Neo- con for Dummies
Finding out who the neo-cons really are and the actual motivations and beliefs of the people and groups under that label is a necessary step in understanding America’s self-destructive foreign policy and putting the pieces together to form a coherent picture of the future and the greater scheme at work on world events.
Neo-conservative is a label applied to the marriage of convenience between three basic groups of theologically and ideologically driven lawyers, academics, politicians and millionaires that have a shared goal to influence and direct United States foreign policy. Now this group has found a common vehicle in enacting their agenda through the window of opportunity provided by a sympathetic Congress and President of the United States.
Neo-conservatism is where the theological and ideological goals of Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians in America and the militant, conservative factions inside and outside Israel, as well as many Zionist sympathizers in both countries, overlap. Neo-conservatives have been around in various forms for decades, seeing a resurgence of influence during the Reagan administration and a lull during the elder Bush and Clinton administrations. The overt influence they exert may wax and wane but the neo-conservatives rarely take the blame for their own mistakes and are quite adept at deflecting responsibility and re-emerging in a slightly different form years later. They always come back because they never really disappear. They use a multitude of private organizations, lobbyist groups, and other superficially legitimate facades with benign titles, like the American Enterprise Institute, to influence policy-making and generally further their agenda; they are the very definition of a special interest group, hijacking democratic institutions to further a narrow agenda. The neo-Conservatives are not all the same but they do fall into three primary categories.
American Christian fundamentalists really believe that when the Israel of the Bible, which they interpret to mean the modern Zionist state of Israel, controls Babylon and the Holy Land in its entirety, among other things, then this series of events will usher in Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus which will whisk every Christian believer up to heaven while everyone else writhes in torment and warfare down on Earth. This view is taken from a literal interpretation of the fever-dream book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Bible. President George W. Bush who considers himself a "born-again" Christian falls into this category. Many of the fundamentalist Christians under the neo-con label are actually anti-Semitic in the colloquial meaning of the phrase. Their alliance will appear ironic without an understanding of the apocalyptic Biblical theology they believe in that maintains the unrestricted Jewish claim to the Holy Land.
These people have a visceral hatred for what they call 'secular humanism' and 'liberal values' that incorporate the opinions and concerns of the other side in the decision-making equation because this inclusive view of persons and events leads to appeasement and even nihilism, in their view. What they really mean is that the Christian fundamentalists hold an extremely self-righteous worldview, just as the Zionist neo-cons do, that would be mortally undermined by inclusion of alternative views and ideas. All neo-cons have a fundamentally black and white, right or wrong, Manichean view of reality that views world events as a battle between good and evil; this is clearly evident in the language and rhetoric used by President Bush in his speeches such as the 'axis of evil' and the war on terrorism as a 'battle between good and evil', etc.
The goal of the Jewish segment under the rubric of neo-conservatism is to use the military and economic might of the United States to preemptively attack and eliminate all challenges and threats, real and perceived, to the state of Israel and Jews wherever they live as well as the organizations and structures they use to maintain their wildly disproportionate influence on world-affairs. In this category Zionist is a much more apt description to employ for descriptive purposes than 'Jewish' or 'neo-con' because it accurately characterizes the mostly ideological drive of its constituents. Zionism is more ideological than theological but again has the same aim as the neo-cons namely to see a middle East totally dominated by the political, rather than religious, state of Israel that Zionism created. The Zionists are a much more pragmatic lot than the delusional Christian fundamentalists but they nonetheless fully exploit religious beliefs to further their pro-Israel agenda. Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle are just two neo-cons that fit into this category.
The ultra-conservative fringe element that isn't Christian or Zionist is on board the neo-conservative wagon to see the hegemonic influence of the United States undiluted and uninhibited by international institutions, standards, and oversight which is why they are such vociferous antagonists of the United Nations, weapons limitations, environmental protection agreements - basically any law or agreement that restricts the unilateral military and economic power, known by their codeword of 'sovereignty', of the United States. This faction of the neo-cons is primarily motivated by economic self-interest. They reject international rules and regulations because they interfere with predatory capitalism and the accumulation of unrestricted and irresponsible profits that they seek. They subscribe to the fractured belief common among American right-wing conservatives that 'if I can get richer than America is automatically made a better place'. Millionaires Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld likely fall into this category as well as the former UN ambassador John Bolton.
