WHY BUSH WON IN 2004: Neoconservatism needs an enemy.

Apologies - my syntax was sloppy. Not all neoconservatives are former students of Strauss - only Wolfowitz and Perle specifically qualify in that regard.

I cannot prove that Soviets didn’t coordinate global terrorism any more than I can prove the nonexistence of garden fairies. I can only question the intelligence agency evidence which the neoconservatives appealed to, such as Claire Sterling’s book “The Terror Network”, which Specialists at CIA dismissed…, knowing that much of it was based on CIA “black propaganda,” anticommunist allegations planted in the European press - Melvin Goodman, then head of the CIA.

This is the essence of Straussianism: that relativism and liberalism decay the power of government because it becomes less necessary than when the fear of a foreign enemy abounds.

Gorbachev admitted the necessity of withdrawing from Afghanistan almost as soon as he came to power, in his 1986 “bleeding wound” speech (negotiations with the UN had actually begun in 1982): the only question was how, and when. Before finally withdrawing in 1989, the Soviets repeatedly asked the US to stop outside interference and funding of Osama Binladen and Islamic fundamentalists like him in order to stabilise the extant regime and allow the Afghan army to repel the Islamists and avoid a civil war upon withdrawal. The US replied that it would not, until the last Soviet troop and aid-money had left, even though this clearly doomed Afghanistan to a world of shit at the hands of Osama’s side. Gorbachev, who had foreseen a stable Afghanistan under the tutelage of Pakistan, could see exactly what would happen if the mujahideen beat the Afghan army after the 1988 elections which were part of his agreement with the UN. He was right.

I apologise and withdraw this: “contempt” is too strong a term. But the neoconservatives themselves are clearly not Christain Fundamentalists - I contend that they merely find it useful as a societally binding myth.

I don’t know it. What happened next, exactly?

There, John, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to use your imagination, since the way you vote depends upon it.

No, I am arguing that this is what neoconservatives do, electorally successfully.

Can you give us a one sentence statement of what the debate here is? If it’s this, I absolutely disagree:

Bush is not a neocon. He has a number of infuential neocons in his administration, but it’s unlcear to me that they will retain their influence if Bush wins for one simple reason: Had Bush not invaded Iraq, he probably would have had a cakewalk to his reelection this year. As it is, if he does win, it will be by the skin of his teeth. Bush and the leaders of the Republican party are not going to miss that in planning future policy.

Neoconservatism needs an enemy.

I agree. And it has many-- both inside and outside the Republican party.

And how might a voter reject neoconservatism?

I didn’t call you a girl. I was looking for the proper word to use so I checked your profile and noticed you didn’t specify. Consequently I used my default pronoun. If you care how posters refer to you I suggest you inform them of your gender.

I don’t think so. The sentence is “And we all know what those psychopaths did next.” If he ( Are you sure it’s “he”? “His” profile doesn’t specify either. ) was refering to neocons in general then what possible act could this refer to? Public lynchings? No, I think it is pretty safe to presume this refers to some further atrocity in foreign policy which necessarily restricts the meaning to those who control foreign policy. But perhaps I’m wrong. The question is easily settled presuming you would take “him” at “his” word.

That’s a mighty convenient assumption. This isn’t the Pit, after all. Even if only broad assertions are offered in this forum they are subject to contradiction and debate. And there are specific assertions in the OP. The claim that the neocon view is elitist, for instance, that could be challenged without addressing the overall moral standing of the neocon position. BTW- are you actually claiming the label? You would be the first person I recall doing so.

I knew you’d figure that out-- and that’s the REAL debate, right?

It depends. The most obvious way would be to vote for Kerry. But it’s not that simple, as you seem to want to imply. I agree that Iraq is the major issue in this election, and it’s the main reason I didn’t vote for Bush (I’ve already cast my vote). But there are other issues, and it all depends on how one weighs the importance of those issues. Plus, as I said previously, it is not at all clear that the neocons will survive even if Bush is reelected.

Neoconservatism has an enemy. It is called reality, and I guarantee it will win eventually. Might not be too pretty for a while, but ultimately this too shall pass.


It’s the number of people who get killed in the process that’s the problem, though.

Could you define Neoconservatism?

In the June 2004 issue of Harper’s, Earl Shorris published an article: “Ignoble Liars: Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the Philosophy of Mass Deception.” His thesis is that the worldview of the neocons is heavily influenced by the philosophy of Leo Strauss (1899-1973), who taught at the University of Chicago in the '50s and ‘60s (and on whom The Master wrote a column last December – http://www.straightdope.com/columns/031212.html). Strauss’s thesis is that all great philosophical texts contain “hidden meanings.” Philosophers and intellectuals cannot and should not write clearly enough say what they really mean – cannot because it is too dangerous (Strauss was a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, which experience influenced his thinking all his life), and should not because true wisdom is the proper province of an elite. Strauss was also an aristocratic elitist and a natural-law theorist. From Shorris’ article:


Talk about fiction… :rolleyes:

Anyway, in regards to the OP, I quote George Orwell: “A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling
group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.”

I’m enjoying watching Debaser’s Zeno’s Paradox style of debating. Perhaps one day, after infinity plus one years, Debaser will actually make some sort of counterargument instead of infinitely regressing in ever more niggling demands for cites.

Anybody reading the OP can see that it makes some pretty wild statements without any backing at all. It isn’t until post #26 that John Mace manages to steer the OP into something resembling a debate. My questions and requests were entirely reasonable.

BrainGlutton, I’m familiar with the Wilkepedia definition for Neocon. It’s an interesting one because it basically admits that the term has a very murky and muddled meaning.

I submit that the term doesn’t really have any value. It’s more an insult than a useful label.

The OP up for debate is “Neoconservatism needs an enemy.”

This can be true, or untrue depending on how you want to define neoconservatism. But, since it’s used mainly as a meaningless insult, especially by those on the far left such as SM, it doesn’t matter. It’s like going to Stormfront and trying to debate them about the Zionist Occupied Government (ZOG). It’s pointless because I won’t be using the terms they will be with the same underlying assumptions that they will all have.

Like the title of the thread, you mean?

If debating me is akin to debating Stormfronters, debating you is like trying to draw a fractal.