January 07, 2004


David Brooks on the neocons -- (con is short for "conservative" and neo is short for "Jewish"):

Theories about the tightly knit neocon cabal came in waves. One day you read that neocons were pushing plans to finish off Iraq and move into Syria. Web sites appeared detailing neocon conspiracies; my favorite described a neocon outing organized by Dick Cheney to hunt for humans. The Asian press had the most lurid stories; the European press the most thorough. Every day, it seemed, Le Monde or some deep-thinking German paper would have an exposé on the neocon cabal, complete with charts connecting all the conspirators.

The full-mooners fixated on a think tank called the Project for the New American Century, which has a staff of five and issues memos on foreign policy. To hear these people describe it, PNAC is sort of a Yiddish Trilateral Commission, the nexus of the sprawling neocon tentacles.

In a speech last year I offered a definition of “neocon” in which con stood for “evil” and neo meant “really”. Brooks has it nailed, though. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE. Kevin Drum disagrees.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 7, 2004 02:02 AM

i try to point out the PNAC's staff of 5 to people all time. as well as the claim that their "secret plans" have been "found" even though they are posted publically for all to see on their website, lefty moon barking usually follows shortly afterword.

Posted by: Tom Alday at January 7, 2004 at 02:11 AM

Well, the Illuminati only have a staff of 12, and they control the ENTIRE KNOWN UNIVERSE! Why can't a staff of five control the planet?


Posted by: Tatterdemalian at January 7, 2004 at 03:10 AM

Don't you just love secret cabals with websites? Its so damn clever of them...but the tinfoil brigade don't fall for it!

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at January 7, 2004 at 03:44 AM

I got a good laugh some time back when some British tabloid claimed that it had uncovered a SECRET (in capital letters) neocon plan for world domination and then provide a link to the PNAC website. That's some crackerjack investigative reporting alright. Someone should tell the neocons that they shouldn't be putting their secret plans for world domination on the internet.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at January 7, 2004 at 05:20 AM

The fools fail to realize that PNAC is a distraction! Our plans for world domination are almost complete!


Posted by: Bruce at January 7, 2004 at 05:36 AM

Why should we bother to hide our plans? We neocons cannot be stopped. Resistance is futile, as well as annoying. I must admit, however, that we are not infallible. Our schemes to use EU intellectuals as pet food have failed; it seems that our animals would rather starve than eat that stuff. Ah well, we'll find a use for them yet.

Posted by: SAURON at January 7, 2004 at 05:38 AM

Here's the link to the article I was talking about.

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.

The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

I'm surprised a movie hasn't been made yet about the intrepid Sunday Herald investigative journalists who uncovered that SECRET blueprint. Sort of an "All the President's Men" for our time.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at January 7, 2004 at 05:39 AM

Actually the plan to use EU Intellectuals for livestock and pet food backfired horribly (Mad Cow Disease), so we have to think of another use for chopped up Eurosnots. I'm thinking carp food. Carp eat most anything.

Hen, Captain in charge of Neocon/Zionist section 223.

Posted by: hen at January 7, 2004 at 05:52 AM

Yeah, carp will eat anything, but do we want to risk Mad Carp Disease?

Posted by: Robert Crawford at January 7, 2004 at 06:29 AM

And what about the risk of Carp-al Tunnel Syndrome!

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at January 7, 2004 at 06:41 AM

They're so evil they don't even hide their evil plans for world domination! That's how evil they are! Evil evil evil Hitler Bush OIL!!!


Posted by: Brendan at January 7, 2004 at 07:00 AM

I take it back, Bush is an idiot. Didn't he read the "How to be an Evil Overlord" list? The part about not publishing your Plan for World Domination in an easy-to-find spot?

Hell, he probably doesn't have a five-year-old child as an advisor either. :)

Posted by: Patrick Chester at January 7, 2004 at 07:01 AM

Nothing worthy of printing, just a small query.
How about adding a line or whatever at the end of each report and the comments which would allow readers to forward the lot to an address of our choice? As it is, how can I flick-pass appropriate comments to say..Doug Anderson or The SMH?Thanks for your attention.

Posted by: Jeanne at January 7, 2004 at 07:04 AM

I knew a guy who actually did a short video about the Evil Overlord list.

Evil Overlord: So, the plan has been passed by all my other advisors. What do you think of it, Five-Year-Old Advisor?

FYOA: It needs to have a horsie.

EO: A... what, now?

FYOA: A horsie! You know! Plans never work unless they have a horsie!

EO: Right. (Begins erasing a part of The Evil Overlord checklist, presumably the part about having a five-year-old advisor.)

