocon Presidency. The last eight years has benn the Reign of the Neocons.

    Yet Bush is not a Neocon?

    I can not believe I just read that.

  24. sartana Says:

    I wanted to respond more to Baklava and other commenters and also make a broader points, but I’m actually too stunned to continue tonight.

    Bush not a Neocon? Oh dear god me.

  25. Darrell Says:

    Sartana, stick around, reasoned argument is always good, key word reasoned, BTW, I don’t see President Bush as a neocon, I see him more of guy that tried his best to do the right thing for the country, he pissed off conservatives as well as liberals, as a leader myself I saw him as a good leader with a few faults, fierce loyalty to those that worked for him being one.
    Please notice that many of the things he was vilified for are now OK and accepted by the people that screamed bloody murder, that alone shows the empty hatred and hypocrisy of his critics, its ok now if their guy does it, cant get any more wrong than that. 50 years from now history will be viewed differently.

  26. rickl Says:

    This has been a good discussion and I think I understand where sartana is coming from.

    I’m a former liberal who turned conservative, so I guess that would make me a neocon. But I think of myself as more libertarian than conservative. (I was a member of the Libertarian Party for awhile, but they lost me after 9/11 with their rigid isolationism and anti-war posture in the face of what was a clear act of war against the United States.)

    I voted for George W. Bush both times he ran, and I don’t regret doing it since the alternatives were Al Gore and John Kerry. But on economic issues in particular, my opinion of him isn’t very high right now. Sure, we got a tax cut and two decent Supreme Court justices (but only after conservatives screamed bloody murder over his first choice). Yet government spending rose massively during his administration. He never vetoed a single spending bill while the Republicans controlled Congress. A little adult supervision could have prevented the hemorrhaging of Republican seats since 2006.

    I don’t hold out any hope for “democratizing” the Muslim world, but I can’t fault him for trying in the wake of 9/11. It was the humane thing to do. The alternative was worse. Since Islam has been implacably at war with the non-Muslim would for 1400 years, I think that we will eventually be forced by circumstances to adopt a scorched-earth policy towards Islam and Muslims. See Wretchard’s “Three Conjectures”.

  27. rickl Says:

    non-Muslin would = world

    I also forgot to mention that the first round of bailouts happened during the waning months of the Bush administration. I was dead set opposed to them, and said at the time that it set the stage for Obama to take it to the next level, which is exactly what happened.

  28. sartana Says:


    Several commenters in this thread have denied that Bush was a Neocon. I then posted a comment pointing out ridiculous it was that someone could say that. You respond by simply asserting, like the others, that in your mind Bush was not a Neocon- yet you haven’t responded to any of the points I brought up.

    It’s simply delusional to assert that Bush was not a Neocon. He became one the day he announced that the promotion of democracy in muslim lands was the main thrust of the Iraq war and the War on Terror. This is a fact.

    To be clear-

    Invading Afghanistan to attempt a death blow at al Qaeda, and invading Iraq to topple Saddam were the right things to do. These actions weren’t proposed solely by Neocons. However, having scattered al Qaeda and toppled Saddam and then move from achieving those goals to announce the creation of viable democracies in those countries and the spread of Freedom and Democracy as the ultimate weapon against Islamic Threat- that’s the Neocon agenda and Bush became one when he signed on.

    The war for “hearts and minds” and the spread of democracy and Western values as a strategy to combat an Islamic aggression that’s plagued the world for 1300 years is the pipedream of a delusional Liberal and a lot of people on the Right bought into it- including me. It’s been a collosal failure. Where we go from here depends on what we learn from the mistake.

    “We fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here!”

    That’s been a Neocon war cry.

    But they are over here- as we’ve seen again just recently in New York and Dallas and Illinoin and Quantico. And they didn’t attack us on 9/11 from “over there”, but from right here within our borders.

    And just look what the Neocons have wrought-

    while we fight and die squander our resources to secure deomocracy in muslim lands, we’re losing our own right here.

  29. sartana Says:


    Thanks for your comments. There were other alternatives once we reached our goals in Afghanistan and Iraq however I don’t fault Bush too much for having attempted the push for democracy- at least we can say we tried. I was a big believer in the Iraq Project until I began going thru the archives at Jihadwatch and got a primer on Islam. And I’ll never forgive our leaders for not accepting the truth about Islam before they got us in there- they were negligent before going in they’re still clueless now after having seen it firsthand these last eight years.

