Neocons at National Review: ‘Stop Calling Us Neocons!’

When pondering the intellectual decline of political movements, it is hard not to call to mind the former flagship publication of the Buckleyite wing of conservatism called National Review. Where once learned men (and women) made their case from the heights of argumentation and erudition — a force to be reckoned with, like it or not — the publication has over the years accelerated to absurdity, devolved to inanity, shrunk into a whiny club of simpering sycophants screaming full force in an empty echo chamber. An exercise in intellectual onanism, today’s NRO has nothing to say about the future because it remembers nothing of the past. It is conservatism not only without a conscience, but without understanding of that which it purports to conserve.

It may be debatable whether there was ever a Buckleyite movement wholly separate from the neoconservative impulse, or at what point the worms began eating into the flesh of the magazine. But that the neocons hijacked the magazine, silenced any conservative vein of thought not in harmony with their heterodox and revolutionary views (can one be at the same time a conservative and a revolutionary?), and proceeded to redefine what passes as modern conservatism to suit their alien agenda cannot be denied.

So now that the neoconservatives have successfully burrowed themselves so deeply into what was once the conservative movement that they have killed the host, they look around at the destruction they have wrought and scream, “don’t blame us!”

Thus we find ourselves faced with chief whiner of the National Review universe Jonah Goldberg, a man absolutely fearless at the thought of sending others to die in disastrous wars overseas but cowering at the thought of placing himself in harm’s way, arguing that we must not call him and his cohorts what they actually are. In his latest little bitch session in some corner of NRO, he tells us that, “The Term ‘Neocon’ Has Run It’s Course.

Don’t call us neocons, he says, because the word has no meaning, it never had meaning, and you’re all just a bunch of anti-Semites if you continue to use it. Here is a summary of Jonah Goldberg’s argument for why we should not call the neocons neocons:

1) Neocons were never that interested in foreign policy at first. The neocon was merely, in the words of Neocon Godfather Irving Kristol, “a liberal who was mugged by reality and wants to press charges.”

2) Neoconservatism is not even an ideology at all, but rather, as Kristol averred, a “persuasion.”

3) Neocons like Jeane Kirkpatrick did not advocate rapid liberalization in authoritarian countries, but preferred gradual change. In other words, regime change through the National Endowment for Democracy rather than a US invasion.

4) Neocons were not that radical in their anti-communism, in fact they were more dovish even than the standard National Review writer during the Cold War.

5) Democrats like Bill Clinton also wanted regime change so you can’t just blame the neocons.

6) It’s not fair that neocons get the blame for the disastrous 2003 Iraq war. Lots of others joined them in advocating for the war but they all turned against it while the neocons held steadfast in support.

7) Critics of neoconservatism are actually just anti-Semites. Their criticism of neoconservatism as an intellectual movement is just cover for their hatred of, as Jonah indelicately puts it, “Hebraic super-hawk[s].”

8) We’re all neocons now, so stop calling us neocons. Every Republican is a super hawk, we won, history has ended, so let’s bury those old Cold War terms and just accept that the neocons are the masters. Move along, nothing to see here.

“Meanwhile,” Goldberg concludes, “the Right is having a long overdue, and valuable, argument about how to conduct foreign policy. Keep it going, just leave neoconservatism out of it.”

Ah yes, let’s have a debate about foreign policy with a pre-condition that everyone agree with the neocon view of foreign policy — pre-emptive war, American exceptionalism at the barrel of a gun, military Keynesianism, national security state at home, NSA surveillance of Americans, gunboat diplomacy without the diplomacy, and so on.

Sorry Jonah. Not going to happen. Sorry that history is a cruel judge of your disastrous movement, but don’t count on the rest of us to pretend something isn’t what it is. Neocon.

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

69 thoughts on “Neocons at National Review: ‘Stop Calling Us Neocons!’”

