How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are reviving the Neoconservative Movement
Of all the speeches at the Democratic National Convention it appears that the most talked about and praised speech was from Khizr Khan, the father of Humayun Khan who was a Muslim American soldier that died during the Iraq war.
The speech was quite devastating for Trump, who's controversial statements regarding Islam made him the perfect target for an American pocket constitution carrying father of a deceased American soldier who both happen to be Muslim. And indeed for many the speech was amazing.
For me, however, it was a reprehensible speech. The Democrats blatantly decided to pick a token Muslim to exploit the death of his son for cheap identity politics while not a single person spoke on behalf of the uncountable amounts of Muslims in the Middle East who died under the Iraq War. All for a candidate who supported and defended the war that killed his son.
I also find it personally weird that parents are used as speakers at these kinds of conventions. Because these parents are speaking not for themselves, but for someone who is dead. Even if it's a family member you basically have someone speak on behalf of someone that can't speak anymore. Call it a cultural difference but for me it feels very insincere.
But the part that I found really reprehensible was the blatant use of dying in a war as a great and honorable achievement. Using his son as nothing more than a sacrificial lamb for one of the most disastrous unnecessary wars the US ever involved itself in. The reality is that his son is not someone who sacrificed himself for American freedom. He's someone who became victim of a system that does not respect its troops. To have troops die in wars that only serve the elite.
What was even more reprehensible was Khan's blatant boasting towards Trump regarding sacrifice. Telling to Trump that he has "sacrificed nothing and no one"
Are you actually kidding me? Do you honestly feel proud and superior to Trump or anyone who doesn't want to be a soldier because you let your son die in a stupid war? Well congratulations. This is the kind of repulsive war propaganda that sickens me to death.
The kind of propaganda that tells you that in order to be a good little American you must be part of war. That if you don't want to be part of that disgusting system you must be selfish and lazy.
Normally you'd expect this kind of American Exceptionalist speech at the Republican Convention, but this time it was the Democrats. And it's no coincidence why.
War and globalism has become the main theme of the Democratic Party. This speech, their McCarthyist attitude towards anything vaguely Russia related, Clinton's extreme war record, the sudden alliance between neocons and left-wing pundits, the counter-chanting of "USA" to any anti-war chanting at the DNC.
All of this is connected to a neoconservative take over of the Democratic Party with Hillary Clinton being their trojan horse. This is not a conspiracy either, because all of this is pretty transparent and open.
Now the Democrats being hawkish and interventionist is nothing new. The entire foreign policy that shaped neoconservatism has its intellectual roots from the Democratic president Woodrow Wilson after all. In fact it has always been the Democrats who have generally provoked war where as the Republicans have always taken a "peace through strength" Jacksonian foreign policy. But thanks to the neocon takeover of the right, the antics of George W Bush, and the short lived anti-war left it's now the Republicans who gained the reputation of war mongers.
Before before we get into detail what exactly is neoconservatism? Well neoconservatism has a very long history but in general it's a form of conservatism that promotes an aggressive globalist policy regarding foreign and economic matters.
The main policies that neoconservatives or neocons for short promote include
- Strong foreign intervention and use of war to spread what they claim is Democracy
- Participation in inter-governmental global organizations such as the EU and UN
- Support of global trade blocs to handle trade rather than a laissez faire system
For a more detailed examination of neoconservatism I highly recommend this article that talks about it in more detail.*
The neoconservative movement reached its peak during the aftermath of 9/11 and the George W Bush presidency. Before 9/11 George Bush was to my surprise researching this very non-interventionist. But 9/11 changed all of that. Neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, and Robert Kagan quickly influenced and controlled Bush's foreign policy using Wilsonian tactics under the false guise of Reaganism.
This was basically their moment to test out their ideology. They even got international support from the then UK prime minister Tony Blaire. But what ended up was an absolute disaster. By far one of the most disastrous foreign interventions ever. The Iraq War. A war so devastating it made both George Bush and Tony Blaire the most hated leaders of their respective countries. A war where we're still seeing the scars in the aftermath of.
