There are people vigorously promoting America’s entry into new
wars in Syria and Iran. Many of them eagerly advocated the U.S. aggressions
against Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the failures of these wars to achieve
the projected goals, they are urging new U.S. wars. They are the
neoconservatives. They applaud U.S. military action in places like Libya,
Yemen, and Somalia. The neoconservative paradigm also looks favorably upon a
U.S. military presence in countries like Uganda, Ethiopia,
Kenya, Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
Neoconservatives seek democracy almost everywhere, with the choice and
emphasis depending on their interpretation of American interests and with lip
service to costs. Zachary Selden writes
"The realist school of thought contrasts sharply with the neoconservative
camp, whose agenda could not be unfamiliar to Woodrow Wilson. He too sought
to remake the international system from a position of relative strength, to
spread democracy and the rule of law. It is true that today’s
[neoconservative] crusaders are not about to place their trust in
international institutions to do the job, but the basic ideals are similar in
that they seek to use American power to reshape the global environment in the
name of a set of liberal democratic ideals."
However, democracy is a failure in America and there are good reasons
why it is a failure. (See Hoppe here.)
Democracy doesn’t produce wealth. (For some evidence, see here.)
Capitalism does. Capitalism involves free markets, the division of labor, the
price system, the search for and making of profits, and well-defined and
secure property rights. Democracy, especially of the unlimited variety that
America increasingly resembles, involves endless political battles over the
gains in wealth that capitalism produces. These battles and the resulting
laws (supported by both major political parties) destroy capitalism. If
liberalism in an economy means capitalism and if liberalism in politics is
construed to mean democracy, they are in mortal conflict.
The neoconservative agenda by its expansive and highly challenging
nature that involves war and remaking whole countries brings enormous costs
without benefits. This is already evident. If I said that the
neoconservatives in pushing for new wars have learned nothing from their
erroneous aims and methods, I might be partly right, because I think they have
little or no understanding of economics and capitalism. I’d also be
partly wrong, because these people are intelligent and they know what has
happened in these failed wars. It therefore also appears that they do not
care what has happened. They are focused on their goals and attempts to
reach those goals, no matter what the costs are. Even actual outcomes that
are bad and do not achieve their goals do not matter to them. They stubbornly
continue to call for more warfare and more interference in other nations.
What goals do the neoconservatives have? I will suggest only one at
the moment, and it will be a goal that is much broader and deeper than what
Selden has suggested. The most important leaders among the neoconservatives,
such as William Kristol, promote American supremacy
throughout the world. They want the U.S. to be the sole superpower and to
remain the sole superpower. Their goal is the global hegemony of the U.S. See
If neoconservatives promote democracies, it is in order broadly to
replicate the U.S. system and in the process to produce satellites that are
compliant allies of the U.S. To achieve global hegemony, the neoconservatives
want to build up a worldwide American military organization that dominates
every continent along with worldwide economic institutions that tie every
country to the U.S. The latter are by nature anti-capitalistic. They are
centralized and monopolistic. They are instruments of tyranny run by an elite
consisting of people who look just like neoconservatives.
The pro-war coalition has been very successful in getting America into
wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and elsewhere. It’s now
working on Syria and Iran. Ordinary Americans have nothing to show for these
wars. This is because global hegemony is a politico-military concept that
does not translate into the generalized economic well-being of Americans.
America has gone downhill since getting militarily involved in Iraq and
Afghanistan. I challenge any and all neoconservatives to prove that ordinary
Americans are better off for having the U.S. government spend 3.7 to 4.4 trillion dollars on
these wars in Iraq and Central Asia. The burden of proof is on them because
they promoted these wars. I would like to see them prove even that the $115 billion in
"assistance" to Israel (over many years) has made ordinary
Americans better off. The Congressional Research Service goes into great
technical detail about the composition of this aid, but there is not a word
about what its benefits are to Americans.
