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Daniel McAdams

Panicked Neocon Armchair Warhawks Penning Harshly-Worded Letter on Trump Foreign Policy

The neocons are renowned for their courage on the battlefield. There is no keyboard they are afraid to finger. No pen they won't commandeer. When the battle cry is sounded, they unhesitatingly push the "on" button at their computers and saddle up for battle. Off with the loafers under the desk! "Caution to the wind! Bring in a wine spritzer, dammit, I'm off to waaar!"
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Why Are Neocons so Desperate to Rescue al-Qaeda in Syria?

Reading Dennis Ross and David Ignatius is a good reminder that the neocons live in a different world than the rest of us. They do not conform their analysis to reality, but rather they conform reality to their view of the world. Where most people would be encouraged to read that Aleppo in Syria was about to be liberated from its 3.5 year occupation by al-Qaeda's Syrian franchise, the neocons see a disaster. 

On the brink of al-Qaeda's defeat in Aleppo, the Washington Post's Ignatius is furious that "President Obama won’t approve military tactics that could actually shift the balance." Yes, he wants to shift the balance toward al-Qaeda because like the other neocons he is so invested in the idea of regime change in Syria that he would even prefer turning the country into another Libya than to see government forces defeat his jihadist insurgents. Failing to "shift the balance" toward al-Qaeda fighters in Aleppo only brings "greater misery for the Syrian people," in the world of Ignatius.
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WaPo's Jennifer Rubin: More Regime Change, Please!

Most normal people look at the smoldering cemetery that is post-"liberation" Libya, the gruesome graveyard of an almost-"liberated" Syria, the 14 year slow-motion failed regime change in Afghanistan, blood-drenched Iraq, and they are horrified. Washington Post's neocon nag Jennifer Rubin looks across that bloody landscape and sees a beautiful work in progress.

She writes today in the online edition of the Post that despite what we might be hearing from some "libertarian/populist pols masquerading as conservatives," the interventionist enterprise is chugging alone just fine. Democracy promotion at the barrel of a gun is every American's "white man's burden" whether he likes it or not. 

Never mind that Syria has been nearly leveled by almost five years of an Islamist insurgency that was but a few weeks from success when Russia stopped it in its tracks. The real villain is the secular Bashar al-Assad, writes Rubin. After all, he "is partnered with Iran and spurs support for Islamist rebels..."
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Sen. McCain Furious Iran Treated US Sailors Well

The two US Navy riverine command boats intercepted in Iranian territorial waters yesterday were sent on their way along with the crew of 10 US sailors after brief detention on Iranian soil. According to news reports, the well-armed warships either suffered mechanical or navigational difficulties which caused them to enter Iranian territory (although it may well have been a game of cat-and-mouse to test the Iranian response). The US sailors were apparently treated well, enjoyed what appeared a decent meal in relaxed surroundings, and in the end apologized for the mistake and praised their treatment by the Iranians. 

Thanks to President Obama's policy shift on Iran toward engagement and away from isolationism, Secretary of State John Kerry was able to telephone his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Zarif and quickly defuse what just months ago would have been a far more serious situation.
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Sen. Tom Cotton Scores a Big Foreign Payoff

In Washington's corridors of power, it can often pay to do the bidding of a foreign country. Foreign governments pay top dollar to remain in Washington's good graces (and to make sure their adversaries are demonized), and the myriad of public relations firms that litter the Beltway attest to just how much foreigners are willing to spend for the privilege. While most guns for foreign hire are off the government payroll and self-declared "agents of a foreign power," as is required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), there are a few exceptions to the rules.

Sen. Tom Cotton, it turns out, is one such exception. For the sitting Senator from Arkansas, doing the bidding of foreigners while holding US elected office has paid off literally. To the tune of nearly one million dollars.
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Neocons at National Review: 'Stop Calling Us Neocons!'

