Skip to comments.Unpatriotic Conservatives: A war against America.
Posted on 03/19/2003 9:22:39 AM PST by quidnunc
"I respect and admire the French, who have been a far greater nation than we shall ever be, that is, if greatness means anything loftier than money and bombs." THOMAS FLEMING, "HARD RIGHT," MARCH 13, 2003
From the very beginning of the War on Terror, there has been dissent, and as the war has proceeded to Iraq, the dissent has grown more radical and more vociferous. Perhaps that was to be expected. But here is what never could have been: Some of the leading figures in this antiwar movement call themselves "conservatives."
These conservatives are relatively few in number, but their ambitions are large. They aspire to reinvent conservative ideology: to junk the 50-year-old conservative commitment to defend American interests and values throughout the world the commitment that inspired the founding of this magazine in favor of a fearful policy of ignoring threats and appeasing enemies.
And they are exerting influence. When Richard Perle appeared on Meet the Press on February 23 of this year, Tim Russert asked him, "Can you assure American viewers that we're in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?" Perle rebutted the allegation. But what a grand victory for the antiwar conservatives that Russert felt he had to air it.
You may know the names of these antiwar conservatives. Some are famous: Patrick Buchanan and Robert Novak. Others are not: Llewellyn Rockwell, Samuel Francis, Thomas Fleming, Scott McConnell, Justin Raimondo, Joe Sobran, Charley Reese, Jude Wanniski, Eric Margolis, and Taki Theodoracopulos.
The antiwar conservatives aren't satisfied merely to question the wisdom of an Iraq war. Questions are perfectly reasonable, indeed valuable. There is more than one way to wage the war on terror, and thoughtful people will naturally disagree about how best to do it, whether to focus on terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah or on states like Iraq and Iran; and if states, then which state first?
But the antiwar conservatives have gone far, far beyond the advocacy of alternative strategies. They have made common cause with the left-wing and Islamist antiwar movements in this country and in Europe. They deny and excuse terror. They espouse a potentially self-fulfilling defeatism. They publicize wild conspiracy theories. And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies.
Common cause: The websites of the antiwar conservatives approvingly cite and link to the writings of John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky, Ted Rall, Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, and other anti-Americans of the far Left.
Terror denial: In his column of December 26, 2002, Robert Novak attacked Condoleezza Rice for citing Hezbollah, instead of al-Qaeda, as the world's most dangerous terrorist organization: "In truth, Hezbollah is the world's most dangerous terrorist organization from Israel's standpoint. While viciously anti-American in rhetoric, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah is focused on the destruction of Israel. 'Outside this fight [against Israel], we have done nothing,' Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the organization's secretary-general, said in a recent New York Times interview." The sheik did not say, and Novak did not bother to add, that Hezbollah twice bombed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, murdering more than 60 people, and drove a suicide bomb into a Marine barracks in October 1983, killing 241 servicemen.
Espousing defeatism: Here is Robert Novak again, this time on September 17, 2001, predicting that any campaign in Afghanistan would be a futile slaughter: "The CIA, in its present state, is viewed by its Capitol Hill overseers as incapable of targeting bin Laden. That leads to an irresistible impulse to satisfy Americans by pulverizing Afghanistan." And here is Patrick Buchanan that same day gloomily asserting that the United States would be as baffled by Osama bin Laden as the British Empire was by George Washington: "We remain unrivaled in material wealth and military dominance, but these are no longer the components of might. . . . Our instinct is the strongman's impulse: hit back, harder. But like British Lobsterbacks dropped in a colonial wilderness, we don't know this battle, and the weapons within our reach are blunt."
Excuse-making: On September 30, 2002, Pat Buchanan offered this explanation of 9/11 during a debate on Chris Matthews's Hardball: "9/11 was a direct consequence of the United States meddling in an area of the world where we do not belong and where we are not wanted. We were attacked because we were on Saudi sacred soil and we are so-called repressing the Iraqis and we're supporting Israel and all the rest of it."
Conspiracy-theorizing: Justin Raimondo, an Internet journalist who delivered Pat Buchanan's nominating speech at the Reform party convention in 2000, alleged in December 2001 that Israel was implicated in the terror attacks of 9/11: "Whether Israeli intelligence was watching, overseeing, collaborating with or combating the bin Ladenites is an open question . That the Israelis had some significant foreknowledge and involvement in the events preceding 9/11 seems beyond dispute." Raimondo has also repeatedly dropped broad hints that he believes the October 2001 anthrax attacks were the work of an American Jewish scientist bent on stampeding the U.S. into war.
