Category Archives: Neoconservatism

Ask #Bush Why The #IraqiMilitary Won’t Fight

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history

“Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is the current column, now on Praag.org. An excerpt:

… The ineptness of the reconstituted Iraqi Army is nothing new. In 2006, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton demanded to know when the “Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army would step up to the task.” “I have heard over and over again, that the government must do this, the Iraqi Army must do that,” griped Clinton to Gen. John P. Abizaid, then top American military commander in the Middle East. “Can you offer us more than the hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army will step up to the task?”

Indeed, the War Party is in the habit of thrashing about in an ahistorical void—or creating its own reality, as warbot Karl Rove, George Bush’s muse, is notorious for saying. The neoconservative creed as disgorged by Rove deserves repeating:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The lowly “you” Rove reserved for “the reality-based community” (guilty).

Curiously, a military that has done nothing but flee before the opposition ever since the Americans commandeered Iraq, had fought and won a protracted war against Iran, under Saddam Hussein. The thing we currently call the Iraqi military has been unable and unwilling to fight the wars America commands it to fight.

Why?

For one, Bush’s envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer, made the decision to dissolve the Iraqi Army and civil service, early in 2003, with the blessing of Bush at whose pleasure Bremer served. Bush’s minions viewed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army as part of the “De-Ba’thification” process. …

… Another dynamic is at play in the region besides the Sunni-Shia divide. It is that between the forces of centralization and the forces of decentralization. …

Read the rest. “Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is now on Praag.org


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UPDATE II: Rotten #Rubio (Rubio Has Stiff Competition: #MitchMcConnell)

Constitution, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, Neoconservatism, Republicans

When he is not marshaling “Jeffersonian” lines from crap movies like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is demonstrating that only if shamed and embarrassed will he and his Republican rivals shy away from wars that are immoral from the inception, unjust, cost trillions in treasure and tens of thousands of precious lives, and flout American national interests.

CHRIS WALLACE TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA: This brings us back to Iraq and the question of the week, which is, given what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq back in 2003?
As we all know, Jeb Bush had a tough time answering that this week. Here’s what you’ve had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RUBIO: Oh, I don’t believe it was — the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.

MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.

RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —

[SNIP]

“We will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you” is the atavistic line from “Taken,” repeated by Rubio in his many interviews.

UPDATE I (5/18): In The Rotten Department, Rubio Has Stiff Competition: Mitch McConnell. Via ABC:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underscored his support today for the controversial NSA program for bulk collection of domestic phone records, arguing it is essential to protecting the homeland.

“This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11,” McConnell said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ “We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country.”

“Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden.” F-ck Rubio, McConnell & Twitterers who unFollow me for loving liberty.

UPDATE II: Don’t let any Republican present you with this false choice. Republicans always say, “But what would you have done about Iraq?” That’s something of a non sequitur, an assertion intended to make you ASSUME something had to be done about Iraq. “The burden of proof is on he who proposes the existence of something, not on he who claims that it does not exist.” That was written 12 years ago.


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UPDATE III: Liberty Vs. Conspiracy: The #Left Hates #PamelaGeller, But Why Do Some #Libertarians?

Conspiracy, Free Speech, Islam, libertarianism, Liberty, Neoconservatism

“The Charlie Hebdo Hypocrites” floated the idea that “the double standard toward what is perceived as rightist speech (Pam Geller’s) and left-wing freedom of expression (Charlie Hebdo’s) is a holdover construct of communism,” during which right-wingers were demonized and targeted for destruction. There is no other difference “between Charlie Hebdo’s defiance of Islamic blasphemy laws and Geller’s defiance of the same laws.”

For his part, Jack Kerwick also pinpointed leftist favoritism as the reason “legions of people from around the Western world were clamoring to ‘stand with Charlie,’ while Geller and her organization have been condemned …”

Look, Pamela Geller is a consummate neoconservative; Israel über alles. These things can annoy libertarians; myself included. (About her person, moreover, I can say only this: She has dabbled briefly in writing about South Africa. In the process, Geller made sweeping errors, but has never cited my work on the topic. And when I asked her to reciprocate a “Follow” on Twitter, and tweet out my “Charlie Hebdo Hypocrites,” written in her defense, she failed to reply. She continues to send me fundraisers.)

In any case, what, pray tell, is the reason behind the long-standing, obsequious and convoluted stand, adopted by some libertarian leaders against what is a quintessential part of living freely and unafraid? About one of the defining libertarian issue of our times—speaking and publishing under the threat of injury or death—some of my libertarian friends are acting weirdly, have been for some time. (Geller’s event was on private property.)

As Jack put it, “You don’t need to agree with her, or even like her, in order to recoil at the utter hypocrisy of Pamela Geller’s [leftist] critics.”

What about her libertarian detractors?

What do I mean? See “Those Cartoons: A Reply To Walter Block” and Lew Rockwell’s May 4 Facebook post.

