By TNR’s lights, George W Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are liberals too!

on 20 Comments

Says Adam Kirsch at the New Republic:


The desire to defend and to extend American freedoms is what leads many Jews to be left-liberals; but it is only a different interpretation of what that same defense requires, and who freedom’s enemies really are, that leads some Jews to be neoconservatives.
 

So, too, did George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff, L. Paul Bremmer, and the rest of the non-neocon Bush administration honchos believe that they were bringing freedoms to that part of the world (if we take them at their word; Cheney is most questionable in this respect because he believes not in freedom, just in personal gain, greedhead that he is).

Would Kirsch have us believe that this segment of the Bush cabal is also liberal? I think not.

What he’s glossed over here is the difference between liberal in the American political context versus liberal in the sense of the big picture liberal political philosophy a la John Stuart Mill. The latter characterizes our entire political system; the former is a modern construct we use to distinguish between poles within that limited spectrum.

Is the obfuscation intentional in order to make a point to liberal readers of TNR? Maybe. These noecons and their apologists are not above intentionally misleading people, after all.

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20 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    July 23, 2010, 9:43 am

    Seriously, is “Adam Kirsch” Richard Witty’s pen name? Or vice versa? Or are we to believe there’s a whole group of people who are addicted to making utterly false equivalencies to forward their theology?

  2. joer
    July 23, 2010, 10:31 am

    The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan-as well as our generous support of Israel-are classic liberal policies-in the context of contemporary American history. I’m not really sure what they meant by “liberal” in England 300 years ago, but what it has meant for over 100 years in America in terms of foreign policy is to muscle our way into regions and try to control what goes on there with our military or economic power. There is a perception that liberals are the compassionate, peaceful ones while conservatives are the mean, warlike ones, but in reality the agendas of both sides are created by people on the top, to benefit people at the top. They both have the same strategic goals: An intrusive, bulllying foreign policy, maintenance of the current power structure, and marginalization and/or elimination of dissent.

    • joer
      July 23, 2010, 10:45 am

      ….this may help you understand what’s going on if you are confused why we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq with no end in sight this far into Obama’s term with a Democratic Congress.

  3. Kathleen
    July 23, 2010, 11:07 am

    “So, too, did George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff, L. Paul Bremmer, and the rest of the non-neocon Bush administration honchos believe that they were bringing freedoms to that part of the world (if we take them at their word; Cheney is most questionable in this respect because he believes not in freedom, just in personal gain, greedhead that he is).”

    Bringing freedom based on a pack of lies that has resulted in hundreds of thousands (if not over a million we don’t count Iraqi lives) of Iraqi peoples deaths, injured and millions displaced. No these guys knew exactly what they were doing…chaos in the middle east, trying to grab the oil (Bremer) for multinationals, destroying Iraq’s infrastructure, setting flame to the Sunni/Shiite/Kurd divide.

    If there is a hell these guys are going. The devil is building that extra wing now

    • Chaos4700
      July 23, 2010, 7:41 pm

      Seems like it would be more convenient to just house the devil in the Lincoln bedroom, at this point. Less commuting in general involved.

  4. annie
    July 23, 2010, 11:09 am

    Neoconservatism can be defined as aggressive support for (classical) liberalism, and it is clear that the fate of the Jews has absolutely been connected to the fate of liberalism. Where free speech, the free market, individual rights, and tolerance flourish, Jews flourish; where they are destroyed, Jews are destroyed. This is one reason why American Jews tend to be patriotic: America has the most durable and deep-rooted liberalism of any country in the world. The desire to defend and to extend American freedoms is what leads many Jews to be left-liberals; but it is only a different interpretation of what that same defense requires, and who freedom’s enemies really are, that leads some Jews to be neoconservatives. And there is nothing sinister about that.

    ‘(classical) liberalism’ is the exact identifying feature of the self described likud supporter @ dkos. the new talking pt people. i’m so over the neocons trying to reassert themselves.

  5. Bandolero
    July 23, 2010, 11:16 am

    I find it disgusting. In my opinion Adam Kirsch is trying to play the racial card. He quickly turns Likud and Israel into jews to divert the attention from the perpetrators and promoters of the crimes of starting these wars of aggression.

    The names of the perpetrators can easily be found in organisations of AEI, IASPS, PNAC and the like. Out of the stake of involvement of Israel and it’s lobby in preparing war of aggression, Adam Kirsch makes “jews”.

    That’s how anti-Semitism is created.

    • sherbrsi
      July 23, 2010, 2:04 pm

      That’s how anti-Semitism is created.

      No, that is how Jewish supremacy is created. And anti-semitism in its possible consequence.

      Gharib astutely notes:

      So, too, did George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff, L. Paul Bremmer, and the rest of the non-neocon Bush administration honchos believe that they were bringing freedoms to that part of the world (if we take them at their word; Cheney is most questionable in this respect because he believes not in freedom, just in personal gain, greedhead that he is).