  1. Is anyone surprised that Jonah Goldberg threw out the anti-Semitic card regarding those who criticize the poor, misunderstood neoconservatives? Ok, then, how about "neo-fascists?" That's a much closer definition anyway.

    1. That will do, as will 'nihilist', 'dual citizen', 'incomparable boob', 'sophist', 'liar', 'Islamophobe', 'Israel Firster', 'Sauruman' … did I leave any out?

      If this collossal collection of malevolent ignoramuses are going to insist that Obama call radical jihadi terrorism by its rightful name, we can insist that these neocons never forget what a hell on earth they have made this world.

      W's people are talking about dragging him away from dog portraiture to reanimate Jeb!'s stillborn campaign. That's a laugh right there, but do you think there's a reason why Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Feith, Rumsfeld, Condaleeza et al won't be joining the Bushes on the hustings? I do. It's called neoconservatism.

      Sticks and stones may break Arab bones, but naming a neocon will surely hurt him. What a profile in cowardice by Goldberg. Jonah is a neocon right down to his non-apology apologia. Another despicable load of rubbish from one of the Empire's lesser rubbishmen.

      1. P.S. McAdams's analysis is fine, but to appreciate the full nostril-filling stench of Jonah's writing it must be read in the original bull—-.

        1. P.P.S. I've forgotten my Tolkien. In any proper demonology Goldberg is too inconsequential and too stupid to be Sauruman. He's Grima Wormtongue.

  2. The former commies' penchant for purges remains. Skepticism of Buckley's called for, but neither he nor his offspring, ideological or by blood, survived the neocon coup by the likes of the Goldbricks; WFB's own columns were no longer carried by the magazine he founded, well before he passed away.

  3. I loved that since 9/11 conservatives use anti-Semite as an argument, for a movement that claims to hate scum like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson they sure love using their tactics. Fuck the NR, Free Republic, Ace of Spades and other right-statist hell holes

  4. The whole career of Jonah Goldberg is founded on a stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress. i8 was subscriber to National Review for 42 years. Buckley turned it over to guys who made it a bad imitation of Commentary.

  5. The neoconservative movement was, without doubt, at its inception, a Jewish and Zionist movement – former liberals like Irv Kristol and disciples of Strauss at the University of Chicago who were primarily loyal to Israel and sought to conflate US and Israeli policy, or more accurately, to use America as sword, shield, and treasury for Israeli expansion per the Oded Yinon Plan {perpetually framed as "defense" against the wild, anti-semitic brown hordes}. It was later, due to semantic drift, conflated with "militarism."

    Buckley would have had none of this hyperinterventionism

    The Jewishness and Zionism of the founders of neoconservatism as such can not be seriously argues as a matter of the history of American political philosophy. Those who *doubt* it should likely simply look into the matter. Those who seek to obfuscate the truth of it probably due so out of a desire to obfuscate the Israel Firster nation of its adherents, for many of whom 'dual loyalty' would be an improvement.

    This may be politically delicate but need not be. Neoconservatism was engendered by Jewish Zionists of the Likudnik persuasion, and the evidence for this is clear as day. The 'why' we are not supposed to discuss this I leave to the reader, but I object to this memory-holing of the truth, and the legacy of Strauss, who spent his career demonstrating he misunderstood the Greeks.

    1. Jonah – the term "neocon" is the polite term. I don't think you would like what could take its place.

    2. Precisely right. There is still a powerful disincentive, an imposed "habit" of self-censorship when it comes to naming the Zionist — and yes, Jewish — centrality to Neoconservatism. The Zionist plan was (1) get a major power — the British, per the Balfour Declaration — to escort the Jews into Palestine, (2) Once there, to bulk up and arm themselves for the moment of conquest — the 1948 "War of Independence", and then (3) by promoting American militarism, propagandizing the American people into believing in a "special relationship", and subverting the US govt through Neocon control of the executive and AIPAC control of the legislature, to maintain Israel security long term against substantial world hostility, by employing the US Military as Israel's proxy army.

