Long, Gone Neocons

The Bush administration is no longer influenced by neocons. Instead, it's governing the way its predecessors have.

Maybe 2008 will be the year when we will finally be rid of that vacuous belief that "the neocons" are in control of the Bush administration's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. Habits are hard to break, particularly lazy ones, but if anyone bothered to look more closely, they would see that the United States has not really engaged in what we might call a neoconservative approach to the region since at least 2004, when the situation in Iraq took a sudden turn for the worse.

What are, or were, the highlights of a neocon approach to the Middle East and the world before 2003, when American forces invaded Iraq? Looking back at that most prominent post-9/11 neocon statement of purpose, the administration's National Security Strategy released in September 2002 (an assemblage of contradiction in which neocon ideas were recorded alongside classical liberal internationalist ones), they were roughly the following: a desire to maintain American paramountcy at the expense of the more traditional concept of a balance of power; greater reliance on the use of force and unilateralism in America's defense, through preemptive measures if necessary; and a more activist bent in spreading democracy, freedom, and free markets throughout the world.

But the truth is that soon after the takeover of Iraq, the administration gradually began acting in the Middle East pretty much like its predecessors. It was compelled to rely on the multilateral institutions it had spurned in the run-up to the Iraq war, implicitly accepting that U.S. military might was not enough to resolve all problems. As for its commitment to an agenda of democracy and freedom, while officially this was at the heart of American concerns after Bush's second inaugural address, in reality by then it was already in decline as a policy guide.

For example, in May 2003, the U.S. was compelled to seek an international resolution to govern its military presence in Iraq. While the Security Council, in Resolution 1483, recognized Coalition forces as a ruling authority, it labeled them an "occupying authority", with both the legal obligations under that status, and the stigma. The resolution was a compromise: the U.N. pragmatically acknowledged that it had to work with the U.S. in Iraq, and used this to try shaping political outcomes in its favor; the Bush administration realized that it needed international cover, even if in September 2004, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan again reminded Washington that its invasion had been "illegal."

Only days after the Security Council authorized the creation of a United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq on August 14, 2003, a bomb attack targeted U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing the organization's representative there, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and almost 20 other people. The U.S. was then still trying to rule over Iraq on its own, with Paul Bremer as high commissioner. Yet it was immediately clear to the Bush administration that the attack had harmed American efforts to normalize the situation on the ground in Iraq. The subsequent dramatic drawdown of U.N. personnel denied the U.S. a valuable partner in distributing much-needed aid to an impoverished Iraqi population, as well as an often useful mediator with Iraqi leaders who refused to meet with American officials.

By 2004, the U.S. was resorting to the U.N. in other Middle Eastern crises as well. For example, the Security Council was the preferred route for U.S. efforts in 2004 to push for a Syrian military withdrawal from Lebanon. Far from going it alone, the Bush administration, in collaboration with France, its bitterest foe over Iraq, sponsored a Security Council resolution to that end. The U.S. didn't try to impose the resolution by force, even though American troops were on the Syrian border and had every reason to attack Syria because of the way it was infiltrating fighters and Al-Qaeda suicide bombers into Iraq. In fact, under even a loose interpretation of the National Security Strategy, the administration would have been justified in preemptively striking against the regime in Damascus for what it was doing to its eastern neighbor. But the U.S. held back.

Whenever Lebanon circa 2005 is mentioned, images of a "popular revolution" come to mind. The mass demonstrations against Syria after the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, were a powerful democratic moment for the country, and for the Arab world as a whole. The term "Cedar Revolution" was even coined by an American official looking for a serviceable tagline to compare what was happening in Beirut to democratic uprisings elsewhere in the world.

But the reality is that the Bush administration only latched onto the democracy imagery after the anti-Syrian rallies had started, then used these to bolster the argument that, together with the parliamentary elections in Iraq earlier that year, a democratic wave was sweeping Arab societies. Between the moment in September 2004 when the U.S. backed the U.N. resolution demanding a Syrian pullout from Lebanon and the moment of Hariri's assassination in February 2005, Washington had no clue how to implement the resolution. Lebanon was not an American priority, Iraq was. The administration didn't even realize that Lebanese democracy was something it could seize upon until the Lebanese took advantage of the American democratization mood (and military presence in Iraq) to buttress their own demands for a Syrian withdrawal.

