Romney runs from ‘neocon’ label– because Americans reject neoconservatism by more than 2 to 1!

The Washington Post reports that Romney doesn’t want to be called a neocon, even though he’s mobbed up with neocons:

The Romney campaign does not dispute that Mitt Romney is a neoconservative, it just refuses to say the word neoconservative.

“His embrace of American values and interests and his call for American leadership abroad throughout this campaign is indicative of a philosophy of peace through strength,” Alex Wong, the campaign’s foreign policy director, said in an interview.

Pretty telling, huh. David Remnick’s salvo against neocons and their “gambits” seems to reflect US opinion. Americans dislike neoconservatism.

The proof is in this poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. By more than two to one, 67-32, Americans now believe the Iraq war was not worth it. Numbers that have increased dramatically in recent years. Hi-ho Bill Kristol! 

The Council asked about the entire neocon program: Will the war spread democracy in the Arab world? 68 to 28 No. Should we undertake unilateral military action against rogue states, 71 to 27 against. Has the Iraq war made us safer from terrorists? 69 to 20 against!

And most important, has the war worsened our relations with the Arab world? 70 to 27, Yes!

Ali Gharib has reported on the same poll’s overwhelming opposition to a strike on Iran. Wait till this comes up in the debates, and Romney starts tap-dancing.

About Alex Kane and Phil Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 30 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. radii says:

    the neocons have never cared about the people, or what they think, so these poll numbers are not unknown to them but they don’t care … their rabid ideology is all about ramming through their policy objectives and war goals, period … and it is, first and foremost, in service to a ‘greater israel’ – making israel the regional superpower over there through the blood and treasure of America

    … fortunately Mitt Romney is such an utter incompetent that has chances of getting elected president are probably between 10%-20% so it is very unlikely that America will have to withstand another traitorous round of war against our own country through destructive policies promulgated by the neocons

  2. Krauss says:

    Romney is the ultimate bellweather because he has no core. He will align with the group that currently has the most power.

    The neocons run the show inside the Republican party after Kristol led the Stalinist purge of all independent thinkers right around the fall of the Soviet Union.

    However, the vehicle that is the Republican party is not reliable anymore. The young Republican voters like Ron Paul much more than they do Bill Kristol.
    This reflects the fact that the neocons have never had a base inside the party, but have always been an élite phenomenom. Buy up all the conservative press, organize a group of donors(mostly from Wall St like Dan Loeb, Julian Singer, Michael Steinhardt etc) and make sure all the Republican pols have to pander to you.

    A recent report came out, supported by the old, now ousted, ‘Arabist’(as Kristol called them) Republican establishment. It said that if the U.S. truly wanted to get rid of Iran’s nuclear weapons it would have to not only bomb but to invade(!) Iran and that would take more treasury, manpower and blood than the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan combined!

    No wonder that the U.S. military and intelligence establishment is against.
    And the American people seem to get it too, by instinct.
    No wonder Obama is standing up to Bibi and AIPAC.

    He knows he got the American military and defence establishment on his side as well as the people too.
    So much for the industrial-military complex!

    The people who have been dragging their feet has been the media.
    And this should be empathized a lot, because the media is, generally speaking, more liberal than the rest of the population on most issues.

    Yet on neoconservatism and deregulation/neoliberalism, it is far away from the middle of the country.

    It’s the media that is reactionary on these issues and have been pushing for the neocon line, or at the very least given far more time for their arguments than the support for their ideas among the American people merits.

    The media is supposed to ask the hard questions on this issue.
    It’s supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

    But it doesn’t, not on why neoconservtism, even with it’s downfall(in relative terms) is still being treated with such reverance/respect.

    And why is that?
    This site tries to answer those questions but nobody else tries and they should.

  3. seanmcbride says:

    The neocons wrecked the Bush/Cheney administration and they are wrecking the Mitt Romney candidacy (Dan Senor is one of the lead culprits).

    So why does Romney continue to associate with them? Do they have a gun pointed at his head? Blackmail? Adelson money? What?