Of course, his plan executed nearly flawlessly... except he didn't have a horsie.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at January 7, 2004 at 07:24 AM

Actually, Bush is very similar to the "Evil Krusty the Clown" doll from one of the Simpsons Halloween specials. If you called a repairman, he'd simply look at Bush's back, say "Yep, here's the problem...you've got him set on 'Neocon Evil.'" Then he'd move the switch to "Liberal Good," and Bush would instantly tansform into...I don't know...Castro? Chomsky? Dean? Moore? Krugman? Jeez, maybe a morph of all of them?

Posted by: Jerry at January 7, 2004 at 08:49 AM

Bush has a ranch, ostensibly as a vacation retreat. It is really there for the purpose of furnishing the horsie.

The plan cannot fail! BWAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Posted by: Ernie G at January 7, 2004 at 09:10 AM

"The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for ... Bush's younger brother Jeb ..."

Jeb? JEB? JEB BUSH??!!?? And exactly what part could Jeb Bush, (Governor of Florida -- America's Retirement Capital), possibly play in a plan for world domination?

Posted by: David Crawford at January 7, 2004 at 09:16 AM

The hint lies in the name - Neo Con. It refers to Neo from the Matrix! Yes we are all really just batteries asleep in a computer simulation and it is too late to take the red pill - the shame!

Posted by: Rob at January 7, 2004 at 09:17 AM

Brooks is receiving quite a savaging from the full-mooners in the NYT readers' forum.

Posted by: ilibcc at January 7, 2004 at 11:03 AM

The bit about Cheney hunting for humans sounds like one of the "In My World" pieces from IMAO. Hint: It's satire.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 7, 2004 at 11:04 AM

Kevin Drum is utterly clueless about all things Jewish. Why am I not surprised he disagrees with Brooks' definition of neocon?

Posted by: Meryl Yourish at January 7, 2004 at 01:00 PM

"What's the agenda here?"

Kevin Drum talks as if the neocons are so powerful they even secretly control the NYT. What a nutter.

Posted by: Brett Milner at January 7, 2004 at 01:21 PM

Quite interesting to see that there's plenty of left-bloggers crying foul. The real problem is that 'neo-concervative' seems to have become an all purpose term of abuse for any right-winger you don't like - especially when they can't tell Leo Strauss from the blokes who wrote those pretty waltz tunes.

And a small hint - don't like people wondering if you're anti-semitic? Why don't you try talking about the Protestant Cabal surrounding Bush - you know, his Vice President, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor etc. - instead of parroting the drivel of pathological bigots like Pat Buchannan?

Posted by: Craig Ranapia (Other Pundit) at January 7, 2004 at 01:46 PM

The more I travel, the more people look exactly the same to me, and the more I think we will never get anywhere in the international debate until we stop defining the arguments based on assigning ourselves to comfortable groups under fractious labels.

We have an unprecedented ability to instantly communicate across continents and IMO it is our responsibility to make our greatest concerns global. The planet is in jeopardy from our petty nationalistic agendas. It will do little good to accumulate wealth and protect our back yards if the ecosystem implodes.

Call me what you like, I call you all my fellow man, and frame my thoughts from there.


Last One Speaks

Posted by: Last One Speaks at January 7, 2004 at 03:09 PM

OK "Last One Speaks". I am going to call you "Next To Last One Speaks".

Posted by: Greg at January 7, 2004 at 03:20 PM

Touche Greg. I admit it's an addiction. So sue me, I have a very addictive personality.


Last One Speaks again

Posted by: Last One Speaks at January 7, 2004 at 04:18 PM

Last One Speaks?

Sorry, you're not having this one.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 7, 2004 at 05:36 PM

"The planet is in jeopardy from our petty nationalistic agendas."

LOS, unfortunately, our adversaries aren't thinking nationalistically. They're thinking globally. They want the entire world to reflect their 8th Century fantasy land of Islamic Utopia. I, and my fellow Americans have thought about it, and said, "Nah, not gonna happen."

"It will do little good to accumulate wealth and protect our back yards if the ecosystem implodes."

Well, a number years ago, we were all going to die from the "COMING ICE AGE!" Now we're all going to die from "GLOBAL WARMING!" Pretty soon now, I expect to see that we're all going to die from the "COMING TEMPERATE MODERATION!" Point is, as long as people keep getting government grants to study upcoming climatological catastrophes, we'll keep getting predictions of upcoming climatological catastrophes. Ditto, ecosystem implosions. Of course, following these people's advice can lead to real disasters, such as the massive increase in malarial deaths after the banning of DDT. Rachel Carson is responsible for more death and misery than Stalin, Hitler, and Mao combined.