In other words, for all the talk of a neocon cabal advancing Middle Eastern democracy, the administration was mostly unaware of the democratic potential in Lebanon until the Lebanese took to the streets. Only then did the U.S. provide the vital push, with others, to force the Syrians out. The moral of the tale: that you didn't necessarily have to believe the American democracy message to profit from it, was one that Arab liberals elsewhere ignored. Most amusing, American indecision in the period before Hariri's murder resulted from Washington's adhering to the consensual internationalism it had dismissed before the Iraq war.

One can go on. Since 2006, the Bush administration has all but abandoned the democracy agenda to rally the despotic Arab regimes against Iran. Containment is the new catchword and, no surprise, it is pretty much what the Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton administrations spent two decades applying to post-revolution Iran. The U.S. has also returned to an old "realist" template in selling sophisticated new weaponry to the Arab Gulf monarchies to partly balance Tehran's power. Neocon aversion to Saudi Arabia, a focal point of post-9/11 disputation (even if it was never as significant as some imagined), has evaporated.

Similarly, the Bush administration now finds itself back in the oldest gig in town: the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. That a settlement is necessary goes without saying, but how unexpected that the most bureaucratically cautious operator in the Bush administration, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, should have tied her fate to resolving what many regard today as an irresolvable conflict. In so doing, Rice has applied a lesson taught by her realist predecessors: that the key to normalcy in the Middle East is peace between Israelis and Palestinians. That may be true or not, but it was always rubbish to the neocons.

So maybe it's time to stop referring to the neocon policies of the Bush administration. The neocons are gone, many for so long that no one seems to remember their leaving. What we now have in Washington is a mishmash of old political realism and improvisation, topped with increasingly empty oratory on freedom and democracy. That should please quite a few of Bush's domestic critics. He's returned to the futile routine in the Middle East that they always urged him to.

Reason contributing editor Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon.

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  • ed||

    What we now have in Washington is a mishmash of old political realism and improvisation, topped with increasingly empty oratory on freedom and democracy

    A label! We need a label, dammit!

  • ||

    Uhhhhhh.... We're still occupying a Middle Eastern Nation until the point that it becomes a Western Democratic-Republic. That's straight neocon, your looking at some new bush while the whole forest is still there.

  • ||

    According to the 5 tenets defining neoconservatism put forth by Irving Kristol, George W. Bush and his policies are neocon all the way. A textbook example.

  • ||

    but if anyone bothered to look more closely, they would see that the United States has not really engaged in what we might call a neoconservative approach to the region since at least 2004, when the situation in Iraq took a sudden turn for the worse.

    All that good stuff, when things were going good? That was totally neoconservative. All the bad stuff, when things were going bad? That wasn't neoconservative, that was something else.

    And please, try not to remember everything I wrote in 2005 about the Iraqi elections. Paleoconservative realists hijacked my computer and made up something called "Arab Spring." I think it's a kind of soap.

  • Brandybuck||

    We might not have hard core neo-conservatism, but neo-con lites are all over the place!

  • ||

    Young writes, The U.S. has also returned to an old "realist" template in selling sophisticated new weaponry to the Arab Gulf monarchies to partly balance Tehran's power.

    This would, indeed, be evidence of a change in American foreign policy - if it was accompanied by an example of the Bush administration cracking down on the Saudis during that idealistic neoconservative period Young postulates.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for such an example.

    Face it, Mr. Young - the freedom and democracy shtick was exactly as much empty rhetoric to justify global adventurism aimed at expanding our realist hard power in 2003 as it is in 2007. Those idealistic democracy-spreaders in National Review were talking about basing rights and oil in 2002.

  • Justin Raimondo||

    No neocons anywhere in the admnistration? I blame Syria ....

  • VM||

    "more activist bent in spreading democracy, freedom, and free markets throughout the world."

    and by restricting the very same at home.

    article: 0/10. fail.

  • ||

    What I think we're stuck with are neocons in the White House who are forced by a lack of troops to do things that are anathema to them. Double the number of troops toting guns, or cross over into some bizarro world where the feudalist Sunni and Shiites embrace a modern democracy, and you'd see those neoclowns back on the warpath.

