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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Monday, May 08, 2006

Those Damn Neo-cons....

I remember reading some material from a fellow named Skippy-san cited by Madame Chiang. But what has stuck in my mind all these months is Skippy-san's and other characterizations of neo-con's are the usage and connotations attached to the name.

Neo-cons are the oft-cited evil doers behind GWB's forays into Iraq and I suppose other things that people fail to discuss in their blathering. There is also much discussion about the supposedly former neo-con, Francis Fukuyama, that has dropped this label in favor of some other unknown label. It made big headlines just before and while he was promoting a book that he was wrote, "America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy." I just wonder if all this bluster was designed to promote his book. And just how much of a neo-con was this man?
Fukuyama is best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, in which he argued that the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War and when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Fukuyama's prophecy declares the eventual triumph of political and economic liberalism.
So an economic and political liberal but with a neo-con militaristic intervention streak?
Politically, Fukuyama has in the past been considered neoconservative. He was active in the Project for the New American Century think-tank starting in 1997, and signed the organization's letter recommending that President Bill Clinton overthrow the then-President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. He also joined in its similar letter to President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks, a letter that called for removing Saddam Hussein from power "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack".

Thereafter, however, he drifted from the neoconservative agenda, which he felt had become overly militaristic and based on muscular, unilateral armed intervention to further democratization within authoritarian regimes (particularly in the Middle East).
So even though he called for the overthrow of Saddam, he now thinks that the neo-con has become over-militaristic? Ok, lets assume for a moment that all that he claims he is and has said is true and none of his shifts were orchestrated to promote his book but are his true beliefs.

This leads us to consider what is a neo-con? As I have read in some of the modern press, it has become a catch-all phrase for those that favor military adventurism and has a somewhat negative connotation surrounding it. It seems as if the left has also distorted the meaning to include a whole range of conservative policy initiatives that have absolutely nothing to do with the neo-con philosophy. Neo-con has now been closely linked with hard-right wing thought. I have had thoughts with people that I love and care for very much that completely mis-understand the meaning of neo-con. They have seemingly removed their brains before thinking about what all of this is and means. And why is this?

I think it is because the press, either through ineptitude or through bias, has transformed the word to include more than it really means. This usage and definition by the press is unfortunately very wrong and has no historical basis in fact or usage. The hard-right wing of the political spectrum are not neo-cons, [neo-conservatives] since they are the original conservatives. A strong national defense is one of the basic platforms of these people. So, the hard-right wing cannot be neo-cons, they are the paleo-cons. So, is Dick Cheney a neo-con or a conservative? Oft labeled as a neo-con, he is not. He is a true conservative.

The press has again to failed to report or define what is really going on and what a neo-con is, I suppose succumbing to their personal liberal Democratic biases. Shoddy and lazy reporting and defining of issues by the press has become a distinct and foreboding problem for people around the globe. Misrepresentation of this may-or-may not be intentional but it is dangerous and not very useful. Additionally, as a means to a political end, the Arab media promotes violence and religious intolerance, and the Western media promotes liberalism and the Democratic party. How droll.

So, what is a neo-con? I recently read a debate between proto-neo-con Richard Perle and the knuckleheaded head of the Democratic party, Howard Dean. Enjoy the read here.

What is most striking about this debate is Perle's admission that he is a life-long Democrat that worked early in his career for Scope Jackson...
Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson (May 31, 1912 - September 1, 1983) was a U.S. Congressman and Senator for Washington State from 1941 until his death. As a Cold War anti-Communist Democrat, Jackson's political philosophies and positions were a forerunner for modern neoconservatism.
So, he was kind-of the father of the neo-cons...
Jackson believed that one confronted evil with power. His support for civil rights and equality at home, married to his opposition to detente, his support for human rights and democratic allies, and his firm belief that the United States could be a force for good in the world inspired a legion of loyal aides who went on to propound Jackson's philosophy as part of neoconservatism. In addition to Perle, neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith were former Democratic aides to Jackson who joined the Reagan administration in 1981, and are now prominent foreign policy makers in the 21st-century Bush administration. Wolfowitz has called himself a "Scoop Jackson Republican."
A Democrat. And why did these people exist and why are they important, politically to the US? Because they tempered the pacifists in the Democratic party, centered on George McGovern. The centrist neo-cons, socially liberal but non-compromising on defense formed the core of the Reagan Democrat voting block that propelled him into the Whitehouse and that shifted much of the political landscape.

I, therefore, cannot call myself a neo-con, but a conservative, or if you like, a proto-conservative. And I also think that the pacifist streak in the Democratic party still is very strong, not willing to recognize the risk with militant Islam. They are only willing to go halfway in fighting this foe. This is why I can never trust a Democrat and one of the many reasons why I canot vote for a Democratic candidate.

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