LEW:

Lew Rockwell
May 4 at 10:50am
:

Just because ISIS is a propaganda dream come true for the US empire and its Middle Eastern satraps does not mean it was funded, like other convenient Arab groups, by the CIA, Al Mukahbarat, Mossad, MI6, or DGSE. And now ISIS–after the shootings in Texas–will be used to promote further not only US world dominion, but a full-scale federal police state.

Were the shooters patsies in classic agent provocateur fashion? I’m only sure of one thing: it is not a good idea to seek to offend someone’s religion. Apparently the Texas cartoon show was not, like Charlie Hebdo, mainly aimed at Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, but it’s still a vile notion. Nor, note, would free speech be used to defend a show of anti-Semitic, anti-black, or anti-gay cartoons. But if haters are promoting the state’s foreign and domestic tyranny, why anything is OK.

UPDATE I: As I’ve often stated, some libertarians are social reductionists. All problems they reduce to “The State Made Me Do It.” More accurately, the US State made me do it. It’s of a piece with the Left’s denial of individual responsibility. Thus, the acting out by Muslims is not the fault of the individual and his muse, the Islamic faith, to these libertarians; rather, it’s due to US imperial overreach.

I prefer to say that American aggression is likely a necessary condition for the hatred of America, but it is insufficient a condition. As for a person like Pam or Wielders who wants to depict the truth about Mo: We’re Americans! We speak our minds. Pam’s eff you attitude is 100% fabulous. It’s actually very Israeli/Jewish. We call it Dufka in Hebrew: In other words, tell me I can’t do something benign and righteous, and by golly, I’ll do it. Way to roll! If libertarains persist in being such effetes, they won’t get dates and will go extinct.

UPDATE II (5/6): LIBERTY VS. CONSPIRACY.

Libertarianism is predicated on the non-aggression axiom. It’s quite clear which party is the bully and aggressor here, and which party wishes to force the other to live within its own byzantine boundaries. Geller is right.

UPDATE III (5/19):

Jack Kerwick writes: “From what I’ve been able to gather, the only evil many of these libertarians recognize is that of “the State,” more specifically, the US government. PG is to be despised b/c she is a prop of the State, a neocon, Israeli-Firster, etc. Muslims, however, like all people of color, are simply responding to American imperial aggression, and so forth. There is an air of unreality about it all, the shade of the same PC fantasy for which the left is known.”


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The Myth of Munich

BAB's A List, Britain, History, Neoconservatism, War

This is as good a time as any for a history lesson from Barely A Blog’s resident all-rounder.

The Myth of Munich
By Myron Pauli

To some, “Munich” is identified with Oktoberfest; however, to many it refers to what I call the Myth of Munich’—that Neville Chamberlain could have merely snapped his fingers and singlehandedly destroyed the Nazis, but, rather, chose to “appease” them and thus is responsible for the 55 million dead of World War Two. That myth has been invoked to oppose the Nuclear Test Ban and all arms control treaties; rapprochement with China, Cuba and Iran; as well as to start and continue wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, etc.

Britain was exhausted by an idiotic murderous war over an obscure dead Austrian archduke; a war that netted her 1 million casualties and insurmountable debt. One so-called “principle” from World War One was that of “ethnic self-determination,” but Britain and France chose to break up the new Republic of German-Austria by giving the Sudeten Austrians to a new mélange of Austrians, Czechs, Slovaks and a few Poles and Hungarians called Czechoslovakia.

To its credit, Czechoslovakia was a democracy and its largest political party, in the 1935 elections, was the Sudetendeutsche Partei, representing 3 million pro-Nazis who clamored to join Hitler’s new hell. Having swallowed up Austria, Hitler was now demanding to “liberate” Sudetenland. The British and French agreed to a plebiscite in principle but Hitler wanted to just grab it – hence they had a meeting at Munich and a pinky “promise” by Hitler not to ask for any more territory.

Not only was British public opinion overwhelmingly against going to war to prevent Sudeten Nazis from unifying with German Nazis but the British military was skeptical. The pessimistic view was that Germany would crush Czechoslovakia overnight. The “optimistic” view was that perhaps the Czechoslovaks could hold out a few months and then the French Army would attack the Germans from the Maginot Line!

General Hastings Ismay, in charge of British Homeland Defense (London was bombed from the air during World War One), wrote that he thought war was inevitable but it should be postponed until air defenses (recently invented radar and new fighter airplanes) were in place to protect Britain. However, contemporary warmongers expect Neville Chamberlain to have rejected public opinion and that of his own military because Hitler’s “promise” to stop with Sudetenland was nonsense.

Six months later, Hitler broke his “promise” and used Poles, Hungarians and Slovaks to carve up Czechoslovakia. British public opinion moved overnight from pacifism to militarism, and issued a guarantee to Poland. Hitler responded with an agreement with Stalin. Thus, 11 months after Munich, Poland was invaded and Britain was at War with Germany. Neville never got a Nobel Peace Prize like his older brother, Austen.

The “inevitable” war did not commence well – Poland was crushed from two sides, France collapsed quickly, the puny British Army barely escaped from Dunkirk, and Chamberlain fell – but he recommended Churchill over the accommodationist Halifax as his replacement. Those silly radars and fighter airplanes that Chamberlain funded won the Battle of Britain. Britain did not fold in the year she stood alone. Having “given peace a chance” at Munich, the British kept a stiff upper lip during the bombings.

