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Title: Tucker Carlson Goes to War Against the Neocons
Source: National Interest via HotAir
URL Source: http://nationalinterest.org/feature ... st-the-neocons-21545?page=show
Published: Jul 14, 2017
Author: Curt Mills
Post Date: 2017-07-17 09:30:22 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 410
Comments: 26

Though the word was actually never uttered, Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson cemented himself this week as the Right’s most prominent critic of neoconservatism.

To be sure, Carlson rejects the term “neoconservatism,” and implicitly, its corollary on the Democratic side—liberal internationalism. In 2016, “the reigning Republican foreign-policy view—you can call it neoconservatism, or interventionism, or whatever you want to call it” was rejected, he explained in a wide-ranging interview with the National Interest Friday.

“But I don’t like the term ‘neoconservatism,’” he says, “because I don’t even know what it means. I think it describes the people rather than their ideas, which is what I’m interested in. And to be perfectly honest . . . I have a lot of friends who have been described as neocons, people I really love, sincerely. And they are offended by it. So I don’t use it,” Carlson said.

But Carlson’s recent segments on foreign policy conducted with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and the prominent neoconservative journalist and author Max Boot were acrimonious even by Carlsonian standards. In a discussion on Syria, Russia and Iran, a visibly upset Boot accused Carlson of being “immoral” and taking foreign-policy positions to curry favor with the White House, keep up his ratings, and by proxy, benefit financially. Boot says that Carlson “basically parrots whatever the pro-Trump line is that Fox viewers want to see. If Trump came out strongly against Putin tomorrow, I imagine Tucker would echo this as faithfully as the pro-Russia arguments he echoes today.” But is this assessment fair?

Carlson’s record suggests that he has been in the camp skeptical of U.S. foreign-policy intervention for some time now and, indeed, that it predates Donald Trump’s rise to power. (Carlson has commented publicly that he was humiliated by his own public support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.) According to Carlson, “This is not about Trump. This is not about Trump. It’s the one thing in American life that has nothing to do with Trump. My views on this are totally unrelated to my views on Donald Trump. This has been going since September 11, 2001. And it’s a debate that we’ve never really had. And we need to have it.” He adds, “I don’t think the public has ever been for the ideas that undergird our policies.”

Even if Carlson doesn’t want to use the label neocon to describe some of those ideas, Boot is not so bashful. In 2005, Boot wrote an essay called “Neocons May Get the Last Laugh.” Carlson “has become a Trump acolyte in pursuit of ratings,” says Boot, also interviewed by the National Interest. “I bet if it were President Clinton accused of colluding with the Russians, Tucker would be outraged and calling for impeachment if not execution. But since it's Trump, then it’s all a big joke to him,” Boot says. Carlson vociferously dissents from such assessments: “This is what dumb people do. They can’t assess the merits of an argument. . . . I’m not talking about Syria, and Russia, and Iran because of ratings. That’s absurd. I can’t imagine those were anywhere near the most highly-rated segments that night. That’s not why I wanted to do it.”

But Carlson insists, “I have been saying the same thing for fifteen years. Now I have a T.V. show that people watch, so my views are better known. But it shouldn’t be a surprise. I supported Trump to the extent he articulated beliefs that I agree with. . . . And I don’t support Trump to the extent that his actions deviate from those beliefs,” Carlson said. Boot on Fox said that Carlson is “too smart” for this kind of argument. But Carlson has bucked the Trump line, notably on Trump’s April 7 strikes in Syria. “When the Trump administration threw a bunch of cruise missiles into Syria for no obvious reason, on the basis of a pretext that I question . . . I questioned [the decision] immediately. On T.V. I was on the air when that happened. I think, maybe seven minutes into my show. . . . I thought this was reckless.”

But the fight also seems to have a personal edge. Carlson says, “Max Boot is not impressive. . . . Max is a totally mediocre person.” Carlson added that he felt guilty about not having, in his assessment, a superior guest to Boot on the show to defend hawkishness. “I wish I had had someone clear-thinking and smart on to represent their views. And there are a lot of them. I would love to have that debate,” Carlson told me, periodically emphasizing that he is raring to go on this subject.

Boot objects to what he sees as a cavalier attitude on the part of Carlson and others toward allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and also toward the deaths of citizens of other countries. “You are laughing about the fact that Russia is interfering in our election process. That to me is immoral,” Boot told Carlson on his show.

