A Journey from Neocon to Antiwar

This poignant story brings home the point of how long the invasion of Iraq has dragged on. In the spring of 2003, this blogger was a sophomore in high school. He writes:

We were supposed to be welcomed as liberators. The war was fast and efficient, the barely existent military forces of Iraq were defeated as the coalition forces made their way to Baghdad. I remember the famous clip on live TV of the Iraqi’s pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein. Those were the good old days of the war. The years to follow would be slow, painful, and expensive. I supported the war without really giving a second though to why. That’s what all the other ‘conservatives’ were calling for, so it seemed like the right thing to do.

The war continued on into Senior year with no signs of a withdrawal. Every day casualties would be reported, much like they are still. All this while shaky and messy political processes were going on, and alas, to this day, not much progress has really occurred. But the mood switched from watching the events closely, to a sort of disconnection with what was happening. We all knew it was going on, but pushed it to the back of ours minds and just continued on with our daily lives. This was the case for most, especially ignorant high school kids, though of course not for those who were receiving letters, or getting that knock on the door, from the military.

Freshman year came, and despite going to a very liberal college, and the stereotype of college students turning liberal, my thoughts were unchanged on the war. My view on it was tweaked, and followed a lot of mainstream ‘conservatives’. Yes, it wasn’t done well, and we weren’t prepared for the post-Saddam era, but it was worth it to remove that madman, and now we need to clean up the mess.

The next year, sophomore year, which was fall 2006 to spring 2007, this past year, was the most important. Looking at the Republican choices likely to run for president, I quickly became a “Rudy-guy” because he was conservative on many (sort of) issues, from the same state I was, and had a tough stance on terrorism. Then I switched around September to Fred Thompson, even though he wouldn’t declare his candidacy for another year. He was similar to Rudy in regards to Iraq and terrorism, and was well known from movie and TV roles.

From sophomore in high school to sophomore in college, this blogger remained in the neocon prowar camp. So, what happened to change his mind?

I spent the later months of winter wondering “what now?” for what I was to do with my views on politics and candidates. I didn’t agree with the Democrats plans for spending and social programs, and the Republicans proved to be shallow and not even conservative with spending and war. The historic conservative position is to be anti-war. I was hesitant to discuss the war. How can one be a Republican and not be for the war? Who ever heard of such a thing?

Another turning point came in April, and especially May. The first big debate of the 2008 Republican primary season came in May, a debate at the Reagan Library, and it was a big debut for Ron Paul. He had the courage to go on stage in front of a possibly hostile crowd, and proclaim to the country that it was OK to be a conservative and be against this needless war.

So much has happened since then. The election cycle is heating up, and a paradigm shift is now in play. Republicans are coming out in increasing number saying they do not support this war. The success of Ron Paul recently is forcing a shift towards more constitutional and libertarian values. To think, if Paul had said any of these things during the 2002 or 2004 elections, he would’ve been laughed off the stage. Sure, he hasn’t gotten a good reception from the pro-war Republicans, and the process of convincing them will be hard, but the position that you can oppose the war and be a conservative now has grounding, and perhaps that is a reason why so many ‘conservatives’ are now annoyed with him.

Being someone who has seen both sides of the aisle, the “neocons” as many call them, and the anti-war Republicans, I have found that the neocon path was the more mindless one. My views were dominated by what the media was spewing out, and they all wanted this war. I didn’t think for myself much during that time, and when I did I just felt indifferent. This is not an issue one can feel indifferent for.

Now the attention has turned towards Iran. Sean Hannity is giving his list of reasons to attack them nightly on Hannity & Colmes. All the ‘conservatives’ are calling for military action. Whether they get what they want again or not, I will rest knowing that their numbers will be at least one fewer this time.

Read the rest.