      The Neocons — "Jewish Zionists of the Likudnik persuasion" — succeeded magnificently at every turn, employing the all-too-willing American Jewish community to bankroll their subversion.

      In this matter, Jewish culpability should never be glossed over. Post-holocaust, it has been the height of political incorrectness to bluntly declare American Jewish disloyalty, but that is precisely what it is. One could say — and I frequently say it — that the American Jewish community got hoodwinked by Zionist propaganda-slash-mythology into supporting the mistake that is Israel, but the reality is that tribal loyalty made the initial hoodwinking very easy, and the very same tribal loyalty easily transformed American Jews into supporters of Israeli interests over American interests.

      The "special relationship" that Israel has with America is very much the sort of "special relationship" that Bill Cosby had with his "girl friends".

      I'm an American and a Jew and I refuse complicity in- or any sort of censorship regarding Zionist criminality, and the lazy complicity in this criminality of Jewish supporters of Israel the world over.

      Truth is truth.

  6. lets just cut to the chase here, Neocons are ……………..Americans who only answer to a foreign malevolent government, AKA Traitorous Scum!

  7. Must read: Same religious folks have captured America–Fake Neocons are actually Bolsheviks.
    "Putin and Israel – a complex and multi-layered relationship
    The recent murder of Samir Kuntar by Israel has, yet again, inflamed the discussion about Putin’s relation to Israel. This is an immensely complicated topic and those who like simple, canned, “explanations” should stop reading right now. The truth is, the relationship between Russia and Israel and, even before that, between Jews and Russians would deserve an entire book. In fact, Alexander Solzhenitsyn has written exactly such a book, it is entitled “200 years together”, but due to the iron grip of the Zionists on the Anglo media, it has still not been translated into English. That should already tell you something right there – an author acclaimed worldwide who got the Nobel Prize for literature cannot get his book translated into English because its contents might undermine the official narrative about Russian-Jewish relations in general and about the role Jews played in Russian 20th century politics in particular! What other proof of the reality of the subordination of the former British Empire to Zionists interest does one need?…………" Sad part– Neo Conservative term is 100% a masquerade–history repeats itself–Bolsheviks are running USA

    1. Exactly what you write has been my main point for some time now. Neoconservatism is a meaningless word. Jonah Goldberg is right about that. It is a joke; an anacronism; a hidden message and a "maskirovka". It contains hidden intentions, masquerade and camouflage. Their "creative destruction", their concept of regime change and then regime change again are continuations of Leon Trotskys concept of "continual revolution". Frederic Delano Roosevelts son-in-law, Curtis B. Dall recognized them first hand for what they are and for their influence over american policy, and Dall wrote about it. He is still unknown, and Solzhenitsyn would have been just as unknown had he not written books which the zionists could use first. That gave them a problem to tackle, -which they did. The mindless and proud arrogance of the american and the european intellectual elites, together with their cowardice lets them do it.

  8. Let's call them "cuckservatives"
    they pretend to be conservative but are actually cuckolding the country and the people for foreign interests.

  9. May I be frank?
    All neocon political philosophy stems from one primary goal: protect the national interests of Israel rather than that of the U.S.
    National Review had financial problems way back, and I suspect that neocon Jews came to the rescue with money. Joe Sobran was later fired from NR by Bill Buckley when he started to criticize the Jewish lobby. This was a low point for Buckley. I lost respect for him.
    The Jewish lobby has outsized influence way beyond what is fair and patriotic, and the fact that this is not a subject for debate, including in the presidential debates, is a sign of just how low mainstream media and political discourse have sunk. The media and just about everyone else is afraid of Jews, let's face it.
    Jews have every right to speak out and influence others, just as much as anyone else, but not to control. There is a difference.