Posted by: CGeib at January 7, 2004 at 06:08 PM

France will soon be bombarded with Rummikub tiles, combined with sabotage by inserting Big Macs into dinners at respected (as in expensive) restaurants. They will not hold out long!

Gad, I need coffee

Posted by: maor at January 7, 2004 at 07:47 PM


Posted by: roscoe.p. coltrane. at January 7, 2004 at 07:49 PM

Of course, his plan executed nearly flawlessly... except he didn't have a horsie.

Can a rubber one do?

Posted by: Andjam at January 7, 2004 at 08:52 PM

Brooks is obviously right about one fact: Bush is in charge of foreign policy, and was never a natural born neo-con.
In the 2000 election, the neo-cons supported McCain, as they thought he would be more prone to invading bad countries.
David Brooks endorsed McCain as a

political phenomenon with a potential appeal to the country as a whole.

By contrast, in 2000, Bush favoured a low-key foreign policy, opposed Clinton's global interventionism and was against neo-con nation building & "national greatness" programs.
Let me tell you what else I'm worried about: I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence.

It was the experience of 911, not the "cabals" of the Weekly Standard, that transformed Bush into a khaki president:
Bush "said to all of us numerous times, he's made it clear that from this day forward [the war on terrorism] is the central focus of our administration," Hughes recounted.

The partisan advice of Karl Rove was a more important factor in the regime-change Iraq than neo-con intellectual policies:
We can also go to the country on [war on Iraq] because [Americans] trust the Republican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengthening America's military might and thereby protecting America.

to be continued...

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at January 7, 2004 at 11:53 PM

Here's Salon mag's take on Brooks:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/01/07/moveon_ads/index.html (near the bottom)

Basically she says Brooks is a liar for denying the existence of the cabal, and accuses him of "dishonest political thuggery".

Posted by: John D'oh at January 8, 2004 at 03:27 AM

Good God, I shudder to think how many places I have to make this apology.

Thank you all for an interesting discussion. I learned a lot from it.


Last One Speaks

Posted by: Last One Speaks at January 8, 2004 at 05:22 AM


I think I actually agree with what you have written - although if past is any guide, not with your underlying intent.

9/11 changed everything. Bush is a believer in evil and believes terrorism is a global evil to be destroyed. I am sure we could disagree on how best to proceed. Bush would have been susceptible in 2004 without it, because the economy, while improving, still has some to go. But Americans intuitively trust him on this point and if Dean is nominated with the bizarre things he has said on foreign policy, it will be like the dusting McGovern got in '72.

Last One SPeaks-

As for our petty nationalistic agendas, the ecological impact of democracies has been that they do a better job of cleaning up their messes than anyone else, because their economies generate the wealth to afford it. All of the doomsday scenerios have been a joke. Eventually we will have to deal with another ice age, because in evaluating our historic weather patterns, the temperate zones will face this as they have in the past. It won't matter one iota what we do in the meantime. It's coming.

Posted by: JEM at January 8, 2004 at 07:22 AM

Hey, how long do you have to serve as a "neo-con" before you get promoted to just plain "con"? I voted for Reagan in '80 but really it was just because of the stupid rabbit attack on Carter. That just said it all about that presidency.

Posted by: Doc at January 8, 2004 at 08:39 AM

Yo, Doc, back off Carter. Yes, he may be the most inept leader in my lifetime, but on the other hand, he legalized the homebrewing of beer (400 gallons per adult per household, 1979).

Posted by: Jerry at January 8, 2004 at 02:02 PM


Well I am glad that I will not disappoint you because part II of this comment will make the obvious point that Brooks is dead wrong about the noe-connishness of Cheyney, who is clearly the foreign policy force in the admin, and who is definitely a paid-up member of the neo-conclique.
Cheyney helped to write the original neo-con manifesto, the Defence Guidance Document written in a fit of sellers remorse after Gulf War I.
Cheyney was a leading proponent of the neo-con dream of regime changing Iraq, by stealth in the 90s, by force in the 00s.
As Lind reports, in the aftermath of the election, the neo-cons

had a stroke of luck – Cheney was put in charge of the presidential transition (the period between the election in November and the accession to office in January). Cheney used this opportunity to stack the administration with his hard-line allies. Instead of becoming the de facto president in foreign policy, as many had expected, Secretary of State Powell found himself boxed in by Cheney's right-wing network, including Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Bolton and Libby. The neocons took advantage of Bush's ignorance and inexperience...It is not clear that George W fully understands the grand strategy that Wolfowitz and other aides are unfolding. He seems genuinely to believe that there was an imminent threat to the U.S. from Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," something the leading neocons say in public but are far too intelligent to believe themselves.