“This is the level of dumbness and McCarthyism in Washington right now,” says Carlson. “I think it has the virtue of making Max Boot feel like a good person. Like he’s on God’s team, or something like that. But how does that serve the interest of the country? It doesn’t.” Carlson says that Donald Trump, Jr.’s emails aren’t nearly as important as who is going to lead Syria, which he says Boot and others have no plan for successfully occupying. Boot, by contrast, sees the U.S. administration as dangerously flirting with working with Russia, Iran and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. “For whatever reason, Trump is pro-Putin—no one knows why—and he's taken a good chunk of the GOP along with him,” Boot says.

On Fox last Wednesday, Boot reminded Carlson that he originally supported the 2003 Iraq decision. “You supported the invasion of Iraq,” Boot said, before repeating, “You supported the invasion of Iraq.” Carlson conceded that, but it seems the invasion was a bona fide turning point. It’s most important to parse whether Carlson has a long record of anti-interventionism, or if he’s merely sniffing the throne of the president (who, dubiously, may have opposed the 2003 invasion). “I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it,” Carlson told the New York Observer in early 2004. “It’s something I’ll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who’s smarter than I am, and I shouldn’t have done that. . . . I’m enraged by it, actually.” Carlson told the National Interest that he’s felt this way since seeing Iraq for himself in December 2003.

The evidence points heavily toward a sincere conversion on Carlson’s part, or preexisting conviction that was briefly overcome by the beat of the war drums. Carlson did work for the Weekly Standard, perhaps the most prominent neoconservative magazine, in the 1990s and early 2000s. Carlson today speaks respectfully of William Kristol, its founding editor, but has concluded that he is all wet. On foreign policy, the people Carlson speaks most warmly about are genuine hard left-wingers: Glenn Greenwald, a vociferous critic of both economic neoliberalism and neoconservatism; the anti-establishment journalist Michael Tracey; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation; and her husband, Stephen Cohen, the Russia expert and critic of U.S. foreign policy.

“The only people in American public life who are raising these questions are on the traditional left: not lifestyle liberals, not the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) group, not liberals in D.C.—not Nancy Pelosi.” He calls the expertise of establishment sources on matters like Syria “more shallow than I even imagined.” On his MSNBC show, which was canceled for poor ratings, he cavorted with noninterventionist stalwarts such as Ron Paul, the 2008 and 2012 antiwar GOP candidate, and Patrick J. Buchanan. “No one is smarter than Pat Buchanan,” he said last year of the man whose ideas many say laid the groundwork for Trump’s political success.

Carlson has risen to the pinnacle of cable news—succeeding Bill O’Reilly. It wasn’t always clear an antiwar take would vault someone to such prominence. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney could be president (Boot has advised the latter two). But here he is, and it’s likely no coincidence that Carlson got a show after Trump’s election, starting at the 7 p.m. slot, before swiftly moving to the 9 p.m. slot to replace Trump antagonist Megyn Kelly, and just as quickly replacing O’Reilly at the top slot, 8 p.m. Boot, on the other hand, declared in 2016 that the Republican Party was dead, before it went on to hold Congress and most state houses, and of course take the presidency. He’s still at the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the New York Times (this seems to clearly annoy Carlson: “It tells you everything about the low standards of the American foreign-policy establishment”).

Boot wrote in 2003 in the Weekly Standard that the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government “may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history” comparable to “events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall—after which everything is different.” He continued, “If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better.”

Though he eschews labels, Carlson sounds like a foreign-policy realist on steroids: “You can debate what’s in [the United States’] interest. That’s a subjective category. But what you can’t debate is that ought to be the basic question—the first, second and third question. Does it represent our interest? . . . I don’t think that enters into the calculations of a lot of the people who make these decisions.” Carlson’s interests extend beyond foreign policy, and he says “there’s a massive realignment going on ideologically that everybody is missing. It’s dramatic. And everyone is missing it. . . . Nobody is paying attention to it!”

Carlson seems intent on pressing the issue. The previous night, in his debate with Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel said that Carlson sounded like Charles Lindbergh, who opposed U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany before 1941. “This particular strain of Republican foreign policy has almost no constituency. Nobody agrees with it. I mean there’s not actually a large group of people outside of New York, Washington or L.A. who think any of this is a good idea,” Carlson says. “All I am is an asker of obvious questions. And that’s enough to reveal these people have no idea what they’re talking about. None.”


