Iraq Realities Splintering Conservative Establishment
Somewhat breathlessly, the New
York Times has discovered, as a headline this week
informed us, that
"Lack of Resolution In Iraq Finds Conservatives
Divided." [by David D. Kilpatrick, April 19,
Translated into American, that
means many conservatives are less than enchanted with
the quick and easy cakewalk to peace and democracy in
Iraq on which the Bush administration has embarked the
country and some may be suffering a few stomach cramps
over what to do about it—namely, whether to support
President Bush`s re-election.
It`s great the Times finally
noticed that not all conservatives are marching in
lockstep with the White House, but the news it finally
found fit to print is just a little stale.
The truth is that many
conservatives have long opposed the war and the whole
globalist-imperialist thinking behind it—myself, as
well as Pat Buchanan, Chronicles and The
American Conservative magazines, columnists
Paul Craig Roberts and Charley Reese and
libertarians like Justin Raimondo and
Doug Bandow, to name a few. The Times
mentions Mr. Buchanan, by far the most
eminent of them, but never notices the others at
Long ago, when war with Iraq was
merely a glitter in the beady little eyes of Paul
Wolfowitz and his
neoconservative mobsters, the anti-war conservatives
raised questions and
doubts about the whole project—the "weapons of
mass destruction," Iraq`s supposed ties to 9/11,
Al Qaeda and terrorism in general, and whether
Saddam Hussein, nasty as he was, was really much of a
threat to us or anybody else outside his own borders.
Today, the answers are in—and the
anti-war right was correct on virtually every one.
But not only does the Times
miss the boat on who the conservative critics of the war
were; it also misses it on who they are now. In a rather
bizarre sentence, it offers as an example—National
The Times article notes that
a recent editorial in the Manhattan mag "adopted a
newly skeptical tone toward the neoconservatives and
toward the occupation." Well, sort of.
"An End to Illusion," [May 3] commendably
criticizes what it calls the "Wilsonian mistake"
that lies at the heart of the current boondoggle in
Iraq—"an underestimation in general of the difficulty
of implanting democracy in alien soil, and an
overestimation in particular of the sophistication of
what is fundamentally still a tribal society. And one
devastated by decades of tyranny."
But it pulls back from the real
implications of that criticism and insists that "Iraq
was not a Wilsonian—or a `neoconservative`—war. It was
broadly supported by the Right as a war of national
Yes, but as the current
Wilsonian obsession suggests, the Right—and
National Review in particular—was wrong.
Since the administration and the
Right were generally in (shall we say) error over the
reality of the threat Iraq posed, the only justification
for the war they now have is Wilsonianism—that the war
was justified as a means of liberating Iraq and creating
democracy and human rights that Saddam denied—and
"Wilsonianism" is precisely what the administration
and its spokesmen and apologists have spouted for the
last several months.
The "war of national interest"
that the pro-war right supported turned out to be a
fraud—and some of us knew it was a fraud all along.
"Some of us" distinctly did
not include National Review, which a year ago
long and nasty article denouncing
conservatives who opposed the war as
"unpatriotic" (like me, Mr. Buchanan, Chronicles,
and the rest of the anti-war right), even as it wrapped
itself in Wilsonian sonorities to justify the war.
Now, with the American public
starting to wonder whatever happened to the cakewalk,
with more and more insiders testifying how the
neoconservatives started instigating the war even before
the 9/11 attacks, and with a bloody and bottomless pit
yawning before us in the chaos we have created in Iraq,
patriotic conservatives at National Review
are pleased to lecture us about the dangers of the "Wilsonian
Wilsonians are still amongst us, of course. The
Times also quotes Bill Kristol, editor of the
neo-conservative Weekly Standard, who shows not
even a trace of second thoughts about Iraq. "If we
[neoconservatives] have to make common cause with
the more hawkish liberals and fight the conservatives,
that is fine with me," he chirps.
It won`t surprise real
conservatives like those who opposed the war before it
phony-cons like Bill Kristol are ready to sign on
Maybe, once the boys at NR
have figured out what`s wrong with the "Wilsonian
mistake" they swallowed themselves and explained it
all to us lesser lights, they`ll start seeing through
the other illusions and blunders their neoconservative
pals have been peddling them for years.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future and
Glynn Custred`s review.]