Monday, July 31, 2006


Meanwhile, a collection of frauds, writing in places like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Mother Jones, continuously recycles a story saying that a neocon (code for “Jewish”) conspiracy duped Bush into going to war in Iraq, and is now arranging the invasion of Iran. Documented lies, like those peddled by Joe Wilson to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, are treated as reliable. Fantasies about American armed forces operating covertly in Iran, like those written by Seymour Hirsh, get taken seriously. And people like me are accused of masterminding the whole thing, even though I oppose a military campaign against Iran.

No one can doubt that this is a willful disinformation campaign, aimed at paralyzing and then destroying the president.

Michael Ledeen, NRO 7/31/06

Every state must have its enemies. Great powers must have especially monstrous foes. Above all, these foes must arise from within, for national pride does not admit that a great nation can be defeated by any outside force. That is why, though its origins are elsewhere, the stab in the back has become the sustaining myth of modern American nationalism. Since the end of World War II it has been the device by which the American right wing has both revitalized itself and repeatedly avoided responsibility for its own worst blunders. Indeed, the right has distilled its tale of betrayal into a formula: Advocate some momentarily popular but reckless policy. Deny culpability when that policy is exposed as disastrous. Blame the disaster on internal enemies who hate America. Repeat, always making sure to increase the number of internal enemies.

Kevin Baker, Harper's 7/14/06


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...though its origins are elsewhere..."

And as you know well, CR, this is not the only parallel in domestic political tactics.

7/31/2006 4:13 PM  
Anonymous semper fubar said...

Well, Ledeen has one thing right -- we ARE out to paralyze and destroy the president.

And it can't happen soon enough.

7/31/2006 4:21 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

call kevorkian!

7/31/2006 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

"...neocon (code for “Jewish”) conspiracy..."

Actually, 'neocon' is code for charlatan.

7/31/2006 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" . . . neocon (code for "Jewish") conspiracy . . ."

Okay, things are straying into bizarro land. Now we can't criticize the neocon's because that's anti-Semitic. And the neocons didn’t dupe Bush. Bush's evangelical apocalyptic vision just happened to fit nicely into their twisted desire to reshape the oil-rich Middle East in their image – a Middle East with very, very bad hairdos.

7/31/2006 8:57 PM  
Anonymous George said...

"...neocon (code for “Jewish”) conspiracy..."

Actually, 'neocon' is code for Zionist. There is a difference. Ledeen is playing the anti-semite card (imagine that...) A few years ago, the magazine Adbusters printed a rather brave editorial where they pointed out that of a group of the 50 "most important" neocons, 26 were Jewish. They even printed names, and marked the Jewish people with a little dot. I was flabberghasted on two levels. First was: wow, these guys are making a list of Jews! It's not hard to understand the sensitivities regarding this. Was that a dot or was that a little yellow star? Second was: wow, what's with all the Likudniks and hardcore Zionists steering our foreign policy? That is a very legitimate, non anti-semitic question. The neocons as a whole have a lot to answer for, to be sure, but the role of Zionism in the Iraq fiasco should not go unrecognized.

7/31/2006 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Mr. Leeden's daughter Simone who "lost" NINE BILLION U.S. DOLLARS when she was in charge of the CRI? It's not as though nepotism wasn't one of the few guiding instincts that seem to drive the group known as neo-cons... -- Anne Laurie

8/01/2006 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...


Your blog has turned into a top-notch forum for readers to prattle on with their crackpot theories about "Zionists," "Neo-Cons" and other thinly-veiled phrases for "The Chosen."

Congratulations. You must be very pleased.

Of course, 90% of these commenters post as "Anonymous," which is notable for a guy who claims to provide "an oasis for the intellectually honest."

Fine work.

So tell me, where does your blog go next? I guess discussions of Fed shenanigans, inflation and housing are off the table. Railing at Bush for varied aspects of his policy is a non-starter too.

But you wouldn't be the first to pander to the baser elements of your readership by going for the bread & circus approach.

Again, excellent job.

8/01/2006 6:34 AM  
Blogger Mark Jones said...


You must not read the comments on this board very often. The majority of posts are not anonymous, and the words "Zionist" or the "chosen" are rarely written. Obviously, with the events of the last 3 weeks, neocons is frequently used, as it should be. That is what that group calls itself. What else should we call them? The idiots from the national review/AEI/weekly standard? I suppose then, you could then write that "The idiots from the national review/AEI/Weekly Standard" is a thinly veiled code for "the chosen".
If you are looking for "pandering to the baser elements", I suggest you go to a blog like or uh, the corner. It is more your speed.