Poster Comment:

Carlson's feud with the neocons is notable in that he has the biggest megaphone on TV: the 8pm slot on Fox News with an overwhelmingly Republican audience.

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#1. To: Tooconservative (#0)

I like Tucker. Im really glad he got a chance in prime time.

Justified  posted on  2017-07-17   9:35:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Justified (#1)

I like him too. He's got courage -- supported Ron Paul and had Steven Jones (the 9/11 physicist) on his PBS show.

Anthem  posted on  2017-07-17   14:31:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Tooconservative (#0)

Hey Tucker Carlson: I agree with you. Carry on.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-17   14:36:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

Hey Tucker Carlson: I agree with you. Carry on.

I think someone should challenge the usual war cries of the McCain/Graham types in the Senate and their neocon cohorts (Kagan/Nuland, Max Boot, Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer, etc.).

Tucker was very combative with the bird colonel last week, Peters. Peters is a longtime military consultant for Fox News though of far less importance than a General Keane who is very serious and well spoken.

I tend to think that Tucker won't ever take on Krauthammer and his legion of fans in quite the same way as he did with Peters or Max Boot recently.

Still, it is quite a change of direction in Fox News primetime in rather short order. No doubt, Tucker considered the ramifications before he embarked on this challenge to the neocon establishment and their political and corporate allies. That whole military-industrial complex that Ike told us about.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-07-17   17:26:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Tooconservative (#4)

We the People voted for Trump who promised us peace with Russia, because we want peace with Russia.

Those who don't want peace with Russia are determined to get their way.

Obviously they need to be crushed like bugs.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-17   17:59:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Tooconservative (#0)

“But I don’t like the term ‘neoconservatism,’” he says, “because I don’t even know what it means. I think it describes the people rather than their ideas, which is what I’m interested in.

It represents people who came out of the socialist movement, who adopted the misleading label neoconservative, but who are not conservative, and who have infiltrated the GOP/conservatives and have proceeded to carve up conservatism from the inside.

nolu chan  posted on  2017-07-18   0:31:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Tooconservative (#4)

I think someone should challenge the usual war cries of the McCain/Graham types in the Senate

That challenge will have to come from within the party. The rest of us challenge those dishonest old geezers by ridiculing them and not supporting them.

If Republicans want to be a party, they need to learn the simple lesson that you have to actually stand for what you say you stand for, and you have to actually do what you promised to do.

That's the bottom line. It's what separates the Democrats from the Republicans.

Democrats stand for what they say they stand for, and they actually work by hook or by crook to do what they say. When in power, they impose it. When out of power, they fight a rearguard action to the death to preserve the gains their positions have made. I don't care for most of their positions, but I acknowledge their forthrightness, and I consider them to be dependable...a bit like rust is dependable: it does not sleep, and it's always at work.

Republicans, by contrast, have made a habit out of lying big to get support, then welching on everything but tax and regs cuts for the super rich, and government contractor stockjobbing.

They control the whole government. They've campaigned on repealing Obamacare since 2010. They have all the power now, literally all of it, and they won't repeal Obamacare. Instead, you've got Trump up there saying "We need MORE Republicans in the Senate to get it done."

No, they don't. They've got 52. They refuse to enforce party discipline because they're not sincere about any of it.

We need a couple of new parties in America. We need an actual conservative conservative party - a party that really is socially and economically conservative. And we need a Catholic party, a party that is socially conservative and economically liberal. The Republican Party is neither socially conservative nor liberal, nor economically conservative nor liberal. It is, rather, a crony capitalist party that does whatever the super rich perceive is in their interests. But that's not what Republicans campaign on.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-18   16:09:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Vicomte13 (#7)

Enforce party discipline. Lol

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-18   16:52:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: A K A Stone (#8)

Enforce party discipline. Lol

Democrats do.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-18   17:39:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Vicomte13 (#9)

Democrats are all evil so it is easy. Republicans are largely people who want to do the right thing. Many of them are weak and pretenders though.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-18   17:41:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Vicomte13 (#7)

I was amused to read Max Boot's whining and sniveling over at Commentary of how badly Tucker treated him.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-07-18   18:04:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: A K A Stone (#10)

Democrats are all evil so it is easy. Republicans are largely people who want to do the right thing. Many of them are weak and pretenders though.

