Their partnership with the national security state gave them powers beyond that of the president, to wrap in the flag an agenda directly opposed to the values of the American public.
The capture of America
Hirschfeld’s advice was discarded in favor of the war faction, the neoconservatives, whose capture of U.S. foreign policy was paralleled by their dominance of the mainstream media. Their route to power has been documented here. I have also written an overview, The Neoconservatives, on my SubStack, as well as an in-depth study – How Forever War Captured America, which details their capture of mainstream media alongside the mechanisms of U.S. foreign policy.
In a 2016 article the late and renowned journalist Robert Parry detailed the neoconservatives’ partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy – an anti-communist “regime change” arm of the U.S. national security state. He concluded that the resulting “secret shadow state” was opposed in its aims and power to the office of the President of the United States.
The framing of the American people and their Christian, non-interventionist traditions as the enemy is a hallmark of Western managerialist government.
Hirschfeld’s appeal to reason came nine months after Krauthammer’s neoconservative call to arms. Perhaps its plea for sanity was simply too late. Perhaps, as is still evident now, it was ignored because the real power no longer lay with the American people or with their representatives – but with a captive national security state and its allies, the neoconservatives.
Charles Krauthammer and the Neoconservative Project
Charles Krauthammer was a journalist whose influence and character was celebrated in a slew of glowing obituaries on his death in 2018. He was a leading voice in the media when the Soviet Union began to dissolve, and his article on the opportunity this presented for America was effectively a manifesto for the neoconservative permanent state which directs the U.S. to this day.
Coming after the fall of the Berlin Wall the previous year, and amidst the accelerating collapse of a Soviet Union which would cease to exist by the end of 1991, Krauthammer’s influential piece laid out the conditions for the unique “unipolar moment” for the USA:
No doubt, multipolarity will come in time. In perhaps another generation or so there will be great powers coequal with the United States, and the world will, in structure, resemble the pre-World War I era. But we are not there yet, nor will we be for decades. Now is the unipolar moment.
Krauthammer was a neoconservative. He made an insistent case for war. To consider his words is to understand how this unique historical opportunity for the United States and its people was thrown away by the actions of a fanatical group inspired by the following goals (emphasis added):
Second, the internationalist consensus is under renewed assault. The assault this time comes not only from the usual pockets of post-Vietnam liberal isolationism (e.g., the churches) but from a resurgence of 1930s-style conservative isolationism.
The enemy is the American people
A more honest appraisal of the neoconservative motive is difficult to find. The enemy is at home – in church-going Americans, and those would prefer not to repeat the disasters of reckless foreign intervention. This is called “1930s-style conservative isolationism.” Krauthammer is saying that if you do not support his program of perpetual war, you are with Hitler.
The American people have traditionally been reluctant to engage in any foreign military adventures. It is only due to the work of propagandists, such as Edward Bernays, that they have been persuaded to do so. The farewell address of George Washington in 1792 warned the young republic of the United States to be beware of foreign entanglements:
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, Rivalship, Interest, Humour or Caprice?
Washington warned that foreign engagement entailed the danger of foreign influence. The neoconservative project of staged elections, regime change, and propaganda effected abroad have degraded American democracy and stability at home – as well as in those nations it calls its European allies.
The neoconservatives took this program of national brainwashing to another level, in their attempts to remake the national character of America in their own image. If you were not with them, you were unAmerican. That is to say: if you upheld the traditional values of the American people, you were now the enemy.
This framing of the American people and their Christian, non-interventionist traditions as the enemy is a hallmark of Western managerialist government. Where states in the formerly free world used to concern themselves with the promotion of rising prosperity and the guarantee of basic liberties, their administrations now broadcast top-down values from the managerial class – to the exclusion of the views of the majority of ordinary people.
Regime change in the United States
What the capture of American power and identity by the neoconservatives means is the total corruption of American values wrapped in the flag. Instead of God, neoliberalism and consumer goods. And a betrayal of the promise of the Republic of the founding fathers, who warned against “foreign entanglements.” The doctrine of “regime change,” so often practiced abroad, is one whose effects are now felt at home.
It is impossible to identify the interests of ordinary Americans with many actions taken at the level of government. Managerialism prefers to favor its own factions, and the ideologies they espouse. Any attempt at the reflection of genuine American values in government is met with fierce opposition by the neoconservative permanent bureaucracy.
This is a reaction which has been emphasized in the remarks of leading neoconservative Robert Kagan, who responded to President Trump’s desire to end the forever wars that popular support for this position was “just the latest example of [the American people’s] intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats.”
Quoted in Responsible Statecraft in 2021, Kagan is stating that the people of the United States are the enemies of his policies, which claim to keep the peace by starting endless wars. In this assessment he is correct.
No one voted for him, for his wife Victoria Nuland, for their wars, and nor for the disastrous influence of their insane ideology, promoted through the Project for a New American Century. Co-founded by Kagan in 1997, its ideology, members, and subsequent followers have continued to dictate U.S. foreign policy to this day.
The philosophy of permanent war
Charles Krauthammer made a third argument for the coming neoconservative project of Forever War, whose premise will be depressingly familiar (emphasis added):
And third, the emergence of a new strategic environment, marked by the rise of small aggressive states armed with weapons of mass destruction and possessing the means to deliver them (what might be called Weapon States), makes the coming decades a time of heightened, not diminished, threat of war.
The fabrication of evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq is now well known. There were no “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. As we shall see, the weapon of mass destruction which has most endangered the American people and their way of life is the neoconservative faction itself.
How did the neoconservatives justify this project? A political philosophy was adopted to justify them, which demanded the establishment of a global American empire through overwhelming military force. It was founded on the announcement by Francis Fukuyama that history had ended with the final and permanent victory of the United States and its combination of elections and consumerism.
It was a justification from history itself, and was invoked as the cornerstone of the Project for the New American Century.
This New American Century lasted perhaps 25 years.