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Friday, August 2, 2013

David Brooks, "The Neocon Revival": Out of Patience

Yesterday, I received a mysterious message from the US government:

"The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4. The Department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations, indicates we should institute these precautionary steps. It is possible we may have additional days of closings as well, depending on our analysis."

Thanks for the warning, my friends. It means a heck of a lot to me . . . not.

Meanwhile, chaos continues to reign in the Middle East - Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon and Iran - and there is no end in sight. Do you remember how New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Roger Cohen greeted the so-called "Arab Spring"? Well, thanks to an absence of leadership from the Big-O - call it "leadership from behind," "watch and wait" or a natural proclivity for procrastination - the instability continues to spread with potential repercussions for the rest of the world. How many will die in Syria and Egypt this weekend? Will Russia continue to arm Assad and go on flipping Obama the bird? Can Egypt remain financially afloat? Will Israel be forced to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, owing to the failure of the West to constrain the mullahs? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, as the world unravels, David Brooks, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Neocon Revival" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/brooks-the-neocon-revival.html?_r=0), tries to provide some clarity concerning the meaning and virtues of "neoconservatism." Brooks writes:

"Neocons put values at the center of their governing philosophy, but their social policy was neither morally laissez-faire like the libertarians nor explicitly religious like some social conservatives. Neocons mostly sought policies that would encourage self-discipline."

"Self-discipline"? Sounds a bit like something out of "Romper Room" (1953 - 1994). Perhaps you remember "Mr. Do-Bee" and "Mr. Don't-Bee"?

Brooks continues:

"The Republican Party is drifting back to a place where it appears hostile to the basic pillars of the welfare state: to food stamps, for example. This will make the party what it was before the neocon infusion, a 43 percent party in national elections, rejected by minorities and the economically insecure.

The solution is not to go back to 1980. It’s to imagine what kind of values Americans should have, and what kind of limited but energetic government can reinforce those values."

"Limited but energetic government"? Is there anyone in government seeking anything but self-gratification, i.e. scratching their narcissistic itch?

But I digress.

What is a "neocon"? The opposite of a "progressive"? Anyone to the right of a progressive? Someone who favored the Second Gulf War?

Should I even care?

Government? It's bankrupt and a source of nausea. I don't know if it's my age or the real-time awareness granted to us by the Internet, but I have no patience for persons who call themselves "progressives" or "neocons," for their higher morality, or for their would-be solutions.



2 comments:

  1. Well, I am trying to leave the Democratic party since last September. OK, I don't try hard enough - I only send my registration form twice, apparently not enough to be released from the party - but the fact is that I am out, even if not technically.
    Now, I have nowhere to go. I've joined a known conservative discussion group and enjoy some of it political discussions. Predictably, the intellectual level is uneven (it's an open discussion), but the lowest level is really below the sea level.
    If the participants use more often than not such convincing arguments as quotes from Dale Carnegie or Ayn Rand, I won't last there for long.
    My delicate and intelligent Jewish stomach really can't digest Carnegian "smile, don't argue," Rand's "push and grab," the absurdity of "sacredness" of quotes loved by libertarian atheists (the problem who is actually God - Carnegie or Rand?) and the whole Social Darwinistic, utterly barbaric aura.

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  2. "Meanwhile, chaos continues to reign in the Middle East - Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon and Iran - and there is no end in sight. Do you remember how New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Roger Cohen greeted the so-called "Arab Spring"? Well, thanks to an absence of leadership from the Big-O - call it "leadership from behind," "watch and wait" or a natural proclivity for procrastination - the instability continues to spread with potential repercussions for the rest of the world. How many will die in Syria and Egypt this weekend? Will Russia continue to arm Assad and go on flipping Obama the bird? Can Egypt remain financially afloat? Will Israel be forced to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, owing to the failure of the West to constrain the mullahs? Stay tuned."

    Yes, let's send the military to every country in the Middle East so that we can get sucked into another decade of unsuccessfully attempting to install democracy in western-hating Islamic nations. Despite 50 years of failure, this time will surely be different, and of course, that policy won't do anything at all to add to the national debt which you, in all of your educated wisdom, know to be on the verge of causing economic collapse. I'll have to find a way to make sure my google alerts never bring me back to this ridiculous blog. The internet has done amazing things with the world. . . giving a platform to the ignorant is not one.

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