Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time to Throw the Neocons Overboard

Neocons are Progressive community organizers on a global scale. It’s time to pitch then overboard if we want to advance the conservative movement
Operation New Dawn, its name suggesting a skin cream or dishwashing liquid, now begins. (What ever happened to the practice of using terms like Torch or Overlord or Dragon to describe military campaigns?) (Andrew Bacevich - Obama Wants Us to Forget Iraq Lessons)

Professor Andrew Bacevich, who lost a son in the Iraq war, has consistently provided readers a clear-eyed view of American foreign policy. In his latest article, he shows how good intentions can reap unintended (and undesirable) outcomes.

Every time we thought we had “solved” something in the Middle East, another problem cropped up. Taking out Mossadegh let the Shah of Iran back in, angering the Islamists, who then took power 20 years later. Taking out Saddam destroyed the firewall protecting the Middle East from the Iranians. Wouldn’t it have been better to let Saddam take Kuwait?

"But he put his own citizens through giant shredders!"  The neocons shout.

"But women had relative freedom in Iraq and he brutally squashed all that Sharia nonsense," retort the realists.

See? We put ourselves in the position of weighing the pros and cons of remaking the lives of others. We have no business doing that, most especially when the people don’t want our help.

You can’t help those who don’t want your help
“Nation building” only works when the nation you are building wants to be built, like the European nations after World War II, Japan, and later South Korea. We took a relatively light touch in Central America during the Reagan 80’s, and the situation there is materially better because of our efforts.

Rock-ribbed conservative David Freddoso goes even further than the more liberal Bacevich, declaring that nation building in Iraq was not worth it. I can’t go that far.

We did not achieve “nothing.” No matter how ill-conceived the invasion may have been, troops on the ground made the best of a very bad situation. We took out a dictator, killed a lot of bad guys, and at least gave Iraqis a chance to chart a new course. That in itself is quite an achievement, more so for the US Military (especially the US Army) than for our government or any politician.

I do agree with Freddoso on this...
The question we need to ask is whether we really want to do something like that again. It’s a question that Republican candidates for Congress should be asking themselves right now
As someone who has been there as a bit player in a supporting role, my answer is no, we should not do something like this again.  It's time to pitch the neocons overboard.  Hard.  On their heads.

Neocons, like progressives, have Utopian dreams of solving problems, ignoring the stubborn fact that in this vale of tears, nothing is ever “solved.”


Fredd said...

Philosophical question: if we 'pure and chaste,' 'rock-ribbed' conservatives throw our rash, Utopian dreaming Neocon bretheren under the bus in an effort to cleanse ourselves (we're pure and chaste, you see), are we ourselves not doing the exact same thing as those we are cutting loose? Cutting out our Utopian Neocon bretheren from the meetings because we want to remain pure and chaste?

Obtaining a pure and chaste membership is also quite Utopian, if you ask me. Everybody has got a wart, zit, bunyon or two. The perfect is the enemy of the good (I wish I had made that one up).

Silverfiddle said...

I am a big tent guy. They can still stay in the party and vote with us. We should just stop listening to them.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Beware people beating war drums who've never been in a war.

And then there's always that unintended consequences stuff.

A true conservative, like the man in Jesus' parable, counts the cost before taking action. A true conservative often concludes the best thing is to do nothing, for we may open up a Pandora's box that is not nearly as manageable as what we have now.

Fredd said...

You and I are, as usual, in complete agreement, then, Silver.

I completely and wholeheartedly agree that our bold Neocon bretheren are hopelessly out of touch in regards to the reality of the world and to the nature of those who hate us, and accordingly can never be given the reigns of power (Paul Wolfowitz, anyone?). They, like red-headed step children, can sit at the table, take and eat of our GOP bounty, but they are much more effective being seen, not heard.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...


For clarity, would you please define in your word's "NeoCon' and further can you name any (by your definition) currently holding office at the National level.

You see, I am a bit confused as you seem to lump both Bush 41 & 43 into that category when neither was a NeoCon, Conservative or even republican but rather RINO's.

