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Too far east is west

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted May 26, 2003

Political junkies are tremendously fascinated by the ongoing trench warfare between the paleoconservative and neoconservative camps. That said, this is as good a time as any for this writer to jump back into the fray.

There is an old Irish adage: "Too Far East Is West". It simply means that if you continue to move East on the globe, you'll inevitably wind up in the West. Ironic, isn't it? Of course, it can be a terrific metaphor for so many situations. For instance, in his diligent pursuit of personal beauty, singer Michael Jackson has accomplished something quite the contrary; creating a grotesque visage for himself. Sorry, I digress. In any event, politics are not all that different. In the case of radical right-wing ideologues, they begin to morph and resemble their radical left-wing counterparts after awhile. Most mainstream conservatives are well aware that the fringe right and the fringe left are kindred spirits in some respects, and have demonstrated a willingness to work in tandem on occasion. In recent times, their shared antiwar sentiments have given rise to short-term collaborative endeavors.

But I'm particularly appalled by paleoconservatives who have cooperated with libertarian and hard-left types in efforts to vilify both Christians and Jews as "warmongers". Moreover, just look at the "antiwar" radicals that paleoconservative leader Pat Buchanan has been linked with during the course of his political career, including antiwar activist Justin Raimondo who was Pat Buchanan's press secretary during his presidential bids. Sure, Raimondo, a libertarian, is ostensibly a friend of paleoconservatives, but you wouldn't necessarily know it from his actions. Raimondo claims to be a free-market libertarian, but then marched in sync with the neo-Communist "International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition" run by Ramsey Clark and his assorted anti-American, anti-capitalist whackos. When called on it, Raimondo claimed it was all a mistake and that he won't march again – yeah right, like he didn't know that Ramsey Clark and his comrades were thoroughly entrenched in hard left politics. Oh well, never mind.

When it comes to war, Raimondo is profoundly enmeshed in the blame-game. Should we revile the terror networks and the lawless regimes of the Middle East? Of course not! America and Israel are the degenerate nations that have triggered the current crisis, if Raimondo is to be believed. And those warmongering neocons, Jews, and born-again Christians are singled out for ongoing abuse. Raimondo's myriad screeds well represent the libertarian and leftist fringe elements that have joined in an unholy alliance with the hard right paleoconservative crowd. That's why Raimondo's work is worth citing. The following are the pivotal points that Raimondo reiterates time-and-time again:

* It's the fault of the neocons! -- Yes, those evil neoconservatives have been chomping at the bit to involve America in warfare and empire building. And lo and behold, the neocons were thrilled to be back in the saddle after September 11! -- This is just an inkling of Raimondo's perverse belief system, rife with conspiracy, that attributes the worst possible motives to U.S. President George W. Bush and his supporters who are really the majority of the American people. Raimondo and Buchanan are obsessed with this nutty notion that American foreign policy is being driven by an irresistible lust for "empire building". In truth, "empire building" is anathema to the American way of thinking, and we expect to withdraw from Iraq and the Middle East as quickly as is feasible. Americans are engaged in warfare for one simple reason – we are taking the necessary actions to ensure our safety and security. We were attacked on our own turf by fanatical Islamists who are largely harbored and funded by lawless Middle East nations, and it's our prerogative to root out our enemies. Our survival depends upon destroying these terror networks and their radical ideology that breads hatred and terrorism. But Raimondo is in never-never land, as he asserted: "For that whole decade (1992 through 2001), the neoconservatives had pined away for lack of an enemy, and had fought off the natural inclination of their fellow conservatives to concern themselves with domestic issues. But when the twin towers fell, the neoconservative movement was energized as never before. With its number one platform plank a policy of global empire-building, the movement was in a perfect position within the Republican party to finally implement its idea of exercising what Bill Kristol calls ‘benevolent global hegemony'." Clearly, Raimondo's paranoia has taken hold, and he's reading too much into Kristol's words. Moreover, Bill Kristol does not speak for the current administration.

* It's the fault of the Jews! -- Repugnant hard right/hard left activists would have us believe that Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, scholar Richard Perle and other "Jewish neocons" foisted the Iraq War upon America for the benefit of Israel. Total balderdash! In fact, "neocon" has become a code word among the political fringe for "Jew". It's very troubling that anti-Semitism is increasing all over the globe, America included.

* It's the fault of the born-again Christians! -- Never mind that the Iraq War was supported by a majority of Americans (approximately 75%), most of whom are Christians from Middle America. But, low and behold, these hard right/hard left fringe types are now telling us that the insidious "warmongers" are not only the Jews, but also the evangelical Christians from the heartland of America! Both Raimondo and Buchanan derisively refer to these born-again Christians as Israel's "amen corner". Well, there you have it -- Christians and Jews, acting in collusion, are now the culprits according to these lunatics. Hello? Jews and Bible-believing Christians account for almost half of the American population, so you want me to believe that a significant number of Americans are crazed "warmongers". It's amazing that this pure gobbledygook passes for political discourse in America.

A picture is worth a thousand words -- Probably, most people envision the right-left political spectrum as being linear in nature, with the fringe groups ensconced on the outer edges. But I don't see that as the best way to conceptualize it. It's more accurate to think of the right-left political spectrum as a sphere, with the pinnacle, or the zenith of the sphere, representing the political center, and with movement to either the right or left. And, arching around to the bottom, the extremes of both right and left eventually converge into anarchy at the nadir, the lowest point of the circle. That's where you'll find your political radicals, viciously railing against American policy and America itself, in hopes that the entire system will collapse. The long and short of it is that paleoconservatives often refer to themselves as anti-statists that oppose the established order. They are quickly becoming another fifth column group.

Lastly, hard right paleoconservatives are not part of the modern mainstream conservative movement as we know it – and paleoconservatives are certainly not Republicans, or Reaganites. Rather, many are spitefully bent on undermining the Republicans in every possible way. Heck, they'll even throw in with the Liberal globalists if it's detrimental to the GOP. Why? Because their ideas have been invariably rejected by mainstream conservatism and the GOP, and they have shown themselves to be a bunch of mean-spirited malcontents that continue to lash out. Pat Buchanan's continued churlishness toward the GOP, as seen on his MSNBC program, demonstrates my point. As an aside, that's precisely why Buchanan as commentator is well appreciated by the liberal news media.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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