One of the interesting revelations in Tucker Carlson’s book, Ship of Fools, is that Bill Kristol said privately what he denied publicly about the Iraq war. That is, the war was about Israel and not American security. Saddam was never a threat to American interests in the region but taking him out was good for Israel. The neocons have always denied this, usually claiming it is anti-Semitic to suggest it, but every time they get caught in a lie they squeal “anti-Semitism” so this is not new.
The thing is though, a schemer like Kristol could have been lying to Carlson, hoping he stepped on the same landmines as Pat Buchanan. Carlson was always a war skeptic and a natural conservative, so Bill Kristol would have seen him as a threat. The main play of the second generation neocons has always been the Hitler card. They look for some way to accuse their opponents of being anti-Semites, so that the focus shifts from the neocon schemers and onto the accusers.
Putting that aside, subsequent events suggest that the crusade against Islam launched in the Bush years was never about Israel. The real target for the neocons was the ancient enemy in the east, Russia. Neoconservatism, after all, was born out of a hatred for Russia during the Cold War. The cover story was that these radicals had turned on communism, but in reality, they were reacting to what was happening on the Left with regards to relations with the Soviet Union.
Soon after the fall of the Cold War, the neocons running foreign policy under the first George Bush engineered the first Gulf War. They did this by baiting Saddam Hussein into invading Kuwait. The American ambassador to Iraq at the time was April Glaspie, who met with Saddam before he launched his invasion. It is clear from the notes that he was not committed to war. It is also clear that Glaspie gave him the impression that America was not committed to defending Kuwait.
Why would the neocons want a war with Iraq? It seems like a lifetime ago, but Iraq was a longtime client of the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union fell, the Russians were in no condition to help her allies as in the past. This made it a perfect time to take this piece of the board. Given the behavior of the neocons in Ukraine over the last decade, it is not a stretch to think they baited Saddam into war. After all, they have been trying to bait Russian into invading Ukraine.
If we look at the crusade against Islam as a proxy war against Russia, the last thirty years of foreign policy adventures makes more sense. The second war with Iraq was about finishing the job and preparing for the planned attack on Iran, which so happens to be a Russia ally. The creation of ISIS as a weapon against Syria, another ally of Russia, now also makes sense. The occupation of Afghanistan never made sense as a response to 9/11, but it did make a nice forward operating base.
Long forgotten in all of this is how the neocons pushed the Clinton administration into bombing Serbia during the Balkan war. The Balkans have always been a mess, so there was never a reason for America to take sides. This should have been a European matter, worked out in endless meetings, like everything else in Europe. Instead, the neocons pushed for an aggressive stance toward Serbia, which so happens to be a longtime Russian ally. There is a pattern here.
Fast forward to the present and the pattern is clear. The neocons started the Russo-Georgian war by trying to bring Georgia into NATO. Give or take, Georgia is about 3,000 miles from the North Atlantic, thus making her an odd fit for a military alliance based in the North Atlantic. That was never the point, of course. The point was to pick away at the borders with the ancient enemy. NATO expansion has never been about defense, but always about offense.
In more recent times, the neocons have tried to color revolution Belarus, they have stirred up trouble in Kazakhstan and they are probably involved in the tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Then there is the Ukraine situation. Half of Washington has been taking bribes from Ukrainian oligarchs, which has concealed the fact that the neocons have been plotting trouble there for over a decade. The same people behind the color revolution in the Obama years are in charge now.
The point of all of this has been to weaken Russia by nibbling away at her border, forcing her to commit resources to all of these different conflicts. At some point, the current government becomes too weak to defend itself. Maybe with some outside help, the government falls. This opens the door for regime change and the long dreamed of break up of Russia. This is not idle speculation. A few years ago, the Rand Corporation provide the playbook for those interested.
The old line about the neocons being Trotskyites was mostly a way to point out that they were not conservatives in the traditional sense. Many were communist in the middle of the last century. Their “conversion” was never about the things that had long defined conservatism, but rather the temporary needs of the moment. They cared more about beating Russia in the Cold War than anything else. They simply embraced the rest of the conservative program as a means to an end.
One of the underappreciated aspects of the last five years is the exit of the neocons from Buckley conservatism. They have their own publications and regularly attack their old friends on the Right. Of course, they were outlandishly opposed to trump and the pro-American sentiments he embodied. Their primary complain was that he was soft on Russia and Russian allies. This transformation suggest the paleocons were right about the neocon conversion being less than genuine.
There may have been more to the Trotsky line. In radical politics, it was long held that the Bolshevik revolution was hijacked by Stalin. The Trotsky wing never forgave the Russians for allowing the revolution to turn into Tsarism. This fueled the deep hatred for Russia among Trotskyites of a certain persuasion. The neoconservative persuasion was driven by this animus in the Cold War. After the Cold War, it has driven by the berserk obsession for Russia by the second wave of neocons.
What America, and by extension the West, has been experiencing over the last thirty years is Trotsky’s revenge. Resentment at the failure of his faction in the revolution was probably the second to last thing that went through his head. His followers, however, have had it in the forefront of their minds. The current generation of neocons, lacking the intelligence to understand any of this, are simply left with a seething hatred of Russia that has driven America foreign policy for a generation.
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