Category Archives: Neoconservatism

Dying For Nothing Day

America, Globalism, Government, Hillary Clinton, Military, Neoconservatism, The State, War

A brave nation fights because it must; a cowardly one fights because it can ~ ilana (2003)

It is the habit on the Memorial Day weekend to thank uniformed men for their sacrifice. My sympathies go out to Americans who fight phantoms in far-flung destinations. I’m sorry they’ve been snookered into living, dying and killing for a lie. But I cannot honor that lie, or those who give their lives for it, and take the lives of others in America’s many recreational wars. I mourn for them, as I have from day one, but I can’t honor them.

I am sorry for those who’ve enlisted thinking they’d fight for their countrymen and were subjected to one backdoor draft after another in the cause of illegal, unjust wars and assorted informal attacks. My heart hurts for you, but I won’t worship at Moloch’s feet to make you feel better.

I honor those sad, sad draftees to Vietnam and to WW II. The first valiant batch had no option; the same goes for the last, which fought a just war. I grew up in Israel, so I honor those men who stopped Arab armies from overrunning our homes. In 1973, we came especially close to annihilation.

I can legitimately claim to know of flesh-and-blood heroes who fought so that I could emerge from the bomb shelter (in the wars of 67 and 73) and proceed with my kid life. I always stood in their honor and wept when the sirens wailed once a year. Every Israeli stops on that day, wherever he is, and stands still in remembrance. We would have died or been overrun by Arabs if not for those brave men who defended the homeland, and not some far-away imperial project.

But can we Americans, in 2013, make such a claim? Can we truly claim that members of the American military killed Iraqis or Afghanis or Libyans so that we may … do what? Remind me?

What I learned growing up in a war-torn region is that a brave nation fights because it must; a cowardly one fights because it can.”

Ultimately, it is “for the love of a brother-in-arms, and ‘Big Brother’ be damned,” explained Robert Glisson. This is why they of the “Patriot Guard Riders,” his band of brothers, truly fought. Men fight for one another and not for the causes imputed to them by the cowards who send them to battle.

The military is still a government job; a career path with huge risks. How fast the so-called small government types forget this immutable truth. From the appropriately titled Your Government’s Jihadi Protection Program (which the military has become):

“When Republicans and conservatives cavil about the gargantuan growth of government, they target the state’s welfare apparatus and spare its war machine. Unbeknown to these factions, the military is government. The military works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government. Like government, it must be kept small. Conservative can’t coherently preach against the evils of big government, while excluding the military mammoth.”—ILANA (Your Government’s Jihadi Protection Program.)

AND, from Classical Liberalism And State Schemes:

We have a solemn [negative] duty not to violate the rights of foreigners everywhere to life, liberty, and property. But we have no duty to uphold their rights. Why? Because (supposedly) upholding the negative rights of the world’s citizens involves compromising the negative liberties of Americans—their lives, liberties, and livelihoods. The classical liberal government’s duty is to its own citizens, first.
“philanthropic” wars are transfer programs—the quintessential big-government projects, if you will. The warfare state, like the welfare state, is thus inimical to the classical liberal creed. Therefore, government’s duties in the classical liberal tradition are negative, not positive; to protect freedoms, not to plan projects. As I’ve written, “In a free society, the ‘vision thing’ is left to private individuals; civil servants are kept on a tight leash, because free people understand that a ‘visionary’ bureaucrat is a voracious one and that the grander the government (‘great purposes’ in Bush Babble), the poorer and less free the people.”

*Image credit

Sigh. Tucker Bashes Biden For The Two Things He’s Doing Right: Iran And Yemen

Foreign Policy, Iran, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Political Philosophy, Republicans, The Establishment, Uncategorized, War

Tucker Carlson does splendid work from his mainstream perch, but because of his philosophical limitations and many blind-spots—the kind that had him join the neoconerie in killing Iraq, in the first place; the kind that saw him laud the murder of Iranian major general Qassim Soleimani; the kind that has him bash The South; and call on Canadian truckers to prove a negative, namely, that they aren’t racists; the kind that whined, whined, whined non-stop about Harvey Weinstein, in effect talking-up the MeToo fraud—he stumbles all the time. All the time. Without fail.

Thus did I urge ideological caution on a good friend who got carried away in giving too much street cred to Tucker, and, by extension, enthusing about a Tucker-endorsed Iranian warmonger, Sohrab Ahmari, who has reinvented himself and now peddles retread banalities (or stuff the Old Right—myself included—had espoused decades ago). At best, Ahmari, this ex-agitator for war in Iran, is an unoriginal second hander.

Today (4/12/022), Tucker played a piss-poor satirical skit—just plain bad—of Biden and Harris  being lampooned in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis, explained Tucker, are angry with the awful Biden Administration over Iran and the war in Yemen. I imagine Biden is perceived by the Saudis—and ConOink—to be insufficiently belligerent about destroying Iran, a longtime mission the Saudis share with the neocons. As is Biden considered to be unhelpful to the Saudis in his impetus (albeit weak) to end Saudi Arabia’s protracted war on an impoverished Yemen.

Both these Biden positions, as limp as they are, are better than the positions adopted by ConInc and, yes, Trump. The Saudi war on Yemen is a scandal.

