Fun with the neocons

It's easy to get so fed up with those irascible neoconservatives that one forgets their rich potential as the butt of jokes. That's a crying shame, because so much of the hard work is done for you. To wit, Official Memento Ronald Reagan Jelly Beans. Can you think of a finer family heirloom?

There's only three shopping months left until Christmas, and if you're truly stumped as to what to get me, here's an unsubtle hint: the Reagan Library "Peace through Strength" hat and t-shirt. Oh my!

Also worth checking out is the Reagan Foundation's "Kid's Stuff" section.


A few months ago, in the looming shadow of a wrongheaded and terrifyingly precedental war, I did a little research into the Project for the New American Century. This group is the most influential foreign policy thinktank in Washington right now. I would like to direct you in particular to its "Statement of Principles" for an overview of the group's vision. It was written, quite obviously, prior to September 2001. Here's the crux of it:

  • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
  • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
  • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
  • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.
Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

What is interesting about that page, beyond the familiar hawkish lines and the extremity of their invocation, is the list of signatories at the bottom of the page. Some of the names are familiar to anyone with a vague knowledge of US politics and business, some are not. I went through this list and researched the names to find some fun facts about each of these people -- people who in my opinion can be rightly regarded as G.W. Bush's foreign policy puppeteers.

It should be noted that not all of the facts below I consider incriminating, but I do find all of them illuminating. Here we go:

Elliott Abrams

Pleaded guilty of lying to Congress about the Iran-Contra scandal. Elliott has called for Washington to “stand by Israel” rather than act as a neutral mediator in the Israel/Palestine peace process. In December 2002 he was appointed top policy spot on Mid-East affairs in the National Security Council.

Gary Bauer

One of the early Republican candidates for the 2000 presidential election, and now President of “American Values”. CNN lists his website as, which currently redirects to an “online porn guide”.

William J. Bennett

Besides serving in the Reagan Administration, Bennett is quoted in a number of national magazines (1999) as editing or writing George W. Bush speeches.

Jeb Bush

John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, the Governor of Florida, son of George Bush senior, and brother to President George W. Bush. “[Jeb] Bush cites among his accomplishments in office increased funding for public education, tax relief for individuals and businesses in the state and the appointment of the first Hispanic to the state Supreme Court.” There is another commonly cited accomplishment during his incumbency as Governor of Florida that is missing from that list.

Dick Cheney

Running mate of George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, currently Vice President of the United States of America. Did you know? He consistently voted against congressional initiatives to condemn the apartheid regime in South Africa, which included in 1985 voting against a resolution urging the release of Nelson Mandela after 23 years of imprisonment.

Eliot A. Cohen

From his Faculty Profile at the School of Advanced International Studies: “Professor and Director of Strategic Studies. Areas of Expertise: Middle East; Persian Gulf; Iraq; arms control; international relations; military power and strategy; NATO; strategic and security issues.” What is not appended to that statement, but (to judge by the titles of his many publications) should be, is: " the context of Israel."

Midge Decter

Midge Dector (nee Rosenthal) knows what she don't like. She was the executive director of the (anticommunist) “Committee for a Free World” until it became apparently redundant following the fall of the Berlin Wall. She wrote a book with the beguiling title “The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women's Liberation” in 1972. Key member of the “Zionist Organization of America”.

Paula Dobriansky

“Paula J. Dobriansky was nominated by President Bush on March 12, 2001. She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 26 and sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs on May 1. In this position, she is responsible for a broad range of foreign policy issues, including democracy, human rights, labor, counter-narcotics and law enforcement, refugee and humanitarian relief matters and environmental/scientific issues.”

Aaron Friedberg

Library of Congress' first Henry Alfred Kissinger Scholar, in 2001. Want that on your resume? Just follow this link!

Francis Fukuyama

Frankie! Frankie Frankie Frankie!?

Frank Gaffney

“Mr. Gaffney was nominated by President Reagan to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, the senior position in the Defense Department with responsibility for policies involving nuclear forces, arms control and U.S.-European defense relations.” One of his most recent published articles is “Was Saddam the man behind McVeigh?”

This list is obviously incomplete. Some other significant names attached to the statement are Dan Quayle, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. Hopefully I'll find the time to complete it at some stage. If you're interested in the power wielded by PNAC, John Pilger has an article about the group that I found after the above list was written. And just a moment ago I came across, which is worth a look.

For more fun with neocons, I direct your attention to the list of Republicans (other than George W. Bush) who are seeking nomination for the 2004 presidential elections. There are so many fantastic quotes on that page; here's just one:

Fellure believes that President George H.W. Bush was responsible for fanning "the flames of international, Satanic, Marxist socialism to the exclusion of our national sovereignty." Further, Fellure said that President Clinton subsequently "shifted into overdrive the socialistic, Marxist New World Order agenda." He says our country is "being destroyed by atheists, Marxists, liberals, queers, liars, draft-dodgers, flag-burners, dope addicts, sex perverts and anti-Christians."

Joseph | 24 Sep 2003

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