The neoconservatives in the US have been responsible for the most disastrous turn of events in modern history, wreaking havoc in the Middle East and creating the basis for the blowback the west has experienced as a result. They got the foothold in power they had long wanted during the Bush-Cheney era but then guessed wrong during the last election when they harshly turned against Donald Trump because (at that time at least) he did not seem to want to pursue their goal of imposing US military might around the globe.
As Glenn Greenwald writes, they are now creeping back into the warm embrace of the Democratic party establishment that has adopted the old Cold War rhetoric.
With the full-scale discrediting and collapse of the Bush presidency, these war-loving neocons found themselves marginalized, without any constituency in either party. They were radioactive, confined to speaking at extremist conferences and working with fringe organizations.
All of that has changed, thanks to the eagerness of Democrats to embrace them, form alliances with them, and thus rehabilitate their reputations and resurrect their power and influence. That leading Democratic Party foreign policy officials are willing to form new Beltway advocacy groups in collaboration with Bill Kristol, Mike Rogers, and Mike Chertoff, join arms with those who caused the invasion of Iraq and tried to launch a bombing campaign against Tehran, has repercussions that will easily survive the Trump presidency.
Perhaps the most notable fact about the current posture of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party is that one of their favorite, most beloved, and most cited pundits is the same neocon who wrote George W. Bush’s oppressive, bullying and deceitful speeches in 2002 and 2003 about Iraq and the War on Terror, and who has churned out some of the most hateful, inflammatory rhetoric over the last decade about Palestinians, immigrants, and Muslims. That Bush propagandist, David Frum, is regularly feted on MSNBC’s liberal programs, has been hired by the Atlantic (where he writes warnings about authoritarianism even though he’s only qualified to write manuals for its implementation), and is treated like a wise and honored statesman by leading Democratic Party organs.
One sees this same dynamic repeated with the world’s most militaristic, war-loving neocons. Particularly after his recent argument with Tucker Carlson over Russia, Democrats have practically canonized Max Boot, who has literally cheered for every possible war over the two decades and, in 2013, wrote a column entitled “No Need to Repent for Support of Iraq War.” It is now common to see Democratic pundits and office-holders even favorably citing and praising Bill Kristol himself.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with discrete agreement on a particular issue with someone of a different party or ideology; that’s to be encouraged. But what’s going on here goes far, far beyond that.
What we see instead are leading Democratic foreign policy experts joining hands with the world’s worst neocons to form new, broad-based policy advocacy groups to re-shape U.S. foreign policy toward a more hostile, belligerent and hawkish posture. We see not isolated agreement with neocons in opposition to Trump or on single issue debates, but a full-scale embrace of them that is rehabilitating their standing, empowering their worst elements, and reintegrating them back into the Democratic Party power structure.
This romance with some of the worst warmongers who have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people on their hands is why the Democratic party is such a mess. The party leadership is beholden to the same war loving big business interests as the Republicans and thus can never bring itself to become a true alternative to the Republicans, instead offering mealy-mouthed pieties that have long worn thin. With people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (who really should be labeled as part of the conservative spectrum rather than as liberals) still very influential in the party and determined to keep true progressives out of the leadership (as we saw with their determined effort to prevent Bernie Sanders supporting Keith Ellison from becoming the Democratic Party chair) things are not going to get better soon, even as Trump wreaks havoc and tarnishes the Republican brand and presents the party with a wide opening to win elections.