      Maybe Kirsch should elaborate on whether it is only the Jewish neo-cons who are enlightened, freedom defending and non-sinister. Or are the gentile neo-cons are in fact the evil ones, and whose neo-conservatism is not illuminated by such freedom loving principles?

      • Bandolero
        July 23, 2010, 6:13 pm

        “No, that is how Jewish supremacy is created.”
        I disagree. That’s how desaster is created, Jewish desaster and desaster for the rest of the world, too. The names of the perpetrators and propagandists of the wars of aggression are well known, and they are of many ethnics and religions, but Adam Kirsch tries to paint the battle to get them singled out and arrested as a battle between jews and non-jews.

        I think, the target is trying to make people who want to go after the perpetrators of the crimes of the wars of aggression going after all jews instead of going after the perpetrators which have real names.

        The crime of starting wars of aggression has nothing to do with “liberal values”, “conservative values”, “liberty” or “freedom”. Those who have committed these crimes, have names and belong to various ethnic and religious groups. But Adam Kirsch tries to make jewery guilty for these crimes.

  6. sherbrsi
    July 23, 2010, 1:58 pm

    The desire to defend and to extend American freedoms is what leads many Jews to be left-liberals; but it is only a different interpretation of what that same defense requires, and who freedom’s enemies really are, that leads some Jews to be neoconservatives. And there is nothing sinister about that.

    So according to Kirsch, Jews are either liberal, freedom loving (and extending, just look how the Israeli occupation has liberated the Palestinians!), or freedom defending (recognizing that those savage Arabs are hellbent on destroying those very freedoms).

    So, in a nutshell, Jews are fundamentally freedom lovers and if there is any seemingly evil side to them (neo-conservatism), it is only on the grounds of them loving freedom so much that they want to defend it against freedom’s enemies. And there is nothing sinister about it, if you were being mislead by the 50 on average Iraqis being killed every in this “freedom-extending” war of the American Jews (or should I say freedom-defending, non-sinister Jewish neo-cons?)

    • Psychopathic god
      July 23, 2010, 2:25 pm

      Jews are fundamentally freedom lovers and if there is any seemingly evil side to them (neo-conservatism), it is only on the grounds of them loving freedom so much that they want to defend it against freedom’s enemies. And there is nothing sinister about it, if you were being mislead by the 50 on average Iraqis being killed every in this “freedom-extending” war of the American Jews (or should I say freedom-defending, non-sinister Jewish neo-cons?)

      you have captured the essence of Michael Ledeen.
      in a nut’s hell.

      • Citizen
        July 23, 2010, 4:34 pm

        That old zionist beak Madaleine Albright echoed “it’s worth it,” referring to the dead children of Iraq. The Ledeen Doctrine is alive and well:
        link to rightweb.irc-online.org

  7. Bumblebye
    July 23, 2010, 4:42 pm

    Those nice liberal repugnicans have just put forward this resolution:
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    They want to clear the way for Israel to bomb Iran.

    • Bandolero
      July 23, 2010, 7:01 pm

      “They want to clear the way for Israel to bomb Iran.”
      It’s time for regime change in Israel and it’s lobby. It can’t be that a bunch of liars and criminals can continue to murder millions of people.

      • potsherd
        July 23, 2010, 7:41 pm

        As long as they have the money to keep greasing the wheels, yes they can.

    • Chaos4700
      July 23, 2010, 7:50 pm

      Because two “Vietnams” at once aren’t enough! Bring us a third!

    • sherbrsi
      July 23, 2010, 8:13 pm

      Those nice liberal repugnicans have just put forward this resolution:

      The Democrats don’t have a better track record, esp. on Israel.

      I suppose there is something to said that if there was a Republican administration in power now, perhaps Israel/America would already be in the process of bombing Iran.

      Yet, the groundwork is being laid for a strike on Iran. The American public has been sufficiently indoctrinated on the evils and dangers of “nuclear Iran,” and been readied for an American attack on it, as polls indicate. MJ Rosenberg writes that Jeffrey Goldberg is to unveil his master plan for an attack on Iran next month in the Atlantic, much like Pollack pushed for the Iraq war. The seeds are being sown again for another round of bloodshed in a ME country. The players are the same. The state benefiting from it is the same. So are its backers and agents in America.

      Let’s hope against all the odds..

  8. hayate
    July 23, 2010, 8:25 pm

    “that leads some Jews to be neoconservatives”

    I thought it was a desire to be like nazis, but like nazis without the stink of the name nazi draped around their shoulders (and some greedy pigs had already nabbed the name neo-nazi, so that name was out)?

    • hayate
      July 23, 2010, 8:30 pm

      Anyway, my term for neo-con is the 21st century’s nazis, and has been since around 2001-2.

      • Chaos4700
        July 23, 2010, 10:17 pm

        Not sure if moderation will allow me to point this out, but the term I’ve taken up for the whole shebang is “Zionazi.”

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