Divided Loyalties?

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Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy, describes people like me who have closely observed the politicization of intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq — and said something about it — as having divided loyalties.

He describes those who have closely observed the impoverished and possibly criminal lack of rational post-invasion planning by senior civilian appointees in the Pentagon and other parts of the present administration — and said something about it — as having divided loyalties.

To be fair, Frank Gaffney truly cares about this country’s security. He leads a neo-conservative thinktank that produces a great deal of the policy input used by the current administration. But Frank has made a few mistakes in his most recent tirade.

Gaffney’s lament, a front and center opinion piece in the 12 August 2003 Washington Times, says that the source of the broad-based criticism of the administration’s latest adventure in governing (Iraq, that is) is simply political divisions in America. He believes that Democratic presidential appointees who are left-of-center ideologues "burrow into the permanent bureaucracy" leaving the next administration "saddled with individuals of a profoundly different ideological stripe who hold senior staff positions and who, under civil service rules, cannot be easily displaced."

Politics, shmolitics! Gaffney’s lament — that evil and hidden leftists are fighting for their own narrow political viewpoints and agenda in Washington (and the Middle East) — is indeed most fascinating. Has Frank been reading LewRockwell.com? Say it ain’t so! Perhaps Frank and I have a lot more in common than I previously thought!

Secret leftists, camouflaged Democrats working like busy beavers within the Bush administration. It’s really scary. In fact — what is most scary is when we actually identify some of these moles! We can start with Gaffney himself, who lists in his extensive resume of government service activities, a formative political tour as "a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson."

Yes. That’s Henry "Scoop" Jackson, prominent U.S. senator who passed away in 1983 after decades of Democratic service.

But the list goes on. Richard Perle, key advisor to the Bush Administration, is not only a Scoop Jackson protégé as well, but is reported to remain today a proudly registered Democrat.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was profiled in the New York Times last September, in a Bill Keller article called "The Sunshine Warrior." Keller describes him as "a lonely John F. Kennedy Democrat in his conservative Ithaca, New York high school." But he found his political identity later as a self-described "Scoop Jackson Republican."

It is not necessary to mention the ideological foundations of neo-conservativism. One may read the authoritative books for that, including Irving Kristol’s 1983 Reflections of a Neoconservative and his 1995 Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea. These books contain many things, including the not inconsiderable foundational influence of Leon Trotsky on today’s neo-conservatives. This leftist origin is even mentioned in the neo-conservative friendly National Review commendation of George W. Bush’s award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Irving Kristol in June 2002. Beyond all this, Irving Kristol has contributed wonderfully to modern Demopub and Republicrat thinking with his 1983 Two Cheers for Capitalism, a book that debates the usefulness of the idea. Trotsky would be proud!

The truth of the matter, as I have been advised by a wise man who understands the true meaning of service to country, and has lived that service in both war and in peace, is this. The strongly held views of the many Americans who are concerned about factual specifics of the events leading to and following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, as well as the overall directions of American foreign and domestic policy, do not fit the prevailing orthodoxy of left or right. As demonstrated by Frank Gaffney’s lament, those who are using these labels are dealing in the past, barking up the wrong tree, putting their faith in a dog that won’t hunt.

The ideological roots of modern neo-conservativism (as opposed to traditional conservatism and classical liberalism that emphasizes prosperity and peace through small decentralized government that prudently avoids entangling alliances) are a muddy tangle of utilitarian Trotskyite leftism and modern Democrat and Republican salivation over both domestic socialism and foreign imperialism. The truth of neo-conservatism itself defeats Frank Gaffney’s attempts to label those who might question its aims and objectives.

In all fairness, I may have been taking the Gaffney piece a bit too seriously — in fact his column strikes a wonderfully hilarious note with this statement, "Governing is an avocation for Democratic partisans. Their Republican counterparts tend to view it as a public duty, to be performed only as an interlude in a career otherwise spent in the private sector."

After reviewing the professional and political biographies of the key political appointees and neoconservative mouthpieces from Gingrich to Gaffney, from Perle to Paul Wolfowitz, from Don Rumsfeld to Dick Cheney, from Kristol to Krauthammer, I have to hand it to Frank.

In addition to all your other credentials, you are a comedian par excellence!

Karen Kwiatkowski
[send her mail] is a recently
retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half
years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving
family in the Shenandoah Valley.

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