Attila the Hun. Genghis Khan. Paul
Wolfowitz.

J. Brady McCollough

Young freshmen, you as rising scholars are entering a stage in
life when you begin to understand how the world works. But rather
than let you wallow in four years of hard studying and personal
misery to find the answer, I’ll just tell you what causes problems
like a dying economy, countries rotting in their own piss and bad
things that happen to good people. It’s all because of the
neoconservatives.

Some people shy away from the neocon conspiracy theory because
it is reminiscent of ancient anti-Semitic “Hymie rules the world”
myths. For example, many of my fellow students (myself included)
were offended when Hussein Ibish of the American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee called neocons “idealistic, crazy and
chauvinistic Jewish-Americans,” at a speaking engagement at the
Michigan League last year.

But in that accusation lies a sad fact. They are hard-line
ideologues whose personalities and foreign policy can be
characterized as chauvinistic, and mazel tov, they’re all Jewish. A
quick note to the anti-Semites: This doesn’t vindicate Jewish
conspiracy theories, as most American Jews have remained
Democrats.

A little background. Most neocons were all the same in their
past lives as Trotskyites. This isn’t surprising, as Trotskyism is
similar to neoconservativism in that they are both anti-democratic
and demand all-out, uncompromising war against their enemy
(capitalists for the Trots, everyone who is not America or Israel
for the neocons) and seeks to be the overarching, single ruling
hegemony.

Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for people to keep to the
extremes. For example, the now-racist David Horowitz was thought to
be na�ve by his friends for his enthusiastic support for the
Black Panthers in his Marxist youth.

Most of them made the switch in the ’60s, like Irving Kristol,
when they found themselves supporting Israel when the left was
rallying for the Palestinians. They also came from urbane, New York
intellectual society, and were disgusted at what they perceived to
be the filth that was sex, drugs and rock and roll that stood at
the center of left-wing social life.

As Kristol in his trademark, elegantly pompous tone, said, “A
neoconservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality.”

In short, nationalism got the best of them. Zionism started out
as a left-wing movement, an anti-racist agenda that stood side by
side with the civil rights movement. But along came a distrust
among the Zionists. They felt no compromise could be made with the
enemy. They shunned the leftist aspects of Zionism and traded
“peace now” for “piece now” and salivated at the thought of armed
conflict. Similar developments happened when violent, bigoted
“white devil” attitudes emerged from Black Nationalism.

But what makes right-wing Zionists a problem for this country? A
few of them, like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and
Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle, hold high positions
where they can dictate policy. Neocons care not about the domestic
problems that plague our nation – abysmal public education and
unemployment to name a few – but about funding Israel and sticking
with the hawkish Likud Party and flexing military muscle against
anyone that steps out of line with America.

Don’t take my paranoid, left-wing word for it. Perle himself
said, according to The Christian Science Monitor, “The President of
the United States, on issue after issue, has reflected the thinking
of neoconservatives.” And just look at the numbers. There’s never
enough money for schools but there is always billions of dollars
available for Israeli aid and whatever war Bush and the neocons
want to fight. This nation doesn’t suffer from a lack of money, it
suffers from an unbalanced allocation of available funds. In fact,
some estimate that the Bush administration is actually spending
more money on the neocon agenda than Johnson did on his Great
Society domestic policies.

This isn’t to say that United States should stay away from
brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians. On the
contrary, the United States should spend a reasonable amount of
energy on ending war and securing ourselves from terrorist threats.
But aiding the Israeli extremist position is unhelpful and damaging
for the region, and turns a blind eye to more important domestic
ills.

Paul can be reached at
“mailto:aspaul@umich.edu”>aspaul@umich.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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