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Subject: Reply to Matt
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Matt: There is nothing about the WMD problem to deny. It exists. I have studied it. I have written articles and research papers on it.
I occasionally work with experts in the field. But we're not talking about WMD proliferation. The issue is Iraq and Iraq only.

Am I concerned about WMD poliferation? Of course. I would advocate increased border controls, immigration reform, international monitoring, and agreement frameworks at the very least. For direct threats, unilateral action. But it is an entirely different thing to advocate bombing a country merely because certain administration
members deem it a "threat".

What does this really mean? Let's take a look. For as far as WMDs go, Iraq is certainly not unique. As I've pointed out more than
once, there are plenty of other countries that possess, or are strongly suspected of possessing, WMDs. No, there is something else
at work here.

Briefly, it is the universalist or messianic ideology of the neocons, this impulse to remake the world in America's image. As you may have noticed by now, the issue for the neocons isn't just Iraq's alleged possession of WMDs. It is about spreading democracy. It is about regime change. Ultimately it is about importing human rights, multiculturalism, and feminism.

It is also about protecting Israel. Now, I support the safety and security of Israel. I don't want Israel to disappear. But I do resent the importance afforded her by the neocons, most of whom -- let's be honest here -- are Zionist Jews and Evangelical Christians with an apocalyptic streak, or what the late Murray Rothbard called a "post-millennial Pietist Protestantism". Formerly conservative, and now neocon, magazines such as National Review devote an inordinate amount of space to defending Israel. In fact, in a couple of recent issues, I noticed that the NR neocons devoted more column
inches to Israel than to the War on Terror (remember that?).

Guess what? I don't like the neocons. I believe they're a stupid and reckless bunch who have an inadequate understanding of human nature
and of how the world works. I think they're bad for America. They're bad for the West. They're bad for peace. You write: "...the list of
nations next up for conquest is long, and it is just a matter of time". I'm glad you're being frank with us. It's important for Americans to understand what the Bush administration and its
cheerleaders are getting us into: perpetual war for perpetual peace. A never-ending war against the world.


RE: Reply to Matt
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Hey, stop calling me Frank. I don't have any hidden agendas -- why would I use someone else's name?

I mostly agree with William about neoconservatism (one key attribute of which is the advocacy of global democracy through interventionist imperialism; the NWO and all that). I don't think his discursive approach is terrifically helpful, but in substance I don't think we are far apart in terms of evaluating neoconservatism specifically.

Where we don't agree is about the WMD problem. Cheap and available weapons of mass destruction may entail world war irrespective of policy. I don't see any viable preventative policy alternative at this point, and I am not willing to pretend that I do just for the sake of personal peace of mind and social acceptability among the antiwar right. I do think it is possible that eliminating Saddam will cut off the most likely near term supply of WMD to terrorists, if temporarily. Would I topple Saddam just to prevent a nuke from going off in Atlanta, even though by doing so I don't solve the overall problem? I probably would. I don't have access to the intelligence information that our government has access to, and I don't have any authority to take any steps myself. I don't know what I would decide if I did have those things. But in the abstract some things are worth preventing even if I don't have answers to the overall long term questions, and even if there are negative externalities such as rah-rah rallies among neocons. The very real possibility of a nuke in Atlanta or New York is enought to get my attention irrespective of ideological grinding axes.

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