    Here’s an article by Diana West who just read McChrystal’s 66 page report laying out his strategy for Afghanistan where he mentions Islam or Jihad not once:

    Bush and the Neocons are wrong- the rest of the world is not like us, the muslims don’t like us and never will, and the Rio Grande separates a lot more than just a different set of familiy values. Formulating a world-view around and acting on foolish assumptions such as these is delusional and destructive.

    And I think it’s time we sacrifice a “humane” foreign policy for an effective one.

  30. Hong Says:


    This is getting to be a silly and wasteful expense of my time.

    Defining Bush solely by his foreign policy marks you out as clueless on the man’s presidency. His economic policies were far too liberal to mark him as neoconservative. No self respecting neocon would approve of Teddy Kennedy’s education bills or expanding a bankrupt Medicare program yet that’s EXACTLY what Bush did. As for his foreign policy, I doubt you speak for all conservatives in your opposition to the spreading of democratic freedoms to the Middle East. There are plenty of idiot liberals eager to abandon the Moooslims to their nuclear arsenal so that must make them neoconservative as well! lol, I doubt they’d appreciate the comparison.

    As a non Yiddish speaking Neocon I did not support those domestic policies nor support this current insanity of borrowing and spending for the masses. Were we to accept your likely skewed definition of what makes a neocon, then almost NONE of us former Leftists and liberals here qualify. So what’s left John Birchers and Birthers? Please…

    As for Nyo,—-how much does it hurt to see Palin rocking the bestseller list? A woman with no national experience in politics continues to destroy and body check the windy, ‘experienced’ liberals at their own game. Loving it!

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    santana and others: you may notice I included a link in this post to a list of articles I’ve written on neocons. The link is on the words “what neocons actually stand for.” You’ll find a host of articles there that attempt to elucidate the issue.

  32. Mike O'Malley Says:


    Yes Neo, indeed! I recall more than a few times when I interrupted an anti-NeoCon “Two Minutes Hate” session and asked for a definition of what NeoCon’s stood for. If and when I received an answer, always accompanied by an outpouring of vitriol and personal insult, invariably the definitions I received had ZERO correlation to the definition in the authoritative American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Edited by Bruce Frohnen, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey O. Nelson (Wilmington, DE, ISI Books, 2006., xxv plus 979 pp.).. Not infrequently however those incorrect definitions ascribed mutually contradictory characteristics to NeoConservative foreign policy which actual belong to other third party critics of NeoConservatism such as: Wilsonian, Traditional Realism, Neo-Realism, Fascism, Trotskyism, Maxist Imperialism etc. Go figure!

    Readers would do well to consider In Defense of the Bush Doctrine by Robert Kaufman
    Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University”

    I’ll quote the Heritage Foundation

    In Defense of the Bush Doctrine provides a broader historical context for the post-September 11 American foreign policy that will transform world politics well into the future. Dr. Kaufman connects the Bush Doctrine and current issues in American foreign policy to the deeper tradition of American diplomacy.

    Robert G. Kaufman is a political scientist specializing in American foreign policy, international relations, national security and various aspects of American politics. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law School and his BA, MA, M. Phil, and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Kaufman has written frequently for scholarly journals and the more popular publications, including The Weekly Standard, Policy Review, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Washington Times. He is the author of numerous publications, including Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics. He is also a former Bradley Scholar and current Adjunct Scholar at The Heritage Foundation.

    Here is mp3 stream of a lecture by Dr. Kaufman, speaking at Heritage: In Defense of the Bush Doctrine

  33. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    that’s the Neocon agenda and Bush became one when he signed on.

    Hah! That’s funny. I guess once we rolled up the Taliban, deposed Saddam and scattered al Queda to the four winds you’re of the mind we should have just turned around and come home?

    Boy, that sure worked the last time we tried it in Afghanistan. Lead to the rise of the Taliban (in cahoots with Pakistan’s ISI)…and all the rest that followed. Leaving Iraq unstable and unable to defend itself against its neighbors? that was never going to happen.

    The best weapon against Islamofacists? teach their women to read, write, wear makeup and drive cars. Once they get a taste of freedom and find out that the like it, the game is over.

  34. Baklava Says:

    Sartana with no knowledge wrote, “That’s an incredible statement. Bush not a Neocon?

    Correct. Not a Neo con. ’nuff said.

    Sartana wrote, “It’s simply delusional to assert that Bush was not a Neocon.

    Then most neo-conservatives and conservatives are delusional according to you… or you need to learn man. I’m trying to save you !

