The Establishment vs. the Neocons

I have often found Sidney Blumenthal useful in informing my understanding of the relationship between the neocons and the establishment, such as, for example, his article in which it is revealed that Bush’s temper tantrum when he declared himself “the decider” was actually a direct rebuke to his father who had been trying to arrange the replacement of Donald “Personally Involved in Torture” Rumsfeld.

This one is mostly a review of how Israel and the neocons are implementing “A Clean Break” and, like the Jim Lobe article we ran a few days ago, describes the dissatisfaction of Henry Kissinger in regards to Bush refusal to negotiate with Iran, Brent Scowcroft in regards to the Palestinian crisis, and Richard Haass about Israel’s war in Lebanon. Blumenthal adds one more oil/eastern establishment voice of dissent, Edward Djerejian, the director of the James Baker institute, who last week urged negotiation with Syria and Iran.

And take note of the latest Causus Belli Alert:

“The National Security Agency is providing signal intelligence to Israel to monitor whether Syria and Iran are supplying new armaments to Hezbollah as it fires hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, according to a national security official with direct knowledge of the operation. President Bush has approved the secret program.

“Inside the administration, neoconservatives on Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security staff and Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council, are prime movers behind sharing NSA intelligence with Israel, and they have discussed Syrian and Iranian supply activities as a potential pretext for Israeli bombing of both countries, the source privy to conversations about the program says. (Intelligence, including that gathered by the NSA, has been provided to Israel in the past for various purposes.) The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war.

“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is said to have been “briefed” and to be “on board,” but she is not a central actor in pushing the covert neoconservative scenario. Her “briefing” appears to be an aspect of an internal struggle to intimidate and marginalize her. Recently she has come under fire from prominent neoconservatives who oppose her support for diplomatic negotiations with Iran to prevent its development of nuclear weaponry.”

If you have religious beliefs, now may be the time to pray for the American soldiers who have spent the last three years training and equipping the Iraqi Shi’ite religious militias, and who are going to have to start the Iraq war all over again when this thing escalates to Syria and Iran. Perhaps they will be able to get safely inside the green zone before Order 66 comes down.

Update: Zbigniew Brzezinski:

“These neocon prescriptions, of which Israel has its equivalents, are fatal for America and ultimately for Israel. They will totally turn the overwhelming majority of the Middle East’s population against the United States. The lessons of Iraq speak for themselves. Eventually, if neocon policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.”

It’s a heck of a note.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.