    Is Romney a natural born fanatic who shares their dramatically discredited views? Is there something in the ideology of Mormonism which entangles it with neoconservatism, Likud Zionism and Christian Zionism?

    Aside: Mitt Romney is one of the most tone deaf and off-kilter major politicians to come along in a long time. And he looks so “reasonable” at first glance — his appearance and demeanor are highly misleading. Once he starts talking the inner craziness shines through.

    • quercus says:

      @seanmcbride. I believe Mitt Romney continues to associate with them (the neocons) because Romney is essentially a completely clueless and rather stupid man, but one of galloping ambition. I watched his press conference about the Libya incident and he was painful to see and hear. While I hate to use the expression because it implies a level of phoniness, I don’t think I’ve seen an individual whose demeanor was less presidential than Romney at that press conference. He is a dog of a candidate and I’m convinced he will not win the election, I don’t care how much money Adelson throws at him.

      • seanmcbride says:

        quercus,

        “I believe Mitt Romney continues to associate with them (the neocons) because Romney is essentially a completely clueless and rather stupid man, but one of galloping ambition. I watched his press conference about the Libya incident and he was painful to see and hear. While I hate to use the expression because it implies a level of phoniness, I don’t think I’ve seen an individual whose demeanor was less presidential than Romney at that press conference. He is a dog of a candidate and I’m convinced he will not win the election, I don’t care how much money Adelson throws at him.”

        He does sound incredibly stupid when discussing foreign and domestic policy, doesn’t he. Consistently so — on the level of George W. Bush. And he has handed over complete control of his mind and his organization to the same neoconservatives who wrecked the Bush/Cheney administration.

        How stupid can you get? Why would anyone walk into that trap and repeat that nightmare experience with one’s eyes open? A stupid person would do that, wouldn’t they. And Ryan doesn’t appear to be any brighter than Romney. The contemporary GOP is hostile to intelligent people — anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-mind, etc.

        I find it difficult to believe that Romney will be elected because he puts his foot in his mouth every time he opens his mouth.

  4. Chu says:

    John Kerry at the DNC last month in his opening speech said that Romney’s crew is full of Neocons. It was surprising, because you don’t often hear the word neocon touted in a public arena.

  5. Dan Crowther says:

    You guys are funny. Barack Obama sent 35,00 more troops to Afghanistan! He started bombing and killing in up to 35 new countries, Yes! He broke the law to attack Libya, unilaterally. Hi-ho! Opinions of the US in the Arab world worsened under Obama, imagine that! Yeah, fellas, Iraq wasn’t worth it – but don’t tell that to Obama, he was desperately trying to keep troops in Iraq, but al-Maliki gave him the Heave-Ho! He gets together with his buddies on Terror Tuesday and decides what wedding to bomb! You guys fail to acknowledge the obvious: the neo-cons won. they’ve dominated a decade plus of american policy, democrat and republican.

    The sick part of all this: Romney could be wiping the floor with Obama if he ran to the left of him on foreign policy. You can’t out right wing Barack Obama. You also apparently convince some people of the hard truths about O. This is the guy who told his aides he was gonna use his nobel acceptance speech to make the case for war. Beat that. The right wingers are always talking about the coming liberal dictatorship etc., and here is barack obama, assassinating citizens! – the fact that Romney can’t bring this up says all you need to know. Everybody’s on the same page.

    By the time Barack Obama decides to attack Iran, Phil, you will think its the right decision. You will have mountains of evidence claiming O didn’t want war, leaks, articles, insider accounts and so on; other events will take place (maybe like what we’re seeing now in yemen, egypt and libya), IAEA reports will come out saying Iran is increasingly opaque (see their boards latest), some iron clad intel will leak, maybe bread riots and street protests start in Iran, maybe they get violently broken up, maybe the street protests turn into slaughters…… someone’s gotta do something! right?

    • Keith says:

      DAN CROWTHER- “You guys fail to acknowledge the obvious: the neo-cons won….Everybody’s on the same page.”