    Sartana wrote, “He became one the day he announced that the promotion of democracy in muslim lands

    If it was that simple then he stopped being a neo-conservative on EVERY OTHER ISSUE !!! So, he was a neo-conservative to you for one issue which is debate-able. And if that IS THE issue to which you want to throw neo-conservative out with the bath water – then you are unreasonable.

    Just cut to the chase Sartana – just say you disagreed with the decision to go to war in Iraq. We’ll respect you more because you just stated your opinion without showing how little you know. 🙂

    It’s perfectly acceptable to have a disagreement but not ok to get basic facts wrong.

  35. Baklava Says:

    Sartana, I apologize. You stated you were ok with toppling the regimes…

    But then I guess you wanted to leave a power vacuum….

    smart 🙂

  36. Artfldgr Says:

    -A thousand points of light

    “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.” – Mao

    Depending on whom you read, apologists or not, this was all part of a loostening of communism the way lenin did a couple of times. the tactic caused those with ability to think the regime was changing, and so might be better.

    however after a while, the regime decided to switch back (planned), and they could then remove those people from the population.

    both countries did this, but again, intent is always hidden in ambiguity so that there is always a doubt as to the purpose…

    the same trick writ large was the fall of communism in russia. it caused the west to act like the capitalists in state, and so like roaches come out of the woodwork.

    one of the things that facebook and other sites afford the new state that MAY appear is the ability to go out and line up everyone that is not suitable for the change.

    a LARGE majority will be those who helped create the regime. if you can make you can break and if you can break, you have to be removed. as ymar said, they have to die to be neutralized or else like zombies they come back. and so the west has to have the fortitude to at least hold the political prisoners for life (and now you know why they fight against this for ALL. it has a bigger negative affect on us than the states that ignor it)

    such is what happened in indonesia when the chinese stepped into the coupe that the russians were implementing. at least one of the generals targeted lived, and so he ordered the miltiary to go out and purge the country of communists. and they did. (ergo the largest muslim country is now only being assimilated into the arab muslim political game. took them that long to start to recover and replace what was lost).

    if one were to know the beast that is its nature, one would know that after they get what they wanted, the ones who did it by promoting their own existence will be removed. elderly, those that dont have the fluidity of mind to switch, the infirm, and the morally depraved (by their measure).

    the Gay popluation in these states are not only seen as being not a good thing, but wihtout the concept of everyone has a right to live, they get to be removed by the new regime.

    taht is the laws that apply can easily be braodened now we ahve them, to include them… but they dont realize that the side they are supporting really wont tolerate them being around. that side uses them for many reasons (not the least of which they know how to live multiple lives and compartmentalize them so as not to be known. if you can hide your gay, you can hide almost anything).

    got to go… too much work.

  37. JohnC Says:

    Thanks to everyone for a lively and insightful discussion. I wish I had something to contribute, but I don’t at this point.

    I have a question for Sartana though – how do you classify Palin? I know many on this blog don’t care for her as a national politician. Admittedly, she is rough (intellectually) in spots and not particularly linear in her thinking, but she seems to me to have clear libertarian / conservative instincts that connect easily to many and that don’t fit the neo-conservative mold. How do you classify her?

  38. Baklava Says:

    I classify her as having a lot of common sense. She had the prescription (the opposite of the ∅bama virus) for the economic mess we were in.

    She is interested in strong national security (not appeasement)

    She had more executive experience than Biden/∅bama put together.

    She was judged by know nothings who didn’t read complete transcripts and made judgments based on what Tina Fey said.

    Is she the brightest? no. Did she have THE right ideas for the country. Yes by far over the other 3 including McCain himself.

    This is why I KNOW this country has a long way to go.

    THese blunders by Democrats have not moved people towards common sense thinking. We have a long way of convincing to go.

    We have to persuade and keep on persuading because it is not enough that Democrats have been rotten to the core recently.

  39. huxley Says:

    I’m struck by how often political discussions wind up in the tall weeds of who or what is or is not a true X, be it neoconservative, conservative, liberal, libertarian, fascist, left, right, centrist, socialist, marxist, communist, etc.

    The problem is that these terms are not delineated like colors of the rainbow or states of matter, but instead are shorthand for groups of positions and people that morph over time as well as how other people use the terms — often in a pejorative sense.

    As Orwell said as far back in 1946:

    The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.”

    The word, Neoconservativsm, for many people is similarly debased.