43 thoughts on “A Journey from Neocon to Antiwar”

  1. I was a Senior in College in 2002-May 2003. I found Antiwar.com in the early Fall of 2002 when I first realized that we were going to war with Iraq no matter what the UN or Saddam did. I come from a highly Democratic area of NE Ohio, although not necessarily a rank and file place as my Congressman for many years was Jim Traficant who voted not with his party but with his mind and was eventually purged for this reason. I am not a Democrat (but I probably sympathize with them more than Republicans due to my openness on Social issues the Republicans just keep looking like hypocrites on, and I am not a fan of large Religious blocs) and my dad has instilled in me to think for issues rather than just pick a group an support them. I remember vividly when I was 7 and the 1988 Presidential election was taking place. I gave a sheet of paper to my mom, dad, grandma, and four siblings. The vote ended up 6 to 1. 6 for Dukakis and one for Ron Paul. At that point I had no idea who Ron Paul was, but I quickly learned and have respected him for many many years. I have already change my affiliation to the Republican party in Ohio solely to be able to vote for Ron in the primary. I am positive, especially among young antiwar registered Democrats that there needs to be a movement to get them to switch at least for these primaries to be able to vote for Ron Paul because every young Antiwar Democrat I introduce to Ron Paul say that they would vote for the man. Especially when I assure him of his Libertarian stance on Social issues. I believe the 2008 Presidential election can be won in the Republican primaries of early 2008. If Ron Paul could pull off the Republican vote, he would certainly draw many longtime Democrats into his sphere in the General Election. Good luck to the Good Doctor.

  2. I went from Democrat in High School, to Republican when I joined the military. I was never for the war in Iraq. I told my wife in 2002 that it was going to be a disaster because we were never going to be able to leave and the military was stretched too thin. Sure enough, it came true. My real disillusionment came from Kosovo, I was deployed there in 1999. I can tell you that 99.99% of what I have read on this site about the war in Yugoslavia is correct after being on the ground there. When Iraq started I defended it half-heartedly because it is hard for a soldier to criticize the mission. I don’t think that almost anyone who has been near a war ever wants to fight another one without being absolutely sure that it is worth it and that there is a plan for victory and also a plan to leave. At this point my best friend has been killed there, three guys I served with are dead and things are no better than the day we went in there. Its going to take the traitors in congress another 5 years to realize that the people want the troops home. I am 110% a Ron Paul supporter, I think the guy has been right about almost everything he says. The disagreements I have with him are completely overwhelmed by what he is getting right as well as the courage of convictions that he has had in standing up for those of us who feel like we got betrayed into this war. I am a Republican, have been for 10 years, and without Ron Paul, I wouldn’t be anymore.

  3. I was a freshman in college when 9/11 happened. I bought the Bush propaganda hook, line, and sinker, and was as happy as a neocon could be (although at that point I had never heard the term before) when the war was spread to Iraq. After years of looking at Iraq and watching the “reason” for going change from imminent threat of attack by WMDs, to liberate the Iraqi people and spread democracy, to stop Al-Queda, I began to question my unwaivering support for the war, and, by extension, George Bush. Since then I’ve also re evaluated my stances on many other issues and decided that this election I would look at a third party candidate. Then Ron Paul came along… and I’m still a Republican because of him.

  4. You guys need to put some of these stories on Red State dot come where they will have some impact on the neocons. Here you are just singing to the choir.

    1. Some people haven’t had a choir to sing to for a long time. Just a couple of days ago, George Will said that you could actually be an antiwar Republican, as if it were some kind of revelation. I think there are a lot of people out there that have been afraid to be against the war in public for a long time and Ron Paul speaking out at the debates has freed them.

    2. I don’t know about Red State per se, but typically you get kicked off of those sites for posting that sort of thing, and the posting gets deleted quickly. They don’t tolerate dissent (no doubt they fear that it will indeed have an impact as you suggest).

  5. There is no helping the people still on redstate. They will be the ones fiddling while Rome burns.

    I don’t understand why though. Aside from appointing a couple justices, Bush has done nothing right as far as conservativism goes.

    Abortion is still legal, so is flag burning, gay marriage is not banned… basically nothing in the religious right neo-con agenda has been passed with the exception of perpetual war and the idiotic concept of nation building.

