Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Conservatives Cutting their Losses

I've been saying for some time that the Bush administration couldn't do a better job of playing into Osama bin Laden's strategy if they were doing it on purpose. Apparently Michael Scheuer of Gordon Liddy's beloved Washington Times agrees with me.
These days Osama bin Laden must fear that Muslims will begin to believe the United States is his sponsor, and that Washington is doing all it can to ensure al Qaeda's victory. The foreign-policy performance of the Bush administration since bin Laden's Jan. 19 statement has been a godsend for al Qaeda…

…[E]ven before all votes were counted in Palestine, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the president, the neoconservative pundits, and sundry members of both parties in Congress -- some of whom clearly aspire to be Knesset members -- rejected dealing with the democratically elected Hamas government unless it abandons its pledge to defend Palestine against Israel, presumably a chief reason Palestinians voted for it…

…America, once again, has validated the al Qaeda chief's decade-long and ongoing lesson for Muslims: America supports democracy only if its agents are elected; America will destroy any regime that threatens Israel; America will not allow a country to be ruled by Islamic law unless it has vast oil resources; and, for America, Muslim blood is cheap, it has no qualms about cutting funds used to feed Muslim children.

What's this? Is "America's Newspaper" turning away from its long-standing support of the extreme right's agenda?


It's jumping on the bandwagon the conservative movement is using to distance itself from a failed presidency.

Later in the opinion piece, Scheuer clumps Bush together with "the Democratic Party and its Hollywood masters, and their Western European associates," as if the Democratic Party and Western Europe played the dominant role in forming Bush administration policies.

Having paired Bush with his political opponents, Scheuer goes on to blame the "Democratic Party's Harvard-bred, libertine legal acolytes" for some nonsense having to do with cartoons of Mohammed and a statue of the Virgin Mary submerged in a vat of urine and makes something up about how the Founding Fathers never intended for the First Amendment to allow for blasphemy. I'm not sure how that fits in with the rest of his arguments. Maybe the Times editorial policy requires all op-eds to contain at least one thing that panders to the radical Christian right.

By the time Scheuer and his breed are through, George W. Bush will have helped Franklin Roosevelt create the New Deal and loaned Stalin money to build the Iron Curtain.

Don't get fooled into thinking the ultra-conservatives have "seen the light" when they criticize the Bush administration. They're just trying to cut their losses.

And given Scheuer's snide comment about certain members of Congress aspiring to positions in the Knesset, it seems that at least some conservatives want to kick the Zionists out of their country club.


  1. You know, if they say it often enough, at least a certain segment of the population will believe it.

  2. It's been like watching an avalanche develop over a long time. Kristol started hammering Rumsfeld about two years ago. Now Buckley and Fukuyama have jumped ship.

    I find it interesting that all these guys are distancing themselves in different ways. Buckley's just saying the Iraq experiment didn't work. Kristol and Kagan are saying the neoconservative idea was right, Rumsfeld just executed it wrong. Fukuyama is saying the neoconservative idea was wrong, and pretends like he didn't have anything to do with it.

    This Scheuer piece is the first I've noticed that tries to bunch Bush with the Dems and the Europeans. And his anti-semitic slant is verrrrrrrrry interesting.

    I can't wait to see what comes next.

  3. I have to say, Jeff, that I don't think you have Fukuyama pegged right at least based on what I've seen here. How much do you know about the guy? While it is convenient to pretend he's just a lock-step neocon who is trying to save his own skin, I don't think that's the case.

    Fukuyama began separating (albeit gradually) from neocon philosophy quite some time ago. While he did sign on to the letter to Clinton re: Iraq as well as the one to Bush post 9-11, he's been critical of the decision to invade from the outset. He openly opposed Bush for re-election in '04 because of that very issue, and had a rather public series of exchanges with Krauthammer where Krauthammer was towing the party line and Fukuyama didn't like what he was saying (I think this goes back to 1993).

    When Fukuyama first began to publicly break ranks, Gary Dorrien, author of The Neoconservative Mind and Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana, a critique of neocons, said he wasn't suprised Fukuyama was the one to break from the pack. A quote of his at the time was “[Fukuyama] was never the hard–line ideologue that most of them are.”

    As for the rest of the people, I think you're more or less correct, but with Fukuyama this isn't a recent thing. Remember that he also called for Rumsfeld to resign in 2003.

    At any rate, I think most of the people who opposed the war were glad when Fukuyama came out and said what he did, and I think most of them feel like he was sincere about it (at least from what I've read).

  4. Scott,

    I think you're falling for Fukuyama's line of bullfeathers.

    He pushed for the war but opposed it? Calling for Rumsfeld to resign became the standard neocon maneuver before Fukuyama did it.

    Fukuyama, Kristol, Kagan and others want people who oppose the war to be on "their" side, and want them to forget that the war was their idea in the first place.

  5. I don't think so Jeff. I don't fall for anyone's line of bullfeathers - I look into things and then decide for myself. I've read Fukuyama in the past - long before the Iraq war happened. I don't think he goes in the same category as Kristol, et al., about whom I agree with you.

  6. In fact, Jeff, from what I've read, Fukuyama was opposed to the war in Iraq before we actually started it, back at a time when public support was in favor of it and in favor of the President. If that's the case, it sounds like he is on the level. Otherwise, opposing it at that time wouldn't make sense.