  40. sartana Says:

    To johnc-

    Here’s a couple of excerpts from Pailin’s Hong Kong speech:

    “We are not at war with Islam. This is a war within Islam, where a small minority of violent killers seeks to impose their view on the vast majority of Muslims who want the same things all of us want: economic opportunity, education, and the chance to build a better life for themselves and their families. The reality is that Muslims from Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries are fighting Al Qaeda and their allies today. But this will be a long war, and it will require far more than just military power to prevail. Just as we did in the Cold War, we will need to use all the tools at our disposal – hard and soft power. Economic development, public diplomacy, educational exchanges, and foreign assistance will be just as important as the instruments of military power.”

    Yeah, she’s a big Neocon.

    Did you get that? The way to fight Muslim terrorists is with foreign assistance and “educational exchages”.

    The more that muslims attack us, the more we pay them.


    Which means that we import muslims, give them citizenship and a free education, and in return- they bomb our malls, military bases and transit systems. How could I possibly say no to that?

    Here’s a link that discusses muslim immigration post 9/11:

    Was anyone aware that we naturalized 96,000 muslims in 2006 alone?

    Now couple that fact with the terror plots that were foiled in New York, Dallas, and Illinois in the last couple weeks, and then repeat after me:


  41. sartana Says:

    Pailin’s Hong Kong speech in full can be found here:

    Scroll about a third of the way down for her remarks on Islma.

    Also, I’d like to thank the commenters here for the discussion and NeoNeoCon for providing this excellent space on the web.

    I’ll have more responses later.

  42. rickl Says:

    huxley Says:
    October 1st, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I’m struck by how often political discussions wind up in the tall weeds of who or what is or is not a true X, be it neoconservative, conservative, liberal, libertarian, fascist, left, right, centrist, socialist, marxist, communist, etc.

    The problem is that these terms are not delineated like colors of the rainbow or states of matter, but instead are shorthand for groups of positions and people that morph over time as well as how other people use the terms — often in a pejorative sense.

    I agree with you. I hardly ever use the word “neocon” even though, as I said above, I probably am one by one definition (liberal who turned conservative). I’m all for discussing policies and positions, but I mostly find such “name-calling” uninteresting.

  43. sartana Says:

    The title of the post that we’ve been discussing is:

    Neocons: the comeback kids?

    The name of the blog on which it was posted is:


    Yet now I’m told that term Neocon is a pejorative, and to use it in referring to those who espouse and defend Neoconservative principals is to engage in “name-calling”?

    I find that just plain silly.

  44. Baklava Says:

    sartana wrote, “Yet now I’m told that term Neocon is a pejorative,

    Uninformed people like you make it that way.

    We who understand things don’t mind being called a neo-conservative or conservative.

    Despite your dripping sarcasm when talking… about anything… .including Sarah ….

    You dig your hole.

    Why is that?

  45. neo-neocon Says:

    santana: have you actually taken the time to read any of the links under the category “neocons,” to which I referred you a while back? For example, see this, this, this, this, and this.

    Perhaps that will clear things up for you.

  46. Gray Says:

    Thanks for your comments. There were other alternatives once we reached our goals in Afghanistan and Iraq


    Like what? and How come you are sooooo much smarter than those saps in the Pentagon?

    Do you really want to see America fight a Holy War? I’m fortunate to know more than a few patriotic American Muslims. Nobody hates the extremists more than they do.

    Your beef with Islam is loopy. In religious terms, you are arguing that we should bomb the Vatican because you disagree with Mormon theology.

    Go here:
    and learn something about the necessities of the conflicts we are in.

  47. Gray Says:

    Now couple that fact with the terror plots that were foiled in New York, Dallas, and Illinois in the last couple weeks, and then repeat after me:


    psssst: we are getting a lot of the “actionable intelligence” on these terror plots over here FROM OVER THERE.

    You never even imagined that, did you?

    And without having fostered good relationships with the moderate Muslim community, based on our actions such as Sarah Palin outlined, over there and over here, we would never have learned anything about these terror plots.

    Look at what a disaster building democracies in Japan, Germany and Italy turned out to be, Hmmmmm? Didn’t Roosevelt understand that we were at war with Germans and not Nazis!?

    If you don’t believe in “nation-building” and “spreading democracy over there”, you are going to love Obama’s do-nothing approach….