What the pro-war people consistently fail to do while spreading their
ideas is to mention the many costs of their policies. These costs include but are not limited to
- the 1993 Trade Towers
- the 9/11 catastrophe in 2001
- the deaths
of thousand of American soldiers
injuries, wounds and traumas of many more thousands of American soldiers
- the deaths
and injuries of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis
of dollars to pay for military and aid expenditures
economic growth, due to higher taxes and the diversion of labor and
capital to war rather than industry
of economic growth by peaceful capitalistic means
security within America due to enhanced risks of foreign retaliation
state measures at airports and borders
state measures in all forms of transportation
- the militarization
of domestic police
setting aside of rights of Americans
assumption of power by the president and rule by executive order
ignoring of constitutional declarations of war
movement toward use of military forces within America to bypass and weaken
the Posse Comitatus Act
- the use of
torture and rendition, indefinite detentions and secret prisons
- the claim
to and use of a presidential power of assassination, including use
against American citizens
- a government
heavily in debt
- a depreciating
of international laws, mores and standards that make war criminals out
of American leaders
of violent resistance against the U.S. from domestic dissidents
of violent resistance against the U.S. from foreign sources intent on
terror, revenge, etc.
of resistance against the U.S. from nuclear-armed nations like Russia
The near total silence of the neoconservatives and others who are
promoting these wars regarding these costs suggests to me that they are blind
to and ignorant of these costs and that they just do not give a darn about
the costs. They don’t experience these costs personally, indeed they
experience benefits from their activities, and so they simply ignore the
costs or shuffle over them quickly in their minds and hearts.
Here in America, the people within the pro-war coalition achieve
success in fomenting wars through working the American political system.
Working that system involves well-paid and/or comfortable positions in education,
government, political campaigns, foundations and journalism. It involves, writing, advising, consulting, and speeches. It
involves media appearances, articles, books, reports, letters, press reports,
and statements. All of this activity is intellectual in nature, but it is not
primarily or solely in the service of scholarship and research to discover
truths. It is not scientific research. Instead, what is called research
frequently is to promote political goals, to write possible laws, and to influence
congressional legislation. For example, the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies tells us that
"As part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent Iran’s
leaders from acquiring nuclear weapons, continuing to support terrorist acts
and oppressing their own people, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
conducts extensive research on ways to deny the Iranian regime the profits of
its energy sector."
Within the pro-war coalition, individual motives, opinions and
judgments vary. People vary their positions over time. These variations are
unimportant, but because of the variance some pro-war people may have
occasionally been critical in the past of some of the positions of other
pro-war people. They may also have been critical at one time or another of government
officials who in other respects have done exactly as they desired. The
pro-war people almost surely have justified their positions using different
rationales. None of these frictions, differences, contradictions and
variations are major as compared with the fact that
they have urged the U.S. government to make war and have successfully
convinced it to do so. These intramural differences, interesting as they may
be, are a source of confusion to observers. They should not be allowed to
obscure the main fact: there is a strong coalition for war in this nation.
The coalition has definite aims but they are deeply flawed. What they claim
is good for America and Americans is not good at all.
This article lists a few of these advocates of war, 56 of them to be
exact. These 56 want the U.S. to intervene in Syria. These 56 people wrote an
open letter to
President Obama on Feb. 17, 2012 in which they urged him to take certain
"Immediately establish safe zones within Syrian territory, as
well as no-go zones for the Assad regime's military and security forces,
around Homs, Idlib, and other threatened
"Establish contacts with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and, in
conjunction with allies in the Middle East and Europe, provide a full range
of direct assistance, including self-defense aid to the FSA."
"Improve U.S. coordination with political opposition groups and
provide them with secure communications technologies and other assistance
that will help to improve their ability to prepare for a post-Assad
"Work with Congress to impose crippling U.S. and multilateral
sanctions on the Syrian government, especially on Syria's energy, banking,
and shipping sectors."
These actions amount to the U.S. making war in Syria. They do not ask
Congress to declare such a war. Instead they ask the President to initiate
the war on his own authority.
This letter emanates from two organizations: The Foreign Policy
Initiative and the Foundation for the Defense of
Democracies (FDD). William Kristol is
behind both of these intellectually and organizationally; major funding
sources are provided in the linked article.
The 56 people who signed the letter are listed below in an appendix.
Some of these people are familiar names. Many others you and I have
never heard of before. In a way, that’s the point. Although these and
others like them are the people influencing government policies, and although
they often have been in government themselves, you and I and most Americans
have never heard of them much less control them or influence them.
Who wants the U.S. to make war in Syria? We have here a sample of 56
people. There are many ways to characterize them. There appear to be about 7
from either Syria or the Middle East. The exact number isn’t important.
