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The Neocons Are Coming!

Author: Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
October 19, 2011
The Daily Beast

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They're back! The neoconservatives who gave America clueless, unpaid-for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus a near doubling of military expenditures, during the Bush years have risen from their political graves. Someone, maybe a media tiring of President Obama's interminable plight, pulled the stake from their heart. Now they've returned to the op-ed pages, the talk shows, the think-tank discussions, and the advisory ranks of Republican presidential candidates.

Once again, the neoconservatives mount their steeds. They hint that we need another war or at least a little military strike, this time against Iran. They're pushing to increase military spending; the China threat, you know. They're also trying to further weaken Obama by charging that he's losing Iraq to Iran by not keeping U.S. forces there (without mentioning, of course, that Iraq is throwing them out).

I find it hard to believe that any of these new tricks will work, but I have come never to underestimate the neoconservatives, that formidable group mostly of Republicans who sprang from the loins of the great Democratic senator from Washington, Henry “Scoop” Jackson. They are very smart and far tougher than their liberal and moderate opponents. They write and speak with far greater simplicity and force. (Democrats just must make 17 complicated points about everything.) They are always relentless and on the attack. The only ones to stand up to them effectively have been other Republicans, specifically the best of the foreign-policy realists such as George Shultz, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, and George H.W. Bush.

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