When pondering the intellectual decline of political movements, it is hard not to call to mind the former flagship publication of the Buckleyite wing of conservatism called National Review. Where once learned men (and women) made their case from the heights of argumentation and erudition -- a force to be reckoned with, like it or not -- the publication has over the years accelerated to absurdity, devolved to inanity, shrunk into a whiny club of simpering sycophants screaming full force in an empty echo chamber. An exercise in intellectual onanism, today's NRO has nothing to say about the future because it remembers nothing of the past. It is conservatism not only without a conscience, but without understanding of that which it purports to conserve.

It may be debatable whether there was ever a Buckleyite movement wholly separate from the neoconservative impulse, or at what point the worms began eating into the flesh of the magazine. But that the neocons hijacked the magazine, silenced any conservative vein of thought not in harmony with their heterodox and revolutionary views (can one be at the same time a conservative and a revolutionary?), and proceeded to redefine what passes as modern conservatism to suit their alien agenda cannot be denied.
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Hugh Hewitt's Demonic Visions

In a GOP debate otherwise marked by constant calls for more bombs, more boots on the ground, more invasions, and even punching Russian President Vladimir Putin in the nose, one exchange stood out as the sad epitaph for an America whose moral compass has gone completely off. 

Neoconservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt was trying to gage the candidates' willingness to fight endless wars, and he must have sensed that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, as one who has saved the lives of so many, might be weak on the war question. Could Carson kill as ruthlessly as the others, Hewitt demanded to know.
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Former CIA Chief Woolsey: Electrocution Too Good for Snowden. Hang Him!

Former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey has discovered who is really behind the Paris attacks. The blame does not really fall on ISIS, nor on Gulf States that have financed ISIS. Certainly there is no blame on the United States for its decision to destabilize Syria thereby providing fertile breeding ground for Islamist extremists.

No. The fault for Paris falls directly at the feet of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It was Snowden's revelations about NSA spying that tipped off the ISIS attackers to the need to use encryption in their communications. Thus, argues Woolsey, they could not be tracked by intelligence and were able to commit the heinous act undetected.

“The blood of a lot of these French young people is on his hands… because of what he turned loose,” said the former CIA chief.

Because of all this, Snowden is an accomplice to mass murder in addition to being a traitor, argues James Woolsey, and must be put to death immediately. But nothing "humane" like electrocution is good enough for Woolsey. No. Woolsey would "prefer to see him hanged by the neck until he’s dead rather than merely electrocuted.”
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Who Would Dr. Ben Kill?

GOP Presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is unafraid to wear his Christian values on his sleeve. Indeed he has rocketed to frontrunner status on the strength of his popularity with Evangelical Christians in the US. But thanks to Lew Rockwell for pointing out the shocking anti-Christian core of Ben Carson's "Christianity." Carson rips to shreds a central component of the ancient Christian "Just War" theory: the idea of distinction once war has begun (Jus in bello).

According to centuries of thinking on the Christian conduct of war, the warring parties must make a distinction between legitimate military targets and non-combatants caught up in the conflict through no fault of their own. Christians are not to support the wholesale slaughter of civilian non-combatants regardless of their religious beliefs, skin color, customs, or nationality.
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Victoria Nuland's Capitol Hill Comedy of Errors

Wednesday's hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee was a comedy of errors, starting with the loaded title: "US Policy After Russia’s Escalation in Syria." The hearing featured two Assistant Secretaries of State as witnesses, Victoria "cookies" Nuland, in charge of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Anne Patterson with Near Eastern Affairs duty at State. 

Starting with the title, yes, "escalation." Apparently four years of active US regime change policy in Syria is not "escalation." Four years violating Syria's sovereignty with a CIA covert war on its soil is not "escalation." Billions spent training "moderate" rebels who rush to join al-Qaeda at first opportunity is not "escalation." A year of US bombing sorties over Syria in violation of US law and international law is not "escalation." Failed "regime change" policy in Syria producing millions of refugees is not "escalation." And now, a presidential decision to place the US military into a country that has neither attacked nor threatened the US is not "escalation."
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