We’d expect such a contingent who are trying
to get the U.S. directly involved.
Beyond this group is another substantial sub-group, namely, pro-Israel
Jews. There are around 22 in this group, possibly a few more, possibly a few
less. It is of obvious importance to the interests of Americans to know that
a concentrated group of pro-Israel Jews is promoting U.S. entry into another
Middle Eastern country. The same thing happened with Iraq, with such
neoconservatives as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle,
and Douglas Feith leading the charge. America is
not Israel. The interests of Americans are not the interests of the State of
Israel or of specific interest groups within Israel. America should not be
led, pushed, or drawn into wars either by Jewish voters in America or by
pro-Israel interests who concentrate in offices in Washington to generate
articles, promote their agenda and broadcast their views widely. When this
happens, as it has, it provides an example of the negative fallout of an
The third and largest group that overlaps the pro-Israel Jews consists
of neoconservatives, some of whom probably just call themselves
conservatives. This takes up most of those who signed the letter. It is no
surprise to find neoconservatives again calling for the U.S. to make war.
Of equal interest to the latter breakdown are four other properties of
the signatories. First, they are unrepresentative of America by almost any
criterion one might name. Second, they move in an axis consisting of
government, universities, foundations and quite often the literary world.
Third, their habitat is primarily Washington D.C. Fourth,
they are highly-educated intellectuals who are heavily engaged in writing and
speaking for a living.
Strong support for war is not a new feature for intellectuals. Randolph Bourne observed it in 1917. I offer some
conjectures. These are not central to the thesis of this article. Many
scribblers are not content with being scribblers. Some who are not really
creative or talented scribblers look for a different way to use what talents
and skills they have in order to get ahead financially, to hobnob with those
in power, to influence them, to make history, and even to exercise power. I
conjecture that war is a means of vicarious power for some intellectuals.
American dominance is a substitute for a deity to worship. Global hegemony is
a springboard for moral crusades. It serves as a vicarious means of
redemption for its proponents.
Regardless of these conjectures, I do not suspect these 56 people of
duplicity. I suspect that they are doing what they believe in. However, I
believe that what they are promoting is wrong. A policy of endless global
wars by Americans for the "American system" and with little or no
regard for the costs being imposed upon Americans and foreign peoples is
Neoconservative intellectuals do not have the best interests of
Americans at heart. I seriously wonder if such a concern ever enters their
minds, for they hardly ever push or advertise their policies in terms of what
they concretely do for Americans. When they do, do they do so with a true
understanding? In promoting global hegemony, William Kristol
and Robert Kagan write in
"Somehow most Americans have failed to notice that they have
never had it so good. They have never lived in a world more conducive to
their fundamental interests in a liberal international order, the spread of
freedom and democratic governance, an international economic system of
free-market capitalism and free trade, and the security of Americans not only
to live within their own borders but to travel and do business safely and
without encumbrance almost anywhere in the world."
Most of this thinking was mistaken when it was written, and it’s
even less the case today after the U.S. government adopted the
neoconservative agenda and attempted to actualize global hegemony. Americans
did not have it that good in 1996. Income growth was slowing down decade
after decade and that slowdown has continued. What was and is conducive to
economic well-being is capitalism, not "democratic governance".
Freedom has been deteriorating in America. It was nowhere near what it should
have been in 1996. Freedom is even more abridged today. Neoconservatism
is partly responsible. Furthermore, freedom cannot be equated to democratic
governance or linked with it. Kristol and Kagan were also wrong to characterize the international
economic system as one of free-market capitalism and free trade. Those are
good goals but the system then and now is far from those goals.
This passage illustrates what I argued earlier, namely, that neoconservatives
do not understand economic matters and consider them secondary to politics
Kristol and Kagan were more accurate when they observed that
Americans were secure here and relatively secure traveling elsewhere
"without encumbrance". However, under the neoconservative policies,
unencumbered travel is no longer the case.
Neoconservative intellectuals frequently propagate propaganda that
calls for war and that disregards its costs. They
are out for themselves, plus they are out for a vision of American political
supremacy that warms their hearts. As we have seen, a large number are out
for Israel, not America.