      You nailed it. This is official policy which Obama is enthusiastically implementing. Check out the link to “Monopolizing War” by Tom Engelhardt: link to zcommunications.org

      “By the time Barack Obama decides to attack Iran, Phil, you will think its the right decision.”

      Anytime Obama decides to attack Iran, Phil will convince himself that it is the right decision.

    • quercus says:

      @Dan Crowther. Well as for me, I’m completely disgusted by the drone attacks and the entire policy concerning Afghanistan. It is why I will write in the name of Ron Paul in November. I also believe we have no intention of leaving Afghanistan, unless forced to, and what is happening is drones are replacing troops, that is all; the policy is the same.

      You are wrong about Romney, however, wiping the floor with Obama, as I said just above, Romney is a dog of a candidate and he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        “You are wrong about Romney, however, wiping the floor with Obama, as I said just above, Romney is a dog of a candidate and he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.”

        Well, I disagree. I think there was ample room on O’s left for Mittens to make some moves – remember, Dubya ran in 2000 pledging a more responsible and respectful foreign policy, part of his “compassionate conservatism” schtick. Barack Obama has assassinated Americans without a shred of due process – that should be GOLD for anyone running against him, if we had a functioning democracy. I’m shocked that some of the right wing Super-PACS haven’t run to the left of Barry on civil liberties and foreign policy, he’s claimed some truly tyrannical powers. (of course, i realize how cynical this would be, but just sayin- it could/would work during an election, if for no other reason than it would cause some democratic voters to think about “their” guy’s record a bit more)

  6. MarkF says:

    OK, totally politically incorrect, but one WashPo commenter had me rolling. Response to the story and Alex Wong endlessly tap-dancing around the neocon label:

    “I’m not saying what you’re saying isn’t true, I’m saying it’s Wong.”

  7. FreddyV says:

    The thing I find interesting is that neocons, or more accurately Christian fundies normally repudiate The Mormon faith and would never get behind Romney purely on that basis.

    But the thing is, he lurves Israel to the point of lunacy too, so they’ll happily support someone who they’d otherwise brand a heretic over a more balanced Christian brother like Obama.

    It does make you wonder if the god they’re supporting is the God of the Christian Bible, or the god that is the state of Israel.

    • ColinWright says:

      FreddyV says: “…But the thing is, he lurves Israel to the point of lunacy too, so they’ll happily support someone who they’d otherwise brand a heretic over a more balanced Christian brother like Obama…”

      Don’t assume that Mormon thing isn’t hurting Romney. My Conservative Christian sample of one has reluctantly decided he has to vote for Obama for precisely that reason.

      • Don’t assume that Mormon thing isn’t hurting Romney.

        i agree, i’m not seeing christian fundies jumping up and down for romney. i think the best thing romney’s got going for him is his image. he’s more like a manchurian candidate who appeals to people who are not paying attention (lots of americans). he’s got some all american look about him. but once you pull back the onion skins there’s just nothing very appealing about him, more like there’s plenty of stuff a variety of people could punch holes in.

        but for the millions of americans who do not scratch the surface, what’s not too like? that’s why he doesn’t want to get branded as a neocon. too late for that tho!

        Hi-ho Bill Kristol!

        hi-ho indeed

      • Blake says:

        This may sound cynical but I honestly feel that the Zio lobby chose Romney to guarantee an Obama win – not that I like either.

      • FreddyV says:

        Hey Colin,

        I’m sure it is, but I’m getting a fair bit of Christian fundie correspondence and reports from those opposed to their movement who are highlighting that Romney’s ‘moral’ / ‘zionist’ attitudes are resonating in some quarters of the Christian right. Perhaps that’s to do with the ‘Obama is a closet Muslim’ smear and they’d rather support a member of a Christian cult? I don’t know.

        What I’m trying to say is that I’m feeling that zionism is having a leading hand in influencing voting decisions of some Christian fundies.

