From Consortium News
A savvy Washington observer once told me that the political reality about the neoconservatives is that they alone couldn't win you a single precinct in the United States. But both Republicans and Democrats still line up to gain neocon support or at least neocon acceptance.
Part of the reason for this paradox is the degree of dominance that the neoconservatives have established in the national news media -- as op-ed writers and TV commentators -- and the neocon ties to the Israel Lobby that is famous for showering contributions on favored politicians and on the opponents of those not favored.
Since the neocons' emergence as big-time foreign policy players in the Reagan administration, they also have demonstrated extraordinary resilience, receiving a steady flow of money often through U.S. government-funded grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and through donations from military contractors to hawkish neocon think tanks.
But neocons' most astonishing success over the past year may have been how they have pulled liberals and even some progressives into the neocon strategies for war and more war, largely by exploiting the Left's disgust with President Trump.
People who would normally favor international cooperation toward peaceful resolution of conflicts have joined the neocons in ratcheting up global tensions and making progress toward peace far more difficult.
The provocative "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," which imposes sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea while tying President Trump's hands in removing those penalties, passed the Congress without a single Democrat voting no.
The only dissenting votes came from three Republican House members -- Justin Amash of Michigan, Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky -- and from Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the Senate.
In other words, every Democrat present for the vote adopted the neocon position of escalating tensions with Russia and Iran. The new sanctions appear to close off hopes for a de'tente with Russia and may torpedo the nuclear agreement with Iran, which would put the bomb-bomb-bomb option back on the table just where the neocons want it.
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