Neoconservatism: The Return A new incarnation, a new name — and the same old warmongering

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It was a neocon moment: there they were, the organizers of the Foreign Policy Initiative, the new neoconservative think-tank — Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, and Robert Kagan, with Clifford May, Randy Scheunemann, and junior neocon James Kirchick in tow. It was the occasion of FPI’s first public event — their Washington coming-out party, so to speak — and who should show up but I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. A more fitting symbol of the neoconservative tendency in American politics — its history, its methods, and its essential criminality — could hardly be conceived.

While John McCain was ostensibly the main attraction, the real focus of the conference was a celebration of the man who defeated him. As David Weigel put it, the FPI conference turned into a "Neocons for Obama" festival, as super-hawkish foreign policy maven Fred Kagan hailed President Obama’s Af-Pak offensive as the best thing since the Iraqi "surge": "He’s definitely saying no to pulling back. It was a gutsy and correct decision." Yet all is not rosy: "Kagan worried/predicted that Obama’s base would bristle at the plan, so ‘he will be counting on some significant amount of support from his political opponents.’"

Not to worry. The brain-dead Obamaites are shamelessly eager to grant their Glorious Leader a pass, no matter what he does. So far, there is not a peep out of Obama’s liberal supporters, except a few voices raised at the Nation, even as the president mounts a major escalation of the Long War. Not only that, but his supporters are rallying around their commander in chief, now that we’re fighting the "right" war in the "right" way. And take a good look at some of his supporters…

FPI is the latest in a long line of neocon front groups, all of them — the Committee on the Present Danger, the Committee for a Free World, the Project for a New American Century [.pdf] — aimed at whipping the country into a militaristic frenzy. There is not only an ideological legacy here, but a genealogical one, as the catalytic role of a member of the Kristol family has always been instrumental in organizing these groups — Irving back in the day, his son William more recently. The one and only aim of this ideological Mafia is to conjure enemies and agitate relentlessly for a more aggressive foreign policy. The neocons may shift from Left to Right and back again when it comes to economic issues, but what they really care about — where their hottest passions lie — is in maintaining and expanding America’s overseas empire.

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Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.

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