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Chairman of American Enterprise Institute Is Now Supporting a Realist

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Jon Powers is an Iraq war veteran running for Congress in Buffalo as a Democrat. On his campaign website, the former army captain damns the administration's Middle East strategy:  

It is a choice between politicians who send other people’s sons and
daughters to war without demanding accountability from government and
someone who lived the consequences of Washington’s bad judgment as a
soldier in Iraq.

It is a choice between a
Washington culture that puts the interests of lobbyists and special
interests first and someone who will put Western New Yorker’s first.

I have it from a reliable source that at a recent $1000-a-head fundraiser in New York for Powers, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (former aide to Colin Powell) spoke and Bruce Kovner, the chairman of the American Enterprise Institute, ponied up to listen to the Wilkerson and Powers. I've written to Wilkerson and Kovner with no response; but it's a moment worth registering. Wilkerson is a leading realist and critic of the neocons; he has said kind words about Walt and Mearsheimer. Kovner was the neocons' host. In addition to AEI, he has funded the neocon Manhattan Institute and the New York moonie newspaper, the Sun. It would seem he's getting misgivings about neoconservatism now that Baghdad is a charred cinder.

In fairness to Kovner, while he sponsored a virulent and martial ideology over the last ten years, the hedge fund king is an enigmatic financial genius whose true thoughts on political/cultural subjects are unfathomable. Frankly, I don't think Kovner knows just what he thinks. He's a giant funder of the arts and is also chairman of Juilliard. I saw him at Toni Bentley's book party; she wrote a book about anal sex. In this piece I wrote about Kovner, Norman Podhoretz told me that Kovner is a brilliant intellectual. (In the world of neoconservatism, I think that means, very rich.) But again, the guy's a genius with an intuitive grasp on markets; and this is an important sign of the decline of neoconservatism. Make that, the tailspin.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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