Likewise the unchanging agitation against Iran.

MORE CONTEXT on regional Sunni-Shia squabbles: “Lies About Putin, Syria & The Alawite Alliance

UPDATED (3/23/022): Tucker Carlson’s Producers Rewarding Retread Reformed Neocon Tools Like Sohrab Ahmari

Argument, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Media, Neoconservatism, Old Right, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy, War

On the one hand, Tucker Carlson and his oft-worthy guests make the case that America’s catastrophic institutional rot (MY EXTENSIVELY DEVELOPED TERM, no theirs) is a consequence of there being no adverse consequences attached to being dead-wrong all the time.

On the other hand, the show has a tendency to reward reformed neocons such as newcomer Sohrab Ahmari, who peddles retread banalities (or stuff the Old Right—myself included—had espoused decades ago, and from the get-go, in the case of the Globe and Mail commentary below: September 19, 2002).

Rewarding conveniently reformed, politically pleasing mediocrities makes the practitioner part of the institutional rot.

PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (Ilana Mercer, May 29, 2004) spoke to this repulsive specter:

So why are insightful commentators whose observations have predictive power generally barred from the national discourse, while false neoconservative prophets are called back for encores?

I got to thinking about the neoconservative talking twits. They’ve been wrong all along about the invasion of Iraq. They’ve consistently dished out dollops of ahistoric, unintuitive, and reckless verbiage. Yet they’ve retained their status as philosopher-kings.
Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.

….the opportunity costs associated with consumption of toxic punditry are low or non-existent.

If you didn’t have the cerebral wherewithal to be against the war on Iraq in 2002, you don’t have anything original to contribute on foreign policy and anti-war or Just War thinking now.

Younger offenders can be found agitating against Iran, or scribbling inanities for the War Street Journal and other neoconservative outlets such as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and Foreign Policy, where Sohrab Ahmari would put out irredeemable and unforgivable content such as “The Costs of Containment.”

It’s one thing to have made a mistake as Tucker Carlson had done regarding the Iraq war of aggression. Carlson apologized profusely and humbly about his Iraq error. Moreover, Carlson had never been the consummate philosophical neocon; which Sohrab Ahmari is. According to the Militarist Monitor,

“the neocons’ favorite Iranian,” Sohrab Ahmari has been a vocal advocate of U.S.-imposed regime change in his native Iran, which he left as a teenager. Rosenberg likened Ahmari to Ahmed Chalabi, the formerly exiled Iraqi politician who curried favor with U.S. neoconservatives ahead of the Iraq War and lent an Iraqi name to the list of those supporting the U.S. invasion.[3]

I’ve watched the likes of Sohrab Ahmari work their magic in the malfunctioning media for decades. I also understand fully that Tucker Carlson has a producer, for he himself cannot research each such well-promoted phony who is resurrecting a career on the solid anti-war arguments of the dissident Old, paleolibertarian and paleoconservative Right.

* Image: Truth-teller on Twitter.

And in defense of The Tuck against mediocrity Claire Lehmann, who generated the non sequitur below: Tucker Carlson doesn’t support the Russian invasion! From the fact he argues unpopular truths–it doesn’t follow that Tucker is not a populist. Most immutable truth is unpopular. Popularity does not equal populism. This woman can’t even define the terms of debate.

The Z-Man (Zelensky) Is America’s Perfect Prototype Neocon Puppet, Down To Our National Cliches

America, Conservatism, Democracy, Egalitarianism, Foreign Policy, Globalism, Neoconservatism, Russia, War

In his cameo appearance before the US Congress, the Z-Man deftly drew on all the cliches of American life in the shallow end:

Volodymyr Zelensky vaporized about democracy [“it made us dumb“], our values [“in the classical conservative and libertarian traditions, values are private things, to be left to civil society—the individual, family and church—to practice and police“], and MLK (Martin Luther King), offering his incoherent, bizarre twist on the “I have a dream” U.S. ubiquity:

I have a dream. I have a need. I need to protect our skies. I need your help, which means the same you feel when you hear the words I have a dream.”

Translated: When the Z-Man tells you he needs your help, you should feel the same as when you hear MLK’s “I have a dream.” Or, something.

I have a dream. I have a need, too, Mr. Z. Some quid pro quo, perhaps? The following is as true as when I wrote it in 2011, during the Egyptian Lotus Revolution. This from “Frankly, My Dear Egyptians …“:

‘I know nothing so miserable as a democracy without liberty,’ wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in the mid-1800s. He speaks for me. I find myself unable to get lathered-up about democracy for others, while I live in the democratic despotism that contemporary America has become. …

…More often than not, Americans who yearn for the freedoms their forbears bequeathed to them are labeled demented and dangerous. I’ve yet to hear liberty deprived peoples the world over stand-up for the tea-party patriots. When they do — I’ll gladly galvanize on their behalf.

Zelensky is America’s perfect, prototype Jacobin puppet.

Put it this way, if the American people (an inchoate meaningless phrase I countenance here for the sake of argument) were threatened by an invasion—American leaders would hold court from their safe rooms and underground luxury bunkers and give cheery addresses (in syntax as fractured and similarly studded with non sequiturs), while the bombs fell ON US.

Churchillian they’d rate themselves.

BY ©2022 ILANA MERCER