Another Neoconservative Startup
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Here we go again! The champions for socialism, militarism, and world government have a new organization. A successor to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) is the latest think tank formed to promote big government, war, and the destruction of national sovereignty through economic and political entanglements.
One after the other, these organizations are bastions of neoconservatism, the political philosophy launched by Irving Kristol in 1972. Joyfully dubbed “the Godfather of Neoconservatism,” Kristol wrote about his brand of skullduggery in his 1995 book Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea. For its basic goals, he supported “the New Deal in principle” and condemned “the kind of isolationism that then permeated American conservatism.” That’s socialism and internationalism, each an antithesis of Americanism. In addition, neoconservatives have always supported involvement in wars to further their goals.
PNAC debuted in 1997. Founded by Irving Kristol’s son William and veteran internationalist Robert Kagan, its dozens of members included holdovers from the first Bush administration: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliott Abrams, Dan Quayle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Robert Zoellick to name a few. They wanted President Bush the elder to reinvade Iraq after the UN-limited goal in that unhappy country had been achieved via the 1991 Desert Storm invasion.
Out of office after Clinton defeated the elder Bush in 1992, the PNAC neocons gathered under William Kristol and pushed hard for another invasion of Iraq. They sought help from President Clinton who had personal problems to deal with and couldn’t comply. Then they went to House Speaker Gingrich who evidently didn’t want adopt their agenda. So the proposed re-invasion of Iraq got shelved.
After George W. Bush replaced Clinton in 2001, PNAC members Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others were back in the saddle. They put together a plan to reinvade Iraq even before the devastating 9/11 attack. That attack supplied their rationale (a crisis that wasn’t wasted!) to reinvade Iraq. And, revealingly, they sought and obtained authorization not from Congress but from the United Nations.
In 2009, six years after the second invasion of Iraq and the huge mess it produced, PNAC folded its tent and made room for the FPI. Its top leaders just happened to include William Kristol and Robert Kagan, the founders of PNAC. New potential targets turned out to be “China and Russia” along with “Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” FPI’s underlying neoconservative goals were only a little different from those of its PNAC predecessor: “rejection of isolationism,” “strong military budget,” “international economic integration,” etc.
Here we are in 2017 and FPI has been discontinued in favor of the ASD. The new neocon venture lists members such as leading Democrats national security adviser for Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton Jake Sullivan, Obama CIA director Mike Morrell, and Obama Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul. Calling itself “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative,” and funded generously by the German Marshall Fund, its Republican neocons are led by William Kristol and Michael Chertoff. Democrats within ASD delight in having common cause with GOP neocons because of their shared loathing of Donald Trump. The potential enemies of these individuals would be Iran and Russia.
Why war? The answer isn’t hard to decipher. War always leads to larger government, increased indebtedness, moral decline, and cries for internationalism. These were common goals of the now defunct PNAC and FPI, and now the ASD. Then-German Chancellor Willy Brandt (a secret Communist) announced the creation of the German Marshall Fund in a speech at Harvard University in 1972. A U.S.–based organization, the GMF is headquartered in Washington DC. from which it will fuel the efforts of the new ASD and other highly questionable ventures.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American
Conservatism: When the Rhetoric Doesn’t Match the Record
adapted from the “William F. Buckley, Jr., Pied Piper for the Establishment” book by JBS President John F. McManus
When William F. Buckley, Jr., came onto the scene in the 1950s, the word “conservatism” could have been equated with “Americanism.” Conservatives wanted to preserve those institutions and principles that made America great and good. They cherished both the U.S. Constitution and traditional morality. They wanted government to protect them from evil-doers but not regulate their lives or provide them with handouts.
But over the past half century, the word “conservatism” has lost its former meaning. These days mainstream conservatives want to interject the U.S. government into everything from massively funding the nation’s schools to policing the world. And many conservatives support them.
What happened is that most conservatives were led astray. They were deceived, not by overt liberalism, but by counterfeit conservatism. And the liberal Establishment’s principal pied piper — who hit just enough of the right notes to captivate conservatives — was William F. Buckley.
The book, “William F. Buckley, Jr.: Pied Piper for the Establishment” examines the following details of Buckley’s life:
- connections to the Council on Foreign Relations, the CIA, and Yale’s Skull & Bones
- selection of ex-Communists, Trotskyites, and CIA veterans to staff National Review
- failed attempt to destroy The John Birch Society
- promotion of liberal causes, including abortion, drugs, homosexuality, and pornography.
Buckley set the stage for younger pied pipers who would lead unwitting conservatives even further astray. But by understanding how Buckley fooled at least two generations, today’s conservatives should be all the wiser. Not only should they learn from the past to avoid being fooled again, but they should begin the process of undoing the damage already done. This book provides vital information on both scores. Purchase today to learn more of the foundations of the neo-conservative movement!
If the record doesn’t match the rhetoric, or if the meaning of words need to evolve to match the actions of today’s conservatives, then a critical eye must be cast to those leaders and to their intent.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.