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Neocon Watch

Republican Congressman Calls Syrian President Assad ‘the Butcher of Baghdad’ in War Geography Fail

In a clumsy attempt to attack a non-interventionist congressional colleague, Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger got his war geography mixed up — referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad as “the Butcher of Baghdad”.

In an interview with CNN at the weekend, Kinzinger lashed out at his Democratic House colleague, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, for her controversial decision to meet with Assad in 2017, but ran into some geography trouble when trying to insult the Syrian president.
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Neocons Plan: War in Syria, then Iran

Interviewed Tuesday by host Sharmini Peries at The Real News, Lawrence Wilkerson, a College of William & Mary professor and former chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, warned that “the neoconservative agenda” for an escalated United States war on Syria followed by war on Iran has had a “resurrection” in President Donald Trump’s administration.
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The Neoconservative Comeback

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To those who are strongly opposed to Donald Trump, his present troubles no doubt resonate positively. The looming prospect of his successful removal from office through impeachment proceedings—or his just leaving as pressure for such proceedings builds—might even be such opponents’ fondest wish. But as Colin Powell used to say to me, “Be careful what you wish for…”

In this instance, such a warning has nothing to do with the line of succession and what Jane Mayer in The New Yorker called “The Danger of President Pence.” It has to do instead with the return of the Neoconservatives (Neocons) and only by extension, then, with a Pence or other caretaker presidency.

Because what is happening today, as Trump is preoccupied increasingly with the considerable, ever-growing challenges to him personally and to his presidency institutionally, is the reentry into critical positions in the government of these people, the people who gave America the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even those many of them who declared “Never Trump”—as arch-Neocon Eliot Cohen summed it up—are salivating at the prospect of carrying out their foreign and security policy while Trump essentially boils in his own corrupt juices.
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The Ron Paul Institute Take on John McCain

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Over the first five years of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity’s (RPI) existence, John McCain, the long-time Republican United States senator from Arizona, has often been a focus of the institute’s attention — though quite a bit less since his sickness removed him from much of his involvement in politics. This focus stems from McCain having been an exemplar in the US government of adherence to nearly the opposite agenda as the agenda supported by RPI Founder and Chairman Ron Paul.
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Ron Paul: President Trump May Not Be a Neoconservative, but He Is Influenced by Neocons

“Do you think that President Trump is a neocon?” That is the first question host Jason Burack asked guest Ron Paul, who is chairman of the Ron Paul Institute and a former United States House of Representative member, in a new Wall Street for Main Street podcast interview. “Probably not in the true sense of the word,” replies Paul, “but that does not mean that he isn’t influenced by the neocons,” which Paul says Trump “obviously is.”
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Senators Seek 'Crushing' Sanctions For Russia In New Bill

In the latest effort to punish Moscow over alleged election meddling, as well its role in both Ukraine and Syria, a bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Senate Thursday that seeks to be so far reaching that it's being widely described as "crushing."

Predictably, it has as sponsors such Congressional hawks as Senators Bob Menendez, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham — the latter which announced the bill's goal is to "impose crushing sanctions and other measures against Putin’s Russia until he ceases and desists meddling in the US electoral process, halts cyber-attacks on US infrastructure, removes Russia from Ukraine, and ceases efforts to create chaos in Syria," according a statement.
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Charles Krauthammer: The Ultimate Armchair Warrior

Charles Krauthammer, the eminent US media pundit died in June 2018 at the age of 68, reportedly of cancer of the small intestine. Krauthammer was the loudest and leading public voice of the neoconservative movement in the United States. He was a lifelong warmonger and proud of it. Needless to say he never donned the uniform of his country when he had the chance and made sure his son never went to serve in the conflicts he so tirelessly demanded either.
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Will Trump Fire John Bolton Next?

After he nearly scuttled the historic talks with North Korea by hinting that Kim Jong Un could face a fate similar to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, National Security Advisor John Bolton is being sidelined by President Trump ahead of the historic June 12 summit in Singapore, CNN reports.

According to the report, several senior administration officials have lost their patience with Bolton and his hawkish approach to North Korea, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has pushed to limit Bolton's role in the upcoming summit, saying it would be "counterproductive" for Bolton to attend certain Oval Office meetings.
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Donald Trump’s Neocon Conversion was Predictable



During the election, I wrote a little ebook titled “Donald Trump’s War on Islam.” In addition to pointing out Trump’s pandering to Islamophobia, I wrote about his association with a number of neocons, including Frank Gaffney and John Bolton, who is now his national security adviser. “I think John Bolton’s a good man,” Trump told the Hugh Hewitt Show. 

“I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong. And I’ve always liked John Bolton. Well, we are thinking about it, Hugh [nominating Bolton as secretary of state]. I will say that. We are thinking about it. I mean, the negative is what I told you. But we are seriously thinking about it.”

That didn’t fly because Congress would never vote to approve Bolton, same as they wouldn’t approve his nomination as ambassador to the United Nations during the reign of Bush. Instead, he assumed the role of national security adviser, a position that doesn’t require congressional approval.
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The Right to 100 Percent Security?


The basic fault in the Bush Doctrine and in Norman Podhoretz’s praise of it is that they both assume a state’s or people’s right to perfect security or 100 percent safety. This is impossible, because not everyone can simultaneously have such a right and still remain free.

To get 100 percent security, a state has to defeat and control its neighbors and eventually every last one of them. Even then, it won’t be 100 percent secure until it controls every rebellious element under its flag.

Extremism in defense of 100 percent security is a vice: wicked and immoral behavior. Such extremism stems from an erroneous moral philosophy in which one does not allow equal freedom to one’s neighbors, but instead one exercises power over them in the name of one’s own false conception of one’s right.

As an important example of this thinking and how it can lead to war, consider Israel and Iran. Trump and Pompeo have both made statements that support the neoconservative position of Norman Podhoretz. His position and theirs contain the flaw of making extreme demands for the extreme security of Israel that cannot be met without making war against Iran and suppressing their rights.
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