  10. “Chicken hawk” is a good substitute for Goldberg and his NRO buddies.
    It works on two levels. First, it describes the kind of person who calls for war but won’t fight.. Second, the classical definition of chicken hawk -the corrupters of innocents – like what they did to poor George W Bush, a childlike, half wit that gullibly fell for their perverted politics. No wonder the guy is a recluse.

    1. There we go again,,,excusing the high crimes of Bush and his neocon handlers who implemented the blueprint that Obama traitorously rode on and its all obamass fault. Thats the black and white issue right there. Obama taking the fall. Similar to the kidnapped slaves being blamed today everytime law enforceent murders them.

      A cursory anaylysis of anti obama comments and the ability for the burning bush to hide away out of site portrays why Amerikkka is in deep doodoo

  11. There is a certain amount to be said for the "we are all neocons now" point, as least as far as the American internet is concerned. All sites preach the same gospel, it's just dressed up in different jargon according to whatever ideology the site professes. Unanimity is not a natural human condition, so that made me very quickly suspicious. For example, have you ever seen an article arguing that the Palestinians are winning? Not even Palestinian authors do that! Israel always wins. On the rightwing sites, they cheer when they say that. On the leftwing sites, they lament. Ditto for the EU. The rightwing sites argue that the EU is evil and must be destroyed because it's a hotbed of socialism. The leftwing sites argue that the EU evil and must be destroyed because it's a hotbed of capitalism. Since the rightwingers believe that socialism has already failed and the leftwingers believe that capitalism is doomed to failure, one wonders why Americans need to be bothered either way! Both Israel first and anti-EU are classic neocon positions, reflecting their belief that US global hegemony is essential for Israel's survival. Thus, everybody does indeed seem to be a neocon. It's just that there are conservative neocons, socialist neocons, libertarian neocons, zionist neocons etc.

  12. Neocons have often been called "chickenhawks" for their refusal to take part in the wars they instigate. While that is true, the epithet is too mild. I hereby submit the stronger epithets "vampirehawks" and "vulturehawks" to illustrate how they gorge themselves on the blood and flesh of the people killed in their wars.. Show me a neocon, and I'll show you a war profiteer. Smedley Butler would have had a field day with them.

  13. As a student of history, I have humbly come to the conclusion that our disastrous colonial wars (e.g. Iraq),interventions ( e.g. Libya, Syria) subversions ( e,g.Ukraine) have been instigated by the Zionist snake, perched on the shoulders of our Grand Washington Deciders hissing in their ear to achieve the Zionist goal of Greater Israel encompassing all of Palestine, part of Egypt, most of Lebanon,Jordan, and lots of Syria up to Damascus. The Yinon Plan developed in the '80's establishes the blueprint for action. Zionist use the U.S. as its tool for conquest and it is us time for the citizenry to head to the barricades ( Aux Barricades!) and purge our government from these malign Talmudic influences.

  14. How about calling these types "neohuman psychopaths"? The infection is unfortunately not limited to the neocon Kristols or Goldbergs of the world, or to Zionists. In fact these neohumans are found across the globe, in all human populations that I know of – with the possible exception of certain isolated indigenous populations – and these mutants and their minions are the principle architects and beneficiaries of all the chaos and destruction we see around us. They may be identified by their utter lack of empathy or remorse, the natural human conscience that constrains 96% of the people in the world from doing bad things. How many of these particular neohumans, the neocons, have expressed remorse for the needless deaths of what has been estimated as 1,000,000 Iraquis – many innocent women and children? The fact that they and their cohorts urged war, based on lies, and now express no contrition shows them for what they are. Yet this parasitic infection or the neohumans who presently rule the world, only continue their predations because they are allowed to and are even rewarded by the vast majority of humans. They are sure to continue, dragging the rest of us to the brink of extinction, unless we identify them for the mutants they are, say "no" and stop them.

  15. Thank you! Say what you wan't about the Bolsheviks but they were, by nature, ANTI-imperialists.
    If Trotsky were alive today he would be in Palestine right now, holding up the front lines with neo-Bolsheviks like the PFLP.