If neoconservative intellectuals as a group have any understanding of
free markets, wealth accumulation, private property rights and their
protection, capitalism and Austrian economics, I have yet to see it. They
seem almost entirely locked up in a world of their own that revolves around
politics, international relations and power. That world is real. It cannot be
ignored. But do the neoconservatives even have a correct take on how America
should proceed in such a world? It appears that they do not.
I’ve used the internet to find out what the people who signed
the Feb. 17, 2012 letter do for a living and/or some biographical information.
After each name comes a quotation with a portion of that information. The
links over their names provide the sources of these quotes and a more
complete biography. After a few of the names, I provide a few further facts
and comments; but this article doesn’t go into detail about each
person. The biographical information should not in all cases be taken as
providing an accurate picture of a person’s actual accomplishments,
capacities or capabilities. It is common for vitas to be padded and bios to
be exaggerated in order to present a glowing portrait of a person’s
life and work.
By reading this material and occasionally linking on through to see
pictures of these people, you will get an idea of what persons, interests and
interest groups are promoting U.S. intervention. It is by no means a complete
picture, but you will see a sample of people in the pro-war coalition, and
you will get a feel for how it operates.
"Khairi Abaza is a
scholar at FDD [Foundation for the Defense of Democracies], noted for his
focus on democratic reform in the Arab world, the spread of terrorism, and
the influence of the media on politics."
FDD is a neoconservative organization. The FDD "team" or
consists of R. James Woolsey (Chairman, former Director of the CIA), Steve
Forbes (the CEO of Forbes Magazine), Bill Kristol
(the editor of The Weekly Standard), Richard Carlson (former Director of the
Voice of America), Judge Louis J. Freeh (former Director of the FBI), Joseph Lierberman (U.S. Senator), Dr. Paula A. Dobriansky (former Under Secretary of State for Democracy
and Global Affairs), Max M. Kampelman (former
Ambassador, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom), and Robert
‘Bud’ McFarlane (former National Security Advisor).
Who funds FDD? They say "FDD is funded by a diverse group of
individual philanthropists and foundations. FDD has also received grants from
the U.S. State Department." But also see here.
"Ammar Abdulhamid is
a leading Syrian human rights and pro-democracy activist and author. An FDD
fellow and member of FDD’s Syria Working Group, Mr. Abdulhamid
is also the founder and director of the Tharwa
Foundation, a grassroots organization that works to break the Assad
government’s information blockade by enlisting a cadre of local
activists and citizen journalists to report on sociopolitical issues in Syria."
"...a journalist and expert on the Middle East. He currently works as a
correspondent with the Kuwaiti daily Al Rai...and
lives in Washington DC. Hussain Abdul-Hussain worked for the United States Congress-funded
Arabic TV, Alhurra, as a news producer.
"Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in
Washington, DC. He focuses on Lebanon, Syria and Hezbollah...Mr. Badran’s writings appear regularly in a range of
publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Forbes.com, National
Review Online, ForeignPolicy.com, the Jerusalem Post, the Daily
Star, NOW Lebanon, and the Mideast Monitor..."
"...a leading writer on politics and literature whose articles and
reviews have appeared in numerous publications...Berman argued that the NATO
war in the former Yugoslavia in 1999 was justified by the doctrine of
‘liberal interventionism’: an intervention intended to rescue
endangered populations from extreme oppression and to promote liberal and
democratic freedom. He looked on the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the
2003 invasion of Iraq in the same light."
Max Boot "Max Boot
(born September 12, 1969) is an American author, consultant, editorialist,
lecturer, and military historian...He has been a prominent advocate for
American power. He once described his ideas as ‘American might to
promote American ideals.’"
Ellen Bork "Ellen
Bork is the Director, Democracy and Human Rights at the Foreign Policy
Initiative. Before taking this position, Ms. Bork was the Senior Programs
Manager for Human Rights at Freedom House a democracy promotion organization
based in Washington, D.C. From 1996 to 1998, Bork was the Senior Professional
Staff member for Asia and the Pacific at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
The Foreign Policy Initiative is another
neoconservative organization. The four persons on its board are Eric S.
Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol
and Dan Senor. Edelman in November of 2011 co-authored an article "Why
Obama should take out Iran’s nuclear program". Kagan
and Kristol are well-known and very influential
neoconservatives. Senor is apparently a
Romney advisor at present.