    The guy is a bigger failure for the right than he ever could be for the left, because the were against him to begin with.

  6. “I remember the famous clip on live TV of the Iraqi’s pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein”

    That, of course, is the problem: The Iraqi’s didn’t pull down the statue, the US army did. This was yet another Media created illusion to fool the ignorant.

  7. Can someone please define “Neo-Con” What do you mean by this term? How is a neo conserviative different from a regular variety conservative?

    1. neocon: Big spending, big brother governmnet at home/ aggressive pax Americana militarism abroad.

  8. I am 36 and have voted Republican all my life and was Pro-War until 4 months ago. Ron Paul can be very persuasive – there has been no coverage of him until recently on radio and MSM. I now host a show on RonPaulRadio.

    Now, I consider myself a strict non-interventionist!

  9. When I was 12, I was very political (believe it or not) and I was a HUGE Reagan fan. I even wrote to him and got a letter back that I cherished for ages.
    Then I got older, became far more liberal, and even chanted down Reagan when he came to my HS. Voted for Clinton (I was actually excited about his campaign and was elated when he won, then felt betrayed by him almost right away). I’ve been in independent/libertarian ever since, and I have to say that I have been wanting Dr. Paul to run for the big office for years. I don’t agree with him on every issue, but someone who agrees with you 90% of the time is NOT your enemy, as Reagan said. I have never been more excited for a Presidential candidate since my early days as a kid talking up Governor Reagan to all the adults I met, hoping to stir up more votes for him.
    Ron Palul is, I believe, the only person who could unite left and right against this war, and I believe that is the only way we can end it.

  10. Most NeoCons’ also share a deep affiliation with Israel. Many of the NeoCons’ have been accused of having a loyalty to Israel that is equal (if not greater) than their loyalty to the U.S.

    What would we do if Saudis, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, or Mexicans were in these positions and had that level of loyalty to their “home” countries? We would call it treasonous. But, thanks to groups like AIPAC, we cannot even talk about this in the insane “mainstream media”.

    1. This protest song and video is so moving. And yes indeed, to Lion, Ron Paul should give out the full dope about the bios of the neocon advisors and candidates. Only the truth about their background and what they are advising can help the voter be fully informed about who and what she/he is voting for.

  11. Tim R…are you really that dumb?
    Neo is a greek prefix. Meaning new. So basically neo-conservatism means new conservatism. The neoconservative desire to spread democracy abroad has been likened to the Trotskyist theory of permanent revolution. They originated on the Left…Truman, FDR pro-interventionist democrats. They were offended by the hippy culture that started making in roads in the Democratic party and jumped shipped to the Republican Party to preach thier blind militarism. Where they have had great success.

    This would differ from a Paleo (Greek for ancient) conservative. This is the Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Russell Kirk, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Burke conservatism. That embraces family, individualism over collectivism, Cultural tradition, church and local goverment over federal government. This is where the empty platitude “small government” rhetoric comes from the Republican party nowadays.

    1. Goldhorder, can you ever answer a question without resorting to insults? Yes, I know what “neo-conservative” means but wanted to hear what most of the folks on this list defined it as.

      And by the way, just what is wrong with wanting to spread democracy? Isn’t that a good thing? If people are suffering under the hands of a tyrant, why should we not want to help them? Didn’t the Rev. Martin Luther King once say “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?”

      1. Tim R….TR…TRoll? Hmm. Anyway, let me pose this question again: By what authority does the federal government take our money and our children to fight countries that pose no threat to us? Is the Constitution just so much toilet paper to you? Perhaps having a Constitution to limit government power is an obstacle to monarchs such as Bush, but you really should consider that someone else will be wielding all those now-enlarged powers someday.

        And what’s wrong with wanting to spread democracy? You mean, what’s wrong with attacking sovereign nations and slaughtering their people and revelling in the screams and anguish of orphan and bereaved parent for your own idea of right, don’t you? You know, it’s just about too bad for your sake that Britain and France didn’t invade America in 1850 to put an end to slavery, a blight upon millions. They could have conquered us using exactly the same reasons you use to bring hell and death to other peoples.

