Friday, November 03, 2006

Rumsfeld is a 'neocon hero'

* I meant to post this yesterday. (i sent it to jane, for reasons that will become obvious) it's quite remarkable, from the new edition of Foreign Policy.

----------------------------
Operation Comeback
By Joshua Muravchik

Neoconservatives have the president’s ear, but they also have lots of baggage. To stay relevant, they must admit mistakes, embrace public diplomacy, and start making the case for bombing Iran.

TO: My Fellow Neoconservatives
FROM: Joshua Muravchik ( a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.)
RE: How to Save the Neocons

We neoconservatives have been through a startling few years. Who could have imagined six years ago that wild stories about our influence over U.S. foreign policy would reach the far corners of the globe?
[]
The price of this success is that we are subjected to relentless obloquy. “Neocon” is now widely synonymous with “ultraconservative” or, for some, “dirty Jew.” A young Egyptian once said to me, “‘Neoconservative’ sounds to our ears like ‘terrorist’ sounds to yours.” I am shocked to hear that some among us, wearying of these attacks, are sidling away from the neocon label. Where is the joie de combat? The essential tenets of neoconservatism—belief that world peace is indivisible, that ideas are powerful, that freedom and democracy are universally valid, and that evil exists and must be confronted—are as valid today as when we first began. That is why we must continue to fight. But we need to sharpen our game. Here are some thoughts on how to do it:

Learn from Our Mistakes. We are guilty of poorly explaining neoconservatism... To say that our core beliefs remain true is not to counsel self-satisfaction. We got lucky with Reagan. He took the path we wanted, and the policies succeeded brilliantly. He left office highly popular. Bush is a different story. He, too, took the path we wanted, but the policies are achieving uncertain success. His popularity has plummeted. It would be pigheaded not to reflect and rethink.

But we ought to do this without backbiting or abandoning Bush. All policies are perfect on paper, none in execution. All politicians are, well, politicians. Bush has embraced so much of what we believe that it would be silly to begrudge his deviations. He has recognized the terrorist campaign against the United States that had mushroomed over 30 years for what it is—a war that must be fought with the same determination, sacrifice, and perseverance that we demonstrated during the Cold War. And he has perceived that the only way to win this war in the end is to transform the political culture of the Middle East from one of absolutism and violence to one of tolerance and compromise.

The administration made its share of mistakes, and so did we. We were glib about how Iraqis would greet liberation. Did we fail to appreciate sufficiently the depth of Arab bitterness over colonial memories? Did we underestimate the human and societal damage wreaked by decades of totalitarian rule in Iraq? Could things have unfolded differently had our occupation force been large enough to provide security?

One area of neoconservative thought that needs urgent reconsideration is the revolution in military strategy that our neocon hero, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, has championed. This love affair with technology has left our armed forces short on troops and resources, just as our execrable intelligence in Iraq seems traceable, at least in part, to the reliance on machines rather than humans. Our forte is political ideas, not physics or mechanics. We may have seized on a technological fix to spare ourselves the hard slog of fighting for higher defense budgets. Let’s now take up the burden of campaigning for a military force that is large enough and sufficiently well provisioned—however “redundant”—to assure that we will never again get stretched so thin. Let the wonder weapons be the icing on the cake.

Deploy More Than the Military. Recent elections in the Palestinian territories and Egypt have brought disconcerting results that suggest democratizing the Middle East may be more difficult than we imagined...

We need to give more thought to how we aid Middle Eastern moderates. They are woefully unequipped to compete with Islamists. When the U.S. government tries to help them, they stand accused of being American stooges. We can do more through private-sector groups, such as Freedom House, and partially private ones, like the National Endowment for Democracy and its affiliates.... And we should develop and fund training programs back at home that allow Middle Eastern democrats to come to the United States—free of charge—to hone their electoral, organizational, and public relations skills. James Carville and Karl Rove should be the titular heads of this program.

