Neoconservatives Declare War on Donald Trump

Donald Trump and daughter, Ivanka speak at the National Press Club - Washington

Donald Trump’s runaway success in the GOP primaries so far is setting off alarm bells among neoconservatives who are worried he will not pursue the same bellicose foreign policy that has dominated Republican thinking for decades.

Neoconservative historian Robert Kagan — one of the prime intellectual backers of the Iraq War and an advocate for Syrian intervention — announced in the Washington Post last week that if Trump secures the nomination, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Max Boot, an unrepentant supporter of the Iraq War, wrote in the Weekly Standard that a “Trump presidency would represent the death knell of America as a great power,” citing, among other things, Trump’s objection to a large American troop presence in South Korea.

Trump has done much to trigger the scorn of neocon pundits. He denounced the Iraq War as a mistake based on Bush administration lies, just prior to scoring a sizable victory in the South Carolina GOP primary. In last week’s contentious GOP presidential debate, he defended the concept of neutrality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is utterly taboo on the neocon right.

“It serves no purpose to say you have a good guy and a bad guy,” he said, pledging to take a neutral position in negotiating peace.

This set off his rival Marco Rubio, who replied, “The position you’ve taken is an anti-Israel position. … Because you cannot be an honest broker in a dispute between two sides in which one of the sides is constantly acting in bad faith.”

The Jerusalem Post suggested that Rubio’s assault on Trump’s views on the Middle East was designed to win Florida. If that’s the case, it’s apparently not working — in the Real Clear Politics averaging of GOP primary polls in the state, Trump is polling higher than he ever has.

In his quest to take up George W. Bush’s mantle, Rubio has arrayed a fleet of neoconservative funders, ranging from pro-Israel billionaire Paul Singer to Norman Braman, a billionaire auto dealer who funds Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

His list of advisers is like a rolodex of Iraq War backers, ranging from Bush administration alumni Elliot Abrams and Stephen Hadley, to Kagan and serial war propagandist Bill Kristol.

Kristol also sits on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel — a dark money group that assails candidates it perceives as insufficiently pro-Israel.

The group started airing an ad this weekend against Trump portraying him as an ally to despots like Bashar Assad, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Qaddafi — mostly because he argued that military invasions of Libya and Iraq left those countries worse off:

Even when Trump echoes certain elements of neoconservative orthodoxy — he repeatedly and emphatically calls for strengthening the military — he does so in a unique way. He talks not about spending more money but defying the “special interests” who make the Pentagon order “missiles they don’t want because of politics … because the company that makes the missiles is a contributor.”

Jacob Heilbrunn, author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neoconssuggested in July 2014 that neoconservatives might be preparing to ally with Hillary Clinton.

With Trump’s ascendancy, it’s possible that the parties will reorient their views on war and peace, with Trump moving the GOP to a more dovish direction and Clinton moving the Democrats towards greater support for war.

Zaid Jilani is a journalist who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked as a reporter-blogger for ThinkProgress, United Republic, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Alternet.

He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs and received his master’s in public administration from Syracuse University in 2014.

See also –

Threat Against Trump on Facebook Leads to Deportation Order for Egyptian Student: AN EGYPTIAN STUDENT in California has been detained by immigration authorities and is facing deportation after he posted a hostile comment on Facebook against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Trump Dominates Super Tuesday, While Bernie Disrupts the Night Hillary Was Supposed to Lock Things Up: Clinton has 544 delegates compared to Sanders’ 349 delegates. Trump has nearly twice as times as many delegates as Cruz, 285 to 161, while Rubio has 87, John Kasich has 25 and Ben Carson has 8.

Trump not yet on track to win nomination: Going forward, Trump would have to win 52 per cent of the remaining delegates to claim the nomination. That’s doable but difficult with three or more candidates claiming delegates.

Federal Law Criminalizes Protesting Trump Now That He’s Guarded by the Secret Service: Why, exactly, did a local police force apparently obey orders from the Trump campaign to help screen his audience by removing dissenters?


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