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Hullabaloo


Monday, July 31, 2006

 
Neoconservatism's First Family

by digby


One of the things I think people misunderstand about the neocons is that they think it is all about Israel. This is not the case. Not only are all neocons not Jewish, their ambitions are purely American in nature and encompass far more than the middle-east.

A case in point is the family of Norman Podhoretz, one of the founding fathers of neoconservatism. I'm reminded of what a tremendous scope they have this morning by Jonathan Schwarz writing over at This Modern World:

...I don’t think many people remember ... that in 2004 John Podhoretz’s mother, conservative luminary Midge Decter, frankly explained the real reason we attacked Iraq:

“We’re not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We’re there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil.”


So there you have it, straight from the world’s most appealing family: we invaded Iraq for the oil, but we may have made a mistake by not killing millions when we got there.

BONUS: Decter’s daughter is married to Elliot Abrams, making him John Podhoretz’s brother-in-law. Abrams, now on the National Security Council, pleaded guilty to misleading Congress over Iran-Contra. He also tried to cover-up the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador, in which 900 men, women and children were slaughtered.


Schwartz goes on to describe a typical Podhoretz family gathering:


“Has the caterer gotten here yet?”

“No. Let’s drop napalm on his town and then move house to house, shooting any survivors.”

“Sounds good! What about the band? Are they going to play standards, or more contemporary stuff?”

“I don’t know. Let’s pay a proxy army to rape and murder all the women and then go on a bloody rampage, killing thousands more.”


Yes, we laugh, but don't kid yourself. It's not wholly surprising that number one son, J-Pod, came up with this over the week-end:


What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn’t kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything? Wasn’t the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of the sectarian violence now?


That is neoconservatism in practice.

In theory, it goes waaaay beyond the middle east. Here's my favorite piece from the PNAC's influential paper "Rebuilding America's Defenses" signed by half the administration including Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld:




To ensure America's control of space in the near term, the minimum requirements are to develop a robust capability to transport systems to space, carry on operations once there, and service and recover space systems as needed. As outlined by Space Command, carrying out this program would include a mix of re- useable and expendable launch vehicles and vehicles that can operate within space, including “space tugs to deploy, reconstitute, replenish, refurbish, augment, and sustain" space systems. But, over the longer term, maintaining control of space will inevitably require the application of force both in space and from space,including but not limited to anti-
missile defenses and defensive systems capable of protecting U.S. and allied satellites; space control cannot be sustained in any other fashion, with conventional land, sea, or airforce, or by electronic warfare. This eventuality is already recognized by official U.S. national space policy, which states that the “Department of Defense shall maintain a capability to execute the mission areas of space support, force enhancement, space control and force application.

... the argument to replace U.S. Space Command with U.S. Space Forces – a separate service under the Defense Department – is compelling. While it is conceivable that, as military space capabilities develop, a transitory “Space Corps” under the Department of the Air Force might make sense, it ought to be regarded as an intermediary step, analogous to the World War II-era Army Air Corps, not to the Marine Corps, which remains a part of the Navy Department. If space control is an essential element for maintaining American military preeminence in the decades to come, then it will be imperative to reorganize the Department of Defense to ensure that its institutional structure reflects new military realities.


Never let it be said they limited their vision of "benevolent American hegemony" to the middle east --- or even planet earth. They always think big, very big.

Just as an aside, I think Midge Decter's lovelorn paean to Don Rumsfeld may stand as the most unintentionally funny of all the over-the-top Bush years hagiography:

“He works standing up at a tall writing table, as if energy, or perhaps determination, might begin to leak away from too much sitting down”


This one never fails to make me laugh out loud:

Decter: What Rumsfeld's having become an American sex symbol seems to say about American culture today is that the assault on men leveled by the women's movement, having poisoned the normally delicate relations between men and women and thereby left a generation of younger women with a load of anxiety they are only now beginning to throw off, is happily almost over. It's hard to overestimate the significance of the term "stud" being applied to a man who has reached the age of 70 and will not too long from now be celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.


It's hard to overestimate it all right.

The Podhoretz's are America's first family of neoconservatism, dysfuntional masculinity and world domination. It's quite an achievement.



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