"Neo-conservatism has been around for decades and, strangely, has connections to past generations as far back as Machiavelli. Modern-day neo-conservatism was introduced to us in the 1960s. It entails both a detailed strategy as well as a philosophy of government. The ideas of Teddy Roosevelt, and certainly Woodrow Wilson, were quite similar to many of the views of present-day neocons. Neocon spokesman Max Boot brags that what he advocates is “hard Wilsonianism.” In many ways, there’s nothing “neo” about their views, and certainly nothing conservative. Yet they have been able to co-op the conservative movement by advertising themselves as a new or modern form of conservatism. More recently, the modern-day neocons have come from the far left, a group historically identified as former Trotskyists. Liberal Christopher Hitchins, has recently officially joined the neocons, and it has been reported that he has already been to the White House as an ad hoc consultant. Many neocons now in positions of influence in Washington can trace their status back to Professor Leo Strauss of the University of Chicago. One of Strauss’ books was Thoughts on Machiavelli. This book was not a condemnation of Machiavelli’s philosophy. Paul Wolfowitz actually got his PhD under Strauss. Others closely associated with these views are Richard Perle, Eliot Abrams, Robert Kagan and William Kristol. All are key players in designing our new strategy of preemptive war. Others include: Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute; former CIA Director James Woolsey; Bill Bennett of Book of Virtues fame; Frank Gaffney; Dick Cheney; and Donald Rumsfeld. There are just too many to mention who are philosophically or politically connected to the neocon philosophy in some varying degree. The godfather of modern-day neo-conservatism is considered to be Irving Kristol, father of Bill Kristol, who set the stage in 1983 with his publication Reflections of a Neoconservative. In this book, Kristol also defends the traditional liberal position on welfare. More important than the names of people affiliated with neo-conservatism are the views they adhere to. Here is a brief summary of the general understanding of what neocons believe: 1.They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual. 2.They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so. 3.They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends. 4.They accept the notion that the ends justify the means—that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity. 5.They express no opposition to the welfare state. 6.They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it. 7.They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive. 8.They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit. 9.They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it. 10.They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised. 11.They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem. 12.They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate. 13.Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country. 14.9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many. 15.They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.) 16.They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary. 17.They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party. Various organizations and publications over the last 30 years have played a significant role in the rise to power of the neoconservatives. It took plenty of money and commitment to produce the intellectual arguments needed to convince the many participants in the movement of its respectability. It is no secret—especially after the rash of research and articles written about the neocons since our invasion of Iraq—how they gained influence and what organizations were used to promote their cause. Although for decades, they agitated for their beliefs through publications like The National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Public Interest, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and the New York Post, their views only gained momentum in the 1990s following the first Persian Gulf War—which still has not ended even with removal of Saddam Hussein. They became convinced that a much more militant approach to resolving all the conflicts in the Middle East was an absolute necessity, and they were determined to implement that policy. In addition to publications, multiple think tanks and projects were created to promote their agenda. A product of the Bradley Foundation, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) led the neocon charge, but the real push for war came from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) another organization helped by the Bradley Foundation. This occurred in 1998 and was chaired by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Early on, they urged war against Iraq, but were disappointed with the Clinton administration, which never followed through with its periodic bombings. Obviously, these bombings were motivated more by Clinton’s personal and political problems than a belief in the neocon agenda. The election of 2000 changed all that. The Defense Policy Board, chaired by Richard Perle played no small role in coordinating the various projects and think tanks, all determined to take us into war against Iraq. It wasn’t too long before the dream of empire was brought closer to reality by the election of 2000 with Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld playing key roles in this accomplishment. The plan to promote an “American greatness” imperialistic foreign policy was now a distinct possibility. Iraq offered a great opportunity to prove their long-held theories. This opportunity was a consequence of the 9-11 disaster. The money and views of Rupert Murdoch also played a key role in promoting the neocon views, as well as rallying support by the general population, through his News Corporation, which owns Fox News Network, the New York Post and Weekly Standard. This powerful and influential media empire did more to galvanize public support for the Iraqi invasion than one might imagine. This facilitated the Rumsfeld/Cheney policy as their plans to attack Iraq came to fruition. It would have been difficult for the neocons to usurp foreign policy from the restraints of Colin Powell’s State Department without the successful agitation of the Rupert Murdoch empire. Max Boot was satisfied, as he explained: “Neoconservatives believe in using American might to promote American ideals abroad.” This attitude is a far cry from the advice of the Founders, who advocated no entangling alliances and neutrality as the proper goal of American foreign policy. Let there be no doubt, those in the neocon camp had been anxious to go to war against Iraq for a decade. They justified the use of force to accomplish their goals, even if it required preemptive war. If anyone doubts this assertion, they need only to read of their strategy in “A Clean Break: a New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” Although they felt morally justified in changing the government in Iraq, they knew that public support was important, and justification had to be given to pursue the war. Of course, a threat to us had to exist before the people and the Congress would go along with war. The majority of Americans became convinced of this threat, which, in actuality, never really existed. Now we have the ongoing debate over the location of weapons of mass destruction. Where was the danger? Was all this killing and spending necessary? How long will this nation-building and dying go on? When will we become more concerned about the needs of our own citizens than the problems we sought in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who knows where we’ll go next—Iran, Syria or North Korea?" - Congressman Ron Paul(R-TX) Rest of speech at: www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2003/cr071003.htm.