  • ||

    a mishmash of old political realism and improvisation, topped with increasingly empty oratory on freedom and democracy

    Sounds like the primaries, to me.

  • ||

    I use the four part test devised by the Ramones to ferret out neo-cons. Someone is a neo-con if they follow these rules:

    "First rule is: The laws of Germany
    Second rule is: Be nice to mommy
    Third rule is: Don't talk to commies
    Fourth rule is: Eat kosher salamis"

  • ||

    It's actually a sensible article, but... when did Cheney pass on?

  • ||

    Prolefeed has it exactly right. And shame on Mr. Young for imparting one single scintilla of realpolitik to the Mayberry Machiavellis. They have ended up where they are solely because this is where they fell, stumbled, and rolled to after Plan A didn't work out. Plans B through M (including the Surge) have been made up as they went along not because they hue to any consistent political philosophy.

  • ||

    Please, nobody even knows what neocon even means anymore. It's just some booga-booga word meant to get everybody's hackles up.

    It's like calling someone a commie during the Cold War. It means whatever the person saying wants it to mean.

  • ||

    I am Neocon, hear me roar...

  • ||

    [edit] Neoconservative policies
    Irving Kristol, the "god-father" and one of the founders of neoconservatism, stated five basic policies of neoconservatism that distinguish it from other "movements" or "persuasions"[9]. These policies, he claimed, "result in popular Republican presidencies":

    Taxes and Federal Budget: "Cutting tax rates in order to stimulate steady economic growth. This policy was not invented by neocons, and it was not the particularities of tax cuts that interested them, but rather the steady focus on economic growth." In Kristol's view, neocons are and should be less concerned about balancing fiscal budgets than traditional conservatives: "One sometimes must shoulder budgetary deficits as the cost (temporary, one hopes) of pursuing economic growth."[9]
    Size of Government: Kristol distinguishes between Neoconservatives and the call of traditional conservatives for smaller government. "Neocons do not feel ... alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable."[9]
    Traditional Moral Values: "The steady decline in our democratic culture, sinking to new levels of vulgarity, does unite neocons with traditional conservatives". Here Kristol distinguishes between traditional conservatives and libertarian conservatives. He cites the shared interest of Neocons and Religious Conservates in using the government to enforce morality: "Since the Republican party now has a substantial base among the religious, this gives neocons a certain influence and even power."[9]
    Expansionist Foreign Policy: "Statesmen should ... distinguish friends from enemies." And according to Kristol, "with power come responsibilities ... if you have the kind of power we now have, either you will find opportunities to use it, or the world will discover them for you."[9]
    National Interest: "the United States of today, inevitably ... [will] feel obliged to defend ... a democratic nation under attack from nondemocratic forces ...that is why it was in our national interest to come to the defense of France and Britain in World War II ... that is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today."[9]

  • ed||

    Please, nobody even knows what neocon even means anymore. It's just some booga-booga word meant to get everybody's hackles up.

    Indeed, such labels are intellectual shortcuts for dimwits.
    Ironically, if you spell-check "neocon" you get neuron.

  • ||

    Please, nobody even knows what neocon even means anymore. It's just some booga-booga word meant to get everybody's hackles up.

    Exhibit B

  • ||

    Indeed, such labels are intellectual shortcuts for dimwits.

    Brevity is the soul of wit...

  • ||

    I've asked this a number of times of people who insisted on the pure, idealistic, realpolitik-rejecting motives of the Bush adminstration in their bloody foreign policy:

    Can you please name for me a single episode when the Bush administration supported democracy or opposed tyranny in the absence of a realist national interest concern?

    I can think of plenty of counter-examples, from holding handsies with the King of Saudi Arabia to backing the coup against the elected president of Venezuela, but I cannot for the life of me come up with an example of the "idealistic" Bush administration ever putting ideals like liberalism or democracy ahead of oil, money, obedient governments, or military power.

  • ||

    de stijl,

    Communism has a definition too. But if you listen to some people during it's hey day you would get wildly different ideas about what it was (you still do). Ultimately, much of the time, it just turned into a buzz word that had only passing resemblance to it's actual ideas.

  • ||

    Can you please name for me a single episode when the Bush administration supported democracy or opposed tyranny in the absence of a realist national interest concern?

