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What is Neo-Conservative?

Binary_Digit

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Consistent with Bush's recent approval ratings, I've noticed more and more Conservatives detaching themselves from the administration lately. They say Bush is Neo-Conservative, which is not the same as Conservative. So I have 2 questions for those Conservatives who once approved of Bush's job as President, but don't anymore: What specific things did Bush and/or his administration do that changed your mind about him? What exactly is the difference between Neo-Conservatism and Conservatism?

Thanks! :2razz:
 

Binary_Digit

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Thanks Simon. Based on that, it seems the main difference between conservative and neoconservative is foreign policy.

"But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism...Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But most conservatives express greater reservations about military intervention and so-called nation building. Neocons share no such reluctance."

It seems to suggest that Bush "converted" to neoconservatism after 9/11:

"The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 moved much of the Bush administration closer than ever to neoconservative foreign policy. Only days after 9/11, one of the top neoconservative think tanks in Washington, the Project for a New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Bush calling for regime change in Iraq. Before long, Bush, who campaigned in 2000 against nation building and excessive military intervention overseas, also began calling for regime change in Iraq. In a highly significant nod to neocon influence, Bush chose the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the venue for a key February 2003 speech in which he declared that a US victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace.""

Bush's foreign policy in the Middle East is what makes him a neoconservative, right? So doesn't that mean regular conservatives now disagree with the Iraq war?
 

Simon W. Moon

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Binary_Digit said:
Thanks Simon. Based on that, it seems the main difference between conservative and neoconservative is foreign policy.
Neoconservatism is primarily concerned w/ foreign policy. Conservatism is concerned w/ every aspect of America. W/ neoconservatism, one can gets the oxymoronic "big-government-conservative."

When it comes to neocons, I consider them liberal entryists. Some of them are former communists, Trotskyites, and socialists. Also, they tend to think that the problems caused by govt intervention will be fixed w/ even more govt intervention. This sort of things shows in their conviction that they can socially engineer places on the other side of the globe.

I'll provide some words from the horses' mouths (what else?):

From the Godfather of NeoConservatism:

The Neoconservative Persuasion
From the August 25, 2003 issue: What it was, and what it is.
by Irving Kristol

...the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.

...an attitude toward public finance that is far less risk averse than is the case among more traditional conservatives.

Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state... seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable. Because they tend to be more interested in history than economics or sociology, they know that the 19th-century idea, so neatly propounded by Herbert Spencer in his "The Man Versus the State," was a historical eccentricity. People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government. Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not.

The upshot is a quite unexpected alliance between neocons, who include a fair proportion of secular intellectuals, and religious traditionalists.
Because religious conservatism is so feeble in Europe, the neoconservative potential there is correspondingly weak.

And large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns. Barring extraordinary events, the United States will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from nondemocratic forces, external or internal.
No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary.

Irving Kristol is author of "Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea."
And from William Kristol
"If we have to make common cause with the more hawkish liberals and fight the conservatives, that is fine with me... If you read the last few issues of the Weekly Standard, it has much more in common with liberal hawks than traditional conservatives."
From Benador Associates:What the Heck Is a Neocon?
by Max Boot
Wall Street Journal
The original neocons were a band of liberal intellectuals who rebelled against the Democratic Party's leftward drift on defense issues in the 1970s. At first the neocons clustered around Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a Democrat, but then they aligned themselves with Ronald Reagan and the Republicans, who promised to confront Soviet expansionism.

... support for Israel -- a key tenet of neoconservatism...

So is "neoconservatism" worthless as a political label? Not entirely. In social policy, it stands for a broad sympathy with a traditionalist agenda and a rejection of extreme libertarianism.

On economic matters, neocons...embrace a laissez-faire line, though they are not as troubled by the size of the welfare state as libertarians are.

But it is not really domestic policy that defines neoconservatism. This was a movement founded on foreign policy, and it is still here that neoconservatism carries the greatest meaning...

