[FoRK] Challenge for McCain critics

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Aug 28 17:30:12 PDT 2008

On Aug 28, 2008, at 3:53 PM, Luis Villa wrote:

>> Nonsense.  The rhetoric is hawkish;  that's about it.  The neocons  
>> are a lot
>> more than just hawks, and McCain has patently *not* been affiliated  
>> with any
>> of the core neocon organizations or factions historically.
>> From http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=220a2dab-3d4b-45e4-9355-b03d44b6b844
> "Then, in 1998, during the debates over the Iraq Liberation Act and
> intervention in Kosovo, McCain and his chief of staff, Mark Salter,
> began working closely with the neoconservatives around The Weekly
> Standard and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), including
> William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Marshall Wittmann, Randy Scheunemann,
> Gary Schmitt, Max Boot, and Daniel McKivergan. ...

Most of those individuals are without a doubt neocons.  And McCain, as  
with anyone working on foreign policy in DC, has dealt with many of  
them frequently.

Neocons have a particular lineage.  McCain doesn't share that  
lineage.  He hasn't studied in those particular programs, belonged to  
those particular groups, cycled through those particular think tanks.   
Hawkish no doubt;  but there's always going to be intersection between  
various factions when interests are aligned.  It's hard enough just  
sorting out the Bush administration;  for example the State-JCOS- 
Defense conflict is not obvious to even many careful observers and has  
not been widely reported or understood, and without that there's no  
way to comprehend what's happened e.g. in Iraq over the last six years.

Besides which, look at your source.  Talk about slanted.  You don't  
think they have a vested interest in blurring the lines?  What's next,  
citing Socialist Workers' Daily?  (OB_SELF_REF:  I actually did that  
on list once, in a link flurry.  I don't know if anybody noticed. ;-)

> Not mentioned here, John Bolton (a neocon by any definition of the
> word) is also a regular McCain advisor.

Again, there's a party apparatus that's difficult to get away from,  
and the neocons make a lot of that up.  But there's neocons and  
neocons.  Bolton certainly is one (JINSA and PNAC being key  
indicators) but believe it or not he's a more marginal one than others  
such as Perle or Wolfowitz.  The real neocons have seen their star  
setting over the last couple of years;  in fact, since "the  
surge" (which was indeed *not* a neocon initiative.)  McCain's  
interactions with a few of them certainly don't imply a re-emergence,  
though the left-propagandists would sure like for you to believe  
that.  (As with his conflicts with Bush, McCain has found himself  
snubbed and blocked and generally ignored if not ridiculed more often  
than not by the hardline neocons.)

> But you
> certainly can't argue that he's not affiliated with the core neocons-
> you can't get much more core neocon than Bill Kristol or John Bolton,
> and he's very, very affiliated with them and with their coterie.

Sloppy choice of words on my part (while berating others for theirs,  
tsk tsk my bad.)  By affiliated with, I meant *belongs to the club,  
drinks the kool-aid.*  I.e., Straussian hegemonist.  He may be many  
things, but he's not that;  he may run with them (as any who have  
performed the roles McCain has in the Senate must have, over the last  
three decades) but they sure as shit weren't inviting him to the think- 
and-drinks prior to his clinching the nomination, not unless they  
needed something from him.


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