    Afghanistan?

  • ||

    Pain,

    I know. A semi-regular here (and full-time wacko in real life) named Eric Dondero thought neocon meant a pro-life Republican a la Pat Robertson. Seriously.

    Shit, I named he that should not be named.

  • ||

    "Afghanistan?"

    Unless of course one subscribes to the Michael Moore theory.

  • ||

    What's the MM theory on Afghanistan?

    BTW, they fucked that up, too. Trying to do it on the cheap to prove Rummy right.

  • ||

    Hamid Karzai, the former oil company executive that Michael Moore said was installed in place by the Bush regime to ensure an oil pipeline was built in Afghanistan.

  • ||

    Unless of course one subscribes to the Michael Moore theory.

    You mean the theory that if you cherrypick a few horror stories about health insurance from a nation of 300 million individuals, you can convince the gullible that the Potemkin village health care scheme allegedly provided to all Cubans by their communist benefactors will seem preferable?

    Oh, wait, you mean a different Michael Moore whackjob theory.

  • ||

    I like to think of meself as open minded, not a whackjob theorist.

    aaack

  • ||

    Neither the article, or anyone else here mentions Bush pushing for war with Iran, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Nothing is more neocon.

  • ||

    "One can go on."
    Certainly Michael Young can, and does. If only he hadn't stopped making sense.

  • ||

    "What we now have in Washington is a mishmash of old political realism and improvisation, topped with increasingly empty oratory on freedom and democracy. That should please quite a few of Bush's domestic critics. He's returned to the futile routine in the Middle East that they always urged him to."

    Empty oratory and futile routines, um, yeah, that's what criticizing President Bush is all about!

  • ||

    Is there a specifically "neocon" exit strategy?

    How would they get us out of a quagmire?

  • ||

    de stijl,

    Are you kidding me? On 9/11, 2800 Americans were killed by a terrorist organization that was headquartered in Afghanistan, and operated freely there under the protection of its government.

    We pretty clearly had a high-level national interest - defense of our homeland from attack - in going to Afghanistan.

  • Rob McMillin||

    Who is this Michael Young guy and how is it that he's managed to ignore the President's August, 2006 speech in which he all but called for war with Iran? And how about the embarrassed attempt to overturn the NIE's assessment so he could still get the war the neocons so desperately want against Israel's enemies?

    Richard Scott is exactly right. The Bush administration has changed not one whit.

  • ||

    Can you please name for me a single episode when the Bush administration supported democracy or opposed tyranny in the absence of a realist national interest concern?

    the bushies would argue (not entirely without merit) that the two are congruent, not opposed. how would you address that argument? could your question be recast without that assumption?

  • ||

    "the bushies would argue (not entirely without merit) that the two are congruent, not opposed. how would you address that argument?"

    The election of Hamas?

  • ||

    if you define "democracy" as "election between whomever hasn't been killed yet or intimidated out of the process by fatah or hamas," then your point is valid.

    of course, hamas fails the "tyranny" side of the definition. not that "fatah" is any better.

    damn, this sounds familiar.

  • Ben Rushing||

    Let's not forget that Democracy was not something that our founding fathers wanted. They saw democracy as the ability for people to vote themselves allotments of the state's recources.

    The United States of America was a Federal Republic with only the lowest offices being voted for by the people ensuring that individual states would set and enforce thier own laws.

    Over the years the American people have elected officials that passed laws which turned the US into a democracy that has been able to ignore the constitution when it has the voters consent. Democracy has failed the people of United States and will fail if there are not enough educated and willing voters.

    Ron Paul will fail to get the nomination, because there are too many prgmatic anti-personal freedom people and socialist anti economic freedom people who are registered voters in the Republican party to see that he is our best option. His Pacifism has not helped him either, but this is the case with democracy.

    Never underestimate the power of ignorant people in large groups.

  • ||

    joe

    I understood de stijl's point that we fucked up Afghanistan, not that we shouldn't be there.

  • ||

    ...de stijl's point was that we fucked up Afghanistan...

  • ||

    Did you know that no country has ever tried communism? It's true! Every supposedly communist country was and is actually something else -- something that was first animated by communist ideals, but then drifted towards some form of autocracy. Communism isn't the problem -- it's the drift towards autocracy that causes all the problems.