One group of conservatives believes that we should use armed force only to defend our vital national interests, narrowly defined. They believe that we should remove, or at least disarm, Saddam Hussein, but not occupy Iraq for any substantial period afterward. The idea of bringing democracy to the Middle East they denounce as a mad, hubristic dream likely to backfire with tragic consequences. This view, which goes under the somewhat self-congratulatory moniker of "realism," is championed by foreign-policy mandarins like Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and James Baker III.

[Neocons] ...think, however, that "realism" presents far too crabbed a view of American power and responsibility.
Binary_Digit said:
It seems to suggest that Bush "converted" to neoconservatism after 9/11:
Well the term is used in more than one sense. On one hand, it refers to a specific, historical set of folks who were "newly conservative," and on the other hand it refers to folks who have adopted the ideals of these folks. So in that sense, GWB prob'ly has.

Binary_Digit said:
Bush's foreign policy in the Middle East is what makes him a neoconservative, right? So doesn't that mean regular conservatives now disagree with the Iraq war?
Some do, some don't. Some folks, like Brent Scowcroft, have objected all along. And some folks, William Buckley jr are more of the johny-come-lately types to the conservatives who think that the war wasn't the best idea.

Conservatism has a rich history of vigorous debate and disagreement. In the past, this history has been cherished, lauded, and held as an ideal.
 
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mike49

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I would not consider Bush a Neo-Con. He certainly picked up their cause to a certain extent with the invasion of Iraq, but even then he did so on his own terms. The left has tried to paint the Neo-Con on all republicans to demonize and hopefully pick up support for thier cause. They give Neo-Con's too much power when in reality most neo-cons have been purged from the administration.

Bush certainly picks up the Liberal cause too, again on his own terms. Education...Medicare, etc..

At heart Bush is a conservative, dealing with most issues. He is not a liberal without a home, which a Neo-Con is.
 

GarzaUK

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When 9/11 happened, America was angry understandably so. Conservative foreign policy for all conservative Americans became neo-conservative. 9/11 was the neo-cons big chance to do their social experiment in the middle east. Americans love the idea of leading a crusade against evil and so the administration sprouted the biggest lie of all, Iraq had something to do with 9/11. And America jumped.
 

Binary_Digit

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Just to be fair, Bush didn't claim Iraq had something to do with 9/11. There were small ties to al'Qaeda which later turned out to be insignificant or false, but he only mentioned these ties, he never implicated Iraq with 9/11. Though he did say Iraq was capable of helping with another 9/11-sized terrorist attack.
 

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Binary_Digit said:
There were small ties to al'Qaeda which later turned out to be insignificant or false, but he only mentioned these ties, he never implicated Iraq with 9/11. Though he did say Iraq was capable of helping with another 9/11-sized terrorist attack.
Actually, they didn't "later turn out" to be anything different from what the US Intel Community was saying at the beginning. From the very beginning the US Intel Community was saying that the 'connections' weren't significant. And, despite pressure from the Admin and the resulting "exhaustive and repetitive searches" to come up w/ findings otherwise, the US Intel Community continued to say that the connections between Hussein and aQ were not significant.
Team Bush hyped it.
 

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Simon W. Moon said:
Actually, they didn't "later turn out" to be anything different from what the US Intel Community was saying at the beginning. From the very beginning the US Intel Community was saying that the 'connections' weren't significant. And, despite pressure from the Admin and the resulting "exhaustive and repetitive searches" to come up w/ findings otherwise, the US Intel Community continued to say that the connections between Hussein and aQ were not significant.
Team Bush hyped it.
It is not actually true that the intelligence community thought "connections weren't significant". The opposite is true.

Saddam was named in an indictment of bin Laden in 1998. Here is a quote concerning that indictment:

"Additionally, the indictment states that Al Qaeda reached an agreement
with Iraq not to work against the regime of Saddam Hussein and that
they would work cooperatively with Iraq, particularly in weapons
development."

The actual indictment and commentary where I got my quote can be viewed here.

Do not believe that Saddam and Al Qaeda did not have ties simply to discredit Bush. It has nothing to do with Bush and I have seen no exaggeration of this tie. It existed, Clinton spoke of it. It is not a partisan issue. In Bushspeak.."I have not misexaggerated."
 

