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Neoconservative Death Throes

As the neoconservative worldview crumbles and power slips from their hands, they are becoming more desperate, more deluded, and more naked in expressing their true objectives. Stephen Hayes, author of an admiring biography of Dick Cheney, wrote a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that argues:

    With intelligence officials in Washington increasingly alarmed about the prospect of another major attack on the U.S. homeland, and public support for the Bush administration’s anti-terror efforts reclaiming lost ground, we need more Dick Cheney.

Hayes likes the fact that Cheney “has not moved on” since September 11, 2001. He praises Cheney for giving us the illegal wiretapping that Congress just voted to make legal even though it violates the Fourth Amendment, and the “controversial…procedures put in place to extract information from hardcore terrorists,” also known as torture, that are detailed in a recent article by Jane Meyer. Based on this track record, he urges Cheney to “play a more public role” defending issues he “understands…as well as anyone in the Bush Administration.” He closes with a few words from Cheney himself.

    This is a struggle that’s going to go on in that part of the world for decades. … We just have to have people understand that and understand that the alternative is not peace.

Meanwhile, controversy has erupted over an editorial published by a neoconservative group with close ties to senior Bush Administration officials. In “Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy,” Family Security Matters contributor Philip Atkinson calls on Bush, among other things, to “slaughter” Iraqis with nuclear weapons, “empty Iraq of Arabs” and replace them with Americans, and proclaim himself President-for-Life, not just of America but of the entire world. Understandably, the article has since disappeared from the FSM website, but it has been cached by Google and copied in its entirety here. I’ll offer you a small taste.

    The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead.
    The simple truth [is] that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide.
    By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government.
    If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results….
    President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.

In case anyone is wondering if this is some sort of parody, a glance at the FSM advisory board shows they are neoconservative luminaries. If there is any parody here, it is unintentional self-parody. Meanwhile, the blogger Gonzo Muckraker got in touch with Philip Atkinson by e-mail, and their exchange demostrates all too well that the author’s delusions are sincere. When GM first writes Atkinson, he replies:

    The article…was aimed at finding a defence against the awful threat of anonymous nuclear attacks upon the USA. A solution must be found to this catastrophic probability if humanity is not to be plunged into a dreadful dark age, and if that solution is to slaughter whole nations, then it must be better than allowing the destruction of humanity.

Paradoxical, yes? A second exchange results in Atkinson, advocate of genocide, accusing GM of being a “madman” and a “beast.”

    What separates humanity from beasts is the ability to recognise right from wrong independently of our feelings: by use of a moral code. You tell me what moral code you use to understand right from wrong or stand condemned as just another madman.

But isn’t Atkinson a right-wing nutcase who represents no one but himself? To the contrary, he is listed as “FSM Contributing Editor” on the original version of the article. Links are given to seven other articles he has written for FSM, and his personal biography. However, since the controversy has erupted, all trace of him has disappeared from the FSM website. Such a rapid and complete scrubbing looks like the work of someone with a guilty conscience, does it not?

According to Media Matters, FSM is a “front group” for the Center for Security Policy, a well-connected neoconservative think tank founded by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. When you call the phone number listed on the FSM website, it rings at CSP headquarters. And the CSP’s advisory board is even more impressive than FSM’s. SourceWatch lists some 25 current and former senior government officials with ties to the CSP, including Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Robert Joseph, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

So do you want “more Dick Cheney”? How about an editorial calling for the nuking of Iraq and the installation of George W. Bush as global dictator “to save humanity”? Such an editorial was published, then retracted by an organization that is a nerve center and mouthpiece of Bush Administration policy. Its author, Philip Atkinson, may be far enough from power to be pushed aside when association with him becomes embarassing. But I can’t help thinking he represents the core of the neoconservative agenda — its paranoia, its hubris, its true face.

Thanks to Unknown News for the tipoff about the Atkinson article.


Comment from yunir
Time: August 18, 2007, 12:30

I’ve heard that the NeoCons are power-seeking people. But never have I imagined it to be this extreme!