    Oh, if I had a nickel for every utopian who said "we didn't go far enough..."

  • ||

    edna,

    I would address that argument by noting that it is a cheap rhetorical ploy, and by pointing to the two counterexamples I gave - the coup against the elected president of Venezuela and the lovey-dovey stance towards the House of Saud - to demonstrate that the Bushies do not, in fact, think that our national interest and our ideals are one and the same.

    They didn't think that support for democracy in South America or for liberalism in Arabia was in our national interest, did they? They seemed to think that our interests were best served by thumbing their nose at those ideals.

  • ||

    Chris S.,

    Did you know that no country has ever tried free-market capitalism? It's true! Every supposedly capitalist t country was and is actually something else -- something that was first animated by capitalist ideals, but then drifted towards some form of autocracy. Capitalism isn't the problem -- it's the drift towards autocracy that causes all the problems.

    Oh, if I had a nickel for every libertarian who said "we didn't go far enough..."

    No, wait, you know what? I'm going to go back and leave "utopian" in that last sentence. Because it works so well here, too.

  • ||

    Isaac B.,

    Hmm, you might be right.

    I read de stijl's statement as being about our motives for going there, as that was the subject of my question.

  • ||

    Sorry! Haven't been paying attention to this thread.

    My point about Afghanistan is that it is not attributable to realist national interest concern, but rather just baseline for any nation's foreign policy: respond to attack. However, in reading the definition of political realism it seems that a core tenet is that a state is motivated by the desire for power or security.

    I hadn't included the "security" bit in my understanding.

    The point I was trying to make was that Afghanistan was not a neocon style power play action, but a response to the 9/11 attacks.

    And even then, we fucked it up to prove Rummy's theory about transformation of the military.

  • ||

    de stijl,

    I disagree that we fucked it up to prove Rummy's theory about transformation of the military.

    Putting an additional Special Forces company on the back side of Tora Bora, instead of hiring those Tali-buddies, would have been perfectly in keeping with Rumsfeld's ideas about the smaller, lighter military. That this was not done is a consequence of the decision to invade Iraq, and the subsequent need to deploy available SF units into Iraq to prep for the invasion. The limited number of main-force troops available to stabilize the country and fight off the reconstituted Taliban over the past three years (John Kerry gave a speech last week begging for 5000 more troops for Afghanistan. Five thousand!) was also a consequence of Iraq overstretching the military.

    IMHO, Rumsfeld was quite right about transformation, and would have made a good peacetime SecDef. It was his, and others', ideas about geopolitics, not military doctrine, that screwed up our efforts in Afghanistan.

  • ||

    Some might want to read this:

    "[O]nce the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition to democracy by providing immediate and substantial humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, by providing democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, and by convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response to Iraq's foreign debt incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime."

    No, not the "neocon" Bush administration's statement of policy before the Iraq war, but the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 that Bill Clinton signed into law in October of that year. If readers want to get all heated up about what a neocon is, fine, but then apply to the Clinton administration the same benchmark as to the Bush administration.

    Advocating the use of force or invading a country do not make you a neocon. Most administrations have done it. Reagan invaded Grenada; Bush Sr. invaded Panama and went to war in the Gulf; Clinton went to war in the Balkans and bombed a medicine factory in Sudan. And so on, only proving my point that Bush is not so very different than his predecessors.

    Yes, Clinton in the end did not go to war in Iraq; but in the end the Bush administration will not go to war with Iran either, regardless of Bush's and Cheney's speeches. In fact, I have serious doubts the U.S. could have ever gone to war against Iran, given the domestic mood on Iraq, despite Bush's rhetoric. Threatening war against an Iran thought to be going nuclear really is really not enough to define neocon behavior either; just as Clinton's acceptance of regime change in Iraq did not make him a neocon.

    The bottom line is that there are, and always were, many inside the administration and at the Pentagon who sought to block the war option with Iran, hence the administration's need to publicize the contents of the National Intelligence Estimate, rather than to allow a leaked version to go out that the White House would not have been able to spin.