The story of how Cheyney used the DoD to cutout the SD has been well-told by Sy Hersh.
So Brooks is being a typical spin-doctor, technically correct on the superficial Bush, fundamentally disingenuous on the profound Cheyney.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at January 8, 2004 at 02:08 PM

Hey Jack -

There are very few conservatives of any stripe that think the SD has the vaguest idea of how to develop and implement a strong foreign policy. To the extent SD is out of the loop - amen. Well done. They helped get us in this mess with their expertise advice to GB1 and Clinton. Without 9/11 however none of this conspiracy that you would like us to believe would occur. Unless you think Cheney knew about the planes - if so that probably shots your ability to even be argued with in the future.

I believe the people put in DoD were basically there to counteract the SD policy on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Bush believes Arafat is pond scum - on a good day. He wanted people who agreed with him and I am sure the Cheney contingent was up to that challenge. The opportunity to right the wrongs at the end of GW1 was a lucky break...that Saddam could be so stupid to provide Bush an opportunity to get rid of him just happened.

Posted by: JEM at January 8, 2004 at 03:01 PM

He nailed it? That article is absolutely outrageous! Levelling claims of anti-Semitism seems to be in vogue these days, but it's only slightly better than calling people Nazis. Unless we're really meant to believe there's a vast network of anti-Semitic people that were just waiting to jump out of the woodwork?

This is just another example of how political discussions are descending to the lowest common denominator these days, with no thought given other than insulting the opposition. Funny how none of these anti-Semites actually get named, isn't it?

Posted by: _ at January 9, 2004 at 04:02 AM

On another note, the "human hunt" thing that Brooks whined so much about was written by a crazy woman who also made ludicrous accusations against people like Bill Clinton and Bob Hope, who she says raped her. Wow, what a good way to demonstrate that there's an anti-Semitic backlash happening.

Posted by: _ at January 9, 2004 at 04:29 AM


Are you serious?!?

Posted by: JEM at January 9, 2004 at 04:45 AM

Even Brooks thinks himself a moron. Read it and weep, dumbasses.

Posted by: Glenn or Glennda at January 9, 2004 at 07:12 AM

Didn't accept url, so here:

Posted by: Glenn or Glennda at January 9, 2004 at 07:13 AM

I love it! Even Brooks himself now admits that he's a dickhead for writing that column.

In the meantime, in the face of mounting criticism, the only responses the Neocons can muster are 1) deny that Neocons actually exist, 2) accuse their critics of being "anti-Semites", or 3) try to dismiss/ridicule their opponents with infantile references to "secret cabals" and "global conspiracies."

That just about sums up the Neocon m.o., which consists mainly of smear and insult.

Posted by: Joseph de Bonald at January 9, 2004 at 07:38 AM

Brooks is beginning to realise he's an idiot for subjecting himself to hair-trigger-sensitive NYT readers, is all.

His argument's major thrust remains valid - that the conspiracy theorists about neo-con influence over the Bush administration frequently refer to a Jewish influence. This is true. The articles are out there.

Poor sensitive NYT readers. Get a robust life for chrissakes. It's just a column. Grow up.

Posted by: ilibcc at January 9, 2004 at 09:45 AM

No, the thing is, Brooks admits he was an idiot for writing the column. It's there. Look it up. He f*cked up.

And what's this about "conspiracy theorists"? There you Neocons go again, ducking the debate. As I said before: I love it!

On second thought, by "conspiracy theorists," I suppose you're referring to the Neocons who see a nasty "anti-Semite" lurking behind every essay criticising them.

"Poor sensitive NYT readers"? You wish, mate. Most of the people that I know of who oppose the Neocons, at least, are staunch Conservatives and patriots who wouldn't use the Times to line a bird cage.

Keep fooling yourselves.

Posted by: Joseph de Bonald at January 9, 2004 at 12:48 PM

Of course I'm serious. Have the URL somewhere...


There's the human hunt chapter.


There's one about Bill Clinton. People can judge for themselves whether or not this woman is just completely off her rocker or represents a serious large network of conspiracy theorists. (Hint: it's the former)

And I love how when people react to an outrageous op-ed, we're dismissed and told to grow up. That must be what gets said when there's really no other defense. He was full of crap, he admits it himself, and even the parts that he didn't admit being wrong for are well documented as being stupid, like the human hunt stuff I'm talking about above. The year is just starting, but this one will be hard to top for worst op-ed in a major newspaper for 2004 .

Posted by: _ at January 10, 2004 at 08:09 PM