Simon W. Moon

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mike49 said:
It is not actually true that the intelligence community thought "connections weren't significant". The opposite is true.
Not according to the CIA.

mike49 said:
Saddam was named in an indictment of bin Laden in 1998. Here is a quote concerning that indictment
This indictment is not an Intelligence Community assessment. It is a court document.

mike49 said:
The actual indictment and commentary where I got my quote can be viewed here.
Thanks for providing a link. I appreciate it.

mike49 said:
Do not believe that Saddam and Al Qaeda did not have ties simply to discredit Bush.
Team Bush discredits itself. My beliefs have nothing to do w/ their credibility.
I'm just going by what the CIA said about the US Intel community's position re aQ-Hussein ties.

Intelligence and analysis on Iraq: Issues for the Intelligence Community (text pdf)
(scanned pdf)p11
In the case of al-Qa'ida, the constant stream of questions aimed at finding links between Saddam and the terrorist network caused analysts take what they termed a “purposely aggressive approach” in conducting exhaustive and repetitive searches for such links. Despite the pressure, however, the Intelligence Community remained firm in its assessment that no operational or collaborative relationship existed.
mike49 said:
It has nothing to do with Bush and I have seen no exaggeration of this tie.
Anything that said or implied something other than what the US Intel Community was saying, which was, "no operational or collaborative relationship existed" was an exaggeration.
 

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This whole term has be blown WAY out of proportion.

The one who coined the term, he was a former communist, and a liberal, but as he said, was mugged by reality, and came to his senses. This is a very small group of Republicans, and the name, much as liberal, has become a bad word of sorts. People have tried to tie this term with every Republican they disagree with, much as the term liberal, is tied to Democrats, but I would venture to guess, there are more liberals who are democrats, them republicans that are neo conservatives. It's not a bad group of people, just a group that decided that republicans more fit their agenda, which is mostly about fighting for freedom and equality, those bastards huh?:roll:

Oh, and a lot of them are Jewish too, that makes them all the more evil.:doh
 

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Simon W. Moon,

The 1998 indictment was based on something. Maybe something later discounted, although I'm unaware of what that may be. It was a U.S. indictment and not a "state" indictment. The information was gleaned from somewhere.

The pressure that was put on the C.I.A. was not undue pressure and was related to a serious question. I read over that .pdf file and it does not say any pressure was out of hand, or anything other than what would be expected, under the circumstance. It also does not say that the C.I.A. was correct in it's conclusion. Only that they remained firm in it.

Saddam certainly had no problems with attacks on Americans. Here are a few quotes from Saddam..."If the attacks of September 11 cost the lives of 3,000 civilians, how much will the size of losses in 50 states within 100 cities if it were attacked in the same way in which New York and Washington were? What would happen if hundreds of planes attacked American cities?"
Al-Rafidayn, September 11, 2002 (State-controlled newspaper)
 

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Based on your answers, you are most likely a realist. Read below to learn more about each foreign policy perspective
 

Simon W. Moon

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mike49 said:
The 1998 indictment was based on something.
I'm sure that it was. What it is not though is an assessment from the US Intel Community.

mike49 said:
The pressure that was put on the C.I.A. was not undue pressure and was related to a serious question. I read over that .pdf file and it does not say any pressure was out of hand, or anything other than what would be expected, under the circumstance.
I had not mentioned anything about undue pressure.

mike49 said:
It also does not say that the C.I.A. was correct in it's conclusion. Only that they remained firm in it.
Are you trying to imply that the CIA knows it was wrong but has stuck to it's conclusions anyway?
Or are you trying to imply that the CIA's wrong and they don't know it?
Or what?
What exactly are you getting at?

mike49 said:
Saddam certainly had no problems with attacks on Americans.
Not really relevant to the issue at hand, but well noted.
 

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The Term "Neo-Conservetive?"

They ought to just drop out the "e" in "Neo."

No- Conservatives in the Republican Party.

There is nothing "Conservative" about the Neo- Cons.

They are Fascist, Imperialist, Anti- Constitution, Anti-Bill of Rights, Totalitarian, Terrorists who hate America, our way of life and our freedoms and want to create a Matial Law police State here at home and a Global Occupation Force abroad.

