Andrew Sullivan on Neo Conservatism

By Ben Cohen

Andrew Sullivan skewers the ideology he once respected:

I took neoconservatism seriously for a long time, because it offered

an interesting critique of what’s wrong with the Middle East, and

seemed to have the only coherent strategic answer to the savagery of

9/11. I now realize that the answer – the permanent occupation of Iraq

– was absurdly utopian and only made feasible by exploiting the psychic

trauma of that dreadful day. The closer you examine it, the clearer it

is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the

most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war

against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right.

That’s the conclusion I’ve been forced to these last few years. And to

insist that America adopt exactly the same constant-war-as-survival

that Israelis have been slowly forced into. Cheney saw America as

Netanyahu sees Israel: a country built for permanent war and the

“tough, mean, dirty, nasty business” of waging it (with a few war

crimes to keep the enemy on their toes).

But America is not Israel. America might support Israel, might have

a special relationship with Israel. But America is not Israel. And once

that distinction is made, much of the neoconservative ideology


Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.