      2. Tim R

        “Democracy” has become a euphemism for control by Washington DC. Any foreign leaders that operate contrary to the diktats of the Washington DC establishment are slandered as “dictators”, while “pro-western” (compliant) dictators are ignored by the “democracy” mongers.

        Wars of aggressive “liberation” invariably cause more misery to the victimized populace than the terrible dictator they are said to target. Case in point, Iraqis are worse off now than before we started blowing up their country and killing them.

        BTW, didn’t the Rev. Martin Luther King oppose the Vietnam War (the Iraq of the 60’s & 70’s)?

      3. Re: “just what is wrong with wanting to spread democracy? Isn’t that a good thing?”

        Oh, the naivete. Yes, democracy is a good thing. But there’s NO provisions in the Constitution for the United States to bleed it’s citizens of their taxes to spread that freedom abroad. And the last thing you do is spread democracy from the barrel of a gun. If a nation or a citizenry desires a democracy, they will choose it for themselves, they will fight their own battles and claim their own victories (ever heard of the American Revolutionary War?), instead of sacrificing OUR kids to a meatgrinder for a population that regular polls indicate just want us to go away. Besides, killing a million, displacing two million, and unleashing hell, hardly qualifies as a celebration of “spreading democracy” in any culture or language other than the delusional chickenhawk neocon brigade.

        1. Yes, democracy is a good thing.

          Negative, “democracy” is NOT a good thing! “Democracy” is, as Thomas Jefferson so forcefully and correctly stated, mob rule, the domination of the minority by the majority, the subversion of the rights of the individual to the will of the collective. Karl Marx referred to it as “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Democracy is a system in which the will of “the public” overrides the rule of law, law that guarantees that the rights of the individual are codified and protected by the power of the government (i.e., the system of government envisioned by the founders, which is a Constitutional Republic, not a “democracy”). “Democracy” is responsible for the current state of affairs in the U.S., that being the destruction of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the increasing imposition of fiat rule by the federal government.

      4. Tim R.,

        Would that be neo-democracy or standard issue? How does democracy work with 60% Shia and 40% Sunni, which is split between Arabs and Kurds? Oh wait, I think we have an example.

  12. When ex-Trotskyites Leo Strauss and Irving Kristol (the latter is the father of The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol) came over to conservatism, they brought some baggage with them. They believed:

    1. That “noble lies” and deception were acceptable political tactics. They were moral relativists who believed that the end justifies the means.

    2. They believed that religion was a useful tool to control groups.

    3. They believed that an external enemy is essential to the maintenance of power.

    Sound familiar?

    See http://amnation.com/vfr/archives/001679.html for more on this.

  13. It is time that Ron Paul told the Republicans exactly what the Neo cons are and their roots with a full disclosure of each of the other candidates and or the Neocon advisors and their original Democratic party war mongering roots of the late Fifties and Early Sixties. Not as a negative but the actual biography of the person.

    How many Old time Republicans will be happy with effective Democratic Party like control of the GOP.

    Look at the Policies of Bush and they are big Government, Big Spending, Big Government Control of the People, and Big Foreign Interventionist Ideals the list of these things is the opposite of what the GOP traditionally stands for. It is time for the GOP to evict the Neocon interlopers from the Party, If they are as strong as they believe they are let them form a Party on thier own.

  14. Tim R, the phrase “spread democracy” should be put in quotes. Washington hates democracy, except when people vote in “acceptable” ways.