Thus the basic shared beliefs of the neo-cons are as follows:
Total blank-check support for the government of Israel
Hatred for the United Nations and all international rules that limit U.S. influence
A completely self-righteous view of reality that maintains all major events are a conflict between good and evil (we're always right and they're always wrong)
Who Are the Neo-Conservatives?
Although many neo-conservatives come from deeply leftist backgrounds (many are even considered Trotskyites), this left-right discrimination only muddles the picture and serves to mask the consistency that is actually occurring. For example, during the years of the first Bush administration and then under Bill Clinton the foreign policy mantra was one of worldwide inclusion and multi-lateral efforts so neatly characterized by the large coalition of countries and agencies carefully sewn together for the first Gulf War attack on a recalcitrant Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Although the goal of disarming a threat to Israel remains the same the labels and methods have changed. Iraq has been attacked again but instead of a coalition it was unilateral. Similarly, today the buzzword of the moment is ‘neo-conservative’ as the power-players behind the scenes have bounced from the left and the multilateral efforts of the previous decade, towards the right and the unilateral might-makes-right efforts currently in vogue. The neo-cons have found a very convenient ally in the conservative, apocalypse-seeking fundamentalist Christian segment of the American public and this alliance of convenience has driven the name changes and superficial ideological shifts.
Neo-conservatives are primarily Jewish but they nonetheless represent a minority in the Jewish community because of their brazen, bumbling tactics but not necessarily in their slavish devotion to the state of Israel. Much of the mindset that drives the rampant and frantic unilateral military action characteristic of the neo-con foreign policy and typified by the foolish make-up-an-excuse and go-it-alone strategy of again invading Iraq under the W. Bush administration, is driven by the intense sense of fear and victimization associated with the Jewish Holocaust of World War II that has been incorporated into collective Jewish mythology as the Shoah. The fanatical desire to prevent another Holocaust is the excuse neo-cons use to justify their deleterious actions in their own minds.
Israel’s strategically calculated influence of U.S. foreign policy goes much deeper than left or right wing political platitudes. Although it is the product of decades of effort, today AIPAC is the apex of lobbyist power used to directly influence American policy and planning to benefit the government of Israel. No Senator, Congressman or President can criticize Israeli government policy or the official AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) views on Israel and world-events without incurring the full political career-killing wrath of their power through organization clout and direct influence of the mass media. Neo-con influence of the mass media is hastened by the assistance of numerous sympathetic opinion-editorial writers and editors in key media outlets. For example, several key newspapers influential to policy-makers such as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Kristol's The Weekly Standard. There is nothing fantastic or special about the rise to power of the Israel lobby, it’s merely a testament to the synergy of strategic planning and organization coupled with a strong sense of collective identity that Jews share.
To put this into context when considering the influence of Jews keep in mind that the current population of the United States is 301 million and although the estimated Jewish population in the USA varies considerably by source 5.5 million is mid-range. So Jews make up 1.8% of the United States population. The current worldwide Jewish population is approximately 13 million and the total world population is currently estimated to be over 6.5 billion. That makes Jews 0.2% of the world population. The odds of gaining this kind of influence by accident seem to be astronomical.
The influence of Jews within the supposedly democratic political system of the United States is unmistakable and with the advent of the neo-cons acting in direct collusion with the Presidential administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney this influence has reached unprecedented levels. Congress will not do anything that AIPAC doesn’t approve of and with the President and Vice President as slavish supporters of the AIPAC agenda as well, little if any force exists within the U.S. government to reverse this trend.
It is true that the majority of Jews do not directly support the machination of the neo-cons just as they don’t support the extreme right-wing religious-nationalist Zionist elements that are increasingly vocal within Israeli government and society and that the neo-cons are aligned with. Yet very few Jews publicly criticize or even resist these fanatical segments that claim to speak for, and protect, the entire Jewish population! Silence is considered to mean consent and the silence from moderate and rational Jews on this issue is deafening. Similarly, if the state of Israel is a democracy then the characters elected to office in Israel are indicative of the current attitude of the Jewish electorate. Everyone should realize that the actions of the neo-cons and Zionism are just as detrimental to Jews in the long-term as it is to gentiles in the near term.