8/01/2006 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike's right.

Given the less-than-positive situation in Iraq, the latest developments in Lebanon, and soon-to-be-released report from the House Judiciary Committee Democrats detailing 26 possible statute violations by the Bush Administration, there's more meaningful topics to discuss. INVISIBILITY, for one, is high on my list.

And yes, I'm an anonymous poster. Mike's not anonymous because we know he practices law in Astoria, enjoys gardening, and likes "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

Personally, I don't give a flyling leap whether a neocon is Jew or gentile. Hey, a lot of my friends are neocons! I just think they're a bunch of arrogant crackpots who's disdain for, and manipulation of, Middle America has become all too obvious.

8/01/2006 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...


I've read the comments daily for a year. Except for Third-Eye & 277FIA, almost all of the "Israel is to blame" posters use Anomymous.

Also, re-read what I said. I don't believe I even implied that anyone refers to the "Chosen" explicitly. Zionist, however, is common here and on other blogs.

Anyway, you posted with your name and you've avoided the "thinly-veiled" language I referred to. You're not in the group I'm talking about.

Anonymous (one of how many?)-

Thanks for promoting my blog. Much appreciated. Which allows me to say . . . one my posts today (the one NOT about invisibility) goes into greater detail about what I spoke of in the 6:34 AM post. For anyone interested in thinking about this issue, I'd like to submit that it's worth taking three minutes to read. Click on my name.

Incidentally, Anon, you need to read my profile more carefully: I do enjoy gardening, Eternal Sunshine was a great flick (and Mark Jones agrees), and while I do live in Astoria, I'm not sure where you got the idea that I practice law here.

You're correct, nonetheless, when you say "Mike's right."

8/01/2006 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

  OK, I'm an Anonymous poster though I have been reading CR for some time. Is there something inheriently wrong with not giving you my name whether it be real or fictional? And how would you know the difference anyway other than taking my word for it?
  The implication that Anonymous equals crackpot or the "baser" element is also unfair. While I'll admit that there are a good many crackpots who indulge in drive-by, elminationist rants under the Anonymous banner you're wrong to assume that the composition of said group is uniform.
   With that in mind however, you may consider my remarks as they pertain to Israel as having nothing to do with with that nation's religious composition or some delusional concern for the preservation of our precious bodily fluids. It does have to do with a nation's, any nation's, abiliity and/or willingness to sometimes manipulate global friends in order to achieve its own ends. It's not damnation. It's realism, no? It's also one of the things about our two-party political system that annoys me, it tends to create plane-thinking when the world is in fact a sphere.
   As for "Eternal Sunshine...," I didn't care for it much. I found it disturbing and somewhat depressing. However, I have a garden. I'm 44 years old. I run four or five days a week. I have a dog named Ruby. My house was built in 1904 and I live with an older Italian-American woman from New York who our friend Howard Levy asks, "Are you sure you're not Jewish darling?"
   Feel better?


8/01/2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous MIke said...


Thanks for responding. I agree that the "anonymous vs. name" debate is useless in a vacuum. But in a continuing forum like this, people's on-line identities take on weight. The message gets matched to the tag. Some cowards -- and you've proven yourself not among them -- only post their opinions behind a double layer of anomymity, not wanting to besmearch whatever pristine image lies in the minds of other users.

* * *

I'm really not sure why it' so hard for people to get this, but I'll say it again: there's nothing wrong with criticizing Israel, whether for one act or for it's general national philosophy. Nor is it wrong to question America's relationship to Israel.

But when one couples this legit criticism with Jewish stereotypes or a barely-disclosed desire to see Israel overrun by its enemies, well I'm gonna call it. And I wish others would too.

Additionally, folks are entitled to spew whatever hateful remarks they want about Israel. And I'm free to call them anti-semites when those remarks are anti-semitic.

I know Jews who hate Israel; I also know non-Jews who criticize Israel all the time, but harbor no hatred of Jewish people, in Israel or in the US. I have no problem with them.

I also know people who use Israel and the American-Israeli lobby as proxy for their most disgusting opinions about Jews. You know what I call them? Anti-semites. And CR and his posters can tell me I'm stifling debate by using the term, but I'm not. And it won't become true if they keep saying it over and over again.

* * *

As to Etenal Sunshine, Mitch, it's your business whether you like it or not. No skin off my back if you don't.

