the septenary (diapholom) wrote,
the septenary

World War 4 (or the history of the neoconservatives)

Just to show you that I am not avoiding sensitive subjects, let me spend a minute on the abortion issue. When the Supreme Court decided Roe v Wade and then affirmed it in the Casey decision, they established that in the first two trimesters of a woman's pregnancy, abortion was legal. In the third trimester, it could only be performed if the mother's life and health were at risk. In 1973, fetal viability before six months of pregnancy was pretty much unheard of. Today it is not. Premature infants are kept alive who have been delivered after but 20 weeks of pregnancy.

I find it impossible to rationalize how our society can permit abortion on demand after a time when fetal viability has been established by modern medical technology. At that point in the pregnancy cycle, if not earlier, we have to think very carefully about what choice means. Evidence of the kind of thinking that disturbs me in this debate was a conversation between a reporter and California's very liberal Senator Barbara Boxer at a time when the Senate was debating restrictions on a procedure known as partial birth abortion. The reporter asked Boxer what she believed were a woman's rights if a partial birth abortion went bad -- in the sense, that the fetus was delivered alive. Just describing this event in this way is pretty disturbing. Boxer, who may be a hero to some in this room, responded that she believed the woman retained her right to choose.

To choose what pray tell? To club the newborn to death?

good read: (the undercurrents)

Finally, I am a conservative because of foreign policy -- in particular American national security and support for Israel. For me this issue trumps all the others. In fact, I am not just a conservative, but a neoconservative. Which means that I personally was the one who brought you the Iraq war. Funny, right? Actually, not. For Israel's enemies in the United States, on the right, and even more so on the left, make precisely that charge: that supporters of Israel in America led us to war against Iraq in service to Israel's Likud Party. And capitalizing on that charge at a time when the Iraq war is unpopular, these critics are now arguing that America risks being led into another war, taking action against Iran's nuclear program at the behest of these same pro-Israel advocates. Some of those who make these charges claim that they are the real conservatives, and that the neocons are inauthentic conservatives (hence neo), since many were once on the left. One wonders howthis brand of conservatives hope to win a governing majority when they reject those who switch to their side on most other arguments. These Israel critics on the right are known by some as paleoconservatives. In their ranks are folks like Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak. But the fiercest attacks on the neocons have come from the left.

The very term neoconservative has become to a certain extent a slander, when uttered by a cable TV talk show host such as Chris Mathews or a writer like Michael Lind. For many left wing critics of the Iraq war, the term is used as virtually synonymous with Jews, and in particular, with the group of Jews who they believe encouraged or supported the Bush Administration in going to war in Iraq. Among the names often associated with the necoons are: Charles Krauthammer, Joshua Muravchik, Bill Kristol and his father Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz and his son John Podhoretz, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, and Richard Perle. These individuals I just named are all Jewish.

There are non-Jewish neocons: Jeanne Kirkpatrick, John Bolton, and William Bennett, among them. Those who blame the neocons for the Iraq war generally exclude the non-Jewish members since a core part of their argument is that the American neocons were all doing Israel's bidding, and it is more convenient to blame Jews for this. The charge I think is preposterous. The idea that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Don Rusmfeld, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell are shrinking violets who needed a push from a group of neocons, some in government, some political writers outside of government, to decide to go to war, strains credulity. And of course none of the Administration figures have ever suggested that they needed any push from anybody else to take action in Iraq.

[By Richard Baehr]
Tags: russia dying country liberals

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