  15. Tim R likes the idea of spreading democracy. Well, if it were a real objective of neoconservatism instead of a cynical propaganda-ploy, I think Tim R can be brought to understand like any human being with reasonable mental ability can, that such cannot (ever) be done by interventionism of foreign powers.
    Somehow it seems that even for die-hard neocons this is easy enough to recognize in a case when for example elections would be held in say Libanon under the watchful eyes of a Syrian military for example.
    But apparently in some the ability to think rationally about such situations quickly breaks down, when the US is doing the occupying. Now why is that? Good intentions perhaps? (Not meant to be funny.)
    It is possible and legitimate, although that not always makes it automatically wise also, to use pressure (diplomatic, political, economical) as a foreign power to push befriended regimes toward democratic reforms. That is if you think that is a good idea.
    We see (Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Jordan etc.) however a remarkable effort on the part of the US to refrain from following that much more effective and peaceful path. This brings me to the question why not? Is it that the US does not consider democracy such a good idea in for example Egypt, Jordan, Saudi-Arabia, Turkmenistan etc. but does in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan?
    On the other hand we see that where honest democratic elections are being held in the Middle-East, this does not stop the US from trying to tackle those governments, by no means holding back on illegal and immoral methods, like punishing the people collectively who elected those governments and those who didn’t. You see there is this credibility-gap that you must either be blind and deaf or maybe live inside some cocoon, safely shielded from reality to enable you to ignore it. It seems from the stories some people are able to smash it’s walls and see the world. More power to them.

  16. Id like to try to spread Democracy back in America. We have a Unitary Executive and a non-binding Congress. The only place we should be working to spread Democracy is right here at home.


    Confident yet incompetent
    To plunge into the thing,
    My country, O my country, it
    Is of thee that I sing.

    Throwing all caution to the wind
    So charged ye forth, and rushing blind
    Hastened to war (O never mind
    The step once taken–although dinned
    The early warning–none rescind).

    Confident yet incompetent
    To plunge into the thing,
    My country, O my country, it
    Is of thee that I sing.

    Gladly ye went, expecting flowers
    To be strewn forth for TV viewers,
    Soldiers´ advance without detours,
    And love returned for naked power´s
    Belligerent stomp when bluster sours.

    Confident yet incompetent
    To plunge into the thing,
    My country, O my country, it
    Is of thee that I sing.

    Ain´t you the foolish cusses, ye
    That hurried up to infamy,
    The footfalls to posterity
    Echoing–how egregiously
    Ye chose war, such as rascals be!

  18. Now Sanchez says the Iraq war is a nightmare. Why? Because we didn’t adopt the right tactics after we invaded. Sanchez, like most warmongers, still doesn’t get it. We had absolutely no business invading in the first place; the tactics are not the issue. That it didn’t work out in fact is a good thing, since if it becomes the real absolute disaster it is shaping up to be, we might, just might, learn not to start imperial wars again. Or are we beyond learning?

  19. And by the way, just what is wrong with wanting to spread democracy?, says Tim.

    Tim, I have news for you. We have no real desire to spread democracy in the Middle East since if the area became democratic the “radicals” would take over all the governments. “Spreading democracy” is just another lame, belated excuse for the war given out by the warmongers to take in dupes like you. The warmongers know that democracy isn’t going to happen there any time soon, so it is a safe cover for their imperial war and occupation of Iraq.

  20. Question: What makes a nation “sovereign?” Many people have posted on here talking about the fact that we can’t just go in and invade “sovereign” nations to promote democracy. Was Iraq sovereign? In my worldview, a nation is “sovereign” and legitimate if the rulers of said nation are ruling by the consent of the governed. This is an idea expounded by Locke, Roussau, Jefferson etc. If a nation is ruled by a brutal tyrant like Saddam Hussein, or by a royal family that rules with absolute power, ie Saudi Arabia, what makes that nation “sovereign?” There is no “social contract.” Indeed, its not sovereign. It is a criminal enterprise and why should we give it the same respect as a legitimate democracy like France or Australia for example?

  21. The idea of Locke, Rousseau and Jefferson referred to the people of a country standing up to their own government not legitimizing invasions by foreign powers to steal oil or serve Israeli interests or whatever.

    I say you can’t go and invade countries who do not threaten you directly and imminently, period. And “imminently” does not mean most unlikely, but perhaps in an unknown future.

    But let’s forget the (very) twisted idea that a country being not “sovereign” automatically makes it a candidate to occupy for any foreign power with enough military prowess to run it over.