  48. sartana Says:


    Yes, I actually read most of them including the comments and skimmed thru the others and they just confirmed the view I had of Neoconservatism which is a general idea that other commenters here agree on. Namely that neocons are people of the Left who got disillusioned and moved right while accepting some Conservative principals. Here’s Wikipedia’s very first sentence from their entry on Neoconservatism:

    Neoconservatism is a political philosophy that emerged in the United States of America, and which supports using American economic and military power to bring liberalism, democracy, and human rights to other countries.

    Neoconservatives took this philosophy and applied it specifically to the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11- i.e. the way to defeat al Qaeda is to spread democracy, liberalism and human rights to the muslim world and the creation of a stable functioning democracy in Iraq as the central goal- i.e., Iraq the Model.

    As I said before, I believed this and supported it strongly for a time. However, I no longer believe this will work. I was in my mid-20’s at the time of the Iraq invasion and I’ve learned a lot and changed since then. To continue to support the effort would require that I ignore too many things I’ve learned in the intervening years about life, human nature and Islam. Most of what I’ve learned in life is from the scales falling from my eyes and seeing the world the way it is, and I believe maturity is achieved by accepting what is and won’t be changed.

    It’s said about naive Liberals that they don’t deal with the world how it is, but rather how they’d like it to be. Likewise, the Neoconservative strategy for Iraq and the War on Terror has been formed from ideas about how the Neocons would like to see the Islamic world and muslims, and not how they are. And to the extent that neoconservatives ever even directly speak of Islam, its clear that they don’t see it for what it is and they haven’t even tried to understand it. As I said before the 66 page McChrystal report for Afghan strategy doesn’t mention islam or jihad even once:

    I wanted to say more, but I’m too tired and maybe this thread will be already forgotten by tomorrow. But I want to point out that I think a lot of support for Glenn Beck throw the bums out populist marches on Washington is disgust with bloated corrupt government AND disillusionment with an aggresive utopian internationalist foreign policy that’s left our country exhausted and demoralized.

    Those who consider themselves neoconservatives should be aware that most people on the right don’t identify themselves as neocons and a there might be a rift that grows which could hamper the Right’s ability to take back the White House or govern effectively if we don’t undertake an honest reappraisal of our Middle East policy.

    Neo, you’ve remarked before about your interest in the stories of people who’ve left the Left. Have you ever considered if you might one day go from Left to Neocon, and then neocon to con?

    And what a horrible shock that would be to Baklava?

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    sartana: You have simplified what I wrote in my posts, which is a more complex picture about how people see neocons vs. what neocons really want, and how to go about getting it.

  50. sartana Says:

    what neocons really want?

    another 5 Year Plan?

  51. Baklava Says:

    Without the sarcasm…

    Can you understand Sartana that quite a few people do see that Iraq is better off now than in 2002?

    Can you understand that what has happened in that region of the world is quite remarkable?

    Nobody is claiming to have made the region perfect…

    And nobody is saying that we didn’t pay a huge price…

    If this is your issue – state it. But to paint neo-conservatives as a tarnished brand that needs to be ejected because you have a “disagreement” on this issue does disservice.

  52. sartana Says:

    “what neocons really want, and how to go about getting it.”

    Thanks Neo.

    You’ve crystallized to the core better than anyone could hope, what Neocons have really been about. It’s nothing really to do with a substantive philosophy to support a meaningful agenda.

    “what neocons really want, and how to go about getting it”.

    It’s interesting to see you speaking about what drives neocons in terms that are commonly used when discussing con-men and sexual predators.

    Now that you’ve put it that way I finally see what neocons have always been about-

    Power- really wanting it. And getting it.

    Power- really wanting it. And getting it.

  53. neo-neocon Says:


    Congratulations! You have officially entered the realms of trolldom with your most recent entry.

    If you read any of the posts of mine to which I referred, your remarks make no sense whatsoever. Any political group—liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Repbublicans, Communists or anarchists, pacifists or Jacksonians, have things they want to see happen (peace, harmony, liberty, less government, more government, whatever), and ways they think would be best for getting to those goals. Neocons, paleocons, isolationist cons, any sort of conservatives, are no different. Goals, and ways they think it would be best to implement them.

  54. rickl Says:

    It occurs to me that my October 1st, 2009 at 7:45 pm comment was less than clear.

    When I said “name-calling” I meant it in the sense of labeling, as huxley meant in his comment to which I was replying. And I did put it in quotes.

    I didn’t mean to imply that describing someone as a neocon was akin to calling them names; although it does seem that a lot of people use it as an epithet.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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