Democrats are babykillers - evil by definition.

But Republicans are liars, and that is also evil.

I guess the difference between us is that you believe that Republicans want to do the right thing. I have seen no evidence of that for decades. All I see is the endless parade of lies and tax breaks for the very rich.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-18   18:59:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Vicomte13 (#12)

No the difference is you pretend all Republicans are as you describe. When it is really the minority of them that align with democrats.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-18   21:38:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: A K A Stone (#13)

No the difference is you pretend all Republicans are as you describe. When it is really the minority of them that align with democrats.

Oh no. No, no, no. The Republicans do SUCCEED, when they control Congress and the White House, to always get through tax cuts and deregulation of the super rich. They always get that done, because that is their REAL agenda.

But they never manage to get anything else done, never make it stick. The only major policy initiatives the Republicans have been able to make stick for good in my lifetime are these:

Nixon made Affirmative Action stick. Gerald Ford made the EPA stick. Ronald Reagan's decree that hospitals must treat those who come to the emergency room, regardless of ability to pay has stuck. We're also stuck with the permanent demographic change caused by Reagan's amesty. The Republican Supreme Court has made Roe v. Wade stick, and Kelo has stuck. We've been stuck in a war in Iraq of one kind or another since 1991, so our Middle Eastern occupation has stuck.

Nothing else the Republicans have done has stuck. And few rank and file Republicans would consider any of the above to be good things.

You like the Republicans. You are one. So you let them off the hook for 50 continuous years of making bad policy stick, but never establishing one good policy that stuck. You ascribe their fecklessness to Democrats, to their own weakness. You excuse it.

I think that the Republican Party has done exactly what its leaders intended it to do. That that long legacy of Republican moves, the ones that stuck, are what the party is about, and that all of the "conservatism" schtick is boob bait for Bubbas. I dislike the Republican Party, because I see them as inveterate serial liars who dupe generation after generation of Americans into believing they are something they are not and never intend to be.

I think they've done a master marketing job in their deception - they have really persuaded you that if they could just get a little bit more power, another election under their belt, that they could finally get all those things they promise...PAST THEMSELVES to make it into law.

It's a fantasy. They never had any intention of repealing Obamacare, for example. They intended to get votes on the issue in election after election, but always be able to hide behind "Democrats blocked us" in one part of government or other. With Trump's election they were very much the dog who caught the car. And now we see their true colors.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-18   22:53:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Vicomte13 (#14)

With Trump's election they were very much the dog who caught the car.

heh heh heh.

Anthem  posted on  2017-07-18   23:12:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Vicomte13 (#14)

Sheesh. From the sands of the gulf of mexico as the waves splash and my feet are buried in the sand. I have one comment. They pass what enough of them agree on. Taxes are to high and the poor don't pay taxes so you can't give them a tax cut. Besides you already said taxes are to high.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-18   23:27:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: A K A Stone (#16)

The poor pay plenty of taxes. They don't pay INCOME taxes.

Everybody who works at any sort of job in America pays 7.65% flat Social Security and Medicare tax, no deductions.

Everybody who buys anything in any state of the union pays 5 or 6% in sales taxes. That's true even if the money spent was gained by begging - taxes are still paid by everybody when they spend money.

And of course the poor are much more likely to smoke and drink, and alcohol and tobacco have massive taxes on them. The poor pay those.

If the poor drive, they pay gas tax.

If they have a telephone, they pay federal telecommunications tax.

The poor pay plenty of taxes. If one combines all state and local income, property, sales and excise taxes that Americans pay, the nationwide average effective state and local tax rates by income group are 10.9 percent for the poorest 20 percent (5.4% for the top 1%).

So, when you say that the poor pay no taxes, you are misinformed. Everybody pays taxes, and the very poor pay quite a bit in taxes, considering how little they have.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-18   23:58:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

Trump should listen to Tucker and use some "wasta" he now has instead of covering for the neocons.

Trump today made the repeal vote a matter of Obama and Obama care.

Trump should have told the party faithful and those who voted for him to ditch the establishment and vote for Trump like candidates in the 2018 GOP Senate and House primaries.

