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Not Dead Yet

Scott McConnell, the Editor and Publisher of The American Conservative (Dec. 18, 2006), says of the November 2006 elections: “Republicans may have gotten ‘a thumpin’,’ but the neocons appear to be suffering a full-fledged rout.” He says: “disrespecting the neoconservatives is emerging as a minor national sport….”

McConnell’s article is titled “They Only Look Dead,” and he says that the “neoconservatives have faced the political wilderness before and survived.”

McConnell says that neocons have “always been resilient and tactically flexible.” For example, after George H.W. Bush evicted Saddam from Kuwait in 1991, and “tried to put America’s weight behind settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, many neoconservatives suddenly remembered their Democratic Party roots and bolted [prior to that most of them had been socialists or Communists, the most prominent being Trotskyites]. In 1992, a significant group of neocons signed on as advisers to Bill Clinton” in his presidential campaign.

According to McConnell, last summer George Will openly turned against the neocons. Will notes that Bill Kristol, the Editor of The Weekly Standard, was calling for the U.S. to use the Lebanon war as a pretext to bomb Iran. McConnell notes that Kristol received mockery when Gen. William Odom, the Director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, said: “Mr. Kristol certainly wants to make [Lebanon] our war…. He tends to forget…getting us into the mess in Mesopotamia [Iraq]. I think if you look at his record, you’d wonder why anybody would allow him to speak publicly anymore.” Indeed. But, according to McConnell, the neocons have allies, including Sen. John McCain, so they may bounce back again.

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