    Let’s forget this same logic makes a some very important countries the US depends on for it’s geopolitical politics not sovereign and eligible to whatever foreign occupation, I imagine claims to want to restore democracy. That is if the same standards then still apply.

    Let’s forget installed puppet regimes in occupied countries eg Iraq, Afghanistan are most definitely not sovereign and eligible to being invaded by foreign powers by this same logic.

    Let’s see this from another perspective. It can be argued by some hypothetical country with a military that would pale the US’s in comparison that the government of the US hasn’t been properly chosen. And as we all very well know (but perhaps wish we didn’t) there are some very valid arguments to back up that position.

    Let’s forget this time about the issue of vote fraud. It can be argued that in the US (like many other “democracies”) political power is largely a matter of buying it, indirectly, but still.
    Say now there is in this hypothetical all-powerful country a new school of thought which says this US government isn’t really chosen by it’s people, it has been hijacked by a hostile elite and therefore it is in reality a thinly veiled tyranny of that elite. And as can clearly be seen by it’s behavior in the past and the present, thinly veiled tyrannies are aggressive by nature and a threat to world-peace and hence a threat to our national security and our global interests.

    Therefore we see it as our right and even our duty to restore real democracy in the US so that it’s people may be represented by their government again. (Is this stupid or what? That’s neoconservatism seen from the receiving end.)

    But far from recognizing this stupidity in this hypothetical country there are counter-Tim R,s arguing on their antiwar-forums (let’s hope they do have that then) that the US is not really sovereign, because there is not really a government that actually represents it’s people in any meaningful way. Then this position can be backed up by listing all that’s wrong in and with the US. And you can believe me that foreigners like this counter-Tim R. will leave no stone unturned and bring him to the conclusion that the US government is actually nothing more than a criminal enterprise and that his country is right in removing this regime and replace it with something better.

    Do you agree with your counterpart? Hypothetically yes or really yes?

  22. The keynote speaker at the 1952 Republican convention, Gen. Dougls MacArthur, referred to the Democrats as “America’s Modern War Party.” My, my, how the times doth change things.

  23. Tim, how silly can you be? You want to invade and overturn all governments that don’t meet your criteria? That would involve most of Africa, lots of Latin America and also China, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, all the Gulf Emirates, etc., etc. No wonder we are in the mess we are in with looneys on the loose.

  24. Fact is, Tim, if you’d pay some attention to the facts you would notice that we only invade countries that are not submissive to us: that was Iraq, now it is Iran ( but we are stopped by fears there of what would happen to the price of oil), and it was N. Korea, but we feared they had nukes so we couldn’t risk that. The only way for a nation to be not submissive to us and survive is to get nukes. That is why Iran wants and needs them. Get your head screwed on straight. “Democracy” has nothing to do with it.

  25. One man’s so-called democracy is another man’s hell, in this case a Shiite:

    “My uncles and cousins were murdered by Saddam’s regime. I wanted desperately to get rid of him. But today, if Saddam’s feet appeared in front of me, I would fall to my knees and kiss them!”

    The idea that war proponents ever lost sleep because an Iraqi Shiite didn’t have the right to vote is beyond laughable. This argument only appeared because every argument before it was proven to be a lie. People like Tim only care about spreading democracy inasmuch as it supplies a cover for his lack of cogent arguments in favor of killing people who’ve done him no harm. The War Party only cares about spreading democracy inasmuch as it convinces the public to go along with policies that ultimately destroy their economic freedom, liberty, and honor.

  26. Hal, I never said we should invade all countries that don’t fit our definition of democracy. I just said we should stop calling them “sovereign” and giving their governments an air of legitimacy they don’t deserve.

  27. “In my worldview, a nation is “sovereign” and legitimate if the rulers of said nation are ruling by the consent of the governed”

    Is the US ruled by “the consent of the governed”? What does “the consent of the governed” mean when 1/4 of the electorate votes in “off-years” and only 54-60% vote in presidential years, and then only show up because of dire warnings of what will happen if the other pre-selected candidate wins.

