Whenever people are faced with forces they don’t understand or feel powerless to resist, they construct explanations to make them comprehensible. At about the time Sumerians were inventing writing, it was mysterious cloud-dwelling gods that were responsible for rain falling and wars being fought. But now, Anu, Enlil and Ea have been replaced by Perle, Wolfowitz and Cheney.
With regard to his romance novel, (“Sexy, Sinister Neo-Conservatives,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 12), Mr. Atkins must understand that while you can portray neo-cons in ways normally attributed to Danielle Steele, this inevitably comes at the expense of serious thought and accuracy. And so he identifies what he feels is “basically the gist of neo-conservative foreign policy: pre-emptive aggression,” propped up by three pillars: “an invasion of Iraq,” “unswerving support for Israeli aggression,” and “an issuing of threats toward Syria and Iran.” Observe the key words in each phrase: aggression, invasion, aggression, threats.
Never mind the illogic in finding pre-emption to be the cornerstone of neo-con foreign policy, considering it has only been sought once. Never mind that the neo-cons were far from being the only ones who saw that 12 years of sanctions and containment hadn’t worked: the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which passed by a vote of 360-38 and was signed into law by Clinton, also called for regime change.
Threats towards Syria and Iran? Never mind that Syria is a bankrupt fascist dictatorship or that Iran is a tottering repressive theocracy, both of which hate America and compete for the title of world’s leading sponsor of international terrorism. Though his article went to press last night, surely Atkins should’ve seen this coming: yesterday, the Senate approved sanctions against Syria by a vote of 89-4. Could it be that the neo-cons – who Atkins calls “a miniscule group at odds with the foreign policy elite” – have become so powerful as to control the minds of 89 senators?
And never mind that for four decades, every single congressional leader and the vast majority of Congress have unanimously supported the American-Israeli relationship. Yet Atkins assigns even this to men who’ve been in office for three years with his cheap slur about Israeli “aggression.” You might think that a country that has suffered 104 suicide bombings in three years in one of the history’s longest and most brutal campaigns of terrorism would deserve being spared such mindlessness.
To Atkins, unfriendliness to vicious Middle East totalitarians or support for a peace-seeking and democratic Israel is the doing of a shadowy few who’ve seized the White House, but not, of course, proper policies that tens of millions of Americans support. Unfortunately for Atkins, it’s not that our country has been hijacked, it’s just that people don’t much agree with self-righteous New Left dogmatisms. And no amount of conspiracy thinking will change that.