As Iraq stands on the verge of a complete breakdown into sectarian states, former leading neoconservative and Iraq war advocate Richard Perle had made a sudden appearance on Newsmax TV. His statements in the interview were yet another testament to the intellectual degeneration of a group that had once promised a “new Middle East” — only to destabilize the region with violent consequences that continue to reverberate until this day.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which didn’t exist at the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, has seized large swaths of Syria and, along with a brewing Sunni rebellion, stands in control of large chunks of western, northern and central Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

Neocons like the historian Robert Kagan may be connecting with Hillary Clinton to try to regain influence in foreign policy. Credit Left, Stephanie Sinclair/VII via Corbis; right, Colin McPherson/Corbis.

After nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement’s interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons — Paul D.…  Seguir leyendo »

Me acordé de Ulrich Beck y de sus "categorías zombis" tras la lectura del artículo Afinidades despectivas, en el que José María Lassalle (EL PAÍS, 12/8/2008) narra el ascenso y caída de los neocons en el interior de la Administración de Bush. Beck denomina zombis a ciertos conceptos que, aunque alguna vez tuvieron vida, sobreviven en nuestros días sólo como sombras lingüísticas, sin contenido preciso ni márgenes claros, incapaces de clarificar el debate ni, por tanto, de orientar la acción. "Soberanía", "clase", "nación"... todas esas expresiones albergaron en su día un significado cabal, pero hoy se encuentran lejos de proporcionarnos un utillaje teórico eficaz.…  Seguir leyendo »

What’s your favourite fact? Come on, everyone has a favourite fact. Here’s mine: more young people supported the Vietnam War than did any other section of the American population. As the war progressed, the whole country turned against it, but those under 30 remained least likely to regard it as an error.

I have deployed this point on countless occasions — arguments about the Sixties, disputes about the political views of young people, discussions on the differences between the views of activists and the general public — but I bring it up now for a different reason. The man from whom I first learnt it (it was in one of his many books) died last week.…  Seguir leyendo »

Even before the electoral repudiation of President Bush, the guardians of the Bush family trust surfaced as the presumptive executive committee of the executive branch. For years, George Bush Sr and his former national-security team have tried to rescue the president from himself - and from the clutches of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their neoconservative centurions. Earlier this year Bush Sr quietly approached a retired four-star general to inquire if he would be willing to replace Rumsfeld, but that premature coup came to naught. Several of the father's associates personally warned Bush Jr before the Iraq war that it would lead to sectarian civil war, only to be dismissed with disdain.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Douglas Murray, the author of 'Neoconservatism: Why We Need It' (THE GUARDIAN, 31/10/06):

'The good ship neocon is going down," announced Matthew Parris recently in the Times. And as that gleeful cry arose, deja vu returned. Such allegations of decline are one of the constants that neoconservatives live by.In Foreign Policy magazine the conservative writer Jay Winik wrote: "America is witnessing the end ... of the neoconservatives." That was in 1988. Some neocons even elegised themselves. It was "a generational phenomenon", suggested Irving Kristol in 1995. "Neoconservatism is dead," declaimed Norman Podhoretz a year later. Yet it continues.

Neoconservatism is not what people think it is.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Tim Hames (THE TIMES, 23/10/06):

DO NOT DO IT, Hames. Do not rise to the bait. Do not fall into the trap. Experience has taught you never to engage in a dispute again with Matthew Parris in front of the readers on any subject whatsoever, let alone Iraq.

Iraq! You are doomed. Let it pass. Write about something less dangerous, such as trashing the reputation of the late Queen Mother. Anything but crossing swords with Parris on that issue.

Too late. On Saturday Matthew Parris took to task “Her Majesty’s Brigade of Neocon Columnists and Leader Writers”. As the “good ship Neocon is going down”, he mused (gloated, frankly), they would be “building a liferaft for their reputations”.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Matthew Parris (THE TIMES, 21/10/06):

HARK — CAN YOU hear it? Borne on the wind, can you hear the sounds of construction — of hammers hammering and woodsaws sawing? And do you detect a note of panic? I do. The good ship Neocon is going down. She has struck the Iraqi rocks, the engine room is awash, and on the deck in anxious pursuit of something to float them away is a curious assembly.