    Neocons, like Nazi's, are wolves in socialist clothing, to stupid to understand Trotsky or Marx and to cruel to grasp the fact that world revolution is about solidarity not interventionism.

  16. Wow! that is a lot of f**king comments. Cheesy Pete's!

    A few points-

    1). Bill Clinton IS a Neocon and so is his wife. The whole "liberal" thing is just for the youth vote.

    2). While Neocons and Zionists have a disturbingly incestuous relationship that has nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with conquest. Some of histories finest anti-Zionists have been Jews- Noam Chomsky, Israel Shamir, Norman Finkelstien etc. Blaming all Jews for Zionism and neoconservatism is kind of like blaming all Muslims for ISIS and Al-Qaeda, just less fashionable.

    3). Neocons have about as much in common with Bolshevism as they do with democracy. Trotsky and Lenin like Marx and Engels were both virulent anti-imperialists. The October Uprising actually began as a revolt against Czarist Russian involvement in the First World War.

    4). Neocons can best be described as a variety of predatory sociopath falling somewhere between serial killers and child molesters but I'll leave it up to the pro's at the DSM to decide on an official title.

    Just a few thoughts from your friendly neighborhood Marxist-Anti-Zionist. Feel free to burn me at the stake. Firewood's out back.



  17. If I were a NR editor I'd be eager to stamp out "neo-con" and all it represented. If they had any sense of decency they would crawl under a rock leaving an apology for others to find. Goldberg, make Aliyah. Your usefulness to Israel is over.

  18. NOT! If the slipper fits you know! February 26, 2015 The Neoconservative Threat To World Order

    Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia that President Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing.

  19. Oct 8, 2015 Neocons Demand Escalation in Syria

    The Syria crisis is escalating since Russia began bombing ISIS and al-Qaeda last week. The neocons in the US are demanding that Obama do something to stop the Russians. The US mission is to get rid of Assad and there is great danger of an over-reaction.

  20. 2) Neoconservatism is not even an ideology at all, but rather, as Kristol averred, a “persuasion.”

    Are you born like it – like being gay?

  21. Giving the neocons a new name is really just playing their own game. I prefer to identify them by their actions — "Ye shall know them by their fruits."

  22. Every time I hear of National Review nowadays, I have to think of what a clear illustration it provides of the insidious influence of inflation: CIA money in the 1950s bought you Buckley, who then hired Sobran and Buchanan and the others. It's so sad to see, by contrast, what they get for their money nowadays.

  23. Mr Kenny, you have ade a most illuninating comment and as per my reply to Mcevoy, the minus figure extended to you by these antiwar neocons is VERY illuminating.

  24. Sounds like the whining and bitching starts here. You like the term NeoCon because you are probably anti-Semitic. You probably have a few other racist monikers you’ll try to bring mainstream acceptance next, if this works.

    You label anyone strong on defense as a NeoCon? So, National Review is full of liberals that are strong on defense?

    Over at the RP Institute of Head in the sand, you think that our responsibility of our nation ends at the shore, but even Jefferson found out that’s not limit to our interests.

    Lets all be nicey nicey and then the Islamo-fascist and 3rd world dictators will like us and everything will be good in the world. Yaaaay.

    Here lies the bitch. That sentence can be interpreted a few ways and one more accurate than the next.

    Looks like I’m the only one that cared to respond to your pathetic and revealing cry.

    1. Neocons are neither “liberals” nor “strong on defense.” They’re social democrats of a Trotskyite bent who support an aggressive warlike foreign policy (the opposite of “defense”).

        1. To everyone at National Review? Absolutely not.

          Goldberg in particular? I don’t really know, but I’d lean toward “no.”