And not sure why it matters that your lady friend looks like a Jewish gal. But I hope Howard Levy doesn't say that so often so as to annoy her.

I'm happy you garden, and say hello to Ruby for me.

I have no animosity towards you whatsoever; this little exchange is helpful, in my opinion. I hope you feel the same.

8/01/2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Mike, are you telling us that "Zionist" is a dirty word now? That which can not be said? I was under the impression that Zionism was a politcal movement that maintains that the Jewish people are entitled to a national homeland. Are you saying that there is not a substantial intersection between neocons and Zionists? Or that neocons, many of whom are Zionists, did not propel this country into the Iraq fiasco? That neocon plans to systematically take down each of Israel's major enemies is just an odd coincidence? What part of this thesis is "crackpot"? For the sake of classification, I'm a Gentile who is critical of both Likud and the GOP (among others). I believe that America's policies toward the state of Israel are a legitimate topic of debate, as they have serious repercussions for much of the world. CR believes in intellectual honesty, and I find that most of the commenters here do as well.

8/01/2006 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...


Zionist describes something very precisely. It neither describes all Jews, all Israelis, all neo-cons, all Jewish neo-cons, nor any other group you can think of.

Zionist is a useful term to describe . . . Zionists.

* * *

You ask the following:

1. "Are you saying that there is not a substantial intersection between neocons and Zionists?"

I have absolutely no idea, nor do you, nor does CR. Unless you (or I or CR) define the bounds and limits of "Neocons" how the hell can either of us possibly answer that question? Is a neocon a GOPer who supports Bush? Who supports Bush only on foreign policy? Any Jewish GOPer? Only Jewish GOPers who are Zionists?

2. "Or that neocons, many of whom are Zionists, did not propel this country into the Iraq fiasco?"

I'm saying there is "not a connection." I'm no Republican, nor am I a Dem, but both parties gave Bush the green light, as did the media supporting both sides of the aisle.

For those of you watching at home, *THIS* is what I'm talking about. *THIS* crap that George is spewing is when legitimate criticism of Israel (as Mark & Mitch engaged in) slides over the line.

Is George an anti-semite? I don't know or care? Are his opinions anti-semitic? Don't care. Is he posing useful questions? No!

Bush, Reunsfeld, Cheney & Rice strike me as the architects of the Iraq War, those who "propelled" us into the mess. Are they Zionists? If they are, why aren't they working on kibbutzes? Please.

3. "That neocon plans to systematically take down each of Israel's major enemies is just an odd coincidence?"

Saudi Arabia, for one, has always struck me as one of Israel's major enemies, yet it seems quite clear to me that "the neocons" are rather pro-Saudi, no? Incidentally, George, what are these plans and where'd you find them out? You know when the US is attacking Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority?

Just to name a few of Israel's major enemies.

Maybe CR and some of his readers are intellectually honest, George.

But you're not.

8/01/2006 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Antonie said...

For Mike's sake, I'll repeat myself.

I am not taking sides on this issue. Both sides are causing death and destruction. It is a vicious circle that needs to be stopped by someone, somehow.

I have compared it to fighting siblings where a down-to-earth, impartial parent steps in and stops the fighting.

And my pen name is always Antonie.

8/01/2006 7:29 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Mike, how can you converse on this topic if you don't even have an idea who the neocons are? No wonder you think I'm spewing crap. I'd suggest and as a couple of starting points, but to be honest, I don't think you really want to know.

8/01/2006 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, take George's suggestion seriously, not personally. The sources he cited represent what most of us who regularly read CR think of when we think "neocon," especially those of us who've done the homework and explored these organizations ourselves.

Coincidentally, much of the information on the sites today has been somewhat refined for mass consumption since their existence became popularly known. I've been tracking them for about two years now, and I consider myself a latecomer.

“Neocons" prescribe to a very specific world view, not only for today but for the future. And I mean "world view" in the broadest sense of the term. A Marshall Plan, if you will, without the public discourse or disclosure, but just as comprehensive in its scope. The “plan” presupposes the United States as the sole heir after winning the Cold War, and it aims to reshape the globe to meet “neocon” objectives. How constructive or true this world view is is debatable, but many find disturbing the very fact that neocons feel compelled to pursue a world view at all, seemingly at any cost.

This is Anonymous, by the way. Not “44-years-old, run five days a week” anonymous, but Anonymous, the one that originally responded to you in the first place.