L. Paul Bremer "Bremer arrived in Iraq as the U.S. Presidential Envoy on May
2003, and on May 11 replaced lieutenant general Jay Garner as Director of the
Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. In June, the Office
was transformed into the Coalition Provisional Authority, and Bremer, as U.S.
Administrator of Iraq, became the chief executive authority in the country.
"As the top civil administrator of the former Coalition
Provisional Authority, Bremer was permitted to rule by decree. Among his
first and most notable decrees were Coalition Provisional Authority Order
Number 1 which banned the Ba'ath party in all forms and Coalition Provisional
Authority Order Number 2 dismantled the Iraqi Army."
Bremer’s order to de-Ba’athify
Iraq was a mistake. For some explanation of its differences from de-Nazification, see here.
Matthew R. J. Brodsky
"Matthew RJ Brodsky is the Director of Policy for the Jewish Policy
Center and the editor of the JPC's journal, inFOCUS
Quarterly. Before joining the JPC, Mr. Brodsky was the Senior
Geopolitical Analyst for IntelliWhiz LLC and a
Legacy Heritage Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He has briefed
and advised members of Congress, the Department of State, the Department of
Defense, Special Operations Command, and the National Security Council. A
specialist in Middle East affairs and Arab politics, he holds a Master of
Arts degree from Tel Aviv University in Middle East History."
According to another source,
"Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of Dick Cheney, is an outspoken and
controversial proponent of hardline U.S. foreign and domestic policies on the
‘war on terror.’ During the George W. Bush presidency, Cheney
worked in the State Department overseeing Middle East policy. After the
election of Barack Obama, she became a standard-bearer for the militarist
agenda pursued by her father during the Bush years, founding a right-wing
lobbying group called Keep America Safe and serving as a go-to pundit on
conservative media outlets like Fox News."
Seth Cropsey is
a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
"As FDD’s Vice President for Government Relations and Strategy,
she engages in policy roadmapping that identifies
the conceptual issues and the strategy necessary to move the dial in the
"James Denton is the publisher and editor of the bimonthly print journal
World Affairs and its online daily edition at WorldAffairsJournal.org."
"Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington D.C., where he leads
projects on sanctions, nonproliferation, and countering electronic
"Nicholas Eberstadt is a political economist
who holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American
Enterprise Institute (AEI)."
Eric S. Edelman
"Eric Steven Edelman (born 1951) is a former Under Secretary of Defense
for Policy, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey (2003–2005), former U.S.
Ambassador to the Republic of Finland (1998–2001), and former Principal
Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs
Jamie M. Fly
"Jamie Fly has served as the Executive Director of the Foreign Policy
Initiative (FPI) since its founding in early 2009. Prior to joining FPI, Mr.
Fly served in the Bush administration at the National Security Council
(2008-2009) and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2005-2008). He was
Director for Counterproliferation Strategy at the
National Security Council, where his portfolio included the Iranian nuclear
program, Syria, missile defense, chemical weapons, proliferation finance, and
other counterproliferation issues."
Reuel Marc Gerecht
"Reuel Marc Gerecht
is a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies...He was
previously a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the
director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American
Century. Earlier, he served as a specialist at the CIA's Directorate of
On July 11, 2012, Gerecht wrote a Wall Street Journal piece titled
"To Topple Assad, Unleash the CIA".
"Abe Greenwald is senior editor of Commentary. His work has appeared in
various publications, and he is a regular contributor to the Commentary
Greenwald endorsed John McCain in
2008 in the course of which he penned these words: "Simply consider
Iraq. Senator McCain has the distinction on Capital
Hill of being both the most energetic supporter of the Iraq War and the
first, most vocal critic of the Rumsfeld strategy. He actually believed in
the importance of the cause, and therefore the necessity of victory. A
liberated state is not a goal to be scrapped when things go wrong; it’s
a principle worthy of unwavering stamina and ingenuity."
John P. Hannah
"John Peter Hannah (born January 5, 1962), is a senior fellow at the
Institute for Near East Policy, a Washington, DC think tank which was founded
in 1985. He is a former national security adviser to U.S. Vice President Dick
Cheney from 2005 to 2009."
"William Inboden is a Distinguished Scholar at
the Strauss Center for International Security and Law and an Assistant
Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of
Texas-Austin...Previously he served as Senior Director for Strategic Planning
on the National Security Council at the White House..."