        • ColinWright says:

          To Freddy V:

          Probably. I’m sure there are a lot of Fundamentalists who are rationalizing supporting Romney.

          I wonder if the Obama campaign is trying to hit back — in the Fundamentalists’ own terms? The notion that Mormons are Christians at all is highly susceptible to attack. Go that route, and you’re close to declaring Muslims ‘Christians’ as well. After all, Muslims also accept that Jesus Christ was a prophet, was the product of a virgin birth, etc. They — like the Mormons — have merely added a subsequent revelation.

          Of course, the Muslims also deny the divinity of Christ — but really. Accepting Mormonism could be seen as kind of a ‘gateway drug’ to apostasy.

          Indeed, I kind of like this. Mormonism is creeping Islam. Lookit how they treat women! Polygamy! No drinking…hmm.

          The point of course, would not be to get thirty million evangelicals out there beating the hustings for Obama. It would be merely to thoroughly spike any evangelical enthusiasm for Romney. Get them all to stay home on election day.

        • FreddyV says:

          @Colin Wright:

          This is my point. Christian Zios have strange bedfellows. They support Jews over Palestinian Christians. I personally know some who believe that Christians who don’t support Israel aren’t really Christians, so perhaps they’re looking at Romney and thinking at least he’s supporting their cause. It seems support of Israel is the biggest factor in their faith, over and above any real Christian values.

          I didn’t even consider your last paragraph before. Getting pastors to support him helped Bushy secure his second term. The CZ’s must feel they don’t have anyone standing for them. Maybe they will take the stay at home position. It’ll certainly take the heat out of the Israel issue. Good thinking Batman.

          Looking forward, I’m just hoping Obama gets his second term and kicks Bibi’s arse for all this shizzle stirring.

  8. gazacalling says:

    These polls are good news, thanks for sharing.

    People are just tired of this stuff. Ever since 9/11 we’ve had years and years of Middle East warmongering. Obama’s 1st term was basically Bush’s 3rd term in foreign policy. If you disagree, just ask yourself if Bush had a 3rd term what he have done differently from Obama.

    By the way, I got an Axelrod email plea about Sheldon Adelson today — he wants Romney to win because he’ll cut his taxes, so Romney is an “investment.” I suppose the Obama campaign thinks plenty of people will believe this.

  9. ColinWright says:

    “Ali Gharib has reported on the same poll’s overwhelming opposition to a strike on Iran. Wait till this comes up in the debates, and Romney starts tap-dancing.”

    That could be fun to watch. However, it might take something more than the cocker spaniel we currently have for president to make him jump.

    …need a nice pit bull. Something to get Romney to climb up on a chair and start dialing 911 on his cell phone. Maybe Michelle. Hillary? Somebody with some testicles…

  10. eljay says:

    >> “His embrace of American values and interests and his call for American leadership abroad throughout this campaign is indicative of a philosophy of peace through strength,”

    If Mr. Ahmadinejad were to espouse “a philosophy of peace through strength”, I suspect that, hypocritically, Mr. Wong and Mr. Romney would not approve.

    • his call for American leadership abroad? didn’t he already say he would defer to netanyahu on FP? how does that represent american leadership?

    • ColinWright says:

      eljay says: “…If Mr. Ahmadinejad were to espouse “a philosophy of peace through strength”, I suspect that, hypocritically, Mr. Wong and Mr. Romney would not approve…”

      Isn’t Iran doing just that? ‘If we can just get an atomic bomb, they’ll leave us in peace?’

      …and they’re right. We will.

      • eljay says:

        >> Isn’t Iran doing just that? ‘If we can just get an atomic bomb, they’ll leave us in peace?’

        Iran claims its nuclear ambitions relate only to energy, not weapons. So, no, Mr. Ahmadinejad is not espousing “a philosophy of peace through [nuclear] strength”.

        >> …and they’re right. We will.

        Whether or not America would leave Iran alone has nothing to do with whether or not Mr. Wong and Mr. Romney would approve if Mr. Ahmadinejad were to espouse “a philosophy of peace through strength”.