Her Majesty’s Brigade of Neocon Columnists and Leader Writers mingles with much of the elite of British politics. The new Labour Cabinet and its courtiers and most of the Opposition’s front bench rub shoulders with Fleet Street’s finest.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (THE WASHINGTON POST, 13/08/06):

The Post reported recently on Page One that "President Bush is facing a new and swiftly building backlash on the right over his handling of foreign affairs" ["Conservative Anger Grows Over Bush's Foreign Policy," July 19]. Judging by those quoted, the current backlash is centered among neoconservatives, until now Bush's most ardent foreign policy constituency.

A few weeks earlier, Richard Perle, one of the most respected neocons, had penned a scathing critique of Bush's Iran policy [Outlook, June 25]. I myself may have contributed to the overall impression of neocon disillusionment by decrying the administration's flaccid response to a wave of repression by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [op-ed, June 27].…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Antoni Segura, catedrático de Historia Contemporánea y director del Centre d'Estudis Històrics Internacionals de la Universidad de Barcelona (EL PAÍS, 22/05/06):

"Nosotros somos intelectuales pertenecientes a una generación ante todo política, que entiende la política de manera radical, y, por lo tanto, vinculada a principios trascendentales. Como estilo de vida hemos elegido la milicia y esta milicia la practicamos con la pluma, pero también con la espada... Toda nuestra existencia se juega a este albur de la guerra". Así se definía Falange ante la II Guerra Mundial en un editorial de El Escorial de diciembre de 1941. Y, por si quedaban dudas, añadía: "Y así fuimos siempre, porque el combate que la Falange empeñó antes del primer tronar de ametralladoras en las calles desapacibles de España, contra el marxismo y contra el liberalismo de izquierdas o de derechas, fue ante todo 'dialéctica de puños y pistolas".…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Soeren Kern. Investigador Principal para el Área de EEUU y Diálogo Transatlántico, Real Instituto Elcano (REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO, 21/04/06):

Tema: La Casa Blanca ha hecho pública su nueva estrategia de seguridad nacional.

Resumen: La nueva edición de la “Estrategia de Seguridad Nacional de los EEUU de América” (National Security Strategy of the United States of America), con fecha de marzo de 2006, explica la estrategia sobre la que se basa la política exterior norteamericana. Es la primera revisión de la doctrina de seguridad desarrollada por la Administración Bush en septiembre de 2002. La tesis central de esta nueva estrategia es que la propagación de la democracia es la mejor forma de construir un mundo mejor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Josep M. Colomer, profesor de investigación en Ciencia Política en el CSIC y la Universidad Pompeu Fabra (EL PAÍS, 05/04/06):

Parece que cunde algún desánimo acerca de Irak e incluso algunos supuestos neo-conservadores de Washington se dan de baja del club. Sin embargo, el Gobierno de Estados Unidos acaba de hacer pública su nueva Estrategia de Seguridad Nacional, la primera revisión en cuatro años. Hay en ella mucha autocrítica y bastante novedad. Con notable lucidez, el documento del Departamento de Estado caracteriza la estrategia exterior americana como "idealista en los fines y realista en los medios". El idealismo sigue siendo la difusión de la libertad y la democracia en el mundo.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Charles Krauthammer (THE WASHINGTON POST, 28/03/06):

It was, as the hero tells it, his Road to Damascus moment. There he is, in a hall of 1,500 people he has long considered to be his allies, hearing the speaker treat the Iraq war, nearing the end of its first year, as "a virtually unqualified success." He gasps as the audience enthusiastically applauds. Aghast to discover himself in a sea of comrades so deluded by ideology as to have lost touch with reality, he decides he can no longer be one of them.

And thus did Francis Fukuyama become the world's most celebrated ex-neoconservative, a well-timed metamorphosis that has brought him a piece of the fame that he once enjoyed 15 years ago as the man who declared, a mite prematurely, that history had ended.…  Seguir leyendo »