Bruce Pitcairn Jackson
"He has served as the Chairman of the Project for the New American
Century (PNAC) and as chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq
(CLI). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
"According to John B. Judis, Jackson
played a key role both in establishing the CLI and in lining up Eastern
European nations to join the Bush administration's coalition of the willing
that supported the invasion of Iraq. ‘In the late 1990s, while working
for Lockheed Martin, Jackson avidly promoted the expansion of NATO into
Eastern Europe,’ he writes. ‘This year Jackson was able to parlay
his NATO connections into support for the administration's war plans for
"Ash Jain, a former member of the State Department's Policy Planning
Staff, is a Non-Resident Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United
States...Mr. Jain focused on a range of strategic challenges facing the
United States and its allies. In addition to covering political developments
related to Iran and the Middle East, he analyzed prospects for strengthening
multilateral alliances and partnerships and the future of the international
This may be Kenneth D. M. Jensen, Associate Director of the Economic Warfare
Institute, based in Washington, D.C. I’m not sure.
Allison Johnson (No information.)
"He is a freelance journalist and a human rights activist. He now lives
in Washington, D.C. after being granted asylum in 2008. He has worked as a reporter
for Kurdistan TV in their Beirut Office. He worked with the Tharwa Foundation, which is a Washington-based non-profit
organization dedicated to democracy and human rights in Syria. Sirwan is now a freelance journalist based in Washington,
DC. Sirwan has published many news articles and
research on Syrian Kurdish politics."
Lawrence F. Kaplan
"Lawrence F. Kaplan is editor of Entanglements: Arguing America and the
World, a website of The New Republic devoted to foreign policy..."
"Dr. Krasovskaya is the founder and President
of ‘We Remember Foundation,’ a civic initiative that seeks
justice for the disappeared and other victims of political repression in
"In 2003, Kristol and Lawrence F. Kaplan
wrote, The War Over Iraq: America's
Mission and Saddam's Tyranny, in which the
authors analyzed the Bush Doctrine and the history of US-Iraq relations. In
the book, Kristol and Kaplan provided support and
justifications for war in Iraq.
"He also served as a foreign policy advisor for Senator John
McCain's presidential campaign.
"Kristol is a harsh critic of Texas
congressman and presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul-(R) and his supporters,
he has been quoted as stating that he ‘would be happy if Paul ( and his
supporters) were purged from the GOP’. He is a sharp critic of anyone
who questions the distributions of taxpayer money to Israel."
"He is a former consultant to the United States National Security
Council, the United States Department of State, and the United States
Department of Defense. He has also served as a special adviser to the United
States Secretary of State. He held the Freedom Scholar chair at the American
Enterprise Institute where he was a scholar for twenty years and now holds
the similarly named chair at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies."
"Writing in The Nation, Jack Huberman,
who describes Ledeen as ‘the most influential
and unabashed warmonger of our time’, attributes these quotes to Ledeen:
level of casualties (in Iraq) is secondary’
are a warlike people (Americans)...we love war’
– above all violent change – is the essence of human
only way to achieve peace is through total war’
purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another
ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy
little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we
Tod Lindberg "Tod Lindberg is an American political expert and a
research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. His research
focuses on political theory, international relations, national security
policy, and American politics. He also serves as the editor of Policy Review,
the Hoover Institution’s Washington, D.C.–based bimonthly
journal. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations."
Herbert I. London
"Herbert I. London is President Emeritus of Hudson Institute."
Clifford D. May
"Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies, created immediately following the 9/11 attacks on the United
"Ann Marlowe, a Hudson Institute Visiting Fellow, is a writer and
businesswoman based in New York City. A frequent traveler to Afghanistan
– who has embedded with the U.S. Army numerous times – Marlowe
writes on Afghanistan's politics, economy, culture, and U.S.
counterinsurgency strategy for the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly
Standard, the New York Post, The Daily Beast, Newsweek,
and other outlets. In 2011 she made four reporting trips to Libya, spending
almost four months in the country, and returned in March-April 2012."