    The American citizenry is no more ‘sovereign’, no more “consent” to the corporations that control our lives through the kabuki performance of elections & congress than the people of Iraq were when the bombs fell on them at the behest of the oil companies and Israel.

  28. Tim. I don’t think deciding whether they are “legitimate” or not is up to us. We don’t, in spite of what the Neocons and warmongers would like, rule the world. Nations that are generally regarded as “sovereign” and belong to the UN are sovereign whatever YOU personally think.

  29. “In my worldview, a nation is “sovereign” and legitimate if the rulers of said nation are ruling by the consent of the governed”

    So where do we fit in? Our leaders lie in their campaign promises, get elected, and don’t fulfill the wishes of the people who elected them. Or as mentioned elsewhere, a near majority of the people do not get the person they voted for at all. Or in the case of Bush in 2000, the MAJORITY did not even get the person they voted for.

    I read George H.W. Bush’s lips and voted for him so we would get no new taxes. We got new taxes. I did not want Bill Clinton in office. He governed me for eight years. I voted for the Republican Contract With America in 1994 and saw very little of it happen. I voted for George W. Bush’s humble foreign policy, not realizing that he was stacking his administration with rabid interventionists prior to his election. And when all the years of Republican rhetoric about social values, smaller government, individual liberty, and constitutional responsibility led to my decades-long dream of Republican control of the presidency and both houses, I watched as they violated virtually every conservative talking point they ever used. One of W’s first “successes” in office was the largest expansion of the federal role in education since 1965.

    This nation has endured a virtual 20 year monarchy by two families, the Bushes and Clintons, with perhaps four to eight more to follow. Despite this, we are a sovereign nation. I guess I can be thankful that there’s no stronger power on earth that can see the obvious and “save” us from ourselves.

    Even if we accept that a near majority of the people do not consent to be governed by people they did not vote for, we now have a solid, overwhelming majority of people who have not consented to our dear leader for years, yet we have no “vote of confidence” type system built in to throw the bum out. Yes, we have impeachment, but our “opposition” party refuses to govern in the manner in which those who voted them into power would like. There are endless examples of our government not governing in the manner in which “the people” consent, whatever on earth that’s worth: you may consent with Bush, but did you consent with Clinton? I consented with neither.

    “…and giving their governments an air of legitimacy they don’t deserve.”

    And GIVING their governments an air of legitimacy they don’t DESERVE? Wow. And just where does this august body reside which presumes to decide who “deserves” airs of legitimacy and then “gives” them? This sounds like more political hot “air” to float a lame argument to me. Does this body have a written standard by which to judge foreign countries or are these standards set by the whims of people whose authority rests on being voted into office by a public that doesn’t consent to their post-election actions? Does their authority rest on a public that can’t even begin to recognize the most superficial differences of these cultures they disrupt so deeply, much less understand the complex nuances that have driven them for millenia? Does their authority rest on a public that by an embarrassing percentage can’t even find their own country on a globe?

    One assumes that since it’s these United States of America that take the unilateral role of judging whether or not a foreign country deserves its own sovereignty, surely our constitution explains how and why I, as an American taxpayer, should have X number of my tax dollars earned from my day’s labor diverted from my family to provide this “service” to people in a foreign land, and why I, as a Christian, should have to pay to kill people in violation of my religious beliefs.

    Parroting the neocon attempt of using Locke and Rousseau to intellectualize their justification for wasting our blood and money may satisfy the “my gosh aren’t they smart” factor in neocon circles, but it doesn’t fly in factland. We’re witnessing right now in Iraq that two 17th and 18th century European philosophers’ theories about social contracts are not necessarily going to answer for the wildly opposing views of peoples who lived far more effectively in their separated tribes before our European meddlers caged them into their common artificial boundaries. Not that these high highfalutin’ ideas ever entered the neocon equation a priori; this is just more of the post-disaster scrambling for explanations that works oh so well for those civilian champions of the military who quiver in their boots at the mere mention of the word “Islam”.

    Hitler only dreamed at the level of lemmingmania we’ve achieved here in 21st century America despite all the information at our fingertips.

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