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Are you a NeoCon? Definition, History and Determination Quiz

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posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 07:38 AM
Neocon 101

Some basic questions answered.

What do neoconservatives believe?
"Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power forcefully if necessary to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.

Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster.

Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security.

What are the roots of neoconservative beliefs?
The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and 70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left's social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union's fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America's defense spending and its role in the world.

Unlike their predecessors, most younger neocons never experienced being left of center. They've always been "Reagan" Republicans.

What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative?

Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored dtente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s.

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. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, view this as an overzealous dream with nightmarish consequences.

How have neoconservatives influenced US foreign policy?

Finding a kindred spirit in President Reagan, neocons greatly influenced US foreign policy in the 1980s.

But in the 1990s, neocon cries failed to spur much action. Outside of Reaganite think tanks and Israel's right-wing Likud Party, their calls for regime change in Iraq were deemed provocative and extremist by the political mainstream. With a few notable exceptions, such as President Bill Clinton's decision to launch isolated strikes at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, their talk of preemptive military action was largely dismissed as overkill.

Despite being muted by a president who called for restraint and humility in foreign affairs, neocons used the 1990s to hone their message and craft their blueprint for American power. Their forward thinking and long-time ties to Republican circles helped many neocons win key posts in the Bush administration.

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." AEI the de facto headquarters for neconservative policy had been calling for democratization of the Arab world for more than a decade.

What does a neoconservative dream world look like?

Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats. They believe that the US has a responsibility to act as a "benevolent global hegemon." In this capacity, the US would maintain an empire of sorts by helping to create democratic, economically liberal governments in place of "failed states" or oppressive regimes they deem threatening to the US or its interests. In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be democratized in the belief that this would eliminate a prime breeding ground for terrorists. This approach, they claim, is not only best for the US; it is best for the world. In their view, the world can only achieve peace through strong US leadership backed with credible force, not weak treaties to be disrespected by tyrants.

Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.



Now everyone can use the label properly to call out all the Young Republicans that were born during Reaganomics and the Older Guard who lived through it but still don't know any better. NeoCon perspectives are great for Empires - but history clearly counsels us to aspire to something much less short lived.

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 07:45 AM
Good morning BT.

Interesting that you bring this up, I just ran across this at one of your least visited sites (sarcasm).

Forgot to add this for 'Excerpt':

"neoneoliberalism n.

neocommunist political movement, a tipsy-topsy, infantile perversion of the Marxist-Leninist model, global in scope, beginning in the post-cold-war, unipolar 1990s, led by the '60s neoliberal baby-boomer "intelligentsia," that seeks power without responsibility, i.e., that seeks to dilute American power by concentrating power in said '60s neoliberals while yielding America's sovereignty to the United Nations, i.e., while surrendering to the terrorists, as it continues the traditional '60s neoliberal feint: (1) concern for social justice, (2) distain for bureaucracy, and (3) the championing of entrepreneurship for the great unwashed."

Would this be considered a 'counterpunch' to "NeoCon 101"?


[Edited on 24-2-2004 by Seekerof]

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:00 AM
Seekerof that just sounds like what the right has tried to always define as all liberals. I think there may be real "neolibs" for example that used to be Reagen conservatives now joining the ACLU out of fear of Bush and the Patriot Act. Or economic refugees seeking some stabiliztion of spending from out of control Bush.

Some hybrid of Libertarian-Democratic strange bedfellows of the necessity to oust Bush would be Neo-Libs.

Obviously, I'm purposefully taking the 'charge' out of the word. I don't think "neo-con" is a bad word either if that's what you are...a "new conservative". So why should Neo-Lib be? This board is FULL of Neo-Libs in the true sense... former Republicans that hate Bush. New Libs pushed there by Bush.

[Edited on 24-2-2004 by RANT]

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:10 AM

Originally posted by RANT
So why should Neo-Lib be? This board is FULL of Neo-Libs in the true sense... former Republicans that hate Bush. New Libs pushed there by Bush.

And let's not forget Regular Democrats, Just Plain Liberals (and always been liberal), and Uppity Feminists.

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:12 AM

Originally posted by Bout Time
Neocon 101
Some basic questions answered.

Dear heavens, what a ghastly imperialistic viewpoint they have! That's the sort of attitude that will cause a lot of problems in relationships to the rest of the world. America is already disliked because of a lot of those approaches and this philosophy will strip us of many of our allies.


posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:19 AM
I was raised by one!

My intention was to highlight the root & parameters of perspective that has been the driving force of our country for the last four years. Being of a Neconservatives viewpoint is not wrong in and of itself; it is just that it fails miserably, like any other absolute political model, when applied unadulterated and within respect for enviromental factors. Our current version is further hindered because it it joined at the hip with rampant cronyism, thus thowing any possible altruism out the window.

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:20 AM

Originally posted by Byrd

Originally posted by RANT
So why should Neo-Lib be? This board is FULL of Neo-Libs in the true sense... former Republicans that hate Bush. New Libs pushed there by Bush.

And let's not forget Regular Democrats, Just Plain Liberals (and always been liberal), and Uppity Feminists.

I'm assuming you're going for sarcastic there. Why? There's a real point to marketing in politics. If there's such a thing as NASCAR Dads, or Neo-Cons, there's Neo-Libs. Why the resistence?

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:36 AM
Well BT I took the test ..........and was pleasently surprised to be most like Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan - two of the best presidents this country has had the fortune to have.
I'll wear my label proudly!

Just backed that up by spending 500 points.

[Edited on 24-2-2004 by Phoenix]

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 08:51 AM
I took the quiz and actually was quite shocked at the results. I would have more stated I was a realist but who knew (although the Jimmy Carter link kills me:



Are wary of American arrogance and hypocrisy
Trace much of today's anti-American hatred to previous US foreign policies.
Believe political solutions are inherently superior to military solutions
Believe the US is morally bound to intervene in humanitarian crises
Oppose American imperialism
Support international law, alliances, and agreements
Encourage US participation in the UN
Believe US economic policies must help lift up the world's poor
Historical liberal: President Woodrow Wilson

Modern liberal: President Jimmy Carter

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 11:01 AM
Wooo hooo..........I'm a realist.
Take that BT. And just think of all the times you called me a Neocon or Nazi.

Neener, neener, neener



Are guided more by practical considerations than ideological vision
Believe US power is crucial to successful diplomacy - and vice versa
Don't want US policy options unduly limited by world opinion or ethical considerations
Believe strong alliances are important to US interests
Weigh the political costs of foreign action
Believe foreign intervention must be dictated by compelling national interest
Historical realist: President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Modern realist: Secretary of State Colin Powell

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 11:37 AM
But I have called you a Californian.......that's much worse!

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 11:46 AM

Originally posted by Bout Time
But I have called you a Californian.......that's much worse!

Now,now........Your just jealous because CA is so much bigger.

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