Fix the Public Diplomacy Mess. The Bush administration deserves criticism for its failure to repair America’s public diplomacy apparatus. No group other than neocons is likely to figure out how to do that. We are, after all, a movement whose raison d’être was combating anti-Americanism in the United States. Who better, then, to combat it abroad?

[]

Prepare to Bomb Iran. Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before leaving office. It is all but inconceivable that Iran will accept any peaceful inducements to abandon its drive for the bomb. Its rulers are religio-ideological fanatics who will not trade what they believe is their birthright to great power status for a mess of pottage. Even if things in Iraq get better, a nuclear-armed Iran will negate any progress there. Nothing will embolden terrorists and jihadists more than a nuclear-armed Iran.

The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home. It will be an injection of steroids for organizations such as MoveOn.org. We need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes. In particular, we need to help people envision what the world would look like with a nuclear-armed Iran. Apart from the dangers of a direct attack on Israel or a suitcase bomb in Washington, it would mean the end of the global nonproliferation regime and the beginning of Iranian dominance in the Middle East.

This defense should be global in scope...

Recruit Joe Lieberman for 2008. Twice in the last quarter-century we had the good fortune to see presidents elected who were sympathetic to our understanding of the world. In 2008, we will have a lot on the line. The policies that we have championed will remain unfinished. The war on terror will still have a long way to go. The Democrats have already shown that they are incurably addicted to appeasement, while the “realists” among the GOP are hoping to undo the legacy of George W. Bush. Sen. John McCain and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani both look like the kind of leaders who could prosecute the war on terror vigorously and with the kind of innovative thought that realists hate and our country needs. As for vice presidential candidates, how about Condoleezza Rice or even Joe Lieberman? Lieberman says he’s still a Democrat. But there is no place for him in that party. Like every one of us, he is a refugee. He’s already endured the rigors of running for the White House. In 2008, he deserves another chance—this time with a worthier running mate than Al Gore.

----------------------------

I suspect many words will be spilt on this article - clemons has started:
Kudos though to Josh Muravchik for truth in advertising.
I don't really know where to start - so I'll just point out that it appears that these people really think that moveon.org, the beeb, and the french are the enemy. (oh, and that Rumsfeld is a 'neocon hero')

-----------------
update: lifted from the comments, oldschool did (some of) the heavy lifting:
Oh my. Yes indeed, Jane Hamsher's head will explode with this inside-neo-con desire to recruit Lieberman. My own head is way too close to doing the same. christ, where to start with this truly terrifying screed?

Where is the joie de combat?

Whose combat, carried out by whose kids, ya pasty fuck?

Did we fail to appreciate sufficiently the depth of Arab bitterness...?

In a word, hellyesyoustupidmotherfucker! (yes, that's one word)

...our neocon hero, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld...

What planet is this guy from? And how do I get there? 'Cause if Rumsfeld's a hero, just think how a competent, sane person could make out. (maybe not so well, now that I think about it)

Our forte is political ideas, not physics or mechanics.

Or logistics. So by all means, let's start another war with Iran.

We are, after all, a movement whose raison d'etre was combating anti-Americanism in the United States.

Jesus, that's scary. Warrantless spying, indefinite detention, torture, habeas corpus trashed, posse comitatus trashed, detention centers being built. Lends some context, huh? I can scarcely bear to wonder as to what passes for anti-Americanism in the mind of this sick son-of-a-bitch.

Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office....Its rulers are religio-idealogical fanatics who will not trade what they believe is their birthright to great power for a mess of pottage.

Yes, we must bomb Iran because it is entirely possible that they may be thinking evil thoughts. And they're narcissistic religious fanatics with delusions of grandeur. The One-Percent Doctrine combined with classic projection of one's own faults to a perceived enemy. How, how, how did this group of truly insane motherfuckers gain power here in the U.S.?

The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening....It will be an injection of steroids for organizations such as MoveOn.org.

