Even at this late date a lot of people claim not to know the difference between us true conservatives and the so-called “neo” conservatives.
Hint: “Neo” means new. And if you have new beliefs, then by definition you’re not a conservative. We stick to the tried and true. Plato’s fine but that Aristotle guy was getting a little ahead of himself.
Another hint: If you’re a true conservative, then people will call you an “isolationist.”
They mean it as an insult. But the way they define the term it’s really a compliment. To the neocons, an isolationist is anyone who doesn’t believe the Beltway crowd should micro-manage every event everywhere on Earth.
In that regard, you might have seen that piece I did recently showing our senior senator’s ties to a shadowy Iranian cult called Mojahedin e Khalq.
The more I look into these characters, the more I realize how nutty the so-called “War on Terror” being carried out by the so-called “neo” conservatives has become.
And now we’ve reached the point where we’re supposed to take the side of the terrorists in the War on terror.
As I noted in a prior post, the neocons and their hired mouthpieces have been trying to sell the American public in the proposition that we should support Saudi Arabia in its efforts to impose the extremist Wahabbi form of Islam on the people of neighboring Yemen.
This is absurd on its face, as is the idea that the U.S. should support the Islamic Republic’s side in the current dust-up in the Mideast.
Yet that’s what we’re being told. Our wonderful allies the Saudis – you know, the folks who brought us the 9/11 attacks – are tacitly backing ISIS in an effort to score points against Iran.
Do you think Iran is a greater threat, with a tenth of the world’s Muslims, is a greater threat to the U.S. than the Saudis, who present the nine-tenths of Muslims who are Sunni?
If so, you have been taken for a ride. Doing the driving are neocons like John Bolton, the Captain Kangaroo clone who has been pushing the neocon line harder than anyone else inside the Beltway.
If you wish to begin your deprogramming I suggest starting with this piece by Daniel Larison of the American Conservative on Republican Bolton’s connection with Democrat Bob Menendez’s favorite Iranian cult. Here’s a passage that reminds us that the Saudis have done a good job of buying support from both parties:
Bolton is hardly the only former official, retired officer, or ex-politician to do this, but for the last several years he has been a vocal cheerleader of the Mujahideen-e Khalq cult (and “former” terrorist group) and its political organization. He has been consistently misrepresenting a totalitarian cult as a “democratic” Iranian opposition group. When Bolton or someone else with this record talks about “vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition,” we can be fairly sure that he means that the U.S. should be backing the MEK in its quest for seizing power in Iran. This confirms Bolton’s extremely poor judgment and underscores how truly crazy his overall argument for war with Iran is. It also reminds us how oblivious Iran hawks such as Bolton are to the political realities inside Iran. Once again we have a hawkish demand for U.S. support for an exile group that has absolutely no support in its own country in order to achieve regime change.
The effort to push the U.S. into war with Iran is, as Larison notes, truly crazy – especially when you consider Iran is our only useful ally in the fight against ISIS. Our other supposed “allies,” the Saudis, the Turks and the Israelis, are in full appeasement mode as regards ISIS – even though they could crush it in a week.
This is absolutely nuts, and only one in a thousand Americans knows how nuts it is. That’s because they don’t get to talk to the experts I get to talk to, ex-CIA guys, ex-grunts and others who actually understand the Mideast. Among them is ex-CIA man Larry Johnson with this piece about the misguided effort to convince Americans to take the Saudi side:
The American public are being saturated with propaganda intended to convince them that Iran is the greatest evil in the world today and must be stopped at all costs. While I harbor no illusions that Iran is a harmless, impotent nation, it also is not the Shia Muslim reincarnation of Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union. Here’s a simple test – if you had a daughter and she had to work in Saudi Arabia or Iran, where would she have more freedom? Simple answer – Iran. Which nation allows Jewish synagogues to still function? Iran.
We need a new consensus in the United States regarding our policy in the Middle East. As I noted in an earlier piece, we have been the bitch of the Saudis for the last 35 years. Ever since the Shah was dumped and the Ayatollah took the reins of power in Iran, we have been cozying up to carry the Saudis’ chamber pot.
But times have changed and the old policy has collapsed and the United States bears sole responsibility for setting in motion the emergence of Iran’s growing influence in the region. A lot of smart people in the United States still do not understand that our decision to dump Saddam and replace him with Shia Iraqis that had close ties to Iran flung wide open the door for Tehran to enter Iraq and build out intelligence networks. This is on us.
As part of that propaganda, we’re supposed to think it’s just peachy to support the MEK in its efforts to topple the Iranian government. Or in other words, we’re supposed to support a terrorist effort in the midst of a War on terrorism.
That sure seems to describe MEK if this 2012 report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem is any indication:
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders. The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.
The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.
