by Waseem Shehzad (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 53, No. 8, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1445)
The term neo-conservatives (neo-cons for short) has fallen out of use in recent years but that does not mean the warmongers no longer wield influence on US policy. They thrive on conflict and bloodshed, the more the merrier.
To understand their role in manipulating US foreign and military policies, we must identify their intellectual godfathers. The leading neo-cons, whose list is very long, must also be named.
Like a virus, they have infested almost every important aspect of life in the US: socio-political and economic. America’s think-tanks are also largely dominated by them. Their control of US policy is virtually total. Add to that the unruly mob of Trump supporters, and one can begin to get a sense of how American policy is shaped.
Let us name some of the leading neo-cons. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Haim Saban, Victoria Nuland (real name Nudelman), John Bolton, Daniel Pipes, George Soros, whose National Endowment for Democracy has gained notoriety for financing colour revolutions, Irving Kristol, Sheldon Adelson, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Norm Podhoretz immediately come to mind. The last four as well as Rumsfeld are now dead. Others, like Cheney, Saban and Soros also have one foot in the grave.
Their toxic ideology lives on. Irving Kristol’s son, William (Bill), and son-in-law Elliott Abrams—a fanatical neocon and zionist—continue the late patriarch’s neoconservative ideology as a family philosophy! Some of their major platforms are Commentary magazine, founded by the the American Jewish Committee in 1945, as well as The Public Interest. The latter was founded in 1965 by Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell. It was financed by Warren Demian Manshel, who also helped launch Foreign Policy a few years later. The right-wing American Enterprise Institute, funded by the likes of Koch Brothers, is another platform for peddling zionist propaganda in the US.
Until 1959, Commentary was edited by Elliot E. Cohen. Under his stewardship, the magazine strove to construct a new American Jewish identity while promoting Israeli interests. When Norman Podhoretz took over as editor in 1960, the magazine became even more strident in its support of Israel and a natural platform for peddling neo-con ideology.
The neo-cons emerged from the bowels of McCarthyism of the 1960s. Together with Irving Kristol, Leo Strauss—an unassuming Chicago academic during his lifetime—are known as the godfathers of neoconservatism. From his perch at the University of Chicago, Strauss influenced an entire generation of students into pursuing a militant foreign policy of regime change, especially in West Asia. They came to be called the “Chicago boys”.
Wolfowitz attended Strauss’s lectures when he enrolled at Chicago for a PhD program in Political Science, but it was the radically anti-Communist professor, Albert Wohlstetter, his dissertation adviser, who seems to have had much greater influence on him. Wolfowitz moved to Washington at the latter’s advice.
Most neocons migrated from Germany or Eastern Europe or are descendants of those who came from there. Their antipathy toward Communism can be understood in the context of their past experience. They were not only rabidly anti-communist, they also carried strong fascist tendencies. Their capture of US state policy has proved disastrous for the rest of the world resulting in coups and brutal wars of aggression, especially since 911, causing tens of millions of deaths.
Regime change has been, and continues to be their favourite mode of operations. Couching their militaristic agenda under the rubric of promoting “democratic values”, they unabashedly assert that the greatest threat comes from states that do not share American values. Thus, they must be overthrown in order to promote democratic values that constitute “the best method of reinforcing security [of the United States] and peace.”
The Straussians want to spread ‘liberal democracy’ throughout the world by indulging in regime change operations. They see no contradiction in their claims to promote ‘liberal democracy’ and the fascist tactics they indulge in. In fact, they claim an automatic right to do so because that is in the “best interest” of the United States.
Neocons Robert Kagan (husband of Victoria Nuland) and Bill Kristol spelled out their main beliefs in a 1996 Foreign Affairs article insisting American power is a force for the good. The United States should shape the world, lest it be shaped by inimical interests; it should do so unilaterally if necessary. The danger is to do too little, not too much. The expansion of ‘democracy’ advances US interests, even if it has to be delivered through cruise missiles.
Similar militaristic ideas were reiterated by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Dominated by zionist warmongers, their overriding concern is to advance Israeli interests, even if these undermine US interests.
Their specific targets are Communist dictatorships and Islamic theocracies. It is not difficult to surmise what they mean: Russia falls in the former category while Islamic Iran in the latter. It is also interesting to note that dictatorships, whether of the tribal or military variety, that are subservient to US interests are not seen as threats. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, zionist Israel and a host of regimes in South America fall into this category.
So, it is not the spread of “liberal democracy” per se, even in its totally flawed form, that is their aim. Rather, they target governments that refuse to follow their diktats to serve American interests. Similarly, Strauss and his disciples insist that there is no “natural right to liberty”.
The doctrine of natural quality is also rejected. Instead, Strauss labors to establish the view that “the natural human condition is not one of freedom but of subordination.” Thus, the Straussians see themselves as “the superior few who know the truth and are entitled to rule.” They do not recognize any natural right but the “right of the superior,” that is, themselves.
Their fascist outlook leads them to effortlessly claim that “justice is the right of the stronger,” that is, ‘might makes right’. It is interesting to note that the Straussians did not make their mark in academia because they faced opposing intellectual views that they were unable to refute. Thus, they opted for the easier route: to capture state power.
The masses can be manipulated by telling them lies through incessant propaganda via the media. Examples abound. The ‘teary-eyed testimony’ of 15-year-old Nayirah before the US Congress in October 1990 massively boosted American public support for the US attack on Iraq. Nayirah alleged that she was a Kuwaiti nurse and witnessed Iraqi soldiers snatch babies from incubators and threw them on the hospital floor to die.
It later transpired that the hospital incubators story was a complete lie (see also here). It did not occur. Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to Washington DC. She was coached to tell this totally fictitious story by the PR firm, Hill and Knowlton in order to pave the way for America’s war on Iraq.
There are other lies they have planted in the minds of the Americans, most of whom are ignorant and totally gullible. Two years after the events of 911, seven in 10 Americans believed that the late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussain had a role in it.
Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is similarly misrepresented. The main instigators of this massive lie are the zionists. Shimon Peres (now dead) and Benjamin Netanyahu have peddled this lie since at least 1992. Peres was the father of Israel’s nuclear program and Netanyahu, currently serving as Israel’s prime minister, faces criminal charges. He is also responsible for ordering the assassination of a number of Iranian scientists. This makes him a war criminal, in addition to his crimes against the Palestinian people.