Please see your admission, above, as to how you underestimated the depth of Arab response, and imagine that same shit-storm right here, carried out by anti-Americanistic Americans right fucking here, you putz. You think that bombing Iran will be met with - what - stinging editorials? I don't.

That's a whole lot of sickness being displayed within that one relatively short piece of trash. Sorry about the knee-jerk comments and lack of depth, but that article is truly disturbing to me.

Just who is Joshua Muravchik anyway? I don't recall his name from any of the PNAC documents I've read. Newcomer trying to make his bones?
-------------
heh. as i said to jane yesterday, 'it's bordering on satire'

As for our friend Mr Muravchik, his rightweb profile is here. The summary version:
American Enterprise Institute: Scholar
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs:
Adviser
Project for the New American Century:
Signatory
Coalition for a Democratic Majority:
Former director
That's a start. He gets extra credits for:
  • American Committee for Peace in Chechnya: Member
  • Washington Institute on Near East Policy: Adjunct Scholar (1986-current) (1)
Josh is right in the thick of it.

* update - scott too: "In Stan from Southpark’s voice: Holy Shit, Dude!"
(is he riffing off rimone?)

* update from starroute in the comments:
A little more on Muravchik:

- Described in various places as being close to Perle, Ledeen, and Bryen.

- According to this article, Muravchik, Morris Amitay, and James Woolsey were among a group of Neocons who deserted George H.W. Bush in 1992 because of his lean towards the Arab states and threw their support behind Bill Clinton, helping ensure Clinton's election.

- A co-founder in 1993 of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, along with Kenneth Timmerman and Peter Rodman.

- A member of Ledeen and Amitay's Coalition for Democracy in Iran

- A member of the latest incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger, along with Morris Amitay, Newt Gingrich, Clifford May, Laurie Mylroie, Kenneth Timmerman, and James Woolsey. As Paleocon Paul Craig Roberts says:

...I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. It was a bipartisan private organization consisting largely of former presidential appointees who distrusted naiveté about Soviet intentions. ..

...The purpose of the new CPD is to foment war against Islam.

Myself and others who sought to maintain a balanced perspective will not be included in the new committee.

With its goal of wider war in the Middle East, the neocon CPD is itself the present danger.


In short, Muravchik is a Neocon's Neocon, and has been at the heart of the get-Iran movement for upwards of a dozen years.
Starroute, let me count the ways....

* update - is this post the Best Evidence Eva that i should institute a 'read the rest' thingymajig?

20 comments:

oldschool said...

Oh my. Yes indeed, Jane Hamsher's head will explode with this inside-neo-con desire to recruit Lieberman. My own head is way too close to doing the same. christ, where to start with this truly terrifying screed?

Where is the joie de combat?

Whose combat, carried out by whose kids, ya pasty fuck?

Did we fail to appreciate sufficiently the depth of Arab bitterness...?

In a word, hellyesyoustupidmotherfucker! (yes, that's one word)

...our neocon hero, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld...

What planet is this guy from? And how do I get there? 'Cause if Rumsfeld's a hero, just think how a competent, sane person could make out. (maybe not so well, now that I think about it)

Our forte is political ideas, not physics or mechanics.

Or logistics. So by all means, let's start another war with Iran.

We are, after all, a movement whose raison d'etre was combating anti-Americanism in the United States.

Jesus, that's scary. Warrantless spying, indefinite detention, torture, habeas corpus trashed, posse comitatus trashed, detention centers being built. Lends some context, huh? I can scarcely bear to wonder as to what passes for anti-Americanism in the mind of this sick son-of-a-bitch.

Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office....Its rulers are religio-idealogical fanatics who will not trade what they believe is their birthright to great power for a mess of pottage.

Yes, we must bomb Iran because it is entirely possible that they may be thinking evil thoughts. And they're narcissistic religious fanatics with delusions of grandeur. The One-Percent Doctrine combined with classic projection of one's own faults to a perceived enemy. How, how, how did this group of truly insane motherfuckers gain power here in the U.S.?