          In my opinion, “neocon” and “neoconservative” are much-overused (at least for the last 15 years or so) terms that are misused to describe anyone who supports a hawkish foreign policy. Neoconservatism is an insular intellectual orientation, not a large political movement. It got a footHOLD in the GOP (via establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy and so forth) by being hawkish, but its footPRINT in the GOP is actually fairly small, and not nearly all GOP hawks are actually neoconservatives.

          1. Why are you restarting the conversation we had a year ago?

            The term is misused all the time. It’s not worth the baggage associated with it.

          2. \Why do you think a Neo-Nazi will identify themselves as a Neo-Nazi…?//

            When someone is referred to as a Neo-Nazi, you are not being misled into thinking that they follow beliefs that align with Nazism.

            When you call someone a Neo-Con, most jump to the conclusion they are New Conservatives and use their actions to attack those conservative to the Constitution.

            Continuing to obfuscate rather than using a label that has some clarity seems to be your way. So, go forth in your deception. I will follow and point it out to the uninformed.

          3. There never have been, nor are there now, more than a handful of neoconservatives. It’s a small, insular theoretical tendency although it has exercised out-size influence by getting a few people appointed to key positions in think tanks (Muravchik at AEI), and government (Kirkpatrick as UN ambassador, Wolfowitz and Feith at Defense, etc.) and getting Reagan to subsidize its party line with taxpayer money through the National Endowment for Democracy and so forth, but all the actual neoconservatives in DC would fit in a single metro car.

      1. No, it was not a term that originally had antisemitic connotations. It was a term used by an insular ideological group of Trotskyist entryists into mainstream politics, many of whom were Jewish, to describe themselves. It’s been over-used in recent years. Few politicians are neoconservatives, they tend to congregate in the think tanks and bureaucracies instead.

      2. So, if they are not Conservatives as in the American version, conservative to the US Constitution and principles that it represents, then WHY USE IT?

        The term is a misnomer in itself and misapplied to many.

          1. David Horowitz actually IS a neoconservative, albeit a bit of a lightweight/circus act in the neoconservative milieu. He studied Marxism under Trotsky’s biographer, Isaac Deutscher long before pulling the usual neocon shift “to the right.”

            Neoconservativism is an insular intellectual orientation that expresses politically through think tanks and bureaucratic sinecures. The closest thing to a neoconservative politician would probably have been former (sic) Trotskyite Jean Kirkpatrick, who served as Reagan’s UN ambassador.

            Bush, Obama and Clinton aren’t neoconservatives. That would require loyalty to an intellectually consistent, albeit evil, position. They’re just politicians. They’re anybody’s dogs who’ll hunt with them.

        1. Should we now use Klu Klux Klan in another context? It came from kyklos, meaning circle. Don’t bore me with your rationalization. There IS still antisemitism, whether people understand the historical context of a term or not, those that DO shouldn’t sit around and let it be. There are better terms to describe those that are strong on defense or war for global positioning, or war for profit, yet are leftists. You are symptomatic of today’s need to argue rather than reason.

  25. The libertarian defends conservatives against some(foreign,Jewish) “neocons”. So the conservatives minus neocons are who? – may be the paleoconservatives? Make GOP leaders the paleocons. See the consecuences!

  26. “So, why do you think the United States, a country of 350 million people, is following the insane foreign policy of what you say are only a ‘handful’ of people?”

    For the same reason that there used to be lots and lots of Beatles fans, people who listened to the Beatles, and bands influenced by the Beatles, but only John, Paul, George, Ringo, and arguably a few others (Sutcliffe, Best, Epstein, Martin, Taylor, Aspinall) could plausibly claim to have actually been Beatles.

    That reason is: Words mean things.

    As I plainly pointed out, the neoconservatives do wield influence far out of proportion to their numbers. They’ve done so by weaseling their way into appointed positions at the tanks and in the executive branch, and by getting Reagan to have the taxpayers finance the promulgation of their foreign policy line through the National Endowment for Democracy. But they still remain a small group who wield influence indirectly rather than directly. They provide fuel for the tanks of other kinds of foreign policy hawks.

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