  • ||

    No Joe, I would freely admit that we're living in a capitalist country, and most of our allies are capitalist. Sure, we're not 100% free market, but we're principally capitalists.

    And why wouldn't capitalism take credit for both its flaws and benefits? The net result of this system has been historically unparalleled prosperity. There are some problems with our system, and some are directly caused by capitalism, but on the whole, capitalist countries have faired vastly better than countries with principally centralized, planned economies. The difference between me and an it's-not my-fault communist or neoconservative is that I'm able to acknowledge that the flaws in our capitalist society are not indications that our society isn't an accurate representation of capitalism. I wish neoconservatives would also take responsibility for the consequences of their favored political system. Iraq was and is a direct result of neoconservative ideals regarding unilateral force, the spreading of American ideals through force, and faith in social transformation through government force. The notion that the U.S. could easily and unilaterally transform Iraq from a dictatorship to a western-style democracy molded after our own image is uniquely neoconservative.

    Perhaps Michael Young thinks it matters that the Bush administration doesn't represent the Platonic form of neoconservativism. I can't agree. The neo-conservatives tried their way, and it sucked. As a result of their obvious failures (obvious to everyone but themselves), they simply don't have the political clout to convince the American public, the military, or Congress that another idealistic war in the name of radical social transformation is worth our blood and money. They haven't changed - the world has changed around them, leaving the administration and all of its compassionate conservative big-government goobers powerless. It also didn't hurt that the NIE report pulled the rug out from under them (woohoo!).

    I'm sure they'll be back in 10 years, and the U.S. will be forced to endure another b.s. neoconservative failure that "wasn't actually neoconservative."

  • ||

    "Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon"

    You can visit the Daily Star online and read the opinions Young expresses to his Lebanese audience. They're not the those of a neocon or a "realist," they're the worst of both worlds with a bit of liberal boilerplate thrown in for good measure.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=17&article_id=87666

  • ||

    "What we now have in Washington is a mishmash of old political realism and improvisation, topped with increasingly empty oratory on freedom and democracy"

    so that old oratory was very full and truthful? what a bunch of crap...Michael Young you were pushing all this "spread the freedom by cluster bombing the f*** out of the goat herders" BS as recently as this year...now your telling us the freedom part is just oratatory and it's all good now because we are back to good old american foreign policy of supporting fundamentalist despots like the house of saud, Musharef in pakistan, Kurd killers in turkey...now we just need to install a knew Shaw in Iran and maybe re endow the taliban and why not cut osama another check...that will keep it stable for our liberal internationalism...you disagree with that? oh you must be an isolationist! you see I'm a serious thinker and don't use meaningless smear words like neo-con.

  • ||

    Geez,
    And I thought all the whack-jobs were at KOS & LGF.
    Thanks for disabusing me of that assumption.
    And they have the gall to call this site "Reason"?

  • ||

    And they have the gall to call this site "Reason"?

    Two day late, but Drink!!1!

  • Chris Wren||

    I always marvel pundits like Young who talk about events in 2004 as though they were ancient history or part of another geological era.

  • Mike Garcia||

    Michael Young looking high and low for neocons? This article has got "Flame Bait" written all over it!

    If you had done basic research using only Wikipedia, you could have followed-up on the influence that various think tanks have had on the current and previous administrations. For example: the Project for the New American Century http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PNAC
    lists 17 members or signatories that were appointed to key positions within the President's administration, including Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John R. Bolton, and Richard Cheney.

    P.S.
    I'm writting an editorial letter "Your Money and Foreign Policy" on my blog
    http://patriotg.blogspot.com/
    stating that these think tanks advocated a foreign policy of interventionism -- a policy doomed to fail -- just as domestic economic interventionism (socialism) is doomed to fail. I welcome your comments before I send it out later this week. Thanks.

  • Rob McMillin||

    Yes, Clinton in the end did not go to war in Iraq; but in the end the Bush administration will not go to war with Iran either, regardless of Bush's and Cheney's speeches.

    They sure are trying hard to make it happen:

    http://tinyurl.com/2g79fz

    More anonymous government sources telling us Iranian naval vessels are doing threatening things, though what exactly they were is, of course, shrouded in fifty layers of state secrets privilege. Mike, you've gotta be squinting *awfully* hard to not call this administration anything *but* neocons.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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