The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening....It will be an injection of steroids for organizations such as MoveOn.org.

Please see your admission, above, as to how you underestimated the depth of Arab response, and imagine that same shit-storm right here, carried out by anti-Americanistic Americans right fucking here, you putz. You think that bombing Iran will be met with - what - stinging editorials? I don't.

That's a whole lot of sickness being displayed within that one relatively short piece of trash. Sorry about the knee-jerk comments and lack of depth, but that article is truly disturbing to me.

Just who is Joshua Muravchik anyway? I don't recall his name from any of the PNAC documents I've read. Newcomer trying to make his bones?

lukery said...

nice work my friend.

post updated.

it really is breathtaking, no?

starroute said...

A little more on Muravchik:

- Described in various places as being close to Perle, Ledeen, and Bryen.

- According to this article, Muravchik, Morris Amitay, and James Woolsey were among a group of Neocons who deserted George H.W. Bush in 1992 because of his lean towards the Arab states and threw their support behind Bill Clinton, helping ensure Clinton's election.

- A co-founder in 1993 of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, along with Kenneth Timmerman and Peter Rodman.

- A member of Ledeen and Amitay's Coalition for Democracy in Iran

- A member of the latest incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger, along with Morris Amitay, Newt Gingrich, Clifford May, Laurie Mylroie, Kenneth Timmerman, and James Woolsey. As Paleocon Paul Craig Roberts says:

...I was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger. It was a bipartisan private organization consisting largely of former presidential appointees who distrusted naiveté about Soviet intentions. ..

...The purpose of the new CPD is to foment war against Islam.

Myself and others who sought to maintain a balanced perspective will not be included in the new committee.

With its goal of wider war in the Middle East, the neocon CPD is itself the present danger.


In short, Muravchik is a Neocon's Neocon, and has been at the heart of the get-Iran movement for upwards of a dozen years.

lukery said...

thnx starroute - post update. let me count the ways...

«—U®Anu§—» said...

We got lucky with Reagan. He took the path we wanted, and the policies succeeded brilliantly. He left office highly popular.

Almighty God in heaven. The republicans haven't had a decent president since Eisenhower, and he was mediocre--a good military man but not a hotbed of cinders as president. Reagan was a cardboard cutout president. I got married and bought a brand new house about the time he took office. Within six months, two-thirds of the people on my street had lost their homes to foreclosure. Before two years had elapsed, almost every bank and savings and loan in my state had closed--something I learned all through school could never happen again anywhere in America. My brother and I were self-employed: we had a printing company which, for much of its existence, was the largest volume consumer of paper in town. One by one, our customers disappeared, even Southwestern Bell. I lost everything, and if my brother hadn't had my dad gleefully paying all his bills for years and years, he'd have lost everything, too. You can lay all that at the doorstep of Reaganomics. It was as if Reagan was doing everything he could think of to destroy the economy.

I'm helping my sister-in-law get his house ready for sale, and I've had lots of time to think about that this week. If you believe six years of Dubya seems like eons, it's a skip through the park next to TWELVE years of Reagan and Bush, Sr. Of course, we haven't seen the worst from Dubya; nevertheless, if you're doing well under his iron fist, you were either born rich or are a fellow criminal. I'd love to punch any of these ridiculous clowns in the nose, and Reagan is no exception; in fact, he can go first. When he died, the idiots who live in this town flew the flag at half mast for two fucking months. I've hoped and prayed the follies of these pathetic republican presidents and legislatures would pave the way to better things from others, but how can it happen when voters don't learn from their mistakes, because they can't remember what happened just last week?

Scott Horton said...

Ah man, is that something Rimone said? Dang, I knew I wasn't that clever.

lukery said...

rimone is always channelling some movie or sitcom or other.

she's cheap like that...

i bet i can arouse a response outta her by just saying "sucking each other's dicks"

cheap i tells ya!

rimone said...

yep, my ass is so cheap, i steal and then give it away for free, lol

"In Stan from Southpark’s voice: Holy Shit, Dude!"
(is he riffing off rimone?)


in cases like that, i'm all w/the classic internets-y 'DUDE! WHAT THE FUCK?' just to clarify, like.

