Neo-Cons Defined

When did this term “Neo-Con” or “Neo-Con­ser­v­a­tive” bust out into com­mon par­lance? These oth­er­wise intel­li­gent peo­ple have been call­ing into Talk of the Nation on NPR, and talk­ing about how Bush and the Neo-Cons want to force this whole rad­i­cal anti-fem­i­nist, anti-gay, anti-what­ev­er agen­da on this nation.

I cringe every time I hear this buzz­word mut­tered, because my fel­low Lib­er­als seem to have no fuck­ing idea what the term means.

Neo-Cons are for­mer Lib­er­als who decid­ed to get all hawk­ish on defense and for­eign pol­i­cy… They real­ly don’t wor­ry about domes­tic social issues. You can talk the­o­ry, (e.g., unin­tend­ed con­se­quences of action or inac­tion), but guys like Rums­feld, Wol­fowitz, and Pearle are not that dif­fer­ent from Lieber­man, or Moyni­han — except that the lat­ter two actu­al­ly care about help­ing peo­ple in this coun­try.

Those wor­ry­ing them­selves with social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive issues are more aligned with the Reli­gious Right– NOT the Neo-Cons.

Besides, a tra­di­tion­al Con­ser­v­a­tive for­eign & defense pol­i­cy would be iso­la­tion­ism — NOT pre-emp­tive war. The Repub­li­cans in con­gress and Pres­i­dent Bush before 9/11 fit this tra­di­tion­al mold.

But, it seems that the Neo-Cons have thrown them­selves a com­ing out par­ty, com­plete with clus­ter bombs and accu­sa­tions of Trea­son (direct­ed toward those who oppose them).

It’s the word on every­ones’ lips!

2 Responses to “Neo-Cons Defined”

  • Ummm …not to be Alex-esq, but I take excep­tion with a part of what you said.

    Besides, a tra­di­tion­al Con­ser­v­a­tive for­eign & defense pol­i­cy would be iso­la­tion­ism…”

    That state­ment is actu­al­ly inac­cu­rate. If you look through the past 100 years it has near­ly always been the repub­li­cans (the con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty) who have had the stronger, more aggres­sive (and hence less iso­la­tion­ist) for­eign pol­i­cy. With­out going on for­ev­er here’s a few exam­ples: Bush Part I, Gulf War; Rea­gan, Evil Empire; Nixon; Chi­na & Viet­nam. Now don’t think I am defend­ing those soul­less, blood­suck­ers, but its the Democ­rats (the more lib­er­al of the two) who tend to be more iso­la­tion­ist in terms of for­eign pol­i­cy. They’re thought of as the domes­tic par­ty after all, and I think that is part of their prob­lem right now. They have no for­eign pol­i­cy plat­form when the elec­torate is increas­ing­ly con­cerned with the world out­side.

  • Not to argue with ya, but most of the inter­ven­tion­ist wars were Demo­c­ra­t­ic:

    * WWI
    * WWII
    * Korea
    * Viet­nam
    * Haiti
    * Bosnia
    * Koso­vo

    I admit, the Clin­ton exam­ples are a bit of a stretch…

    But, it’s the Democ­rats who take an activist role in for­eign affairs — quite the oppo­site from iso­la­tion­ism. The democ­rats now, after Clin­ton, are very mul­ti­lat­er­al, and quite con­cerned about the good things you can do with Amer­i­can pow­er.

    Bush I and Col­in Pow­ell (and Nixon too) are not real­ly clas­sic con­ser­v­a­tives– they are from the “real­ist” camp. Gulf War I was nec­es­sary because there was this gross vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law (i.e., the inva­sion of a sov­er­eign nation), and Bush I et al. believed only an inter­na­tion­al coali­tion should respond.

    Guys like Newt Gin­grich, & Pat Buchanan — you can trace them back to Bar­ry Gold­wa­ter, who was very hawk­ish about the Sovi­ets, but who was more like­ly to drop an A-bomb on Viet­nam than go in and attempt to nation-build a “demo­c­ra­t­ic” coun­try.

    You heard this all the time dur­ing the Clin­ton years… the Con­ser­v­a­tives in Con­gress kept say­ing we shouldn’t be “nation-build­ing”, and we should just raise fences on the Mex­i­can bor­der to keep out ille­gals. That is iso­la­tion­ist… the Democ­rats, espe­cial­ly under Clin­ton, were more inter­est­ed in mul­ti­lat­er­al items, such as open­ing up Chi­na to trade, and pur­su­ing inter­na­tion­al treaties such as Kyoto and the inter­na­tion­al court.

    The Neo-Cons, how­ev­er, rep­re­sent a new group flex­ing their mus­cles. They’re for uni­lat­er­al inter­ven­tion — to the point of pre­emp­tive war. Some­thing very dif­fer­ent from even Pres­i­dent Rea­gan.

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