One might speculate that had Britain gone to war with shoddy air defense over the principle of keeping Sudeten Nazis apart from German Nazis, and that earlier war had its own Dunkirk (so much for the British Army!)—there might have been the equivalent of a Vichy Britain. However, for warmongers, peace (even with rearmament) is never worth a gamble and war (regardless of realistic limitations) should always be option number one.

Thus, “The Myth of Munich” lives on with Khe Sanh, Phnom Penh, Fallujah, Kandahar and Benghazi. Anything short of war, even sanctions, is “appeasement” and every two-bit thug is the “next Hitler.” America has seen the massive regional chaos and the elevation of Shiite power engendered because “The Myth of Munich” was evoked against Saddam “Hitler” Hussein. The McCains and Grahams will continue to evoke “The Myth of Munich” against anything resembling action short of war – and the warmongering media will pick it up without question. Bad wars, like bad history, leave a terrible aftertaste.

******
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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Foreign Policy Slings Mud At Ron Paul

libertarianism, Neoconservatism, Ron Paul

James Kirchick is at it again: smearing Ron Paul and urging Rand Paul to break with his father: “Dismissing his father isn’t just the right thing to do morally, but politically as well,” asserts Kirchick, who began the practice of badmouthing Ron Paul’s character from the pages of The New Republic, and has migrated to Foreign Policy to continue his gossipy writing.

Since the political philosophy of Ron Paul is beyond the ken of the Kirchicks of the world; they are more comfortable attacking his character in a manner that amounts to ad hominem.

I detected at least one error in the piece. It is untrue that Ron Paul’s “cult-like following” was “cultivated through subscriptions to the “politically incorrect newsletters published under Ron Paul’s name during the 1980s and 1990s, and unearthed strategically in 2008 by The New Republic.” (See “High Priests Of Pomposity Pan Ron Paul.”)

Ron Paul’s following is young. Senior’s supporters were either very young or were not around when the infamous newsletters were published.

Paul has led an exemplary life—has served his country and community, stayed married to his childhood sweetheart for 50 odd years, and is as devout a Christian as he is a constitutionalist. It’s not easy to impugn this impish, man, so mudslinging becomes a must.

Kirchick is correct to point out that the Paul family is a political dynasty and that both father and son have made a fortune living off the plunder that is politics (my characterization).

The article is “What Rand Paul Needs to Learn From France’s Far-Right Political Dynasty.”


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Lincoln Died Today; His Cult Never Says Die

Fascism, History, Media, Neoconservatism, Propaganda

Today, in 1865, is the day John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln, well after the 16th President of the United States had already done insurmountable damage. The heroic Lincoln myth-buster, Tom DiLorenzo, marks (but doesn’t mention) the anniversary with a detailed and well-sourced swipe at the cult that never quits:

… These are all the main ingredients of a modern Lincoln cultist, as [David] Brooks demonstrated in an April 7 New York Times column entitled “What Candidates Need.”

“I have two presidential election traditions,” Brooks wrote. “I begin covering each campaign by reading a book about Abraham Lincoln [probably not one by Yours Truly], and I end each election night, usually after midnight, at the statue of the Lincoln Memorial.”

Brooks should be credited with bravery for being anywhere in public in Washington, D.C., The Town That Lincoln Built, after midnight. He does not say if he holds a séance there, or just prays at the foot of the gigantic statue of the corporate lawyer/lobbyist in an armchair that is the Lincoln Memorial.

Reading most books about Lincoln by “Lincoln scholars” will generally make one stupid and misinformed, as Brooks very ably demonstrates. This is because all such books are bundles of excuses, phony rationales, and fabrications. They are all written like defense briefs in The War Crimes Trial of Abraham Lincoln, authored by third-rate lawyers or law students. Being a “Lincoln scholar” means fabricating an excuse for everything. The bigger and more elaborate the excuse, the more “prestigious” is the “Lincoln scholar.”

For example, when the high priestess of the Lincoln cult, Doris Kearns-Goodwin, wrote in her book, Team of Rivals, of how Lincoln was actually the source and promoter of the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution, which would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery, she praised him for it. Rather than condemning him for supporting the explicit enshrinement of slavery in the text of the U.S. Constitution, Goodwin heaped praise on Lincoln because this slick political maneuver, she said, helped “save” the political fortunes of the Republican Party.

Another example is how, in his last book on Lincoln, Harry Jaffa tried for the ten-thousandth time in his career to explain away Lincoln’s admonition in one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates that he was “opposed to making voters or jurors of Negroes.” Lincoln opposed giving “Negroes” the right to vote in the 1850s, Jaffa wrote, so that they could have the right to vote in the 1950s. This of course is absurd nonsense but also a good example of the dishonest academic hocus pocus known as “Straussianism.” …

… The complete column is “The Very Model of a Modern Major Lincoln Cultist.” Read it.


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