(hey, after almost six years of living w/career-boy, i fought against his gen-x language for the first four, then i just gave up)

ps, i'm so never sucking your dick again, Luke. just sayin' :-)

ps, actually this cheered me muchly--today would've been my dad's 93rd b-day, writing a post on him as i speak here now. *sigh* but thanks for the cheering-up.

Uncle $cam said...

For «—U®Anu§—»,

Read your post, at 5:36:15. I share similar Reagan wounds --or at least my family does-- ever see a man broken? Ever see the shell of a man afterward? I watched the Reagan era break my father in body, mind and spirit he hasn't been the same since. At least he is still alive, for now. But merely a shell.

I took pleasure in the following as petty as it seems, and thought you kats would too:



Dead Presidents

Note: For the record, while this was quite disrepectful, I thought it funny in an Abbey Hoffman kind of way. Poor judgement aside, I'd be a liar if I didn't say it brought a smile to my face. And besides, It's not as grotesque as the Neocon excreta left on the Bill of Rights, Civil Rights and Humanity, as a whole by these ridiculious Nazi-GOP utopianists in our government.

oldschool said...

Ah man, is that something Rimone said? Dang, I knew I wasn't that clever

We all aspire to Rimone-dom.

I'm still unpacking from the move this week - all I brought was dumb stuff like clothes and furniture. All of my 'conspiracy' paperwork, including the PNAC stuff, I left behind. I still know where it is though - better make another trip.

Kathleen said...

Well, my head is beyond repair.

Reagan was a super jerk, a "me firster". He was also an atrocious president of Screen Actors Guild, selling out the union on a Westinghouse contract and went on from there.

Can someone please explain to me why Americans vote against their own interests? Uranus is right, 12 years of that Reagan/Bush duo was murdcer, it brought us homelessness, a phenomenon we never had before.

NeoCon just doesn't cut it as a name for these troglodyts, which is why I've moved on to NeoNutzis.

If people do protest in numbers over bombing Iran, they're all ready with their Military Commissions Act, the end of Posse Commitatis and those nifty new detention centers, just awaiting thee and me. The damned limp noodle Dems'll be there waving their little flags and wearing their little flag lapel pins right along with the NeoNutis.

Fuuuuuuuck.

Anonymous said...

"the end of the global nonproliferation regime"

Because the US allowing Pak/AQK to go unpunished, rewarding(!) India for violating NPT, punishing Iran for abiding by and insisting on their rights under the NPT, and driving North Korea to withdraw from NPT have done soooooo much to sustain the global nonproliferation regime... not to mention our own attempts to frustrate non-proliferation by building micro-nukes then proliferating by inches as we jack up the yield...

So, if his audience is Neocons, are they ignorant enough to buy this tripe? Or, is his true audience the non-neocon public who undoubtedly are? Certainly the Neocons' hubris cannot be overestimated, but under all that aren't they supposed to have a slightly more sophisticated view of the world, which they apply cynically? Is he speaking in code to his fellow backseat steering committee members, or speaking BS to useful idiots?

Remember, a defining characteristic of the Neocons is their adherence to Straussian public misinformation policy (deceive the rabble for their own good) I would argue any "open letter" between neocons is best viewed as a PR/PSYOPS campaign directed outwards, rather than a sincere statement. So what is this writing trying to achieve?

-lance

lukery said...

Lance - good questions. Interestingly, i left something out of my post:
"We are guilty of poorly explaining neoconservatism. How, for example, did the canard spread that the roots of neoconservative foreign policy can be traced back to Leo Strauss and Leon Trotsky? The first of these false connections was cooked up by Lyndon LaRouche..."
so that's pretty funny.

it's tuff trying to ascertain the psyops benefit for the masses of rubes - not least because it was printed in FP - which is pretty obscure - although i'm sure they knew that the blogs would freak out and pick up the story...