Ms. Marlowe has downplayed the antics of
American soldiers in Afghanistan, writing "Men at war demonize their
enemy and enact their triumph over him symbolically. That is part of the
psychology that makes them able to kill." Is it unfair of me to point
out that there is something else about the psychology of killing that
severely affects the killer? Nicholas D. Kristof
writes "An American soldier dies every day and
a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a
rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged
every year – more than the total number of soldiers killed in
Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began."
Robert C. McFarlane
"Robert Carl ‘Bud’ McFarlane (born July 12, 1937) was a
National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, serving from 1983
"After a career in the Marines, he became part of the Reagan
administration, and was a leading architect of the Strategic Defense
Initiative (SDI) for defending the United States against missile attack.
Subsequently, he was involved in the Iran-Contra affair."
"Joshua Muravchik is a long-standing proponent
of interventionist U.S. foreign policies who has played an important role in
shaping neoconservative ideology for decades. An erstwhile Socialist Party
activist, Muravchik has been affiliated with
numerous political pressure groups, rightist think tanks, and organizations
associated with the ‘Israel lobby’ in the United States.
Martin Peretz "Martin
H. ‘Marty’ Peretz...is an American
publisher. Formerly an assistant professor at Harvard University, he
purchased The New Republic in 1974 and took editorial control soon
"Danielle Pletka is the vice president for
foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a
conservative think tank based in Washington, DC."
"On the use of torture, she told the BBC:
‘I'm not a big fan of torture. Unfortunately, there are times in
war when it is necessary to do things in a way that is absolutely and
completely abhorrent to most good, decent people. I don't want to say that
the United States has engaged routinely in such practices, because I don't
think that it is routine by any standard. But that said, if it is absolutely
imperative to find something out at that moment, then it is imperative to
find something out at that moment, and Club Med is not the place to do
If Pletka can’t condemn torture out of
hand, I hate to think about what sort of treatment that she would find
appropriate for the U.S. government to use against its own citizens.
John Podhoretz He
"is an American neoconservative columnist for the New York Post, the
editor of Commentary magazine, the author of several books on politics, and a
former presidential speechwriter."
"Stephen Geoffrey Rademaker is an attorney,
lobbyist and former Bush Administration government official."
Karl Rove "Karl
Christian Rove (born December 25, 1950) is an American political consultant
and policy advisor. He was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during
the George W. Bush administration until Rove's resignation on August 31,
"Jonathan Schanzer is an American author &
scholar in Middle Eastern studies, and vice president of research at the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies."
"Randall J ‘Randy’ Scheunemann
(born January 12, 1960) is an American neoconservative lobbyist. He is the
President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by
the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board
member. He was Trent Lott's National Security Aide and was an advisor to
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq. He is a paid lobbyist for the
country of Georgia and was 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain's
I’ve written about Scheunemann
"Randy Scheunemann was a key figure in
drafting this legislation [Iraq Liberation Act, 1998], and his hawkish
(neocon) connections are spread far and wide, including links to the world's
largest military contractor Lockheed Martin. He headed a lobbyist firm that
represented Lockheed Martin and was President of The Committee for the
Liberation of Iraq alongside Chairman Bruce P. Jackson, a former
vice-president of Lockheed Martin. Scheunemann, a
consultant and advisor to Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq sometime in 2001/2002,
joined with William Kristol and others in
supporting military intervention in Iraq. His public statements stress moral
and other reasons for the Iraq intervention. A board member of the Project
for a New American Century, Scheunemann like all of
those associated with PNAC automatically assumes that American Empire is both
right and prudent. In his work as an aide to Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, John
McCain, and Bob Dole, he has been associated with American efforts in Panama,
Somalia, Korea, Bosnia, and Haiti as well as with the expansion of
Gary J. Schmitt
"Gary James Schmitt served as executive director (1999–2001) and
president (2002–2005) of the New Citizenship Project. He was the
executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) from
1998 to 2005. He is now a resident scholar and director of the American
Enterprise Institute’s Program on Advanced Strategic Studies."
"Schmitt helped found and direct the Project for the New American
Century (PNAC), a key neoconservative letterhead group formed in 1997 that
played a leading role advocating war in Iraq."
Daniel S. Senor
"He is also a Fox News contributor and a frequent contributor to The
Wall Street Journal among other publications. He is co-author the book Start-up Nation: The Story of
Israel's Economic Miracle, about the
economy of Israel and globalization in the Middle East. Senor is most noted
for his former position as chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional
Authority in Iraq."
