Saturday, November 03, 2007

What the Neocons Need

November 2, 2007

LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for and Liberty and Power. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.

Copyright © 2007 Karen Kwiatkowski

With one leg firmly planted at the American Enterprise Institute and the other even more firmly planted in the jelly-like mass we know as the United States Congress, neocons in Washington are in serious need of something constructive to do.

Like so many mortals, the neocons have confused what they think they need with what they really need. They firmly believe they need war, war, and more war. To get the right kind of Muslim carnage in the Middle East, neocons hope to instigate an act of war against Iran that will – in one fell swoop – merge four other conflicts into one burning pulsating endless bloodfest.

Which four conflicts? Palestinian versus Israeli, Kurd versus Turks and mullahs, Iraqis versus Americans, Iraqis, Kurds, Saudis, Kuwaitis and Iranians, and lastly, Afghans versus Americans, Paks, and Iranians. To merge the fires set by Washington’s neocon cultists and fanned by the President’s lisping and grunting Rasputins, the obedient Pentagon has established thousands of Iranian targets, and requested funding to fit the Stealth B2 bomber with bunker buster bomb rails.

Condi, the American Delilah, sensuously fans the flames of war, her Samson not the President but our constitutional republic, with its admonitions to avoid foreign entanglements, and to honor the rule that only Congress can declare war. Our Christian Dictator-in-Chief can scarcely control the quivering of his frothing jowls, his small eyes gleaming with what he imagines to be holy vengeance for Iran’s imagined crimes.

To get the unwarranted and illegal attack on Iran, the neocons chant each evening for a provocation, even as they provoke. They appeal to war gods at midnight for an accident in the region, even as they preside over the train wreck of their comprehensive foreign policy. They whisper and worry each other about the unknown, hoped-for date of an Israeli strike on Iran that will be the starting gunshot in a race they themselves will never run, and would never dream of running. The running and the dying should rightfully be conducted by lesser beings, those who follow orders, and ask no questions, those humans who, in the neocon world, must be either ruled, or destroyed.

Unlike select war lovers in Tel Aviv – the Washington neocons do not fear a change of administration in 2009. They’re voting Hilliani Clintonrude, the presa canario candidate, blissfully unaware of the power of people to occasionally ignore voting edicts from Washington. Thus they scheme like thirty-somethings living in their mother’s basement of the great things they will accomplish someday, if only.

Like the underemployed, spiritually vacant, and nanny-dependent everywhere – what the neocons whiningly demand is never going to satisfy them. In a revealing speech at the American Enterprise Institute on September 10th of this year, intellectual poseur Newt Gingrich provides insight into this syndrome.

He observes that, "The heart of our problem is in attitude. Wars require bold efforts and undertaking real risks. We must recognize the requirements for change and we must adopt a spirit that it is better to make mistakes of commission and then fix them than it is to avoid achievement by avoiding failure.”

Sounding even more like an underachieving basement dweller, Gingrich goes on: “This rethinking of the last six years is designed to make it easier to be creative about the next six years.” Newt wishes to rethink the last six years, and the lack of “bold efforts” and “real risk” that surrounds him and his friends. Americans, who for the past six years have paid, and paid, and continue to pay in blood, honor and treasure for neocon fascistic bloodlust, may wonder exactly what it is young Newtie is talking about.

He goes on to describe the “absence of context” – a context that he believes should be understood by every American as the global physical struggle of Islam against the rest of us. The neocons, and only the neocons, call this presumed antagonist “Islamofascism.” It matters not that there’s no such thing as Islamofascism – not only does it not currently exist in any form – it cannot conceivably exist without a radical change in either the definition of fascism, or the tenets of Islam. The neocons need context, but sadly, they demand the hollow and fantastical instead of dealing with a more personal reality.

The bulk of Gingrich’s speech is apparently notes from his underground, and shortlived, presidential campaign. Like so many great ideas from basement dwellers, perennially unemployed and dependent on Mommy for a hot meal and a kiss before bedtime, Gingrich’s grandiose plan to achieve infamy as visionary brass-knuckled president of the world fizzled out shortly after he wrote those notes.

Gingrich concludes with some moving oratory, and I feel compelled to include it here, partly because it is hilariously silly, given the neocon audience at AEI, and their tragic-comic track record.

[My fellow neocons] …[l]et us reason together, face the facts, invent the solutions and mobilize the resources for victory. With leadership, it will be the terrorists who are defeated and the free people who are triumphant. With leadership, the free people of the world will form an unshakable alliance against evil and an enormous system in defense of the innocent.

It is in the best American tradition that we have the courage at home that we expect on the battlefield. There is no shortcut. This is the road to victory over evil. This is the road to safety, freedom and prosperity for the civilized world.

Intellectually dishonest and lacking a moral compass, Gingrich’s assessment of the situation is predictably wrong and inherently dangerous. There is a road to safety, freedom and prosperity for America and for the world. But that road doesn’t require governmental leadership, governmental mobilization of resources, governmental defeat of "the terrorists," or "an enormous system in defense of the innocent," whatever that is. The idea that powerful centralized governments might ever be part of some war against evil is quite simply unsubstantiated by 4,000 years of human history.

Real freedom is lack of coercion – and this lack of coercion brings prosperity. Together, "safety" is endowed and expanded. The road to freedom is the simple minute-by-minute pursuit of life, liberty and happiness by millions of people – in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere –unbothered, undirected, uncontrolled, unmanaged, unconstrained and unterrorized by central forces of government. And as the current HGTV slogan reminds us, we really should "Start at Home."

For Newt and the neocons, central domination of a country, a people, or a nation is a necessary prerequisite for any further thought or action. This framework of force and diktat perverts their domestic politics, their foreign policy prescriptions, and the sustainability of neoconservatism as an ideology separate from fascism.

Because the neoconservative network of fearful and frustrated bully boys demand this perverted form of political and social perfection in order to step up, they remain in mother’s basement, endlessly discussing what they would do, what they might have done, how they should rethink their strategies and do-over their toy soldier tactics.

Neocons want another war, this time in Iran, and they are loudly demanding an unwarranted mulligan from the American soldier and the American taxpayer. What the neocons need is to put on a clean shirt, face reality, man up and get a real job. Then, and only then, we can talk about what neocons bring to the table of freedom, prosperity and safety.

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