I will model my political philosophy on Jeffersonian style Republic.
 

mike49

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Simon W. Moon said:
I'm sure that it was. What it is not though is an assessment from the US Intel Community.

I had not mentioned anything about undue pressure.


Are you trying to imply that the CIA knows it was wrong but has stuck to it's conclusions anyway?
Or are you trying to imply that the CIA's wrong and they don't know it?
Or what?
What exactly are you getting at?

Not really relevant to the issue at hand, but well noted.


I'm not trying to imply that C.I.A knows it's wrong and is not admitting it.

The C.I.A. operates on facts that they have. Apparently, there were no facts to suggest an operational link. That does not mean that there were not operational links...just that the C.I.A. apparently have no knowledge of them.

Just like they had no knowledge of the Break-up of the Soviet Union. Or, the Cole Attack. Or, WMD in Iraq that was "slam dunk". There was a problem of a lack of information. Our lack of Human Intelligence has not helped us in the past.

The indictment in 1998...the information within certainly came from somewhere. It would be unthinkable that the volume of information within did not come from U.S. Intelligence Agencies. I'm trying to determine if I can find more info on that. There is just too much info there that requires more than a prosecutor imagining it. The indictment is very detailed. During Clinton's term is was common knowledge of a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam, here is a story from 1999:

bin Laden Reportedly Leaves Afghanistan

You can find other old articles about trips of senior Iraqi officials traveling to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. Here is an article that deals with some of that: Saddam and bin Laden

Anyone following events in the 1990's, like I was, finds it difficult to suddenly go back and erase from memory certain things and replace them with "There are no links between Osama and Saddam", even if that is true. It is just a hard pill to swallow...even if true.

So, this is the reason I am not yet willing to give up these things.
 

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mike49 said:
I'm not trying to imply that C.I.A knows it's wrong and is not admitting it.
The C.I.A. operates on facts that they have. Apparently, there were no facts to suggest an operational link. That does not mean that there were not operational links...just that the C.I.A. apparently have no knowledge of them.
Sure, that's possible. But, nonetheless, it was and is the best information available. That means that whatever Team Bush said otherwise was not based on the best information available at the time.
The best information at the time and what Team Bush was saying were not the same thing. Team Bush exaggerated the case that Hussein and aQ were linked.
Are you trying to say that TeamBush had access to better info than the US Intel Community and has not shared it w/ them?

mike49 said:
The indictment in 1998...the information within certainly came from somewhere. It would be unthinkable that the volume of information within did not come from U.S. Intelligence Agencies. I'm trying to determine if I can find more info on that. There is just too much info there that requires more than a prosecutor imagining it. The indictment is very detailed.
Do you suppose that the CIA was unaware of this information when they made their assessments? Are you implying that you have greater analytical capabilities than the US Intel Community? What are you getting at here?

mike49 said:
Anyone following events in the 1990's, like I was, finds it difficult to suddenly go back and erase from memory certain things and replace them with "There are no links between Osama and Saddam", even if that is true. It is just a hard pill to swallow...even if true.
So, this is the reason I am not yet willing to give up these things.
It's not that there were no links whatsoever. It's just that the word 'links' doesn't measn as much as it was made out to mean. I mean, even the US has 'links' to both aQ and Hussein. The "operational and collaborative" links are all that's non-existent.

And about the Clinton era 'links,' remember that we bombed an "aspirin factory" based on a single uncorroborated field test that was performed on the grounds outside the building. The test couldn't rule out commercial herb/pesticides. Susbequent testing of the bombed out remains showed no positives. We ended up paying restitutiion for the factory even though we never issued an apology or accepted fault.
 

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mike49 said:
The 1998 indictment was based on something. Maybe something later discounted, although I'm unaware of what that may be. It was a U.S. indictment and not a "state" indictment. The information was gleaned from somewhere.
The fact that something is alleged in an indictment means very little. Particularly relating to allegations of fact that the prosecutor is unlikely to have to prove.
 

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mike49 said:
Anyone following events in the 1990's, like I was, finds it difficult to suddenly go back and erase from memory certain things and replace them with "There are no links between Osama and Saddam", even if that is true. It is just a hard pill to swallow...even if true.

