The cry seems to be: ‘The neocons are dead; long live the neocons!’, as they reinvent and adjust themselves for a presidency that doesn’t quite reflect the exact same image that the Bush presidency did.
The old grandly named and now all but defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was founded by the staunchly pro-Zionist neoconservatives in early 1997 for the purpose of deposing the Democrat administration of the time (Clinton) and influencing a prospective Republican administration into strongly supporting the cause of right-wing Israeli Zionism by projecting US influence directly into the Middle East on behalf of Israel and ridding Israel of its enemies, Iraq and Iran.
While they partly succeeded in their quest inasmuch that the Democrats lost out in the 2000 Presidential race – albeit by cheating at the polls and using a corrupt court to install a Republican administration – and getting the new compliant administration to attack and invade Iraq at a time when Saddam Hussein was providing support to a desperate Palestinian Intifada, time ran out for the neocons as Bush exhausted his usefulness at the end of his Presidency with the main part of the neocon agenda unfulfilled.
By the end of the Bush era Iran still remained a barrier to Israeli dreams of a Greater Israel that incorporates the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and, so they hope, the south of Lebanon up to the Litani River, because of Iranian support of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Despite two desperate attempts by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to provoke a war against Iran by attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 and Hamas in the Gaza in 2008/09 in the hope that President Bush would intervene against Iran in the event of Iran intervening against Israel on behalf of Hamas and Hezbollah, the dying Bush administration, seeing that Iran was not going to oblige the Israelis, had no option but stand on the sidelines and watch Israel morally lose two wars with none of their war aims being achieved. Their last attempt at provoking Iran when they mercilessly attacked an almost unarmed Gaza Strip ended almost literally on the dying day of the Bush administration.
With these failures, coupled with a new presidency voted in on the backs of an electorate that was thoroughly sick of the neocon’s and Bush’s endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention a world economy that is on the verge of collapse, the neocons were in dire need of reinventing itself to cope with the new political era.
And reinvent themselves they indeed have attempted to do, though their aims and rhetoric have the same old familiar warmongering ring about them as they had during the Bush years. The recently launched and far less grand-sounding Foreign Policy Initiative headed up by arch-neoconservatives William Kristol and Robert Kagan, has taken a different tack from the old PNAC. In there Mission Statement for the new FPI the neocons renew their old animosities toward those they considered past threats. For them Russia and China are once again a threat to US hegemony and influence in our world. But most notably in their Mission Statement the neocons have made a deliberate attempt to put a little less emphasis on the enemies of the Bush era. Conspicuous by its absence in their Mission Statement is any mention of Israel’s arch enemy, Iran. Neither Iran nor its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’ get any mention – at least not yet. Of course, the neocons continue to perpetuate the myth of al Qaeda as the ever-threatening and perennial enemy responsible for any non-state military actions against the US, Israel and their allies and there is reference to assorted though unnamed ‘rogue’ and ‘failed’ states leaving the list open to additions as and when required.
Promoting China and Russia once again as ‘threats’ to the US is merely a useful distraction. The threat from China and Russia during the Cold War was grossly exaggerated during that period and both nations are even less a threat today than ever before. The world should not be fooled; the neocons real enemies remain those that oppose Israeli Zionism. Their rhetoric is for a strong America but what is left unsaid is that a strong America means a strong Israel. If the US withdraws into itself to become isolationist again then it will leave Israel exposed. The neocons need to have enemies around the globe and need to project America as a nation ‘indispensable to international peace, security and stability’ in order to protect the future of what they hope will be a Greater Israel dominating the resource rich region of the Middle East.
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