Question (s): Was it right for Carter NOT to back the Shah of Iran at the time? Or, was it right for Obama to IGNORE the Iranian uprising just recently?

In my opinion it is not so much who we decide to get involved with but rather when. Had Carter done what was right back then we would not be dealing with the Iran of today. That is what I call unintended consequences.

Mustang said...

There was a time when a candidate for Congress had to have military experience. Most members of Congress today have never put on our nation’s uniform, much less heard a shot fired in anger. Their decisions therefore lack experiential practicality. This makes them very dangerous, which may not be much of an issue once America converts to Islam.

I think we have fallen into a dangerous trap, laid for us by politicians. We categorize ourselves according to their definitions. For example, they call themselves Democrats when they are actually Progressive communists; Marxists who intend to destroy America from within (as promised by Stalin in 1933), and they call themselves Republicans when they are actually socialists. I am a conservative. I vote conservative; this means I revere our traditional values and shun Marxist/Stalinist ideology. As a conservative, I believe in God and Judeo-Christian values. I do not support homosexual lifestyles, but neither do I condemn people who do. I do not think I should have to pay for some idiot’s abortion. I do not think it is the federal government’s business to regulate marriage, my drinking habits, or how many gallons of gasoline I consume in a week. I believe strongly that our states are sovereign and must behave accordingly. I think limited government is the best kind of government. My point is that I will vote according to who I am; I will favor candidates who best represent my ideas, even if he happens to be a Democrat (which isn’t very likely since the last conservative democrat was Zell Miller). I won’t stay home on voting day simply because the conservative candidate happens to be a Mormon.

About the war: all war is bad. We should avoid it when we can. If we cannot avoid it, then we must win it. If that means behaving ruthlessly, so be it. Get it done, get it over with, and come home. Afghanistan is a mistake. Iraq wasn’t necessary, although I do understand that it is easier to kill Moslems on open ground than in the mountains. Psychologically, we needed to slam our fist into someone following 9/11 and this would be okay with me had not Bush or Bremmer been incompetent. But we have serious issues here at home and we are not attending them. We have porous borders, illegal immigration, out of control spending, debt up the wahzoo, communists in Congress, and a significant identity problem. Some shithead is even threatening us if we do not agree to build a victory mosque at ground zero.

Isn’t it amazing that 41% of likely voters still think Obama is peachy-keen? I agree with Dr. Thomas Sowell we are on the verge of losing America. I worry about that. Short of civil conflict, I don’t know what we can do about it.

I apologize for being so blabby.

Silverfiddle said...

George Bush and Condi Rice are neocons, broadly defined as those who believe the world can be remade.

Every action has consequences, and history has shown many are unforseen or unintended.

Bush 41 was not a neocon, he was a realist. These are terms "neocon" and "realist" are terms of art applied to foreign policy philosophies.

Was Carter right? What may seem right at the time may turn out to be wrong later, and vice-versa.

For this reason, we should be extremely chary in involving ourselves in other peoples business, especially with the big footprint. Troll the SF-thinkers' blogs and you will hear the same thing, so don't take this as anti-military.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...


I did not take it as anti-military especially knowing your contribution, but I asked also to identify what you consider NeoCon's "currently" holding office at the National level, the reason being you saying;

"It's time to pitch the neocons overboard. Hard. On their heads".

You named people out of office.

I submit that what you define as 'neocon' is solidly reserved for those on the left and RINO's holding office whether it be the use or conversly the non-use of the military.

Silverfiddle said...

Very wise comments, Mustang. I could not have said it better myself.

Christopher: Some are calling Obama a neocon for continuing on in Afghanistan, but I wouldn't go that far.

Frank Gaffney and William Kristol are the two neocons who most irk me. They are not elected officials, but they swing a lot of weight in conservative circles.

Anyone who advocates us attacking Iran is an idiot.

Ray said...

......And I certainly can't say it better than either of you. I've never worn a uniform and that's why I just back what the US military does 100% period.

