on Subversions of Neo-Conservatives
S. Arif Hussaini
Seldom has any Presidential
election in the US provoked so much of controversy,
virtually caused a national split, and incited so
many prominent figures to come out with books throwing
light on some facet or another connected with the
event. Of the six books that I have had the advantage
of going through over the past 2-3 months, the one
that arrested my interest directly is ‘Where
The Right Went Wrong’ by Patrick Buchanan,
thrice Presidential candidate, syndicated columnist,
TV commentator and author of half a dozen political
His very conservative
views having often jarred my ears, I reluctantly
agreed to a friend’s insistence to glance
through his latest work indicting the Bush administration
- a conservative faulting another. The small bookstore
in a Mall I visited had sold out all copies, the
neighborhood library had three persons before me
waiting for the return of copies. I could get a
copy from a large bookstore.
the attention of the reader by claiming at the very
outset that the invasion of Iraq may prove a textbook
example of the imperial over-stretch that brought
down so many empires of the past. America became
the sole superpower by staying out of the great
wars of the 20th century longer than any other power.
The US non-interventionist
foreign policy is rooted in history, tradition and
the wisdom of the country’s Founding Fathers.
He quotes historian A.J.P. Taylor in support of
this contention: ‘Though the object of being
a great Power is to be able to fight a Great War,
the only way of remaining a Great Power is not to
maintains, is ‘the incubator of terrorism’.
Interventionism is not the solution to America’s
problems in the Middle East. It is the problem.
‘America’s huge footprints on the sacred
soil of Saudi Arabia let straight to 9/11. The terrorists
were over here because we were over there. Terrorism
is the price of empire. If you do not wish to pay
the price, you must give up the empire.’
Bush had not entered
the White House nurturing his doctrine of pre-emptive
wars on rouge regimes and prevention of any other
nation from acquiring the power to challenge US
hegemony in all regions of the world. Bush converted
to this doctrine in the shock of 9/11. The neo-conservatives
who had surrounded him played a major part in selling
him the doctrine. ‘Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith,
Wurmser, Bolton all belong’, maintains Buchanan
‘to a clique of foreign policy specialists,
academics and writers who see US and Israeli interest
as identical. Arnaud de Borchgrave, the eminent
journalist and much respected writer, calls them
‘Washington Likudniks’ and contends
that they ‘have been in charge of US policy
in the Middle East since Bush was sworn into office’
and have imposed a ‘Bush-Sharon’ doctrine
on American foreign policy’”.
Elements of the Bush
doctrine as enunciated by himself are:
· The war on
terror is between good and evil; it will not end
until we eradicate all terror networks of a global
reach. Every nation must decide: Either you are
with us, or you are with the terrorists.
· No rogue
nation, especially Iran, Iraq, and North Korea will
be allowed to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
· We have begun,
with Afghanistan and Iraq, a democratic revolution
to overthrow all undemocratic regimes of the region.
· No nation
will be permitted to rise to a position of power
where it can challenge the US regionally or globally.
Buchanan calls this
‘Utopian’, a ‘democratic imperialism’.
It would bleed, bankrupt, isolate the US, eventually
causing its downfall from its high pedestal.
Buchanan calls the
neocons ‘the war party: the hijackers of American
foreign policy. The neocons started as socialists
and liberals but moved over to the side of the conservative
Republicans once they found the latter more congenial
for their operations. They have infiltrated think
tanks and academic circles, and have considerable
clout in the corporate sector. As Buchanan puts
it, ‘It is a tiny movement without a national
constituency…while many neocons are Jewish,
most Jewish writers and intellectuals in America
Max Boot of Wall Street
Journal calls the support for Israel ‘a key
tenet of neo-conservatism’. Paul Wolfowitz,
Deputy Secretary of Defense, known for his passionate
attachment to Israel, has been called by Time Magazine
‘the intellectual godfather’ of the
Iraq War. Jerusalem Post named him the ‘Man
of the Year’. Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism
chief at the White House, has described in some
detail Wolfowitz’s obsession with war on Iraq
and linking it to Osama’s terrorism and 9/11.
Iraq was no doubt a threat, not to the US juggernaut
but to Israel.
Nine days after the
terrorist attacks on WTC and Pentagon, an open letter
was sent to President Bush signed by forty eminent
persons including Bill Bennett, Norman Podhoretz,
Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle, William Kristol,
and Charles Krauthammer, warning the President that
failure to attack Iraq ‘will constitute an
early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war
on international terrorism.’
On the eve of the
invasion of Iraq, Buchanan warned ‘President
Bush is being lured into a trap baited for him by
these neo-cons that could cost him his office and
cause America to forfeit years of peace won for
us by the sacrifices of two generations in the Cold
Buchanan devotes an
entire chapter tracing the rise and fall of Muslim
empires and why the Muslims of today have developed
a distaste for America. He gives the following five
· The US preaches
democracy and human rights, but props up dictators
and oligarchies in Muslim states.
· The US has
defiled the sacred land of Arabia by stationing
its soldiers, particularly women, there.
libertine and hedonistic culture is a satanic lure
to Muslim youth.
· America indulges
in a double standard in dealing with Arabs and Israel.
· America has
attacked and ruined Iraq - a country that did not
want war - to capture its oil fields, erect an American
empire in the Middle East, and remove the possibility
of its threat to Israel in future.
The second half of
the book is dedicated to an analysis of the faulty
economic policies of Bush administration particularly
towards China. He criticizes vehemently the transfer
of manufacturing to China and high-tech jobs and
services to India in subservience to the financial
avarice of corporations who finance political campaigns.
Globalism of world economy has benefited American
and multinational corporations. But this short-term
benefit will, in the long run, deprive America of
its economic supremacy. Like the concept of free
trade that brought down the British empire, globalization
of world economy marks the beginning of the end
of American empire. Buchanan’s detailed study
of how globalization is damaging American interests
makes fascinating reading. It is to be read to be
October 29, 2004