  11. Kathleen says:

    Romney can not run far from the neocon label with the foreign policy team he has allowed to join his team. Signed, sealed, delivered neocon

  12. Ctwosides says:

    Please excuse the length of this telling article listing most of Romney’s 17 Neo Cons from Bush’s team, many of whom came straight out of ‘Project for the New American Century’ (PNAC) ROMNEY AND HIS CREW OF “LOOSE CANNONS” ARE EXACTLY WHAT WE DON’T NEED MORE OF.

    Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:23 AM PDT.

    Romney’s foreign policy team is jam-packed with neo-conservative smirkers

    by Meteor BladesFollow .

    Most telling in that realm are Romney’s choices for advisers in such matters, knuckle-dragging ultrahawks.

    The roster is packed with George W. Bush retreads. Ari Berman took a look at them a few months ago and found:

    Romney is loath to mention Bush on the campaign trail, for obvious reasons, but today they sound like ideological soul mates on foreign policy. Listening to Romney, you’d never know that Bush left office bogged down by two unpopular wars that cost America dearly in blood and treasure. Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran. Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute, says, “Romney’s likely to be in the mold of George W. Bush when it comes to foreign policy if he were elected.” On some key issues, like Iran, Romney and his team are to the right of Bush. Romney’s embrace of the neoconservative cause—even if done cynically to woo the right—could turn into a policy nightmare if he becomes president.
    Indeed. Heading up the list of those advisers is John Bolton. Romney’s public statements reflect his views more than any other. Even though he didn’t sign the 1997 mission statement of the Project for a New American Century, Bolton has been lockstep with those who did. That was the first major organization to state neo-conservative imperialist objectives nakedly, though neo-conservatives were well on their way to getting their hands on the levers of U.S. foreign policy with the second incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger in 1976.
    Nine of Romney’s advisers did sign that PNAC mission statement and/or one of its several public policy letters. They are Paula Dobriansky, Vin Weber, Daniel Senor, Eliot Cohen, Eric Edelman, John Lehman, Donald Kagan, Robert Kagan and Aaron Friedberg. These guys couch their philosophy in the boilerplate of democracy, but they have never shied away from the term “imperialism.” These guys have Romney’s ear. These guys whose advice has cost so many thousands of lives of Americans and others are telling the GOP candidate that Russia (which they sometimes call the “Soviet Union”) is the most important geostrategic threat to the United States. These guys tell us Iran should have been bombed yesterday. These guys want the Bush Doctrine times 10 to be the basis of U.S. policy abroad. They have no qualms about how to implement it. Torture? No problem. In their eyes, international law like the Geneva Conventions is a quaint relic.

    One of Romney’s key advisers, the guy assigned to shepherd vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan until Nov. 6, left off that job Wednesday to deal with “foreign policy developments,” a euphemism for the fall-out from Romney’s smirk. Senor, as we reported here, is a co-founder of the Foreign Policy Initiative, the closest thing to a successor of PNAC.

    Chris Good and Shushannah Walshe reported that while Senor was on the way to the East Coast to meet with Romney, he “led a foreign policy briefing for Ryan on the plane yesterday from Seattle along with Jamie Fly, executive director, Foreign Policy Initiative and Reuel Marc Gerecht from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,” another neo-conservative outfit.

    Senor’s role is more than foreign policy adviser. He was the chief spinner of news for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq under viceroy L. Paul Bremer. He was quoted in Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book of life in the Green Zone of Baghdad in that period, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, as saying: “Off the record, Paris is burning. On the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.” Expect to hear something similar from Team Romney now that the campaign is ablaze.

  13. Rusty Pipes says:

    What no link? And you’ve quoted more than 3 paragraphs, which is that site’s standard for fair usage. I doubt that MB has signed off on “reprinted with permission” for this site, especially since he is the admin there who ruled (after months of lobbying from hardcore Zionists on that site) that Mondoweiss cannot be linked from there.