Since then neoconservatism has had a very damaged reputation and is generally used as a pejorative term. And most neoconservative pundits have turned into laughing stocks and have ceased to use the word altogether. And while Obama is definitely a hawk with his interventions in the Middle East the neocons themselves do not have influence in his administration and even consider him too soft on Ukraine and other views. But they continue to be the dominant force in the Republican party establishment nontheless.
But even in the Republican Party the neoconservatives continue to be discredited. With non-interventionists like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and many Republican congressmen challenging their foreign policy. Their attempts to push for a neocon president have also failed. John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012, and virtually every GOP candidate that wasn't Rand Paul or Donald Trump in 2016.
But almost when you thought we could finally get both parties towards a responsible foreign policy there comes Hillary Clinton and the New Democrats blatantly allying with the neoconservatives. Again it's not a coincidence that the Democrats have changed their rhetoric so much. They're trying to revive neoconservatism.
For one Hillary Clinton's extreme hawkish platform is well known. Even many on the Republican side are dovish compared to her. She is by all measures considered a neoconservative hawk.
But that's not all. Not only does she hold neocon views. But she is now also actively supported and influenced by neocons unlike Obama was. Take Robert Kagan who I mentioned before in this article. He was the leading war criminal behind the disastrous invasion of Iraq and still continues to defend his war crimes with lies and deception. Now he is actively fundraising for Hillary Clinton with a group called "Foreign Policy Professionals for Hillary" which is literally a group of neocon elitists trying to influence Hillary. Robert Kagan boasts that Hillary would arms Ukrainians and start a proxy war with Putin which even the interventionist Obama to Kagan's dismay wouldn't do.
And it's not just Clinton herself that is now supporting the pro-war side. The DNC itself as well as the "left-wing" media has been giving the neocons credibility. The DNC delegates actively told people to counter chant any chants made by Bernie delegates. One of these was yelling "USA" when Bernie delegates shouted an anti-war message. Isn't it messed up that they would resort to neocon American exceptionalism as a counter chant against peace?
Then there's also the sudden shift is opinion on Russia, in 2012 the Democrats where opposed to the idea of making Russia the global enemy. But in 2016 they've become full McCarthyist. Blaming Russia on all their screw ups and turning them into the biggest enemy while it's the Republicans that are now trying to prevent a proxy war with the country.
And then there are the left-wing media pundits who are now actively sharing and boasting articles made by discredited neocons like Max Boot and Robert Kagan. Originally these men had virtually no credibility, they where ostracized for their terrible defense. The left and neocons are uniting together for the sake of an opportunistic attack on Trump, not realizing that they're welcoming back these discredited hacks into the debate.
Even "neutral" neocons like Bill Kristol who doesn't like either Clinton or Trump seems clearly to give the most punches to Trump and has spoken favorably of Clinton's VP. He also seems more interested in sabotaging Trump's campaign as opposed to running a genuine third party bid.
So why exactly is it that the neocons are fleeing to Hillary? Is it Donald Trump? Trump has been spouting some anti-globalist and an "America First" policy that goes more in line with paleoconservatism over neoconservatism. But Trump is no non-interventionist. Just very confusing and contradictory on the issue...like he is on most issues. Besides Trump does have backing by neocons like John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani who are damn to make sure he doesn't do anything non-interventionist when elected.
The answer is simple. Hillary is one of them. She is a neocon. She has been praised by neocons far before this election. So it makes a lot of sense to support her if you are one.
Unlike Trump she has a predictable record of regime change and hawkish interventionism that makes a lot of Republicans blush by comparison. And with the Republicans becoming more and more tired of interventionism it seems like this is the perfect opportunity for discredited neocons to switch parties and gain new credibility.
So this is a warning to anti-war leftists and non-interventionists in general.
Neoconservatism is making a comeback through the Democratic Party. Which means that if Hillary is elected expect much more regime change, much more hyper-militarism in the Middle East, and a proxy war with Russia. Take that for what you will.
*Disclosure: I have written multiple articles for Pericles.press