Lee Smith "Lee
Smith is a writer based at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of
Democracies (FDD) known for his belligerent defense of hawkish U.S. and
Israeli policies. Formerly a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, Smith
contributes to several media outlets, including Tablet Magazine, the Weekly
Standard, and the Wall Street Journal, where he frequently
lambasts the purported weakness of liberals in confronting terrorism, attacks
writers who are critical of Israeli policies as being
‘Jew-baiters,’ and promotes hardline views of Middle East
Henry D. Sokolski
"Henry D. Sokolski is the Executive Director
of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a Washington-based nonprofit
organization founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic
weapons proliferation issues among policymakers, scholars and the media. He
was appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve on the Commission on the
Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and terrorism, which
filed its final report in December 2008."
"Daniel Twining is Senior Fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of
the United States...He previously served as a Member of the Secretary of
State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was responsible for South Asia
and regional issues in East Asia; as the Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator
John McCain, for whom he handled foreign and defense policy in the United
States Senate; and as a staff member of the U.S. Trade Representative. Dr.
Twining has also served as senior policy advisor and foreign policy spokesman
for several presidential campaigns."
"Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics
and Public Policy Center (EPPC), a neoconservative-led organization founded
in the 1970s that promotes an increased role for Christianity in public
policy. A former advisor in the George W. Bush White House, Wehner’s track record also includes stints in the
Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. Wehner
has worked with a number of other rightist groups, including the William
Bennett-founded Empower America and the Hudson Institute, and he has been
closely associated with leading neoconservative figures like William Kristol."
"Although his writings often focus on domestic policy and
Christian morality, Wehner is a reliable hawk on
foreign affairs, at times teaming up with like-minded activists to push
militarist overseas policies. In September 2011, for example, Wehner joined a coterie of Iraq War promoters in signing
an open letter to President Barack Obama that called for maintaining a large
U.S. military presence in Iraq after the end of 2011."
My comment is that a focus on Christianity and Christian morality is
no guarantee of anything.
Kenneth R. Weinstein
"Kenneth R. Weinstein is the President and Chief Executive Officer of
Hudson Institute. He oversees the institute's research, project management,
external affairs, marketing, and government relations efforts."
"A widely recognized writer of books, articles, and essays on everything
from religion to culture, Leon Wieseltier, literary
editor of the New Republic, is generally considered a political moderate even
though his views on foreign affairs tend to veer to the neoconservative
extreme, especially when dealing with Israel and the Middle East. He has
supported the work of hawkish advocacy groups, including the Project for the
New American Century (PNAC) and the Committee for the Liberation of
R. James Woolsey
"Robert James Woolsey, Jr. (born September 21, 1941) is a foreign policy
specialist and former Director of Central Intelligence and head of the
Central Intelligence Agency (February 5, 1993–January 10, 1995)."
Khawla Yusuf Yusuf is a human-rights activist who fled Syria in 2005
with her husband Ammar Abdulhamid.
They founded the Tharwa Project in 2003 in Syria
and later added the Tharwa Foundation.
Dov S. Zakheim
"Dov S. Zakheim is a
former official of the United States government...He was part of the Project
for the New American Century."
most recent book, A Vulcan’s Tale: How the
Bush Administration Mismanaged the Reconstruction of Afghanistan
(Brookings Institution Press, 2011), discusses the Bush administration's
missed opportunities and struggles to manage two wars, particularly the
seemingly endless conflict in Afghanistan."
"In October 2011 he was mentioned as adviser on the Middle East
for Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney."
Robert Zarate "Prior
to joining FPI [The Foreign Policy Initiative], Robert Zarate
worked as a legislative assistant for a Member of the U.S. House of
Representatives, focusing on foreign affairs, national security, homeland
security and immigration, and appropriations issues (2009-2011), and earlier
as a legislative fellow on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on
Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade (2009)."
Radwan Ziadeh "Radwan Ziadeh is a Senior
Fellow at the U.S Institute of Peace in Washington D.C, and Fellow at the
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) in Washington D.C."
Ziadeh belongs to
the Syrian dissident/rebel group known as the Syrian National Council. He has
previously supported a NATO-led intervention in Syria. Ziadeh
is shown here (holding the white paper) on Hillary Clinton’s left.