Yearning for defeat: On January 30, 2002, Eric Margolis, the American-born foreign editor of the Toronto Sun, appealed to the leaders of the Arab world to unite in battle against the U.S. "What could Arabs do to prevent a war of aggression against Iraq that increasingly resembles a medieval crusade? Form a united diplomatic front that demands U.N. inspections continue. Stage an oil boycott of the U.S. if Iraq is attacked. Send 250,000 civilians from across the Arab World to form human shields around Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. Boycott Britain, Turkey, Kuwait, and the Gulf states that join or abet the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Withdraw all funds on deposit in U.S. and British banks. Accept payment for oil only in Euros, not dollars. Send Arab League troops to Iraq, so that an attack on Iraq is an attack on the entire League. Cancel billions worth of arms contracts with the U.S. and Britain. At least make a token show of male hormones and national pride."
Raimondo was more explicit still on March 12, 2003. Speaking of the negative consequences he foresaw of even a successful American campaign in Iraq, he wrote: "It is a high price to pay for 'victory' so high that patriots might almost be forgiven if they pine for defeat."
The writers I quote call themselves "paleoconservatives," implying that they are somehow the inheritors of an older, purer conservatism than that upheld by their impostor rivals. But even Robert Taft and Charles Lindbergh ceased accommodating Axis aggression after Pearl Harbor. Since 9/11, by contrast, the paleoconservatives have collapsed into a mood of despairing surrender unparalleled since the Vichy republic went out of business. James Burnham famously defined liberalism as "the ideology of Western suicide." What are we to make of self-described conservatives who see it as their role to make excuses for suicide bombers?
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
There is, however, a fringe attached to the conservative world that cannot overcome its despair and alienation. The resentments are too intense, the bitterness too unappeasable. Only the boldest of them as yet explicitly acknowledge their wish to see the United States defeated in the War on Terror. But they are thinking about defeat, and wishing for it, and they will take pleasure in it if it should happen.
They began by hating the neoconservatives. They came to hate their party and this president. They have finished by hating their country.
A disgusting rabble of bottom-feeding troglodytes wallowing in the fetid fever swamps of paleo-conservatism.
Long on rhetoric but short on facts. As a reader of National Review starting in the mid-50s I can report that NR was not an advocate of "conservative ideology" then, though it is now an advocate of neocon ideology.
Any similarity in the two is strictly coincidental. Conservatism, as opposed to liberalism, libertarianism, neoconism, was and is non-ideological.
Buchanan has rightly called for supporting President Bush and the troops until this war is over. After that, debate on republic vs. empire will resume. There is nothing unpatriotic about that.
But there will be one country where Muslim immivasion will not be permitted. Too bad anyone in our country calling for the same policies will be labeled racist by the Frums, Kristols, and Wolfowitz' of the world.
Despite my agreement with the paleo-conservatives and the libertarians, I am compelled to support the war with Iraq. America is not a seperate planet from the rest of the world. There is a convergence of old and new foes - radical Islam, the Peoples Republic of China (a superpower wannabe), North Korea, and Communist elements everywhere from the Kremlin (President Putin is ex-KGB and is reintroducing the outward trappings of the old USSR on the Russian military and government) to Latin America (where Venesuela and Brazil are ruled by Marxist presidents). Old allies like France, Germany, and Canada are defecting from decades-old alliances with the U.S. In the Middle East, even old friends like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are balking at continued friendship with the United States and Britain.
In the dozen years since the Gulf War, the friends of the United States have shrunk to the Anglosphere (except Canada), Israel, the Latin nations of Europe (except France), Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and most of Eastern Europe. If Iraq is not defeated, terrorism against America will be encouraged, the Persian Gulf nations will choose China, Russia, Germany, and France as trading partners, with the Euro replacing the dollar as the main international currency, and nations like North Korea may be emboldened. If Columbia and Mexico shift leftward, American energy supplies will be further jeopardized. Our economy will be beset by high energy costs and spin into a severe recession. Such a recession may push our domestic politics far to the left, under a President Hillary Clinton or someone like her.
As much as I dislike the status quo, the alternative of a world dominated by Communists, radical Muslims, and European socialists, with a no longer free United States becoming a vassal state in some global governance arrangement is far worse. America still has a great deal of personal freedom and economic well being compared to the rest of the world. She is still worth fighting for.
I must part from the Buchanans, the Rockwells, the Sobrans, and the Raimundos regarding the Iraqi war.
If Frum hasn't already been naturalized as an American citizen he soon will be.
Canadians have no right to decide who is a traitor or not but then again neo-cons do not believe in borders or national sovreignty.
For the lowdown on Frum see: http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/review.html
What utter bilge!
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