The report contains the usual denials, but few Mideast insiders believe these attacks could be anything other than an MEK operation. That of course would mean our side is supporting terrorism, since putting magnetic bombs on cars is quite obviously an act of terrorism.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, by the way. Anyone who understands terrorism understands that one man’s terrorist really is another man’s freedom fighter. At least that was the case in every war zone I’ve ever visited.
In Nicaragua, for example, the Marxist Sandinista government persisted in calling the Contra rebels “terrorists.” Ronald Reagan called them freedom fighters. Reagan was vindicated when the government made the mistake of holding an election and the Contra side won.
But “terrorism” remains in the eye of the beholder. That’s why we should have called this post-9/11 enterprise the “War on Al Qaeda” rather than the “War on Terrorism.”
Which brings up the current dust-up in Yemen.
The people the neocons are opposing, the Houthis, are a tough Shia mountain tribe openly hostile to the Sunni Saudis and – how did you guess – Al Qaeda, which is also Sunni.
You read that right. The neocons want to target the enemies of Al Qaeda.
Does that make any sense to you? It doesn’t make any to Pat Lang, the former Vietnam Green Beret and Mideast expert who spent several years in Yemen. In this post, Lang enjoys a hearty laugh at the notion that the Houthis are “Iran’s puppet.”
There are certain peoples who are instinctively good at fighting. The Pushtuns, Somalis, Sikhs and Yemeni Zaidi tribesmen are among them. Others are not so good at fighting or joyful at the prospect of combat; Saudi hirelings of the Al-Saud “country” of Saudi Arabia, Egyptian peasant conscripts, and Sunni Yemenis of the south. The Zaidi mountain tribesmen defeated the Egyptian Army fifty years ago. There is a large Egyptian military cemetery in San’a. The road down from the mountains to the port of Hodeida is still littered with destroyed Egyptian Army vehicles that were “killed” in guerrilla ambushes.
Lang goes on to debunk any idea that the Houthis are part of an Iranian axis. In fact they don’t even share the same form of Shia Muslim.
The Zaidi scholars profess no allegiance to the 12er Shia scholarship of the Iranian teachers. In theology the Zaidis follow the methodology in analysis of the mu’tazila , the “rationalist” school of theology exterminated in the rest of Islam (including Iran) 1200 years ago.
Do you ever hear such details from any of the neocons who assert there is some sort of monolithic Iranian axis at work here?
No. They’re idiots I use that term not as an insult but a useful description. Look at the etymology of the word “idiot.” “From Greek idiotes “layman, person lacking professional skill” (opposed to writer, soldier, skilled workman).”
There’s a lot of that going around. But thanks to the efforts of conservatives like Pat Buchanan and libertarians like Ron Paul, people are finally starting to realize they’ve been duped for all these years.
Here’s Pat holding forth on the current effort to get us bogged down in the Mideast:
Some mullahs may be fanatics, but Iran is not run by fools. Yet even if we have a mutual interest in avoiding a war, where is the common ground between us?
Let us begin with the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaida who brought down the twin towers, and the Islamic State that is beheading Christians, apostates, and nonbelievers, and intends to establish a Middle East caliphate where there are no Americans, no Christians, and no Shiites.
Americans and Iranians have a common goal of degrading and defeating them.
In the Syrian civil war, Iran and its Shiite allies in Hezbollah have prevented the fall of the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad.
For years, Iran has helped to keep the al-Nusra Front and ISIL out of Damascus.
Why do the neocons want to see Assad out of control in Damascus?
As it happens, I had a very humorous back-and-forth with Menendez on that very point.
I say “humorous” because Menendez was, as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, perhaps the loudest voice calling for the U.S. to depose Assad.
That led directly to the rise of ISIS. His excuse?
He argued that everyone else was making the same mistake:
Mulshine criticizes me for pushing the U.S. “to take an active role in supporting the rebels fighting to oust Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.” But that exact position is the administration’s policy, arguing that “Assad must go” and supporting the training and equipping of the Syrian opposition. President Barack Obama over Labor Day 2013 even came within minutes of approving air strikes against Assad for gassing Syrians and crossing his self-imposed red line.
It is also the position of Senators from liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to conservative Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who voted with me in September 2013 to provide lethal and non-lethal assistance to vetted Syrian opposition groups
This is obvious nonsense. Menendez acts as if there weren’t voices pointing out that the effort to depose Assad would bring Muslim fundamentalists to the fore. But all he had to do back then was read my columns. I cited expert after expert who predicted exactly that.
Among them was former CIA agent Bob Baer, who asked this of one proponent of deposing Assad:
“Who does he propose supporting in Syria? Anyone with any common sense knows it’s the Muslim Brotherhood that would take over. There are no white hats in Syria.”
What, no “vetted moderate rebels?”
Anyone who could ever use such a term without laughing should shut up forever as regards the Mideast. That would shut up just about every neocon, including a certain senator who supports the MEK.
(Paul Mulshine, NJ.com,