Sunday, January 23, 2005


V.D. Hanson debunks the nonsense you hear. Excerpt:

"Neo- is a prefix that derives from the Greek adjective neos - "new" or "fresh" - and in theory it is used inexactly for those conservatives who once were not - or for those who have reinterpreted conservatism .. But the accepted definition has given way in practice to refer to the more particular proponents of the use of military action to remove threatening governments, and to replace them with democratic systems - hence the occasional sobriquets of "neo-Wilsonian." But for a number of detractors, "neoconservative" is also little more than generic disparagement, and (off-the-record) it is synonymous with American Jews who seek to alter American foreign policy to the wishes of the right-wing Likud party of Israel.

Yet note the misinformation about its meaning and usage. The five most prominent makers of American foreign policy at the moment - George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld - are (1) not Jewish, (2) hard-headed and not easily bamboozled by any supposed cabal, and (3) were mostly in the past identified with the "realist" school and especially skeptical of using the military frequently for anything resembling Clintonian peace-keeping.

So, for example, while Secretary Rumsfeld signed the now-infamous 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for the de-facto preemptive removal of Saddam Hussein, George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice did not. Yet Richard Armitage - considered a stalwart in the Colin Powell camp - was a signatory."


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