And really, don’t take this personally. I’ve gotten in too deep a time or two myself when commenting on CR. This just happens to be one of the few topics I feel confident about discussing in depth.

8/01/2006 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

George asks, "Mike, how can you converse on this topic if you don't even have an idea who the neocons are?"

. . . and then Anonymous (the first one?) adds, "Mike, take George's suggestion seriously, not personally," and notes that these sources "represent what most of us who regularly read CR think of when we think 'neocon,' especially those of us who've done the homework and explored these organizations ourselves."

I know about the PNAC, guys. If *this* is your definition of neocon, I'd ask what you do with the Quayles & Fukayamas?

If your takeaway from the crack-pot PNAC is that it's a "Zionist" or "Jewish" thing, then frankly, I rest my case. You guys aren't only conspiracists of the first order, but you're convinced that Jews are hiding under your bed & in your closets.

I'll ask again: what's *your* definition of a neocon? Don't tell me to read the PNAC. Don't hell me what CR's definition is. Tell me in your own words what *your* definition is. Until then, we can't have the conversation I've tried to have.

8/02/2006 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...


Just to be clear, so you don't think I've dpdged your response: you seem to define neocon as "a signer of the PNAC's 2000 document," or something close to that.

Ok. But then I direct you back to my original point. Why the hysteria about "Zionists"? I'm not saying you do that, and in fact you don't seem to be doing so.

But I think you have to admit that George is. To me, the number of Jewish members in the PNAC is if not coinciental, not of great import. maybe you feel the same way. George doesn't feel the same way; it's of GREAT importance to him.

And that was a big part of my initial point yesterday.

8/02/2006 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If *this* is your definition of neocon, I'd ask what you do with the Quayles & Fukayamas?"


I'll address Fukayama, simply because I know more about him and find him much more interesting than Quayle.

While the neocons embraced Fukayama, and then subsequently bastardized his ideas, I don't consider Fukayama an iron clad neocon, at least not at the time he wrote "The End of History."

Coincidentally, I have not read "America at the Crossroads," but I understand Fukayama uses it to distance himself from the neoecons, specifically the Bush administration.

In the "End of History," Fukayama hypothesized that history - understood as the great struggle between opposing ideologies - was nearing an end. Democracy, it appeared, had won the day. To understand how the neocons bastardized Fukayama's ideas, you have to understand why Fukayama considered the spread of democracy all but inevitable. According to Fukayama, democracy doesn't spread because it appeals to an innate human desire for liberty but rather because it represents to most people the most direct path to modernization, the desire to live in a modern industrialized world outstripping any desire for liberty. What the neocons did was translate Fukayama’s hypothesis as a green light for hastening this spread of democracy. “The End of History” was not meant as a green light to take up the expansionist torch for democracy but to simply hypothesize that democracy as the victor in the struggle between political ideologies was a foregone conclusion. Fukayama never intended for the spread of democracy to be an orchestrated event. Rather, the spread of democracy was the result of societies' natural tendency to modernize. Organic growth, not occupation.

Interestingly enough, Mike, perform a google search on “neocon Zionist,” and you’ll be surprised at some of the results. I had never traced the history of the neocons back to the 1930’s, but it does make for some interesting reading. You might not like what you find.

8/02/2006 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Anon (whichever one you are)-

Thanks. I, too, find much to admire in Fukuyama. He's smart as a whip, he's basically honest, and I respect him for distancing himself from the PNAC crowd last year.

That said, your notion that he was somehow sucked into the "neo-cons" world, and had his ideas bastardized just won't wash.

Check out this *1997* statement of principles for the PNAC:

You'll notice that Fukuyama was one of the signers. While you'll obviously find Wolfowitz and Abrams on the list, you also see a litany of non-"Zionist" names, among them Rumsfeld, Quayle, Gary Bauer, Steve Forbes, Jeb Bush, and Bill Bennett.

Yet I never hear any of the "usual suspects" here at CR and elsewhere mention them when they rail against American or Israeli adventurism.

No, all I hear about is the "neocons & Zionists" with references to unnamed individuals in AIPAC, plus the standard mention of Wolfowitz or others with obvioulsy Jewish surnames. Sometimes the idiots among that crowd mention Rumsfeld, whose name has a superficially semitic ring to it!

Whatever, I think the dead horse has been beaten dead all over again. You all know where I stand.

8/02/2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Applesaucer said...

Now we know the Cunning Linguist's real identity -- MEL GIBSON!


8/02/2006 5:04 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/06/2007 2:31 PM  

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