As for the 'Pak/AQ' network - by all accounts there was actually some American involvement in it as the sibel edmonds case demonstrates.

lukery said...

Uncle Scam - good to see you.

thnx for that link. pretty funny.

I'm too young to remember all the damage that Reagan did - but his deification is most disconcerting. I'm sorry to hear that he did so much damage to you all, and your familes.

The funeral thing was puke-inducing.

(btw - blackwater?)

oldschool said...

Can someone please explain to me why Americans vote agaisnt their own interests?

Jesus, I've written so many LTE's (to my tiny little weekly newspaper) on just that point that I've had to self-regulate myself so as to not be a pain-in-the-ass. On the other hand, that same little paper has a couple of young editors with a lot of balls, who get a kick out of starting a fight, so they give me basically free rein. I have a knack, in this neck of the woods, for starting a fight or two.

It occurs to me that Eric and Jeff at thebanner@earthlink.net might be happy to hear from some out of town (out-of country - Luke?) voices. Give a shout to some good guys.


Fuuuuuuuck

I have such a crush on the GSF females.

lukery said...

I have such a crush on the GSF females.

ummm. me too.

Kathleen said...

Well vice versa.

lukery said...

it's a love fest

«—U®Anu§—» said...

uncle $cam said: ...ever see a man broken? Ever see the shell of a man afterward?

You bet. Before Reagan, if we ran a classified ad for a week to hire somebody, we were lucky to get 3 or 4 qualified applicants. After he took office, people filed in to submit applications by the thousands. I saw them in lines at banks trying to get what money they could. We hired them. I remember one guy who ran a family printing company which opened over 20 years before statehood in 1907, and closed after Reagan took office because their customers disappeared, with none to replace them. The look of trauma, fear and despair never left his eyes. I knew people in the oil industry who lost everything. My ex worked for Citicorp in collections/mortgages. Most of her customers had good jobs, but still lost their houses. Citicorp closed their office, fucking Citicorp, for crying out loud. She got other jobs, and when the last one closed its doors, she gave up on work, home, marriage and me. And me? I never wanted to be an interstate truck driver. But the only places with jobs were either in nursing or transportation. Recently I threw out all my old correspondence related to job searches during that time, and was reminded I tried, as hard as I could try. Nobody was hiring except for the most servile, drudgerous, hazardous work. I continued to drive until, of course, another GOP dominated federal government. Now it's tough to get jobs nobody wants.

I can't describe how hard it was to start our printing business from scratch like we did. We worked endless hours, and for much of the time ran three shifts, which I supervised, seven days a week. And, we were the competition--everyone in the industry in this town knew who we were. But it just didn't matter. With the GOP in charge, nobody could get any money. We had a home loan at a LOW 13.9%. Most loans were over 18%. The republican money machine rolled over me during my formative years, and I never recovered. I was able to do better while Clinton was in office and bought another home, but it's gone now. And, it's a safe assumption that republicans will froth at the mouth to impeach any democratic president in the future, assuming America has a future. I don't assume that. I assume America's republicans will become so venomous they'll do to the country and the world what they did to me, and morph into roving bands of assassins, killings pets, trees, people, each other--everything in their path, or something else equally bizarre. That's because in the last 40 years, I've come to know republicans will do anything, ANYTHING, to win, and throw fair play and the law to the wind. Soon, even destroying the world to think they've "won" won't seem beyond what's feasible. It could happen, in fact, almost immediately.

Kathleen said...

Iranus; Repugnicans are MEEEE firsters, one and all and stupid to boot. If they had their way, we would have slavery back. I'm not a violent person, but I am so tempted to wish I could bitch slap the whole sorry bunch of them and then some, but I know if I let myslef indulge in that feeling, I might never recover.