So, this is the reason I am not yet willing to give up these things.
Consider the source of such claims and their accuracy about other claims (eg the claims re: WMDs, hundreds of tones of chem weapons, nuke programs, long range missles, terrorist camps, Niger yellocake, aluminum tubes, mobile chem labs, Iraqis welcoming us, the campaign taking less than six months, mission accomplished, death throes etc. etc) in terms of weighing credibility about the implication that Saddam was involved in 9/11 or supporting al-queda.

I have never seen credible evidence that Hussein was ever implicated in a terrorist attack, or supported terrorism against the US. He was anti-Isreal, but even their his support for terrorism is weak, unless you consider all the Palenstinians terrorists. Hussein was relatively secular -- his foreign minister was a Christian. Having a "crusader" in the country at all, much less in a high level govt position, is unthinkable to Islamic fundamental radicals like bin Laden. Bin Laden and Hussein shared little in ideology. Hussein was a relatively secular petty dictator who first wanted to stay in power and second had dreams of expanding his empire and influence. Bin Laden wanted to expand his version of radical Islamic fundamentalism. Many of these goals are inconsistent. It would not benefit Saddam's goals to support bin Laden, who in the end would want to replace regime's like Saddam's with radical fundamentalists. It would not support Hussein's goal to support anti-US terrorism, which would be an effective way to lose power.
 

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A Neo-Conservative to me is someone who is considered more right-wing than a standard conservative. I also believe it is used in a derogatory context.

The thing I find laughable and quite hypocritical is the fact that far left-wing liberals are just considered liberals. I believe there to be
Neo- Liberals as well who don't fit the standard liberal ideology and mold.

But hey, that's the media for you.
 

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SixStringHero said:
A Neo-Conservative to me is someone who is considered more right-wing than a standard conservative. I also believe it is used in a derogatory context.

The thing I find laughable and quite hypocritical is the fact that far left-wing liberals are just considered liberals. I believe there to be
Neo- Liberals as well who don't fit the standard liberal ideology and mold.

But hey, that's the media for you.
What's even more laughable to me is I used to be considered a conservative, now I'm considered a liberal, and my views haven't changed.
 

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I took the test on page 1, and I found out I am a neocon. Well, I kind of had the idea it would turn out that way.

In defense of neocons, all we want is a brighter future for Americans. That means making the tough choices and not listening to the critics. The taking of Iraq and Afghanistan has also lead to a capitulation in Libya, Syria withdrawing from Lebanon, multiple reforms in Mideast nations (Egypt, SA, Kuwait, etc.) and even though Iran has not come around (yet), they are cut off on all sides by the coalition and our allies. Once democracy is fully established in the region, and a burgeoning middle class follows, it will spell the end for the era of radical Islam. It's kind of hard to hate America while eating a Big Mac, drinking a Pepsi, and watching FoxNews on the plasma screen.

I know it is not so simple to skip from today to the finish line. I imagine nobody saw Japan in 1945 as being an economic superpower in a few decades. But it will happen, if we stay true to what is being done today in that part of the world and never waver.

I don't want to be known as a warmonger around here. All I want is peace. But peace is not given, it is earned. Let us not forget that.
 

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I have no idea where the origins of that moniker came from but I have heard the term thrown around quite a lot, and I think most people would agree it's a derogatory term.

I guess my main point was that there are extremes on both sides (and I already don't see eye-to-eye with standard liberals and conservatives) and that there is definitely a fringe movement on the liberal side as well, they just seem to get more of a pass when it comes to pigeon-hole name calling.
 

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Conservatism is the belief in principles, small government, individual determination, free enterprise, equal protection under the law, strict interpretation of the Constitution, a great hesitance to get involved in foreign entanglements, secular government, and a general "hands-off" relationship between the government and its citizens. Barry Goldwater is the epitomy of a true Conservative.

Neo-conservatism is an aggressive variant of Conservatism: it seeks to promote the values of Conservatism across the world, while compromising some of the core Conservative values in the process by interfering in foreign-policy, growing government spending, and taking religious considerations into decision making.
 
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