That's what an American should do in my opinion, unless of course the leader is Hitler and he's turned the military on his people, which Saddam did regularly.

I just can't believe these despots (ie ahmadickwad)just can't be easily assassinated in these crazy parts of the world. Everyone else has a target on their backs, why not they.

People say "well then our president is in more danger" ...hell look at what they do to protect already? Is there more danger?

Further, it gives us a fine reason to never send him. Perhaps we let them all kill each others off for a while, because we know left unfettered they will, and then get off foreign petro. I bet we can, just long enough to get off it. ;)

Mustang said...

SF said, "Anyone who advocates us attacking Iran is an idiot."

I agree. Conventionally, there are too many war-stoppers, logistical factors that prohibit efficient deployment of front line forces. Unconventionally, we hurt too many innocent people. But, Iran are bullies ... so here's the Mustang Solution (patent pending): "You guys go ahead and develop all the nuclear weapons you want. We don't care. We aren't going to mention it again. Eh hem. However, if you try to use them on anyone, anyone at all, Iran and all the Iranian people will cease to exist five minutes later. No brag, just fact. And Russia, sit down and shut the hell up. Thank you for your attention."

Of course, if you want to go through the trouble of nominating me for the Nobel Peace Prize, I'll be happy to accept it. I'll even give you a nice kick back.

Semper Fi

Silverfiddle said...

Thanks Ray. And I defer to Mustang and the good guys at Blackfive. No one is more anti-war than someone who has been there. But this is not the hippie, cringing, anti-war. this is a if you you punch me I'll rain down fire and steel on you, and it all starts with a 4 or higher. I won't start it but I will finish it.

And Mustang, you joke about the peace prize, but what you advocate actually keeps the peace. It did throughout the cold war.

I do hope we are funding Iranian dissidents. I want to see that rotten, root of all evil regime gone, but I want Iranians to do it themselves. They are great immigrants to this country and they are a great people.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...


You now touch on my point of Hussein not ignoring the Iranian uprising. Sure I agree that the Iranian people must do it but without assistence as was the case they not only failed but many were either killed or jailed.

As to Mustangs points, I differ:

We are in Iraq right now (borders Iran.

We are in Afghanistan right now (borders Iran).

There is not one, repeat not one Arab State that trusts the Persians (historically).

Saudi Arabia is allowing Israelie military over flights (first ever)and we are based there as well.

Eygpt is allowing the Israelie Navy through the Straights of Hormouz (first ever).

Food for thought.

Silverfiddle said...

If some other country wants to pay the price in blood and treasure, that is their call.

I am not saying something so naive as stop all war; I am saying we need to stop trying to do extreme makeovers on other societies by the point of a gun.

I'll leave you with a variation on USMC General Smedley Butler, a brave man, a patriot and an American Hero (won the Medal of Honor twice). He dedicated his life to fighting for America, but he hated the thought of fighting for the Chiquita Banana company.

You wanna invade Iran? Then form up under General Kristol and General Gaffney, and do it on your own damned dime. Leave the US and our military out of it.

If Iran is a threat to Europe and the Middle East, then let those countries mount a coalition and go take them down.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Invade? No. Bomb the crap out of the regime and when the people of Iran INVITE help, we are there.

The actual threat is to the worlds (that includes us) oil supply and of course Israel that just happens to be our allie.

We have seen this before in history when one nation 9Germany,WWII) threatens to set the world ablaze in war and conquest and this was sadly and regretfully ignored.

Shall we make the very same mistake yet once again?

How many millions must die this time before the U.S. acts?

Silverfiddle said...

WWII was a very clear example of when to go to war

Iran is not Hitler's Germany.

And this is a very progressive statement:

How many millions must die this time before the U.S. acts?

Are you willing to go fight? Or put your kids in uniform?

More mischief starts by people screaming "do something!"

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Reminder; PRE-World War II

One word; Appeasement

Defined; Neville Chamberlain

Result; 48,231,700 DEAD WORLDWIDE

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