It was a time to distance himself from the very dinosaurs who opposed him in the primaries.

So I see a missed opportunity campaign wise.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-07-19   0:50:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Vicomte13 (#17)

It is the republicans who think like you who are the problem. The three cunt holdouts think it is the government's job to steal.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-19   10:11:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: A K A Stone (#19)

It is the republicans who think like you who are the problem.

I have yet to meet a Republican who thinks like I do.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-19   18:10:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: redleghunter (#18)

I voted for Trump. I did not vote for the Republican Party. I'm not a Republican, and I don't have to carry their water.

Trump said something very wise many months ago, as the issue of Obamacare repeal was heating up in the House. Trump said that, politically speaking, it would probably be better to let Obamacare implode rather than to try to fix it. He said that nevertheless he would work with the Republicans and Democrats to try to fix it, because letting so many Americans suddenly lose their health care and suffer would not be the right thing to do.

The Republicans managed to push something really sub-par through the House, but could not agree on a bill in the Senate. So nothing was done.

Which means that Obamacare will collapse and Trump has all of the power, because he can choose to put in place the subsidies that will be required to bail out the insurance companies, or not.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-19   18:38:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Vicomte13 (#20) (Edited)

The holdouts are like clones of yours on governmentú stealing money from honest hard working people and giving it to lazy ass losers. Clones indeed.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-19   19:47:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: A K A Stone (#22)

The holdouts are like clones of yours on government stealing money from honest hard working people and giving it to lazy ass losers. Clones indeed.

When the government taxes us and spends that money on health care, that is not "stealing money", and sick people are not "lazy ass losers".

The difference between you and me is found right here, at this fault line. You are truly a Republican - you despise the weak, the sick. To you, it's all about money.

I'm a Catholic. To me, taking care of the sick is more important than money, and I don't resent the sick as "lazy ass losers". I recognize that people do not choose whether or not to get sick, the cost of modern medicine is high. and that most people need help. And I think that it's right to use our political power to provide that help.

You think it's evil, theft when we do that.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-19   20:14:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: Vicomte13 (#23)

First off you are full of crap.

Yes it is theft when they give some people other people's stuff. That is not equal before the law.

You saying I despise the weak and sick is just pathetic, mean spirited and a lie.

Jesus must have hated the poor when he told Judas or whoever that the poor will always be with us.

When the government steals my money and I have to buy my own healthcare and other people get it for nothing. That is bullshit and it is theft. You are not Christian. You are Catholic. You think the poop is higher than God.

You pray to a dead woman.

You covet the wealth of others than lie and say they are greedy because they want to provide for their family.

Worshipping the government like you do is a saying only if the government steals and gives to lazy no other fuckers shows lack of faith for God to provide for his people.

You would tax and steal from gods Christian people who God has blesses and force it to be given to someone who did not work or try as hard, that is a sin called coveting

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-19   21:13:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: All (#24)

I shouldn't have said you are not a Christian.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-19   21:23:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: A K A Stone (#24)

You are a Republican. You hate people. You hate the poor and sick - they are lazy-ass thieves. You hate Catholics. The hatred drips from your lips.

I'm a Catholic. I hate deceit. I hate murder. I love people, and therefore I want to take care of the sick and the poor. I despise the Democrat party because they are babykillers. I despise the Republican party because they are liars, and because they despise the poor, the sick, the weak.

The difference between Republicans and Catholics could not be more starkly displayed than the differences evident between you and me.

I do become angry, that is true. And when I get angry, particularly at violent injustice, my tendency is to seek to repay violence with violence, and hatred with hatred. And guess what - that's a sin. That's not being a good Catholic.

By contrast, when hatred and scorn drips off of Republican lips towards the lazy-ass sick, that's an accurate reflection of the rhetoric and belief of the party.

Everybody on the thread can see our two characters. Your is that of the dominant majority - for the Republicans dominate our government at the federal and state level. Mine is that of a long-despised minority in America. Protestants like you practically spit your hatred at us Catholics and our "Poop" in Rome.

There are many Republicans on this site. Many of them despise me because my politics and economics follow my faith. There are several Protestants on this site who make their hatred of Catholicism known frequently.

In any case, our little conversation tonight is a regular Lincoln-Douglass Debate, a public comparison of the nature of the Catholic and the nature of the conservative Republican.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-19   22:28:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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