Archive for November, 2003


Neoconservatism Made Kristol Clear

Outside Analysis, Outside Commentary

Here’s another angle on the Irving Kristol piece
in the Weekly Standard where he identifies the current administration as being neo-conservative, while explaining just what that means. This article comes from the “market anarchist”/anti-state site Strike The Root—another non-liberal, non-Democrat source.

Neoconservatism Made Kristol Clear

by Michael Tennant
August 18, 2003

Memo to Irving Kristol: Get yourself to a secure, undisclosed location immediately if not sooner. You are in grave danger. No, you needn’t worry about receiving threats from left-wing loonies like Al Gore or his disciple, the Unabomber. You don’t even have to fear the paleoconservatives and libertarians.

You should, however, keep your eyes open for members of the National Review/Wall Street Journal crowd. IMPORTANT: If you receive a package in the mail from David Frum, call the bomb squad immediately!

Why do I say Irving Kristol had better keep a close eye on his allies on the “official” right? Simply this: He recently wrote
a piece for The Weekly Standard
in which he spelled out exactly what neoconservatism is. What’s worse is that ol’ Irv’s description of neoconservatism proves that it is everything its critics have said it is–and worse.

Now that “the ‘godfather’ of all those neocons,” as Kristol describes himself, has spoken on the subject (and written a book entitled Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea), the NR/WSJ crowd can no longer plausibly deny the existence of such a movement, as some have tried to do. In addition, they can no longer plausibly claim that neoconservatism is merely another form of traditional conservatism. Nor can they plausibly insist that neoconservatism has anything at all to do with the American founding and tradition of limited government and avoidance of entangling alliances. Kristol has blown all these arguments out of the water.

Full commentary


Ilana Mercer: Bush Is A Neoconservative

Outside Commentary

The following commentary is fairly punchy, and it’s definitely highly critical, and if it had come from a "left-wing" web site, I doubt I would feel inclined to post here. Long time visitors to are probably aware that we aim to post articles that are civil, reasoned and researched—rather than angry, partisan, and "anti-Bush". So while most of the
opinion articles here end up being, by the nature of the critical process, opposed to the policies of the Bush administration, a much smaller number of those articles are written by people who are generally cheering for the "other team"—i.e., liberals, Democrats, and the like. Many of the articles posted here are written by people who were just as critical of Bill Clinton, when he displayed any of the same tendencies, as they are of George Bush.

Which brings me to Ilana Mercer’s column, "Bush is a neoconservative", which was published on WorldNetDaily.
Most liberals probably consider WorldNetDaily to be "right-wing", and that’s at least partially true—it’s a mixture of conservatives and libertarians generally. And while I’d be among the first to argue that libertarian is not right-wing, what’s important for the sake of discussion is that WND certainly is not a left-wing site. By virtue of being an opinion author at WND, one can assume that Ilana Mercer is either a conservative or a libertarian—in her case, a libertarian, perhaps with a conservative streak.

And so the idea that she is a bleeding heart liberal, or a left-wing Bush-basher, is frankly unsupportable. A number of comments have been posted to this site and e-mailed to me to the effect of this site being composed of "typical whiny liberal crap", or the like. Those writers must have missed the Pat Buchanan articles, and Republican Congressman Ron Paul’s unimpeachable speech Neo-Conned, and the opinion piece by the leaders of the Cato Institute, and the piece by conservative icon Gary North, and the American Conservative Union’s open memo to conservatives.

Well, if they did somehow miss all that, then here’s Ilana Mercer’s "Bush is a neoconservative". 😉

Bush is a neoconservative

It’s a positive sign when conservative commentators rush to defend President Bush from being defiled by the neoconservative label. The tag, thankfully, is becoming a pejorative. They will, however, have to pry Mr. Bush from the loving arms of the self-proclaimed "godfather" of neocons himself.

Irving Kristol, who emerged to "sex-up" the already flashy neoconservative "persuasion" in a Weekly Standard article, gave Mr. Bush the neocon seal of approval. The author of "Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea," credits the "current president and his administration" with reviving the faith. Under Mr. Bush it "began enjoying a second life," says Kristol. 

Well, the "godfather" has spoken. And you may not want to argue with Kristol. Neoconservatives have ways and means of making you see The Truth: "The historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism," he writes, is "to convert" American conservatives "against their respective wills" into statists and imperialists. As you’d expect, Kristol doesn’t quite admit to the program of statism at home and imperialism abroad, but by the time he is through counting the ways of neoconservatism, the writing is on the wall. Or as Prof. Paul Gottfried, author of "The Conservative Movement," explained: "Their belief in the welfare state has been a permanent aspect of their ideology," as has their affinity for a global democratic revolution.

Bush’s domestic and foreign policy bear the birthmarks — nay, the pockmarks — of neoconservatism. It will not do for his defenders to say that if not for the trauma of Sept. 11, Bush would not have grown so abusive. Crisis need not result in conquest. (Besides, there is evidence that Bush came to power with a plan to remove Saddam.)

Where does it say that defending the homeland must translate into bringing about "the triumph of democracy and tolerance in Iraq, in Afghanistan and beyond," as the president said in his latest Address to the Nation? Sep. 11 could have just as well resulted in a circling of the wagons at home. But such prudence would have contravened the handbook of neoconservatism.

Full article…

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