Comment from Ibn Kafka
Time: August 18, 2007, 16:44

Interesting piece about the cheerleaders of wars of agression and genocide – people – Julius Streicher to name one – have been hanged in Nuremberg for similar writings. But of course, Germany had the bad taste to lose the war comprehensively.

Comment from Yahia
Time: August 19, 2007, 07:29

So for this neoconservative guy,

1. “terrorists armed with nuclear weapons” means anyone, especially Arabs, but Americans,
2. and “humanity” means America.

Wonderful. Seems like we’re still in a dark age! I never thought people with such a way of thinking existed.

Comment from eatbees
Time: August 19, 2007, 23:58

I think that Atkinson is like the neoconservatives’ crazy uncle who they keep in a locked room, but one day he got out and this is the result. Sadly though, a lot of them really do think this way, including Bush himself who reportedly once said (according to Mahmoud Abbas before becoming the Palestinian president):

“God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.”

As far as “humanity” meaning America, sadly you are all too right. Even a lot of reasonable people in the U.S. fail to make the distinction, as if “humanity” stopped at the two oceans — or maybe included Britain, France, Germany and Japan. That means we can do pretty much as we please in the rest of the world, and no moral accounting will be made.

I cross-posted this piece at TPMCafe and you may be interested to see the response there. The readership is a lot bigger than here (progressive Americans who read a lot about politics) and the piece has attracted a lot of attention, with 19 comments so far ranging over all sorts of issues.

Comment from leblase
Time: August 20, 2007, 16:43

After having been the mastermind of the infamous Contra scandal under Reagan, Elliot Abrams, leading mentor of CSP is the actual Bush’s Administration go-between guy who so wonderfully managed the recent overtaking of Gaza by the Fatah… Except Hamas saw the thing coming and moved first.
Elliot Abrams and Feith recently clashed with Condoleezza Rice who discovered that her role as Secretary of State was a joke, as had been Colin Powell’s.
We now have Bush’s best female friend trying not to be crushed by Cheney’s minions… And the mid-East paying for her inefficiency (if not, sheer stupidity)

Comment from eatbees
Time: August 21, 2007, 20:07

@leblase — You are so right about what happened in Gaza. Maybe I shouldn’t say this or my bank account and passport will be frozen, but I was delighted to see Hamas kick Dahlan’s butt who wasn’t even there. Security has since improved, even from the Israeli perspective!

Maybe the best hope for democracy in the Middle East is that Bush ambitions for the region are being handled with all the skill of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. I’m no fan of the Saudi royal family, but I think it’s hilarious how they don’t even pretend to take America seriously any more. They figured out Rice’s irrelevance long before she did. I’ve said it before, if the U.S. stumbles in the Middle East, it’s an opportunity for the people who live there to solve their own problems, in ways that suit their interests rather than ours. Let’s hope they are up to the task, because U.S. credibity in the region won’t be restored anytime soon.

Comment from leblase
Time: August 22, 2007, 17:40

The US has fully adopted Israel’s politics: statu quo.
A little buzz here and there, like moving out a few radical colons that had been previously and secretly allowed to move in, some kind words to Mahmud Abbas to make him believe he is not despicably saling the population of Gaza, and that’s it.
It is truly sad to watch Arab and European states adopting an anti-Hamas stance, for no real reason.
The situation there is so inhumane it corrupts the best, as your illustration shows: Dahlan used to be a bright, dedicated Palestinian until his thirst for money and power changed him into the gangster and traitor he became.
No wonder why Israel will not free Barghutti- not only is the man a great politician and visionary, he also happens to be an example of integrity.
What you say about the Saudi is very true: because of their new understanding of the options at stake, the super-publicized Mid-East Peace conference that was to be held under Condi’s direction is now a”meeting” that will gather the usual suspects: Abbas, Olmert, Rice…Maybe Jordan’s king and Mubharak’s grand-son…or great-grand-son ;-)

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